After considerable preparation, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s Andrés Figueroa Cordero Library & Community Information and Technology Center has opened its doors! Students, teachers and parents from the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School (PACHS), and the Family Learning Center can now make use of the collection, which is being staffed by students from the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) Community Informatics program.
In conjunction with the opening, students are working in other areas within the community, including three projects in collaboration with PACHS. Michael Maranda is helping the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) group create a database with info about different agencies that serve the SEL needs of PACHS students; Migdalia Galarza is assisting Michelle Torrise with a hydroponics program within the existing urban agriculture and community gardening project; and John Vincler is teaching research skills to high school students so that they can create an exhibit on Puerto Rico’s past at the Newberry Library (on Walton Street between Clark and Dearborn). GSLIS students are also working on several other projects with community organizations. Moustafa Ayad is developing and teaching a journalism course with the Barrio Arts, Culture and Communications Academy (BACCA); Lucas Alvarez is providing research and technology consulting for Vida/SIDA; and Nick Curotto is creating a children’s literacy program in conjunction with the PRCC Childcare and Family Learning Center. All of these activities are part of a graduate course, Community Informatics Corps taught by Professor Ann Bishop.
To learn more about these projects or to volunteer with any one of them, please stop by the library at 2703 W. Division Street, 1st Floor (Vida/SIDA building), on Tuesday 3:00-8:00 p.m., Thursday 3:00-5:00 p.m. or Saturday 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
For more information about Community Informatics and GSLIS, visit the PRCC Library when it is open or go to the following websites: www.cii.uiuc.edu, www.lis.uiuc.edu
Nick Curotto is a first year student at GSLIS and is working as a graduate assistant for the Community Informatics Initiative.