After the new Rawlings Library opened in 2003, the Roadmap to the Future was adopted on June 23, 2005, as part of a five year strategic planning process. Under Diversity, the plan stated:
"Pueblo County's population is diverse. This is characterized by large numbers of both Hispanic and Spanish speaking citizens. In 2000, 38% or 53,710 of Pueblo County residents self-identified themselves as Hispanic. This was the fastest growing ethnic group increasing 21.8% from 1990 to 2000. Spanish-speaking residents made up 14.2% of the County's population in 2000.
In the City of Pueblo, Hispanic residents account for 43% of the total population. In some areas of the city, Hispanics make up as much as 70% of the population with more than 30% of them being Spanish-speakers. This is true in areas such as the East Side, Bessemer and Hyde Park."
Given those demographics it was proposed that a Hispanic Resource Center be established at the Rawlings Library which could provide free cultural, informational and educational resources, activities, and services to both Spanish and English-speaking customers. The following services were proposed:
- Bilingual librarians to answer questions and help locate resources
- Bilingual story times for children and their families
- Spanish-language books, videotapes, music compact discs, and other materials
- Spanish-language magazines and newspapers available in print and online
- Audio tapes and books to help learn English and Spanish
- English-language books and materials celebrating Hispanic culture, art, history, current issues, and travel
- Computers with Spanish-language software and keyboards that offer Internet access, educational games for children and Microsoft Office Suite applications including Word, Excel, Access, Power-Point, and Publisher
- Free workshops, guest speakers, art exhibits, educational programs, and entertainment such as flamenco dancers, mariachi bands, and classic Hispanic movies
- Free meeting rooms available for use by community organizations and groups
In 2006 a decision was made to establish the Hispanic Resource Center/Nuestra Biblioteca. We are pleased to report that by the summer of 2009 all the services mentioned above had been implemented. This website will serve as an informational blackboard of what is happening in the Hispanic Resource Center/Nuestra Biblioteca at the Rawlings Library.