Advertisement

Library hopes to upgrade Spanish selections

A grant enabled the library to obtain more Spanish language books and officials say they are taking steps to upgrade their offer

A grant enabled the library to obtain more Spanish language books and officials say they are taking steps to upgrade their offer

November 12, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - On one shelf in one metal bookcase in the Martinsburg/Berkeley County Public Library's children's section, one can find big, colorful books with titles like "Tu Mama es una Llama?" and "Querido Seor Henshaw."

The books are part of the library's small, but growing collection of works by Spanish authors, as well as Spanish translations of American books.

"Querido Seor Henshaw," for example, is a translated version of popular children's author Beverly Cleary's "Dear Mr. Henshaw."

Upstairs, on the library's main floor, a six-shelf bookcase is half-filled with adult-oriented books on a variety of subjects, and more than a dozen books on tape.

Advertisement

Items on the adult shelves include recipe books, reference books, a Spanish translation of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus," and a book-on-tape biography of Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa.

Jane Levitan, who handles public relations for the library, said many of the books were donated by the state Library Commission because she said the Eastern Panhandle has the state's largest Hispanic population.

A grant last year enabled the library to obtain more books after many Spanish-speaking residents requested them. Levitan said she hopes to expand the collection using grants and regular library funding.

She admits the books are not exactly flying off the shelf.

"We think maybe it was location, location, location," she said, saying the books were previously in a section of the library that does not get a lot of foot traffic. Now, they are in the middle of the library for everybody to see.

By the end of the month, library officials hope to offer library cards in Spanish. And, Levitan said, she and other employees may enroll in a class to learn or improve their Spanish language skills. Levitan said she currently can speak Spanish on a 7-year-old's level, which is enough for her to answer basic inquiries. Follow-up questions cannot usually be answered, she said.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|