Arnulfo Trejo

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Arnulfo Duenes Trejo
Arnulfo Trejo Memorial Photo from REFORMA
Arnulfo Trejo Memorial Photo from REFORMA
Born (1922-08-15)August 15, 1922
Villa Vicente Guerrero, Durango, Mexico
Died July 5, 2002(2002-07-05) (aged 79)
Tucson, Arizona, United States
Occupation Professor & Writer
Nationality (Mexican) American
Spouse Annette M. Foster Trejo (2nd)
Ninfa Trejo (3rd)
Children Rachel, Rebecca & Ruth

Arnulfo Duenes Trejo (August 15, 1922 – July 5, 2002) was a writer and Professor of Library Science at the University of Arizona. He was a leader in the movement to increase library collections of Latino literature and Spanish-language materials in the United States. He was also instrumental in efforts to train more Latino and Spanish-speaking people as professional librarians.


Trejo was born in Villa Vicente Guerrero, Durango, Mexico. He moved to the United States at the age of three, gaining American citizenship in 1944 during his service with the U.S. Army. He earned a B.A. in Education, University of Arizona, 1949; M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature, University of the Americas, 1951; M.A. in Library Science, Kent State University, 1953; Litt.D. (with honors), National University of Mexico, 1959.

When he started his position as a Professor of Library Science at the University of Arizona in 1965, Trejo was one of only five Hispanic librarians in the nation.[1]

In 1971 he founded REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, which is today a prominent organization for Latino librarians as well as for librarians serving Latino communities. Trejo was inspired to start REFORMA after a screening of the film I Am Joaquin, based on the epic poem of the same title, by Corky Gonzalez and exploring the struggles and exploitation of Mexican Americans.[2] He served as president of the organization from 1971 to 1974. In recognition of his importance to the organization, REFORMA's Librarian of the Year Award is now named after Dr. Trejo.

In 1975 he founded the Graduate Library Institute for Spanish-speaking Americans (GLISA), an American Library Association-accredited master's degree program for training librarians. During the institute's four-year existence Trejo was directly involved in recruiting Latino students into the program and contributed to their education.[2] GLISA's graduates include many Latina and Latino librarians who are present-day leaders in the field.

In 1980 Trejo cofounded Hispanic Books Distributors, a Spanish language book seller aimed at increasing the availability of Spanish-language materials to libraries in the United States.

Trejo Foster Foundation for Hispanic Library Education[edit]

In 1992, Trejo, his sister Luisa Duenes Trejo, and his second wife, Annette M. Foster Trejo, created the Trejo Foster Foundation for Hispanic Library Education (TFF) which has sponsored national institutes for library education to serve the information needs of Latinos. The TFF was formed as a “think-tank” to address issues concerning library and information science education. Under the aegis of the TFF Institutes on Hispanic Library Education have engaged the faculties of library and information studies throughout the nation in planning, preparation and implementation. Dr. Trejo’s astute recognition that he must ignite passion for service to the Spanish-speaking in all regions of the United States through the Institutes resulted in the first five Institutes.

  • I. Status of Hispanic Library and Information Science; A National Institute for Educational Change. University of Arizona, School of Information Resources and Library Science. Tucson, Arizona. July 29–31, 1993.
  • II. Latino Populations and the Public Library. University of Texas-Austin. Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Austin, Texas. November 12–15, 1995.
  • III. Hispanic Leadership in Libraries. Rutgers University, School of Communications, Information, and Library Studies. New Jersey. August 8–10, 1997.
  • IV. Library Services to Youth of Hispanic Heritage. University of South Florida, School of Library and Information Science. Tampa, Florida. March 12–14, 1999.[3]
  • V. Bridging Borders: Building Hispanic Library Education and Services in a Global Perspective. University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library and Information Studies and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, School of Information Studies. Madison, Wisconsin. July 20–22, 2001.

