¡Bienvenidos! Cuentos en el Parque: Taking Library and Other Community Services on Location
During the middle of the summer in Sherwood, Oregon, if you are walking through the grounds of one of the largest parks in town, you will see tables set up for lunch for a crowd, other tables with free books and community information, bubbles filling the air, and about 100 kids and their grown-ups enjoying a camp-like experience. You will see families of all demographics enjoying stories and songs in Spanish and English. You will see happy faces lined up for lunch, and a riotous enthusiasm that only kids exude during a fun craft or outdoor game activity. You might wonder what is going on. Is it a school gathering? Is it a city event? Is it a community fair? The answer is all of the above. It’s Bilingual Storytime in the Park/Hora de cuentos en el parque, an annual storytime session that runs once a week for six weeks during the summer, now in its fourth year.
Bilingual Storytime in the Park is an outreach program run by Sherwood Public Library, Sherwood School District’s Sherwood Helping All Reach Excellence (S.H.A.R.E.) Center, and Sherwood YMCA. Community partners also include Helping Hands, MudPuddles Toys and Books, Sherwood Center for the Arts, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, and the City of Sherwood, all of which come together to reach Spanish-speaking families. This article will describe how our library partnered with other city organizations to create a successful outreach program for families and how you can do the same.