El Corazón de Tejas- Central Texas Chapter of REFORMA

Meeting Minutes for April 2001


Wednesday, 11 April 2001, 4:30 pm.
Windsor Park Branch, APL,

Present: Elissa Ballesteros (APL Riverside); Paola Ferate-Soto (APL Terrazas); Irma Flores Manges (APL Oak Hill); Elva Garza (APL Terrazas);
Oralia Garza de Cortés (REFORMA National); Margo Gutiérrez (UT Benson); Laura Gutiérrez-Witt (SALALM); Jeanette Larson (APL Youth Services); Cynthia Lewis (APL Little Walnut Creek); Nohemi López (APL Windsor); Christine McNew (TSL); Leslie A. Navarro (ACC); Jennifer Patterson (APL Windsor); Steve Reich (APL Spicewood Springs); Josefina Rodríguez-Gibbs (APL/ACP & AOS); Susan Sanders (AISD Zavala); Gustavo Soto (APL Central); Jennifer Thomas (APL Central)

Elva Garza welcomed the group. She mentioned that the formation of a central Texas chapter of REFORMA had been under discussion for several years, and thanked everyone for coming together to finally make it a reality.

As attendees introduced themselves, many expressed their hopes and expectations for the new chapter-mentorship, better services to Latinos as a result of changing demographics, partnerships with institutions of higher education as well as with other local and national organizations, and the acquisition of Spanish language and culturally appropriate library material for all Latinos.

Oralia Garza de Cortés, current national president of REFORMA, provided an overview of the organization's history and past and current activities on a national level. She indicated that REFORMA was celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, but that there was still a tremendous amount of work to be done, particularly in light of the growing Latino presence in the country.

The nuts and bolts of organizing a REFORMA chapter were presented by Paola Ferate-Soto, chair of National REFORMA's Organizational Development Committee. She explained that a minimum of eight members were required to constitute a chapter, that four officers (president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary) must be elected, and that by laws must be adopted. If we want to gain chapter status this year, we must fulfill requirements by early May as National REFORMA will meet during ALA annual. Ferate-Soto also noted that two-thirds of member dues remain with the chapter, while one-third goes to National REFORMA. Finally, she urged us to give thought now to setting local goals and to come up with ideas for fundraising. Applications for REFORMA membership were passed out and several attendees signed up as new members.

Margo Gutiérrez gave a report of activities carried out by other REFORMA chapters from coast to coast. These fall within broad categories of
mentoring, programming and library promotion, contest sponsorship, fundraising for scholarships, professional development, partnerships and
co-sponorships, technological initiatives, and consulting. Many chapters have adopted novel and creative strategies for promoting services to the Spanish speaking and Latinos and the opportunities to do the same in central Texas are seemingly endless. Attendees were referred to the
National REFORMA website for more information on chapter activities (www.reforma.org).

Central Texas Chapter officers for the year 2001-2001 were chosen by acclamation (not to mention cajoling). Congratulations and thank you to:

Jennifer Thomas, President
Elva Garza, Vice-President/President-Elect
Gustavo Soto, Treasurer
Margo Gutiérrez, Secretary

Next meeting (please notify interested colleagues): Wednesday, May 2, 2001, 4:30 p.m., Windsor Park Branch
Among other items, the agenda will include adoption of by laws.

Before adjourning, it was suggested that a few minutes be set aside at each meeting to discuss any particular questions or issues specifically related to local Latino library services.

Special thanks to Jennifer Patterson and the staff of the Windsor Branch library for their hospitality, and to Paola Ferate-Soto for the fruit,
sweets, and juice.

Respectfully submitted by Margo Gutiérrez

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Page Author:  Leslie Anne Navarro
created: July 20, 01 /revised: October 16,01.