The Latino Literacy Roundtable's Newest Partnership with REFORMA National
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
by: Dr. Patricia Montiel Overall

Section: News Articles

October 2013

Dr. Patricia Montiel-Overall is an Associate Professor School of Information Resources and Library Science and an Affiliate Professor Mexican American Studies College of Social and Behavioral Science The University of Arizona

The Latino Literacy Roundtable, which was initiated by the School of Information Resources and Library Science (SIRLS) at the University of Arizona is happy to announce a new partnership with REFORMA National.  REFORMA National will join the UofA SIRLS, UofA Libraries, UofA Department of Mexican American Studies, Tucson Council Member Regina Romero, El Pueblo Library of the Pima Country Public Libraries, and numerous other community partners including the local chapter of REFORMA for the 2014 Latino Literacy Roundtable.

The partnerships that have been formed by SIRLS support the mission statement of the Latino Literacy Roundtable, which is to provide an opportunity for scholars and community to meet, discuss, and share information about the development of literacy of Latinos in English and in Spanish. 

Each year the theme of the Latino Literacy Roundtable focuses on a specific aspect of literacy.  The theme of the 2013 Latino Literacy Roundtable was Family Literacy.  Spanish-speaking parents who were actively involved in the family literacy program at their children’s elementary school attended and participated in discussing family literacy.  They presented a poster at the Latino Literacy Roundtable, which illustrated a wide range of literacy projects the parents had been involved in at the school.  These included helping in classrooms, tutoring students, assisting in the library and helping with family and literacy events.  The parents led a roundtable discussion about the challenges they face being Spanish-speaking parents, primarily from Mexico, where customs, traditions, and schooling are often very different from the United States.  As an example, the parents explained that there was a big difference between school and public libraries in the two countries. 
The main speaker at the 2013 Latino Literacy Roundtable was Iliana Reyes, a professor at the UofA College of Education.  Dr. Reyes spoke about her research on bilingual and biliteracy development and the importance of families in developing literacy.

The Latino Literacy Roundtable is an annual event held on the Friday before the Tucson Book Festival.   The 2014 Latino Literacy Roundtable (LLR) will be held on March 14, 2014, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The theme of the 2014 Latino Literacy Roundtable is digital literacy.  The LLR is free and open to the public.  Lunch and refreshments are served to participants.  For further information contact the chairperson for the LLR, Patricia Montiel Overall at or 520-621-3565. 

Given the current increase in the number of Latinos in the United States and the growing population of school-aged Latino children many of whom are bilingual learners, and due to political decisions regarding bilingualism, which are often misinformed and misguided, it is critically important for communities to come together for in-depth discussions about the development of literacy of Latinos.  Discussions at the LLR focus on best practices that are informed by knowledge and by an understanding of language and culture of Latinos in the U.S.   Culturally competent library and information science professionals have an important role in promoting and implementing programs that reflect best practices regarding literacy of Latinos discussed at the Latino Literacy Roundtable.
Advisory Committee:
Ramona Grijalva, Librarian
Isabel Espinal, REFORMA
Regina Romero, Tucson City Council
René Colato Laínez, Author
Sarah Cortez, Author
Bryan Heidorn, School of Information Resources and Library Science (SIRLS)
Richard Ruíz, Chair of Mexican American Studies (MAS)
Carla Stoffle, Acting Director SIRLS
Karen Williams, Director of UA Libraries
Ricardo Pineda Albarrán, Mexican Consul
2014 Planning Committee:
Patricia Montiel Overall, Chair, SIRLS
Gina Macaluso, SIRLS
Janet Ceja, SIRLS
Rosario Carrillo, MAS
Veronica Reyes, UA Libraries
Laura Dent,  City Council Ward 1
Sebastian Galván Duque Covarrubias, Mexican Consul

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