Postcard from the Ana G. Mendez University System

Cultural Treasures, Courtesy of Sarivette Ortiz
Ana G. Mendez University System

Today’s postcard comes to us from Sarivette Ortiz of the Ana G. Mendez University System in Maryland, USA. Thank you Sarivette for sharing the amazing things your library is doing to help all your students become informed and aware of library resources, as well as allowing them to share their heritage with all of us.

The Ana G. Mendez University System in Wheaton, Maryland (USA) is a bilingual university with a multicultural population; more than 90% of our students are Latinos. Because the classes are in English and Spanish, the collection is bilingual too.  For each course, we acquire books in both languages to help students learn professional vocabulary in English and Spanish, which makes the collection development an interesting job. 

The most valuable piece that we have in the collection is the “gifts from students”.  Students bring to the library small gifts representing their cultures.  All the pieces are special; all of them represent a country.  The piece that we received most recently is a Mask from Colombia.  The student went to Colombia to visit family and friends.  There, she bought a Carnival Mask. Unfortunately, during her return to the USA, the mask got broken at the airport.  The student came to the library very sad with her broken mask … but what she didn’t know is that special things happen when the Latino community gets together in a library.  Everybody helped to put all the pieces together.  

Now we have a Colombian Mask fixed by people from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, Perú, El Salvador, Bolivia, México, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Panamá, Guatemala, Santo Domingo and the love of many other countries.

Colombian Carnival Mask, Courtesy of Sarivette Ortiz, Ana G. Mendez University System

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