I close this presidential year with hope for the future, and that our organization continues to flourish and accomplish many great things. This past year was difficult because of the pandemic. Nevertheless, we succeeded. Not once did I hear any of our Reformistas say “I can’t” or “that is not possible.” Reformistas stayed positive and turned impossible challenges into possible solutions. So for that, I thank you REFORMA for a wonderful year!
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.
Almost 50 years ago Dr. Trejo set forth a vision and gave a beginning to an organization, which we now know as the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, better known as REFORMA. An organization built on the principles that equality among pupils should be based on what you know, not on what you look like. An organization built on the belief that the lack of opportunities for Latinas & Latinos might be a direct result of institutional racism. An organization built to empower the Spanish-speaking community by recruiting more Latinx into the library profession.
Let us continue working together to learn from each other, support each other, and continue the great work that you are all already doing.
There’s a lot of work to do and look forward to continuing the work of strengthening REFORMA as an organization, supporting the work being done by members and chapters at the chapter level, supporting library workers and students that are interested in promoting library and information services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, and advocating on behalf of the information needs of the Latino communities.
What an honor to be REFORMA President the year JCLC took place. It was a magnificent gathering of gente and a unique opportunity to share and learn from each other. I highly praise the work of all the REFORMA members who volunteered their time and expertise to organize this conference, especially Roxana Benavides and Susan Luevano, who represented REFORMA in the Steering Committee.
It is my honor and my pleasure to serve as your president in a time when there is so much hope and excitement about REFORMA’s future. I'm very fortunate to work alongside outstanding REFORMA members who are serving in the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors and who volunteer with committees, task forces, and local chapters. I’m inspired by their professionalism and their efforts to fulfill REFORMA’s mission.
Serving REFORMA has been the highlight of my career. As many of you know, I came to librarianship as a second career after teaching English to Speakers of Other Language for more than 25 years. I started my job at New York City College of Technology, the City University of New York in June 2000. The following September, a colleague invited me to a REFORMA Northeast Chapter Meeting at the Brooklyn Public Library. Isabel Espinal was presiding as President and others sitting around the table included Roxana Benavidez, Haydee Hodis, Toni Bissessar, Judy Rivas, Mario Gonzalez, Janice Greenberg, Linda Goodman, Miguel Garcia Colon and a few other strong REFORMISTAS.
Over my year serving as REFORMA President, I've enjoyed learning more about our organization and furthering our mission. It has been my privilege to be president of this organization, and I have greatly appreciated the trust you placed in me.
I know that not all of you could attend ALA Midwinter, and even if you could, you probably couldn't attend every REFORMA meeting, so I thought I would recap some of the more significant items. I apologize, because this is a long message! However, much of it is important, and I'd like to make sure that everyone has a chance to know what's going on with their association.
Greetings of the season! As I write this, our Reformistas in the Northeast have already seen snow and we Midwestern Reformistas have been hit with jacket weather, while our California Reformistas are still enjoying the balmy weather.
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.