Isabel Espinal
W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003 413-545-6817

Education | Employment Experience | Grants | Professional Publications | Creative Writing | Professional Presentations | Associations - Membership and Service | Honors and Awards | Languages other than English | Homepage


University of Massachusetts at Amherst, M.A. 2005, American Studies - English Department; Graduate Certificate 2005, Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies; Ph.D. candidate 2005-present, American Studies - English Department

University of California at Berkeley, M.L.I.S. 1991, School of Library and Information Studies

Princeton University, B.A. 1990, Latin American Literature and Civilization. Also completed all requirements for Certificate in Latin American Studies. Senior thesis: "El Bolero en Sólo Cenizas Hallarás (Bolero)."

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, attended 1981-1983

Employment Experience

Interim Instruction Coordinator, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries (7/05 to present)

Librarian for Afro American Studies, Anthropology, & Native American Indian Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries (11/01 to present)

Outreach Specialist and Reference Librarian, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries (6/98 to 11/01) Head Librarian, South Norwalk Library, Norwalk, CT (5/97 to 6/98) Supervisor, Turn of River Branch, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT (7/96 to 1/97) Reference Librarian, Main Branch, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT (5/93 to 7/97) Reference Librarian, Main Branch, New Haven Free Public Library (9/91 to 7/93) Bilingual Adult Reference Intern, Mission Branch, San Francisco Public Library (1/91 to 6/91)

Latin American Cataloging Intern, Latin American Branch, Oakland Public Library (1/91 to 6/91)

Women's Resources Cataloguer and Reference Library Assistant, Women's Resource Center, University of California Berkeley (2/91 to 8/91)


2005-2006 American Library Association Diversity Research Grant $2,000

2004-2005 University of Massachusetts Graduate Council Student Mentoring Grant $4,000

1999-2000 Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (Library Services & Technology Act) $8,000

1999-2000 University of Massachusetts Chancellor's Counsel on Community, Diversity and Social Justice $1278

Professional Publications

Articles and Book Chapters

"A Bridge to Brown: The Politics of Latin@ Reading," in Technofuturos: Critical Interventions in Latina/O Studies. Eds. Nancy Raquel Mirabal and Agustín Laó-Montes. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2007. 359-380.

"The Diversity Mandate," Library Journal 129.7 (April 15, 2004): 52-54. (With Denice Adkins)

"A New Vocabulary for Inclusive Librarianship: Applying Whiteness Theory to Our Profession," in The Power of Language/El poder de la palabra. Ed. Lillian Castillo-Speed. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, 2001. 131-149

"Saludos. Greetings," New England Libraries 31.4 (July/August 1999): 1,6-7

"Wanted: Latino Librarians," Críticas 3.5 (September/October 2003): 19-24

"What do Latino Students Know Anyway About Information Literacy?" Versed 1.1 (January 2004): 2-4

Book Reviews

Book review of Abril: Historia Gráfica de la Guerra de Abril by Fidelio Despradel in REFORMA Newsletter 24.2 (Fall/Winter 2005): 16

Book review of Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to the Border Patrol by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Enrique Chagoya and Felicia Rice in REFORMA Newsletter 20.2 (Summer 2001): 9

Book review of Curada de espantos by Marianela Medrano in REFORMA Newsletter 22 (2003)

Book review of Diversity in Libraries: Academic Residency Programs ed. by Raquel V. Cogell and Cindy A. Gruwell in portal: Libraries and the Academy 3.3 (July 2003):528-529

Book review of The Fat Man From La Paz: Contemporary Fiction From Bolivia edited by Rosario Santos in REFORMA Newsletter 20.1 (Spring 2001): 32

Book review of El incansable juego by Yrene Santos in REFORMA Newsletter 22 (2003)

Book review of Memoir of a Visionary: Antonia Pantoja by Antonia Pantoja in REFORMA Newsletter 21.4 (Winter 2002): 11

Book review of Preparing the Information Professional by Sajjad Ur Rehman in Collection Management 26.1 (2001): 91-93

Book review of The Religion of Hands: Prose Poems and Flash Fictions by Ray González in REFORMA Newsletter 24.3 (Fall/Winter 2005): 14

Book review of The Violent Foam: New and Selected Poems by Daisy Zamora. (George Evans, trans.) in REFORMA Newsletter 21.3 (Fall 2002): 10

Book review of What Night Brings by Carla Trujillo in REFORMA Newsletter (2004)

Creative Writing

Professional Presentations

2006 Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Progressive Librarians Guild Student Chapter "Left, out? Are progressive organizations ignoring the voices of librarians of color?"

