Partnership with Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Enriches Diversity of Libraries’ Collections

photo of Tiffany Thornton and selection of Americas award books

Tiffany Thornton, outreach & community engagement librarian at the UWM Libraries, with a selection of books from the Libraries’ Américas collection.

A partnership that began in 1993 between the UWM Libraries and UWM’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) has resulted in a comprehensive and still growing collection of Américas Award books available in the Golda Meir Library’s Curriculum Collection.

The Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) created the Américas Award to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality books for children and young adults that depict Latin America, the Caribbean or Latinx in the US. Every year, CLASP offers up to two awards along with a list of commended titles.

Since 1993, CLACS has provided the Libraries with copies of Américas Award winning and commended titles, along with a grant to purchase additional copies. To date, over 500 titles have been added to the Curriculum Collection. The 2021 award winners were Digging for Words, written by Angela Burke Kunkel and illustrated by Paola Escobar, and Land of the Cranes, by Aida Salazar.

“We at CLACS ” says Associate Director Julie Kline, “appreciate our collaboration with the Libraries to provide greater access to the Américas Award collection for students, faculty, and area K-12 educators. With its inclusion in the Libraries’ Curriculum Collection, the Américas contributes further diverse content to the Libraries’ holdings.”

Tiffany Thornton, outreach and community engagement librarian at the UWM Libraries, says that “among those who regularly use the Américas collection are students from the School of Education, School of Information Studies, and the Peck School of the Arts, as well as classes from Hartford University School and the UWM Children’s Learning Center.”

More information about Américas Award is available on the CLASP website.

A list of all titles in the UWM Libraries’ collection can be found here.