Virginia Tech librarian Ana Corral and University of Virginia librarian Hanni Nabahe saw a need for providing COVID-19 resources for Spanish-speaking communities. In the spring, they began the project Apoyo e información en tiempos de COVID (Support and Information in the time of COVID).

Prior to COVID-19, Corral and Nabahe had met through the Research Interest Match, a resource that connects early career librarians and residents with others looking to collaborate. They bonded over their recent move to Virginia and their passion for serving marginalized communities, however, when the pandemic hit, Nabahe suggested they create a series of COVID-19 guides in Spanish.

“As we know, this situation caused by the pandemic is not going to be resolved overnight, and we are more than likely looking at dealing with this at least through the end of the year,” said Corral. “By creating sister library guides at our universities, we hope to provide information and resources that are up-to-date, relevant, and in one location to demonstrate how academic libraries support their Spanish-speaking communities.”

The Blacksburg and Charlottesville guides will be updated weekly during the summer and bi-weekly during the fall. The project has grown to include two more university librarians, Alexandra Flores from the College of William & Mary and Sergio Chaparro from Virginia Commonwealth University.

“To avoid duplication with other useful guides, we are gathering resources that are strictly in Spanish and invite the community to reproduce and or adapt it as needed,” said Nabahe.

“Both Hanni and I have received positive feedback from community members and groups and professional organizations,” said Corral. “I have also received emails thanking me for the information, so that is wonderful to read and see that this information is needed in this format and is being used.”

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech, a founding member of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Diversity Alliance for Academic Librarianship residency program, welcomed Ana Corral as its second resident last fall. The University of Virginia Library is also a member of the Diversity Alliance for Academic Librarianship residency program and Nabahe is its current resident.

“For the two of us, we consider ourselves a part of the community that we are reaching out to,” said Corral. “We are passionate about improving the relationships between our universities and the Spanish-speaking communities that surround them and growing and engaging those relationships.”

Written by:  Ann Brown