What's the Big Idea?

Our intention is to provide a facility specific to Mexican literature, Hispanic publications, historical movies, and other artifacts for educational research enrichment.
Desired location within Stockton, the previous Fair Oaks Branch Library building which was closed in 2010.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Search and You Shall Find

Bilingual libraries by themselves are not as common as one would hope. A wonderful example would be the Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch Library in San Jose, CA which will be celebrating 15 years serving the Latino community this November 15, 2014.

Bilingual bookstores, not simply small corners within a Barnes and Nobles, are also rare. Through research two successful, thriving bilingual bookshare/bookstores with similar demographics as Stockton, CA are Libros Schmibros, in Los Angeles, CA in the heart of the Boyle Heights neighborhood and La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem, NY.

Ethnic museums fortunately are more common. Several long standing museums include The Mexican Museum in San Francisco, CA, The African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO) in Oakland, CA and the California Historical Museum in San Francisco, CA. Such museums, those that are focused on a specific culture, are rare however in the San Joaquin Central Valley areas.

Stockton deserves to have similar resources available to families and scholars eager to learn of the Latino heritage. 

If you believe this as well, please continue to support our project, share the news and let Stockton City Officials know!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Knock, Knock

When you keep knocking eventually a door will open.

Library and Literacy Foundation of San Joaquin County established in 1990, supports "programs that foster literacy and support the power of reading." First supporting the Stockton-San Joaquin Public Library Adult Literacy program, they have since expanded to include various family and community activities such as their annual Trivia Bee and participation with Family Day in the Park.

Masood Cajee, one of the Foundation's Directors, followed up with Richard Soto and I recently to discuss our intentions for the bilingual library and museum. Masood and Photographer/Author Robert Dawson toured Biblioteca San Joaquin Mueritta; they walked through the halls and basement filled with books, magazines, albums, dvds and art work.

Masood gave several examples of public library systems with successful specialized libraries such as The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture a research unit of the New York City Public Library.

Could a Latino bilingual library and museum in Stockton follow a similar framework and be a part of the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library resource? Yes!

We have agreed to partner our project with the Foundation's plan to improve our Stockton-San Joaquin Public Library resources. We couldn't be more excited!  This is a positive step toward making our bilingual library and museum a reality!

Monday, October 20, 2014

One Foot in Front of the Other

One Foot in Front of the Other

Between March and May 2014, I held a series of weekly planning meetings. Sometimes several people showed; a couple of times it was just me.

Besides Richard Soto and myself, several people met with us to discuss the idea of a bilingual library. I’m thankful to Bridget Childs, Research Attorney, who attended most meetings, has been very helpful providing insight, suggesting next steps and possibilities. I appreciate Nathan Worth, Grant Writer, who initially got me to document our intentions in order to search for grants. Also agreeing with me that the “money is out there”. Happily thankful to Saul Mora, retired educator, his wife and also his son, all very supportive in our initial meeting in March. Immensely grateful to Debbie Hernandez, who though her support, lead to the Stockton Record article by Rodger Phillips that drummed up community support of which I am still receiving emails about today!

After taking time off during the early summer weeks we tried to start up our meetings again. For some reason or another we just couldn’t “get the ball rolling” again. It was during that lull in momentum that I stepped back to look at the big picture. I looked over the notes gathered from each meeting. Those notes had formed a basic business plan! After organizing all of our thoughts on paper, we created a business plan for our bilingual library and Latino museum. Our ideas had formed into focus and direction.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Not Too Long Ago...

How do ideas start? Who do you tell first? 


This was my way of announcing my idea to my husband in August 2013. After having that thought on my mind for a couple of months, I finally decided to say it out loud. From then on, it's been one brave step after another.

Though my blog posts are few inbetween, there has been much progress. I'll happily share the milestones in upcoming posts. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Support is Motivating

Support continues to grow for a bilingual library and museum in Stockton, CA. One of the first people, outside of my family, I shared my idea with was Stockton Councilmember Dyane Burgos-Medina of District 5. District 5 includes the Fair Oaks Neighborhood, the area of Stockton which desperately needs a library.
From that first day, as I excitedly shared my idea, to now having a written formidable plan, Dyane has been helpful, patient, and most of all encouraging.

Councilmember Dyane Burgos-Medina speaks to a crowd 
at the Put Stockton First Kick Off on February 1, 2014. 

Stepping out with an idea can be intimidating. During this process, there have been lulls, delays and set backs. But it's all a part of a learning process. Each pause was a moment to look at the successes and progress of other worthy causes in my community, such as Put Stockton First. These moments reassured me that all projects take time but I need to keep moving forward! 

Thank you Councilmember Dyane Burgos-Medina for your support and motivation! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Planning and Puzzles

Planning a project is like working on a puzzle; you can only go so far with the pieces you have. Today's planning meeting began at the Stribley Park Community Center in Stockton, CA. Another step in the right direction, and another piece to our puzzle is set into place. Progress toward a bilingual library and museum continues!

This is the latest in a series of meetings held since April, 2014. We have the full support of our district area Councilwoman Dyane Burgos-Medina. We have a resourceful grant writer, Nathan Werth, committed to helping our project. We have direct support of several teachers, school administrators and businesses in this area not to mention the countless family and friends who have cheered on this process from the beginning.

I will post regular updates to our progress in the coming days. I admit maintaining a blog is a juggling act. I applaud all Bloggers out there for the work they do! It's not as easy as it looks.

Friday, May 2, 2014

"We Need Diverse Books!"

On May 1, 2014, we join the public call for action supporting diversity in Literature! We Need Diverse Books Tumblr blog gives you all the details how to announce from the hilltops - or your laptops - "We need diverse books!"

Many people & organizations promote diversity, bilingual, multi-cultural literature; it's exciting to see all come together to be a part of this campaign for the next 3 days as one voice. 

May 2, 2014 - Twitter chat is scheduled for 11pm (PST) using the #WeNeedDiverseBooks. Share your thoughts on diversity in literature and why it matters!

May 3, 2014 11am (PST) It's time to "Diversify Your Shelves"! This is to encourage you to buy diverse books! Hello! Let's work our purchasing power mi gente! Go out to bookstores, new or used and of course your local libraries, and ask for their favorite diversity picks! Talk to a librarian, they love answering questions! Trust me I know this.

We know diversity in literature matters in Stockton, CA. We want to see our children and adults reading, connecting with characters they can relate to and sparking interest. The positive outcomes are so obvious! Let's do our part to shout! shout! shout! "We need diverse books!"