The Latino community in Evanston now has a fulltime advocate at the Evanston Public Library.

Miguel Ruiz, who was the E-Learning Librarian at the University of Wisconsin libraries in Madison, has joined the EPL staff as the library’s new Latino Engagement Librarian.

In a news release announcing his appointment, EPL Director Karen Danczak Lyons said that Ruiz’ “experience in making community connections, outreach to the Latino population, and understanding of libraries as gateways to new immigrants, as well as his dual language ability, will be wonderful assets as he intentionally reaches out to and supports our residents.”


Ruiz said his funadamental goal at EPL is to “listen to and advocate for, the needs of our Latino community and ensure that our services, resources, and collections reflect our diverse residents.”

At UW, Ruiz’ experience included online learning, information literacy, multicultural resources, and diversity and inclusivity initiatives.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. We need to raise taxes
    We need to raise taxes endlessly and pour money into the library to hire 6 figure positions to engage every segment of the population. And people wonder where the fiscal struggles come from.

  2. How many Diversity/Advocate funded by taxes [city/schools/other]
    How many do we really need and have ? One for each group that feels under-represented, un-heard, discriminated against ?
    Probably a lot of groups could be in waiting to have the city and associated agencies give them a representative—Asians, refuges [those from each country probably feel they need someone from THEIR country to know how to represent them], religious groups, political that feel oppressed, and so on.
    Can’t the organizations talk to each other, coordinate and keep the number to what is needed ? Too many ‘representatives’ can itself hurt them since they don’t know who to talk to—and who has the power to do something.
    So far it seems every agency is trying to be more politically correct than the others. The ‘blame the guy behind the tree’ always gets some supporters.

    1. I am pretty sure this is the

      I am pretty sure this is the 5th person in this position in the last 5 years. How long until he leaves? And why can’t EPL keep Latino librarians on staff?

    2. Good question

      I would be interested to know how many taxpayer-supported diversity/empowerment advocates this city has, and how much it costs. Does anyone know where I could find a list of employees with job descriptions and salaries for each taxpayer-supported institution in the city?

      1. Need to add Salary & all the benefits

        The total cost is the summation of cash salaries paid, PLUS all the benefits paid and accrued.

        Cash salaries are very transparent, as are some benefits like cost of healthcare, vision, dental, life insurance, but defined benefit pensions are more opaque. The total cost of providing a defined benefit pension hasn’t been properly accounted for and in many cases it hasn’t been properly funded. By proper accounting, I mean that the assumptions used are too aggressive. For example, people are living longer (not a surprise, and this is good) but this hasn’t been properly accounted for. Also rates of returns on financial assets have been falling but politicians don’t want to fully recognize this issue either.

        In some situations, including Cook County Forest Preserve District, the cost of providing the pension isn’t accounted for in the department budget, it’s just a single line item. This poor accounting doesn’t provide transparency and full disclosure about the true cost of an employee. And their accounting for pensions is archaic and doesn’t even reflect the actual cost of providing the benefit.


  3. A better job for an ‘advocate’
    What would be more valuable would be, not only for the library but also schools, would be someone to try to inform and channel minorities [and really anyone still in K-12 and unfortunately colleges, into jobs that they can make a living at–and there are ample jobs waiting. And especially STEM. The percent of bachelor, masters and doctorates earned by blacks and Hispanics is much lower than whites. The reasons have been widely written about.
    You would think the schools would be ahead of this, but apparently not and/or not able to do a good job at it.
    High school is not primarily about training for specific jobs, but by college training and know what to major in, is. Are the colleges and professors [and media] not informing students what jobs are available, if they have a chance [and skills] to get one of those jobs. Or are students saying “I know the facts, but I want to be a musician, journalist, actor, etc. despite what anyone says—and if I fail I’ll just skip debt payment, live with my parents and collect welfare”—looks so.
    The library and ETHS should do much better. Now this is a really good use of funds instead of hand-holding and trying to fix lives after it may be too late. So far it looks like they are missing.

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