The University of Puerto Rico's Learning Resource Center Promotes Culturally Relevant Childhood Literacy

*Lee una traducción al español de este artículo aquí.
*Read a Spanish translation of this article here.

The Learning Resource Center (Library) at the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus is a space dedicated to study, research and the sociocultural enrichment of all our visitors. Our library offers access to information in many different formats, and our personnel educate our community on how to effectively search for information, and its ethical and critical use. Our community consists of five thousand undergraduate students, faculty, non-academic staff and the children who attend our campus preschool.

Housed in the library, in the Sala de Niños y Jóvenes Isabel Freire de Matos (Isabel Freire de Matos Children's and Youth Room), is a special collection of Puerto Rican and international children’s and youth literature. With this collection, we hope to foster a love of reading and plant seeds of cultural self-awareness in the children who will hopefully make up the university’s student body in the future. We aim to give them an unforgettable and formative experience by exposing them to a variety of books and helping them to see the library as a space for learning and positive socialization.

Since 2014, we have been celebrating the
Dr. Delgado-Cordero at CELELI's Reading Marathon

Maratón Puertorriqueño de Lectura (Puerto Rican Reading Marathon), an island-wide reading marathon organized by the Centro para el estudio de la lectura, la escritura y la literatura infantil (the Center for the Study of Reading, Writing and Children's Literature, abbreviated as CELELI) of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. The goal of CELELI is to promote, enhance and increase research focused on reading, writing, and children’s literature.

The Maratón Puertorriqueño de Lectura is a day devoted to celebrating the phenomenal benefits of reading, and we are proud to participate in this annual event. The marathon is organized as a series of interesting and enjoyable activities that allow children, teens and adults to read for pure pleasure, in an uninterrupted manner.

This past year, we celebrated the 13th edition of the Maratón by inviting Puerto Rican children's author-illustrator Isset M. Pastrana Andino to the center. She is a young educator with a degree in preschool education who grew up and attended public schools here in Bayamón. It was really special having a “daughter of Bayamón” to celebrate the reading marathon with us!

We hope to foster a love of reading and plant seeds of cultural self-awareness in the children.

On September 7th, we hosted an event where Pastrana Andino read her book, En el patio de Lucas, to our preschoolers. The tale features a boy named Lucas who enjoys close contact with nature. He loves to observe, analyze and investigate his surroundings. He decides to sow a seed he finds in his backyard and takes care of it with love using what nature gives him: water, sunlight and wind. Doing so, he discovers through the plant’s germination process that it is a beautiful miramelinda flower.

Isset entranced the children with an engaging read-aloud of her book. As part of our activity, we visited a nearby nursery garden and bought some miramelindas plants and seeds to recreate Lucas’ journey. The children learned about the life cycle of the plant, and at the end, each child planted a seed to take home.

At the Learning Resource Center, we are committed to the crucial work of promoting childhood literacy. We enjoy every part of designing our programs, because seeing the preschoolers’ happy faces is the best reward for our hard work.

Visit the Facebook pages of the Center for the Study of Reading, Writing and Children's Literature (CELELI) and the Learning Resource Center (Library) at the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus at and respectively.

About the Author

Dr. Mercy Delgado-Cordero has been a librarian since 2008, and has worked in academic libraries in both private and public institutions. For the past five years, she has been in charge of the Puerto Rican Collection in the Library of the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus, from where she vigorously promotes reading in adults and children. She has a bachelor's degree in comparative literature with a minor in art history, a post-graduate certificate in editorial arts, a Master's degree in library and information science, and a doctorate in leadership of educational organizations from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. She has been a national and international speaker on the topics of library leadership, the responsibility of the librarian in the promotion of reading, and the sociocultural function of libraries.

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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