Monday, December 9, 2013

My Fight for Spanish

Part of my job as the Reference Librarian is to maintain our Spanish Collection. When I first started and found out that I would be developing this collection, I was ecstatic! I have always been a big supporter of Spanish materials in libraries and just in general. I dated a guy from Mexico for 3 years and though he taught himself Spanish, I knew what trouble it was to be bombarded with nothing but English. He and his sister would always get excited whenever they saw something in Spanish and that made me excited. Here in the South, Spanish is met with some resistance. My dad use to have a shirt that broadcasted his disapproval of having to ‘press 1 for English’. Me, on the other hand, I would always get defensive when people start screaming about English being our National Language. Then I would promptly get the “The Great American Melting Pot” song from Schoolhouse Rock stuck in my head.

            Back to the topic at hand, Spanish materials. So how does the Reference Librarian get in charge of Spanish materials? Well, they are housed on two acrylic endcaps in my section, so I’m guessing that is how the Reference Librarian got them. I immediately wanted to build up the collection. I found out that most of the items were donations that were added to the collection. Some nonfiction items had been purchased over the years, but for the most part it wasn’t a collection that was actively developed. I was also told that the Spanish items do not check out much, which is why no one thought to develop it. But not me.
            When I was dating my ex-boyfriend, one year for his birthday I gave him a big basket filled with popular books in Spanish. I scoured Amazon trying to find things that he might like and that were popular. He was so happy, but more than anything, his sister was beyond ecstatic, which warmed my heart. I knew how hard she struggled to learn English, considering she was almost 35 when she came to live in the US. I do think we take for granted in the United States how hard it is to learn another language. I am always amazed when I hear of people speaking 3 or 4 languages fluently. People, that takes some hard work!

            So over my year here I have tried to added at least one Spanish book to every order. The books I am ordering tend to be the most popular at the time, like Perdida/Gone Girl or if here is a movie version coming out. I also look for Spanish biographies of famous Hispanics, like Jenni Rivera’s Inquebrantable/Unbreakable. Anything related to Catholicism or the Pope is always going to be a good choice because this is a huge aspect of the Hispanic culture. It is very hard, with such limited space, to decide which books to order. I probably have made some mistakes, but I am really trying to grow this collection and meet the need in my community. 

            Also, as a Reference Librarian who only gets to order nonfiction, it always makes me giddy to order my favorite YA and Fiction titles! Small perk.

            What I am really excited to announce is that I have completed my first order specifically for Spanish. I have limited space so I have to be cautious of how much I order. I did recently order some replacement computer titles. No one was really checking out the Excel 2002 and Word 2002 books in Spanish. I did decide to order multiple copies of certain titles – pretty much anything that is about learning English or a required reading for the local schools.

            I have included my recent Spanish order, along with some other titles that I recently ordered. I am proud to say that the Spanish collection has greatly improved in checkouts. I am hoping that once I get the new additions circulating and maybe remove some of the older outdated titles that the collection will really started moving. It was also pleasing to brag to my director that the collection is becoming more popular. She was very excited to hear this and gave me some positive encouragement about growing the collection.

Recently order Spanish materials:

Amor Redentor - Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Bajo La Misma Estrella - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Besos de Sangre - Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Carrie by Stephen King
Cocina Latina - Latin Cooking by Raquel Roque
Divergente – Divergent by Veronica Roth
Donde Estas, Bernadette – Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
El Cielo es Real - Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
El Gran Gatsby (2 copies) – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
El Viaje Mas Largo – The longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
En llamas - Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (I had previously ordered the Hunger Games)
Excel 2010 para dummies – Excel 2010 for Dummies by Colin Banfield
Ingles Para Dummies (2 copies) – English for Dummies by Gail Brenner
Juego de Ender - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
 La Casa en Mago Street - The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
La Dieta FastDiet – The FastDiet by Michael Mosley
La ladrona de Libros - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Matar un Ruisenor (2 copies) - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Saldras de Esta - You'll Get Through This by Max Lucado
Sinsajo – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Su Embarazo Semana a Semana – Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Curtis Glade
Windows 8 para dummies – Windows 8 for Dummies by Andy Rathbone
Yo Declaro – I Declare by Joel Osteen

Does your library have a Spanish collection? Is it actively developed? Does it check out?  


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