- ALA Annual Conference 2022

Tarde de Cuentos at the Library of Congress

No better way to begin the #ALAAC22 than with storytelling!

On Friday June 24th at 3:30pm, if you made your way to the Library of Congress you would have found an afternoon of stories: a “tarde de cuentos.” Sponsored by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, the program was co-hosted by the Library of Congress and took place in its beautiful Hispanic Reading Room.

The bilingual storytellers were Meli Strova and Jorge Argueta, author of many children’s books including Somos Como las Nubes/We Are Like the Clouds. Meli incorporated puppets and the participation of members of the audience to tell a story by her Colombian father, related to music. Argueta shared some personal stories of his life in El Salvador, including background information for the narration of Agua, Agüita/Water, Little Water, one of a series of trilingual titles written in Nahuatl, Spanish, and English. With a lyrical description of water as the source of life, Argueta delighted the audience with his memories of discovering a ”salto” (waterfall) as a little boy, and he shared some information about his work with La Biblioteca de los Sueños (The Library of Dreams), a project that brings books to children in his home country.

The audience was moved by the stories, there was a Q&A, and the Library of Congress recorded the event with the intent of including it in their collection. This was the afternoon version of a ”Noche de Cuentos”, a literacy initiative that began during Camila Alire’s ALA Presidency in 2010, and that REFORMA promotes and sponsors regularly.


Conference guest blogger Alicia K. Long (she/her) is the Access Services Supervisor at the State College of Florida Libraries and is also an Adjunct Instructor at the University of South Florida, School of Information. At this return to an in-person ALA conference she is looking forward to reuniting with colleagues in person. At the conference, she will be found munching on chocolate, always chocolate.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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