President’s Column
Thursday, November 26, 2020
by: Oscar Baeza

Section: President's Column

Fall 2020

Oscar Baeza
REFORMA President 2020-2021

Leer en español

Buen día Reformistas! I hope this message finds you well. REFORMA has been busy! Our executive team continues to meet monthly, and many times even weekly, depending on the challenges and issues we confront day in and day out. Our standing committees have also seen action and many of our members are working hard every day to assure that REFORMA continues to be one of the best library organizations out there. Many of our chapters have also been very busy, holding meetings, virtual conferences, and/or discussing issues related to bettering our profession and our Latina/Latino communities. Kudos to them for all the great work.

REFORMA is moving in the right direction. In the past couple of months, we have seen our organization move into the virtual world with exciting events. The Book Buzz Summer Series, hosted by the Northeast and Los Angeles chapters, lasted all of August and was a great success. We saw publishers and distributors display the best that Latinx literature has to offer. REFORMA also collaborated with the L.A. Chapter and the L.A. Public Library and brought many families a fun Noche de Cuentos celebration on September 26.  The Hispanic Heritage Month: Virtual Author Showcase, held on October 7, was another excellent presentation where Latinx authors came live into our living rooms. On October 15, Leer para habitar otros mundos posibles featured Mario Vidal Varela from Argentina and discussed the program Puente de Libros. The El Paso REFORMA area chapter, along with the Texas Library Association and the Border Regional Library Association, also held their Annual Fall Conference on October 16 and 17. Author Sergio Troncoso and anchor and executive producer of NPR show Latino USA Maria Hinijosa were two of the featured speakers. In addition, REFORMA has also partnered with several organizations and so Reformistas will be guest speakers for webinars and virtual conferences. Some of our partnerships and future events include:
  • Desigualdad y bibliotecas: cómo la profesión bibliotecaria puede contribuir a acortar esta brecha, October 20, 2020. Reformistas presenting: Oscar Baeza (National President), Nicanor Diaz (National Vice-President), and Loida Garcia-Febo (ALA & REFORMA Past President)

  • International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Latin America and the Caribbean Section (LAC) webinar on the importance of copyright considerations, scheduled for December 3, 2020. Reformistas presenting: Elizabeth Garcia (International Relations Committee Chair) and Loida Garcia-Febo (ALA & REFORMA Past President)

  • Serving International Communities during Times of Crisis, Texas Library Association Public Libraries Division and Latino Caucus, April 2021. Reformista presenting: Oscar Baeza (National President)  

  • The Digital Commonwealth Conference, April 2021. Reformista presenting: Richard Chabran (Past Co-Chair of the Information Technology Committee) 
In addition, REFORMA also co-sponsored, along with the ALA Committee on Literacy, Libraries at the Intersection of Adult Education, Family Literacy, and Digital Equity, held on September 3, 2020. On December 4-5, 2020, REFORMA will also co-sponsor the Latinx KidLit Book Festival.

I am also proud of the many grants REFORMA National was able to grant through our Día and Noche de Cuentos Mini Grants.  We had many applicants and, as I understand, the decision was not that easy. Nevertheless, congratulations to all of our winners. Remember to always take a look at our awards, grants, & scholarships web page for the latest information. 

The REFORMA National Conference (RNC) Committee is also busy putting together our next National Conference, which will happen in Portland, Oregon on November 4-7, 2021. If you belong to any of the subcommittees within our conference committee, thank you for all that you are doing. Organizing a conference is difficult in the best of times, and now they are organizing one during a pandemic and under a disorganized federal government. I am so proud of our RNC Committee and the countless volunteers who are sacrificing their evening dinners with their families or who are meeting on weekends to get things done. There are very few words that I can say to express my full gratitude for the work you all do! Therefore, if you know somebody who belongs to the RNC team, please say thank you to them for all that they do. 

Also, keep in mind the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color. Even though this conference is two years away, it is never too early to start thinking about it. Keep in mind that REFORMA is part of JCLC, and that the JCLC conference is a REFORMA conference. 

Election time is around the corner, and as I have said before, this election is probably one of the most important elections in our lifetimes. Please remember to vote, and remember to send in your voting pictures, so that we can upload them via our social media. On a sadder note, I would also like to remind all Reformistas to take a moment of your busy lives to remember and pay respects to all who have passed due to this horrible disease. Many of us have lost loved ones, colleagues, neighbors, and friends. 

Our beloved organization is only as good as its members. Each one of you out there makes REFORMA move and happen. During the weekends when I have some free time, I like to scroll through our REFORMANET listserv, and I am always so proud of our members when I see uplifting and encouraging messages and posts.  Whether it is someone giving advice on collection development, or others having a professional discussion on the latest Latinx author that is causing a vibe, the listserv is where it is happening. In addition, I also like reading about all of the great virtual events happening nationwide. So thank you Reformistas for your continued support for our beloved organization, because without members, we could not exist. REFORMA happens because you make it possible!

A special thank you goes out to our Technology and Public Relations Committees. The great things you see on our web page and the exciting news you read on our social media and newsletter does not happen by magic. In addition, many of the virtual events happening are because of these committees. It takes dedicated individuals, who many times are up at midnight working, to make sure REFORMA continues to run smoothly. So thank you team for all that you do!  

Adelante REFORMA!
Post a Comment