The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, more commonly known as REFORMA, is an affiliate of the American Library Association formed in 1971 to promote library services to Latinos and the Spanish speaking. It is registered in Washington, D.C. as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Before the mid 1950s, there was very limited recognition of the Latino community within U.S. librarianship. By the 1960s, however, the need for information sources for the increasing Spanish-speaking population became more apparent, and some federal funding materialized for libraries to address this need. However, the mainstream profession and its associations remained indifferent to the Latino community, so Latino librarians developed a grassroots movement.
1968 saw the formation of the Committee to Recruit Mexican American Librarians in Los Angeles, which founded a Graduate Institute for Mexican American Librarians at California State University, Fullerton. In 1972, Fullerton's Graduate Institute was joined by the Graduate Library Institute for Spanish-Speaking Americans (GLISA) at the University of Arizona. Both programs focused on recruiting Latino librarians, but were short-lived.
The National Association of Spanish Speaking Librarians in the United States, which would later be called REFORMA, was founded in 1971. In 1983, the name was changed to REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library Services to the Spanish Speaking to better reflect the goal of the association.
Activities and structure
REFORMA's activities include promoting the collection of Spanish-language materials in libraries; advocating the recruitment of Latinos to work in libraries in order to better serve the Latino population, educating Latinos about the services public libraries offer; promoting library programs that benefit Latinos. REFORMA also serves as a network of librarians who share these interests.
Many of REFORMA's activities are pursued within twenty-four regional and local chapters, which operate autonomously to achieve the association's goals in local libraries and communities. National activities include a scholarship drive which funds graduate education in librarianship for students sharing REFORMA's goals and the publication of a biannual newsletter. REFORMA also grants three awards: the Trejo Librarian of the Year Award to a librarian who has made exemplary contributions to the library profession in service to the Latino community, the Mora Award to libraries in recognition of their Día de Los Niños/Día de Los Libros (Children's Day/Book Day) activities, and the Pura Belpré Award, which recognizes children's books on Latino themes. Over the years, Reforma has also taken positions and become involved in political issues concerning Latino communities in the United States, especially issues that affect reading and library services. Examples are: Position on Language Rights; Resolution in Support of Immigrants' Rights to Free Public Library Access; Resolution Opposing Sensenbrenner Bill (H.R. 4437); and Statement Regarding Censorship of Children's Book (in Florida).
The Presidency of REFORMA is currently a position that is held for three years, including one as Vice President/President-Elect and one as Past President. Past and current presidents:
- Isabel Espinal (2013-2014)
- Denice Adkins (2012-2013)
- Maria Kramer, (2011-2012)
- Lucía González, (2010-2011)
- Loida Garcia-Febo, (2009-2010)
- Luis Chaparro, (2008–2009)
- Mario Ascencio, (2007–2008)
- Roxana Benavides, (2006–2007)
- Ana-Elba Pavón, (2005–2006)
- José Ruiz Álvarez, (2004–2005)
- Linda Chavez Doyle, (2003–2004)
- Ben Ocón, (2002–2003)
- Susana Hinojosa, (2001–2002)
- Oralia Garza de Cortes, (2000–2001)
- Toni Bissessar, (1999–2000)
- Jacqueline Ayala, (1998–1999)
- Sandra Ríos Balderrama, (1997–1998)
- Edward Erazo, (1996–1997)
- Judith Castiano, (1995–1996)
- Gilda Baeza Ortego, (1994–1995)
- Camila Alire, (1993–1994)
- Martín Gómez, (1992–1993)
- Mario González, (1991–1992)
- Ron Rodríguez, (1990–1991)
- Rhonda Ríos-Kravitz, (1989–1990)
- Ingrid Betancourt, (1988–1989)
- Elizabeth Rodriguez-Miller, (1987–1988)
- Elena Tscherny, (1986–1987)
- Susan Luévano, (1985–1986)
- Salvador Güereña, (1984–1985)
- Albert A. Milo, (1983–1984)
- Luis Herrera, (1982–1983)
- Cesar Caballero, (1980–1982)
- Daniel Flores Durán, (1978–1980)
- Roberto Cabello Argandoña, (1977–1978)
- José G. Taylor, (1976–1977)
- John Ayala, (1974–1976)
- Alberto Irabian, (1974-1974)
- Arnulfo Trejo, (1971–1974)
- Echavarria, Tami; Andrew B. Wertheimer (Fall 1997). "Surveying the Role of Ethnic-American Library Associations". Library Trends 46 (2): 380. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
- Echavarria, Tami; Andrew B. Wertheimer (Fall 1997). "Surveying the Role of Ethnic-American Library Associations". Library Trends 46 (2): 380–381. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
- Echavarria, Tami; Andrew B. Wertheimer (Fall 1997). "Surveying the Role of Ethnic-American Library Associations". Library Trends 46 (2): 381. Retrieved 30 June 2013.