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Isabel Schon

International Center for Spanish Books for Youth

The Center at the San Diego Public Library is a circulating library that promotes literacy and reading. The Center ensures broad access to high-quality books for children and adolescents in Spanish and in English about Latino people and culture. The Center also helps English speakers increase their understanding for the people and culture of Latin America, Spain and Latino-heritage people in the United States by:

  • Reviewing Spanish-language books published in the United States and internationally.
  • Collecting recommended and award-winning books.
  • Cataloging materials in an online searchable database.
  • Conducting conferences and seminars.

The Schon Center collects and reviews Spanish-language books for children and adolescents as well as noteworthy books in English about Latino/a people and culture. These reviews appear in respected journals such as BooklistVOYAMultiCultural Review and Science and Children. Only recommended titles are added to the Center’s collection and become part of the online searchable database accessible through San Diego Public Library’s website. As part of the San Diego Public Library, the Schon Center efforts are integrated into existing library literacy programs including the Summer Reading Program, Children’s Book Festival, and READ/San Diego.

The late Dr. Isabel Schon is the author of 25 books and more than 400 research and literary articles in the areas of literature for Spanish-speaking and Latino children. Dr. Schon personally selected the materials for the San Diego Public Library based on quality of writing and illustration, presentation of material, and audience appeal.

To search the catalog of the Schon Center, visit here.

Visit here to read Dr. Schon’s remarks to the 2009 TransBorder Library Forum on the status of Latino/a publishing for children and adolescents and the work of the Isabel Schon International Center for Spanish Books for Youth.


The San Diego Public Foundation is sad to report the passing of Dr. Isabel Schon on March 2, 2011. Dr. Schon made incredible contributions to children’s literature both locally and internationally. Her establishment of the Isabel Schon International Center for Spanish Books for Youth at the San Diego Public Library is a fitting legacy to her commitment to literacy.