September 2011 marked a new beginning for REFORMA. This year REFORMA celebrated its 40th
anniversary and its 4th
National Conference “Elevating Latino Services to a Higher Level
” a tambor batiente
(with flying colors triumphantly)! The conference was very successful and enlightened, exhilarated and inspired all REFORMistas that gathered in Denver. It was a moment to celebrate the work of the volunteers and “Librarian of the Year” that promoted librarianship and advocated services to Spanish speaking and Latino communities. Everyone that attended used the opportunity to socialize, network and share information about our accomplishments. We all returned home re-energized and ready to take REFORMA into the next 40 years!
We owe a great deal to these trailblazers, who forty years ago, had the courage, ambition, and passion to start an organization that would inspire us all and for which we stand today.
As President of REFORMA, I would like to start by thanking and expressing my appreciation to the organizers and everyone that made REFORMA National Conference IV event possible. Most of all, I would like to thank all those who attended and celebrated 40 years of REFORMA. Over 300 of us from all over the country came to Denver to celebrate our rich heritage and many accomplishments. It is people like you that make REFORMA not only relevant but also a crucial element in Latino society. You are people that are passionate about the literacy and education of our Latino communities all over the United States. REFORMA was started in 1971 by about a dozen librarians led by the renowned Dr. Arnulfo Trejo
. In 1972, the distinguished Elizabeth Martinez
accomplished the development of the Institute at Cal State Fullerton: The Mexican American Library Training. We owe a great deal to these trailblazers, who forty years ago, had the courage, ambition, and passion to start an organization that would inspire us all and for which we stand today.
REFORMA was created by passionate people like you that had the privilege of higher education and the wish to see all Spanish-speaking Americans follow in our footsteps. This year’s conference proceeds in the knowledge that Latinos are now 16.3% of the US population
-surpassing in number all other minority groups. We REFORMISTAS need to influence our nation’s libraries to embrace and increase library services to those 50.5 million Latinos.
I would also like to take this moment to recognize the work of the 19 REFORMA chapters that we are active nationwide. You have all done so much for the organization through your hard work and grassroots connections; we have achieved so much and look to achieve so much more. It is librarians, students, library workers and other like you that are the very foundation of our cause. With such a fantastic team, I am positive there will be more to come in the near future. Until then, it is up to you, the future leaders
of REFORMA, to carry the torch and continue to volunteer and donate time and ideas for our great cause. This will ensure another 40 years of success in our Latino communities. Together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. ¡Trabajemos juntos: together we are stronger! ¡Muchisimas gracias estimados REFORMISTAS!