BRADENTON – The Manatee County Public Library is pleased to announce that Yoshira Castro-Fritz, Branch Supervisor of the Palmetto Library was recognized at the regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. Castro-Fritz has been selected by the Florida Library Association as the 2014 recipient of their Maria Chavez-Hernandez “Libraries Change Peoples’ Lives” Award.
Named in honor of Florida State University’s Dr. Maria Chavez-Hernandez, the purpose of this award is to recognize an individual library employee or group of employees who have made a demonstrably positive difference in the lives of Florida's library users. Of special focus are programs and services that provide outreach to Latin, immigrant, and/or under-served populations.
Mrs. Castro-Fritz has been with the Manatee County Public Library System since arriving from Puerto Rico in 2001. Though she herself was still speaking in broken English and struggling with Southern accents and idioms, she immediately created a Spanish Services Committee to design strategies to better reach the growing Hispanic community in Manatee County. This has resulted in expanded library programs and services for Spanish speaking families, the translation of library brochures, handouts, and signage throughout the system, partnerships with community agencies servicing the target population.
Over the years outreach efforts, Spanish language classes and programs, and special events for the Latin community have gotten bigger and stronger. Throughout Yoshira was always there to successfully manage it all. She has shared her expertise with other libraries via presentations sponsored by our regional library consortium and continues to develop new ways to engage the underserved. Yoshira works amid a vibrant Latin community in which she regularly establishes new friendships and business partnerships.
Her big heart and outgoing personality have enhanced awareness of the library and she continues to be an inspiration to the Library staff and to her community.
The Central Library is located at 1301 Barcarrota Boulevard West in Bradenton, Florida. For more information, please call the library at 941-748-5555.
For general information about the Manatee County Public Library System, visit us on the web at www.mymanatee.org/library.
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