Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Libraries Adding Spanish-Language Materials

After the recent dust-up over funding for Spanish-language materials at the (what must surely be the world-famous) Gwinnett County Public Library in Georgia, here are a couple new stories on libraries feeling the need to add Spanish-language materials to their collections.

The number of Hispanic residents in Indiana is growing, and public libraries there are upgrading their Spanish collections.

And an article on the Dallas Public Library:

"The function is to be a place where all the people in the community can come and have all the same resources. It's about connecting information with people," said Leonardo Melo, manager of the north Oak Cliff branch, which bustled with activity on a recent afternoon.

Local librarians said they see themselves as egalitarian purveyors of information. They don't question whether their patrons are legal immigrants, and they serve them no matter what language they speak.

Well, that makes things easy, doesn't it?

Buried near the bottom of the story:

This year, Richardson allocated $3,000 from its $275,000 budget for adult foreign language materials.


"All that money within that foreign-language pot had to be divvied up among 18 languages," including Urdu, Farsi and Vietnamese, Ms. Lee said.

Yes, like I wrote some time ago, librarians, if they are to serve everyone, need to be aware of all the foreign-languages spoken by members of their communities.

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