Dr. Trejo’s message inviting librarians to the 5th TFF Institute in Wisconsin in 2001 was a clear and strong reminder that the work is far from done:

“According to the U.S. News and World Report (March 19, 2001): “The number of Hispanics here today is greater than the entire population of Canada.” Yet the number of Hispanic librarians is less than two thousand. This includes librarians from Puerto Rico. The dire need of Latino Librarians is a national, serious problem.
This and related problems will be addressed at the 5th National Trejo Foster Institute of Hispanic Education. I personally wish to invite you to this event. You, meaning librarians, students and faculty in schools of library and information science as well as library assistants who are working in libraries with a large representation of Spanish-speaking patrons.
Favor de asistir a este evento, todas aquéllas personas que estén interesadas en la tarea de incrementar el número de bibliotecarios Latinos en este país. Vivimos en un país que está inundado de información; sin embargo, nuestra gente, sedienta de esa información, no tiene quien les informe en su idioma. Hagamos un esfuerzo especial para vernos en Madison, Wisconsin.”
— Gracias, Arnulfo Trejo, Presidente TFF
His third wife Ninfa Trejo (married in 1995), continues the work of the Trejo Foster Foundation as President of the Foundation.[4]
  • VII. The University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science and the Arizona Health Sciences Library seventh biannual Trejo Foster Foundation Institute focusing on issues of health information services for Hispanic constituencies.July 12–14, 2007. The University of Arizona,Tucson, Arizona.
  • IX "Education & Library Services: Connecting Borders" October 5, 2012 - October 6, 2012. Chihuahua City, Mexico.

Legacy, Honors and Death[edit]

Dr. Trejo won many awards, including: the Simón Bolivar Award, Colegio de Bibliotecónomos of Venezuela, 1970; El Tiradito Awards, El Tiradito Foundation, 1973 and 1975; annual award from League of Mexican-American Women, 1973; Rosenzweig Award, Arizona State Library Association, 1976; Distinguished Alumni Award, Kent State University School of Library Science. In 2001, the American Library Association (ALA) granted Trejo Honorary Membership, an honor conferred on a living citizen of any country whose contribution to librarianship or a closely related field is so outstanding that it is of lasting importance to the advancement of the whole field of library service. It is intended to reflect honor upon the ALA as well as upon the individual.

Arnulfo Trejo died in his home in Tucson, Arizona in 2002, at the age of 79. He was survived by his wife, Ninfa, and daughters, Rachel, Rebecca and Ruth.[5]

Bibliography of Works[edit]

  • Bibliografía Comentada Sobre Administración de Negocios (title means Annotated Bibliography on Business Administration), Addison-Wesley, 1967, 2nd edition published as Bibliografía Comentada Sobre Adminsitración de Negocios y Disciplinas Conexas, 1967.
  • Dicionario Etimólogico del Léxico de la Delincuencia (title means Etymological Dictionary of the Language of Delincuency), UTEHA, 1969.
  • (Editor) Directory of Spanish-Speaking/Spanish Surnamed Librarians in the United States, Bureau of School Services, College of Education, University of Arizona, 1973, revised edition published as Quién es Quién: A Who's Who of Hispanic-Heritage Librarians in the United States, Bureau of School Services, College of Education, University of Arizona, 1986.
  • Bibliografía Chicana: A Guide to Information Services, Gale, 1975.
  • (Editor and contributor) Proceedings of the April 28–29, 1978, Seminario on Library and Information Services for the Spanish-Speaking: A Contribution to the Arizona Pre-White House Conference, Graduate Library Institute for Spanish-Speaking Americans (Tucson, Arizona), 1978.
  • (Editor and contributor) The Chicanos: As We See Ourselves (essays by fourteen Chicano scholars), University of Arizona Press, 1979.
  • Contributor to American Libraries, Arizona Highways, Folklore Americas, Wilson Library Bulletin, and other magazines.


  1. ^ Yamashita, Briana: "Arnulfo D. Trejo, Founder of REFORMA, Dies at 79," Criticas "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-08-25. 
  2. ^ a b Güereña, Sal: "A Tribute to Arnulfo D. Trejo," "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
  3. ^ Immroth, Barbara Froling, and Kathleen de la Peña McCook. 2000. Library services to youth of Hispanic heritage. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.
  4. ^ "Trejo Foster Foundation Homepage" "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2006-08-25. 
  5. ^ "Memorial Program from Funeral" "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 


External links[edit]