2006 First Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

2006 American Library Association Annual Meeting "Collaborating with Reforma Librarians to Study Emerging Latin@ Readership," part of program "Charting Courses: Diversity Research Grants"

2006 Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas Panelist on "Mediations: National/Transnational Identities/Circuits "

2005 International Video Conference Organized by U.S. Embassies in Cost Rica, El Salvador, and Panamá "Cómo mejorar la investigación en las bibliotecas universitarias" ("How to Improve Research in University Libraries")

2005 American Library Association Annual Meeting

2005 Caribbean Studies Association Conference "El incansable juego/The Untiring Game: Dominican Women Writing and Translating Ourselves in a Transnational Context"

2005 University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies, "Our Research Matters: New Dialogues on Latin America, the Caribbean and Latino Studies" Paper: "Lucha Libro: A Battle for Latin@ Readers"

2004 Festival of Puerto Rican Literature, Hartford Public Library. Panelist: "Tertulia - Puerto Rican Literature: Past, Present & Future"

2004 Rhode Island Library Association Annual Meeting "Applying Cultural Sensitivity to Library Work"

2004 Reforma Northeast Meeting "Latino Library Outreach in New England"

2003 Central New York Language and Literature Conference "Brown, Borders, Bridges and the Education of Richard Rodríguez's Readers"

2003 University of Massachusetts Amherst English Department Conference, "Solicited Speech: Sharing Our Work in the Disciplines" Panel participant and co-organizer for "They Speak. Who Listens? Studies of Latino Literature."

2002 American Library Association Annual Meeting

2001 LACUNY (Library Association of the City University of New York) Institute: Information Literacy: Reaching Diverse Populations
"Becoming Fluent in Information Literacy for Latino Students"

2001 Connecticut Library Association Annual Conference & Connecticut Black Caucus of the American Library Association "Excellent Customer Service Means Honoring Diversity," part of panel on Creating a Culture of Inclusion: Building a Diverse Library

2001 Association of College and Research Libraries Presidentís Midwinter Discussion Forum Panelist on topic "Building Communities @ Your Library"

2000 Puerto Rican Studies Association:

2000 REFORMA National Conference, Tucson, Arizona: 1999 Teleconference on Communications, Media and Culture: Panelist on "Strategies for the Global/Local Cultural Future of Telecommunications and the Information Economy"

1999 American Library Association Annual Meeting:

1999 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting: "Cultural Considerations When Recruiting for Latina/o Librarians."

1996 REFORMA National Conference, Austin, Texas: "Voices You May Not Have Heard: Dominican Writers in the U.S."

1994 Connecticut Library Association Annual Conference: "Collection Development of Young Adult Literature in Spanish from the U.S., Latin America and Spain."

1993 Connecticut Library Association Annual Conference: "Demographic Survey of Connecticut Spanish Speaking and Latino Residents," as part of REFORMA panel.

Associations - Membership and Service

  • American Library Association
    Office of Literacy and Outreach Services Advisory Committee Chair 2003-2004, member 2000-2003; Education Task Force on Library Career Pathways 2000-2002; Spectrum Scholarship Advisory Committee 2001; Social Responsibilities Round Table
  • REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking
    National Nominations Committee Chair 2000-2002
    ; President, Northeast Chapter, 1998-2000; Vice-President, Northeast Chapter, 1997-98; Co-Chair, Information Technology Committee, 1999-2000; Member, Information Technology Committee, 1997-1999: Creator and Chair, Recruitment Committee, Northeast Chapter, 1994-1998: National Librarian of the Year Committee, 1995; Connecticut Coordinator for Northeast Chapter, 1992-1994
  • Trejo Foster Foundation for Hispanic Library Education
    Board of Directors 2003-2006
  • Association of College and Research Libraries
    African American Studies Librarians Section; Anthropology and Sociology Section, Information Literacy Task Force 2004-2006; Literatures in English Section
  • Black Caucus of American Library Association
  • American Indian Library Association
  • Progressive Librarians Guild
  • University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Library and Information Studies
    Advisory Committee member 2000-2003, Advisory Committee Chair 2002-2003
  • Puerto Rican Studies Association
  • Caribbean Studies Association
  • National Council of La Raza

  • Honors and Awards

    2003 Library Journal Movers and Shakers

    Languages other than English

    Fluent in Spanish; Working knowledge of Portuguese, French, and German