San Jose Public Library - Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch

921 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95110

408-294-1237

Welcome to the Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch. Biblioteca joined the San José Public Library system in 1976. It opened at its current location in 1999, along with the adjacent Washington United Youth Center. It serves as both the citywide (and a Bay Area) resource for Spanish and bilingual (Spanish/English) materials on Latin American culture and history. The library provides educational resources and recreational opportunities serving the needs and interests of the local community, including library programs for families. Free WiFi and Internet access is available during library hours. Both programming and staff assistance is bilingual (Spanish/English). For more information, visit www.sjlibrary.org.

The Biblioteca Latinoamericana is a citywide resource for Spanish language materials with bilingual, bi-cultural staff. In addition to strong Spanish collections of Latin American history, culture, and literature, the Biblioteca also features Chicano studies, a special health collection in Spanish, materials on Latin America in English, and fiction in English by Latino authors. There is a large children's collection in Spanish, including a special bilingual section and a teen area as well. Spanish language magazines and newspapers are available, and flags from Latin American countries can be checked out.

Biblioteca was founded in 1974 by a group of mothers who wanted to promote Latino culture and the Spanish language while ensuring success in English, and began checking out books in Spanish at Sacred Heart Church. After receiving a state grant in 1976, the Biblioteca affiliated with San José Public Library. It was first housed near Sacred Heart and then moved into the former Woodrow Wilson High School cafeteria next to the Center for Employment Training in 1979. In 1988, Los Amigos de la Biblioteca (Friends of the Library) was reactivated and community members organized for a new Biblioteca. This culminated in the construction of the current 15, 000 square foot showplace building which opened on November 20, 1999. Original artwork by local artist, Pilar Aguero adorns the walls and provides a glimpse of the beauty of Latino culture. The outdoor patio features a beautiful fountain created by South Pasadena artist, Elsa Flores.

Biblioteca is a vital community resource that offers culturally specific programming for all ages throughout the year, literary events including the hosting of prominent Latino authors, and a Spanish book discussion group, Conversando Sobre Libros. Special resources include a community room and a computer lab with 12 Internet access computers.

Biblioteca staff collaborate with the staff of the adjoining Washington United Youth Center and other neighborhood and community based organizations. The Biblioteca Latinoamericana has attracted attention beyond San José as an example of what is possible in the provision of library services to native and immigrant communities with lifelong learning needs.

Books, Videos (DVDs, VCDs & VHS), Audio Books, eBooks, Online Research Databases, Magazines & Newspapers, ESL & Language Materials; Public Access PCs, WiFi Hotspot; Programs for all ages; Reference and Homework Help, Online Tutoring; Friendly, Knowledgeable, Multi-lingual Staff...and it's FREE!!!

Branch Library Hours/ Open 6 Days a Week:  Monday 2-7 PM, Tuesday and Wednesday 11-8 PM, Thursday-Saturday 10-6 PM, Sunday Closed

Interested? You can find more information at the Library website: www.sjlibrary.org/about/locations/biblioteca/index.htm

For information on Community Center hours and activities, visit the community center listings at http://www.ccsj.org/services/youth/wuyc.htm

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