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Central Library Collection Preserves Latino Literary Culture

Jan Ross Piedad
Texas Public Radio

What began as a petition calling for more Hispanic and Latino representation in the mid-90s is now a full-service resource center in a prominent space in San Antonio's iconic Central Library. 

The Latino Collection features Spanish and English language editions of more than 10,000 books and printed materials. Local creatives who have served as cultural ambassadors for San Antonio – like Texas Poet Laureates Carmen Tafolla, Laurie Ann Guerrero and Texas Medal of Arts honoree John Phillip Santos – have supported the collection over the years.  

Previously housed in a cramped section on Central Library's sixth floor, the collection was recently moved to a prominent area on the first floor. The 6,000-square-foot expansion was built using almost $500,000 of privately funded donations and contributions from the City of San Antonio, and includes a writer's workshop, study areas, an art gallery and space for lectures and community events. 

How will the Latino Collection and Resource Center serve the community? How should we preserve Latino and Hispanic literature and other art forms? What can we gain by maintaining this cultural and educational resource?


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.