U.S. Embassy speaker assists Jamaican organization navigate social media

No. 68 Friday, March 19, 2010
If Facebook were a country, it would be the world's fourth largest. One of out of eight couples married in the United States in 2009 met on social media web­sites. These statistics make it clear the social media revolution is not a passing fad, but a fundamental shift in the way people communicate.

    When large corporations in the United States started integrating social media into their communication strategy, then it became pretty obvious that Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were evolutions gaining ground globally. It is with this revolution in mind that the U.S. Embassy is hosting workshops March 18 and 19 in order to assist Jamaican organizations to use social media to expand their outreach and strengthen their partnerships.
    Acclaimed social media guru and librarian Mario Ascencio, recognized as a leader in the library and information science field, will instruct invited participants from schools and libraries, non-government organizations and government agencies, on how to utilize a communication medium that is fast becoming the ultimate tool for business.
    Mr, Ascencio is a hands­on instructor, who has been lauded for his work in Los Angeles and New York with Hispanics at the grassroots level to make them more IT­savvy. As a seventeen-year­old library page, he helped a timid, illiterate Latina get her library card. The experience made him realize the extent to which libraries could affect the disadvantaged and, at that moment, he resolved to become a librarian. He also worked as a visual arts liaison librarian at George Mason University Libraries in VIrginia, and was one of the few Latino professionals on campus.
    Mario Ascencio is the Director of the Corcoran Library at the Corcoran Gallery Art and College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. He is also the Immediate Past
President of REFORMA­- The National Association of librarians who promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and Spanish speakers. He is devoted to the empowerment of other minorities, as reflected in his work with American Library Association's Black Caucus, the American Indian Library Association, and the Asian Pacific American Library Association.

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