Last week I wrote a post about being rejected by my local library when I called them to enquire about volunteering to read in Spanish. You can read that post here. On Friday I received a phone call from the Youth Services Department of my county’s library system. They saw my tweet and wanted to reach out to me. I would like to point out just how powerful social media can be. The lady I spoke with was very helpful and gave me contact information of people who would be able to direct me to where my services could be used.
Last night I sent off an email and this morning I spoke to somebody about my experience. It was explained to me that library volunteers go through an application process and are then placed based on the needs of the community. I am very grateful to have this information as it was what should have been given to me when I called the library. My issue with my initial interaction was two-fold: on one hand I took issue with being dismissed and on the other I was concerned that Spanish language programs were considered “not needed” by the children’s librarian. Of course, I did not expect the library to pick me off from the street and set me in front of a group of children without some sort of screening process and possible training. But I also did not expect to be sent off without any information or possibility of volunteering.
At this point I have no way of knowing if anything will come of this. All I know is that I am hoping for the inclusion/creation of Spanish language programing for children and I remain a willing volunteer. I am grateful that the Libraries Division took an interest in my experience and listened to what I had to say. That is an important step. The person I spoke with earlier today is supposed to get back to be after speaking to the librarian I spoke with in order to figure out what programs they are running in the library and what role, if any, I could play in that.
I will write another update when appropriate.