Rose Zertuche-Treviño, Champion of Latino Children's Literature
Rose Zertuche-Treviño, a librarian who devoted her career to helping improve the lives of children, died on April 30 in Houston, TX. She was 58 reports SLJ.
Treviño spent her last seven years as the youth services coordinator for the Houston Public Library, a system that serves one of the biggest Spanish-speaking populations in the country. She retired in October 2009 and moved back to San Antonio, where she was born and raised.
“How fitting that Rose died on April 30th, El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/ Book Day),” says her friend and colleague Oralia Garza de Cortes, a Latino children's literature consultant. “She loved her work and devoted her life to making sure all children had access to great literature and particularly to programs where children could enjoy and connect to the literature.”
The granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, Treviño grew up poor. Her father worked in a cotton field as a child and went on to hold two jobs to support his family, while his wife worked four jobs. Treviño’s first language was Spanish and only learned to speak English when she entered kindergarten. It was also that year that her mother first took her to a public library—and the five-year-old decided on her career path. “Not everyone figures out what they want to be at such a young age,” says her son Steven Treviño, 33. “And she got to do more than she thought she would ever do.”