Last Monday was the 3a Jornada de Biblioteca Pública i Immigració at the Jaume Fuster Public Library, here in Barcelona. I learned a lot! First the speech by Jordi Sánchez, talking about intercultural dialog at the libraries, sharing space!
Librarians can participate in this process through projects like Auf den Spuren der Hakawatis. Hakawati means storyteller in Syrian, so this project is about encouraging young people from diverse cultural background to read aloud, in front of their schoolmates, immigration literature. Cornelia Weissel-Reinhardt shared her experience with this project held at the Stuttgart Public Library. First they helped the young students with immigrant background to positive reading world literature. But they found out that what we understand by "world literature" is european and american literature, christian literature! This has to change! There is literature outside Europe and America! And reading it aloud is useful to learn about other cultures!
Petra Bamberger-Erdem, from the Nuremberg Public Library, was in charge of the second speech, Lyric meets Graffitis. Awesome! Students painting Graffitis at school and library! Cool idea! First they got the young people to read poetry, and to understand it, so they could create and paint it!
How can we, librarians, know if a project like one of the above may be successful? Queens Library gave us some tips. Loida García-Febo, talked about the Reforma organization and their programs to promote the recruitment of bilingual and bicultural librarians! She also explained the criteria to plan a project: first analyze demographic information about each neighborhood! To know your community is a must for them! Their staff librarians go roaming the streets and talk to people, organizations, they even search for changes in the ad posters on the stores! Once you get your community profile, you may beging with the proyect! Trust your community! They have so many programs...
... I want to learn there how to get support each time the library budget is cut and enrich my life! Don't you?