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Elkhart Public Library reaches out to Latino community

The Elkhart Public Library wants to increase its reach throughout the community, striving to be a resource to the city's Latinos.

The library is free for anyone to use. But some Latinos may not be fully aware of the resources it has to offer. 

On Saturday, August 13, the EPL is doing a series of events to extend a hand out to the Elkhart community. It's called "Prepárese @ Su Biblioteca," which means "Getting prepared at your Library" in English.

The main mission is to introduce Latinos to the library and its services. The second will be to learn what free services the library can provide for its Latino citizens, like naturalization courses or English as a second language. 

"I don't want to simply have the attitude of build it and they will come," said Lisa Guedea Carreño, director of the Elkhart Public Library. "I want to engage with the Latino community and say this library is your library too. How can we better serve you?"

The last recorded census has Elkhart 's Latino population at almost 24 percent. That's a big number that the library doesn't feel they've properly served so far. 

They are working with El Puente, the Latino community paper, and La Raza, a Latino radio station, to build connections and educate. And they are stressing "Venga con su Familia," bringing the whole family to the sessions. It's all to better serve the community as a whole.

"It's a demographic that we noted in our research when we did our last strategic plan and that we identified as an area where we needed to be more intentional," said Carreño. "To improve and evolve the library services as the community evolves as well."

The three part event starts this weekend at the Pierre Moran branch on Benham Avenue. 

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