Cook Library receives outstanding program award

A Jane Bancroft Cook Library project dealing with Cuban-American heritage has been recognized with the 2018 Outstanding Program Award from the Southeastern Library Association.

The Cubano-American Community Project ran from October 2016 to April 2017.

The goals of the project were to build awareness of the Cuban and Cuban-American heritage in this region of Florida, and to foster current and future community engagement with cultural, economic and civic opportunities for Florida-Cuba relations.

The project involved original student research on the Cuban lectores in Ybor City, interviews with local Cuban-American residents, the development of a traveling bilingual poster exhibit and a speaker series.

The project was coordinated by Humanities Librarian Theresa Burress and Dr. Sonia Labrador-Rodriguez, associate professor of Spanish Language and Literature at New College. Parts of the project were supported by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council.

The project was a collaborative effort between the Jane Bancroft Cook Library and New College teaching faculty, Manatee County Public Libraries, Manatee County Historical Resources, Sarasota County Libraries, Sarasota County Historical Resources, State College of Florida Library, and University of South Florida Special Collections.

The award will be presented to the Cook Library Nov. 2, at the South Carolina Library Association/SELA Joint Conference in Greenville, South Carolina.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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