In April of 2001, Cuesta Multi Cultural Consulting presented a plan for Designing Library Services for Hispanic Communities to the North Carolina State Library.* Strategy 6 of the plan called for establishing “more and better cooperative programs with organizations serving the Latino population to offer services wherever and whenever these populations happen to be.” Strategy 10 called for continuing to “search for, apply for, and receive grants to upgrade overall needed Latino library services.” What is unique about Project Adelante is that it has combined these two strategies for both implementing the grant and achieving its outcomes.
In order to plan and implement the grant, the ESRL formed a collaborative relationship with the Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University. In order to achieve grant outcomes, ESRL partnered and contracted with an initiative of BEACON, Bienvenidos a Delmarva, a network of over 70 social service organizations formed to better address the needs of the immigrant, primarily Spanish-speaking, population on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. As an active member of this network, and co-sponsor of the network’s highly successful cultural competency workshop for service providers in the region, ESRL opted to build on Bienvenidos’ already strong linkages to the Latino immigrant community. Additional partnering occurred when ESRL employed the services of a Salisbury University Sociologist, Dr. Timothy Dunn, a local marketing firm, Horizon Market Research, and Ms. Amy Liebman, a private consultant, to aid in the design and implementation of the needs assessment.
This active and extensive liaisoning adds a unique dimension to the history of Latino librarianship. Modeling the concept of library-community organization partnerships for both grant implementation and outcomes, it powerfully demonstrates how libraries can further empower themselves by utilizing the service organizations in their midst.