El Corazón de Tejas- Central Texas Chapter of REFORMA

Meeting Minutes for July 2001

 Thursday, 12 July 2001, 4:00 p.m.
 Benson Latin American Collection, UT Austin

 Present: Adán Benavides, Paola Ferate-Soto, Irma Flores Manges, Jane García (AISD), Elva Garza, Oralia Garza de Cortés, Margo Gutiérrez, Laura Gutiérrez-Witt, Cynthia Lewis, Tere Lozano (UT General Libraries), Jennifer  Patterson, Steve Reich, Loriene Roy (GSLIS, UT Austin), Gustavo Soto,  Jennifer Thomas

 Following a brief tour and a presentation of rare and unique items held by  the Benson Latin American Collection (thanks to Michael Hironymous),  Jennifer Thomas called the meeting to order at 4:40 p.m.  She welcomed all  to the meeting, including three first-time attendees, Jane García of AISD,  Tere Lozano of UT General Libraries, and Loriene Roy, who teaches at the UT  Graduate School of Library & Information Science.

 Following approval of the last meeting's minutes, Margo Gutiérrez gave a  very brief report of our chapter's recognition by the REFORMA National  Board of Directors at their annual meeting held in conjuntion with ALA. As  of June 17, 2001 we are an official REFORMA chapter.

 Steve Reich reported on the Mission Statement drafted by a team that  included himself, Jennifer Thomas, Leslie Navarro, and Gustavo Soto
 [everyone should have received a copy of this via e-mail]. Cynthia Lewis  commented that the Mission Statement as presented appeared to include  goals; she noted that mission statements as a rule are very short and  succinct. Others noted that the mission statement could be expanded to  include goals that would further the chapter's mission. Recommended changes  included replacing "Austin" with "Central Texas," and adding a statement  addressing access to information and equity of access. The team will meet  to incorporate changes and clarify other points. [Action required: if you  have suggestions to improve or clarify statement, please send to  jennifer.thomas@ci.austin.tx.us by Friday, July 19.] Revised mission  statement will be presented at next meeting.

 Oralia Garza de Cortés gave a report on major activities at REFORMA meetings at ALA last month. A highlight was the "Bienvenidos" program which  was geared to librarians beginning to provide services to Spanish speaking  communities. It was very well-received and may be repeated at future  conferences. There is some discussion at the national level about pulling  together some of the materials presented at the program and packaging them  as a resource for libraries serving "new" immigrant and Latino communities.  Oralia also reported that there is much activity in the way of partnering  up with other ALA ethnic caucuses, and a plan to join forces for a joint  conference in 2005. She also reminded all that there are many opportunities  to work on national REFORMA committees; anyone interested should consult  the REFORMA newsletter. Margo added that a new financial officer will be  hired on a part-time basis to assist the officers of REFORMA, particularly  with tax, investments, and other financial matters.

 The next item on the agenda was a discussion of possible events and/or  fundraisers the chapter might organize in the coming year. Oralia mentioned  a public forum on new immigrants in Austin and Central Texas. In an effort  to better understand who these people are, where they come from and why,  and what needs are unmet, it would be beneficial to librarians and teachers  to hear from academics and service providers (police department, banks,  consulate, faith-based social service agencies, etc.). Switching gears,  Margo suggested a wine and cheese type fundraiser which could also serve to  build up membership. Chapter members could contribute a venue (someone with  a big enough house) wine, and fancy finger food. Invitations would go out  to APL staff and librarians, UT librarians and administrators, AISD  librarians, etc. It was decided that both ideas had merit and that the  fundraiser should be organized for this fall, and the immigration forum for  the spring. Sign-up sheets for planning teams were circultated. [Action  required: please indicate your preference to serve on one or both planning  teams.]

 Gustavo Soto presented some very preliminary sketches for a chapter logo.  He is working with M.A., a graphic artist from APL. The idea is to
 incorporate pre-Columbian symbols into the design. There was discussion  that the design should be a simple one that can translate well on the  website, stationery, etc. More renderings will be presented at the next  meeting.

 Although Leslie Navarro could not attend the meeting, she sent a statement  read by Jennifer Thomas on the organization of the website. Sections would  include a welcome page, mission statement, officers and membership, meeting  minutes and meeting dates; additional suggestions include by-laws, upcoming  events, and links to National REFORMA page. Please send your suggestions  for additional links/sites to Leslie at lnavarro@austin.cc.tx.us [Action  required: for inclusion in the membership page, please send Leslie your  name, library/organizational address, job title, office phone number, fax,  e-mail address. She would appreciate this info ASAP.]

 Jennifer Patterson and Jeanette Larson were unable to get together to draft  a position paper or editorial on the budget crisis currently faced by the  Austin Public Library; however, Jennifer presented a statement that could  be adapted as a letter to the editor of the Austin rican-Statesman. She  also presented a sheet with "factoids" that could be used in such a letter.  At jeopardy are 17.5 positions. These include outreach positions and those  serving the Wired for Youth Program, among others. While our REFORMA  chapter can send such a letter or editorial, it may not be signed by an APL  employee. Margo volunteered to sign for the chapter and Adán Benavides  volunteered to work with Margo to draft the letter to the editor. However,  Elva Garza mentioned that other actions are being planned in support of the  APL and that it may be best to partner up with the library foundation and  other groups in this effort. After inquiring how REFORMA can collaborate,  Elva will contact Margo.

 Adán presented a draft of a press release announcing our formation as a new REFORMA chapter. It was very thorough and professionally executed. After a  few minor changes, Paola Ferate-Soto and Adán will translat. Jennifer will  begin to develop a list of media and organizations that should receivethe  press release. [Action required: submit names of organizations and media  you think should get a copy of the press release to Jennifer Thomas by July  20.]

 NEXT MEETING: Thursday, August 16, 4:30 p.m. Windsor Park Branch
 Please print out the minutes and bring with you.

 Meeting was adjourned at 6:02 pm.
 Respectfully submitted by Margo Gutiérrez

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