Sunday, January 16, 2011

Movement toward a bilingual library

Many libraries are making the transition from a single-language library to a bi-lingual or even multi-lingual library. On the other hand, there are quite a few state public library systems that have not even added links to their websites for Hispanics. Finally, there is the middle-range of libraries who have begun the movement toward a bi-lingual library by at least adding Spanish links and resources to their websites. I have searched through multiple libraries in the south east to find which ones have Spanish catalogs and/or links to Spanish resources.

In Alabama, there is one public library system in particular that has really moved toward reaching out to Hispanic-Americans. The Birmingham Public Library in Birmingham, Alabama has a link on their homepage entitled "Espanol". This link takes the user to a webpage that offers links to the library's catalog, e-mail, dictionaries, encyclopedias and many more resources, all of which are in Spanish. The photo below is a screenshot of the Birmingham Public Library's main page and if you click on the page, it will open up the Library's Spanish website.

In Mississippi, the Lee-Itawamba Library System, which covers Fulton, MS, and Tupelo, MS, offers their complete catalog in Spanish. In the upper right-hand corner of the Library's main web page, there is a link entitled "Espanol PAC" which takes the user directly to the Spanish catalog. Below is a screenshot of the Lee-Itawamba Public Library along with a link to the Spanish catalog.

Florida is the state with one of  the fastest growing Spanish population. They have many libraries that provide outreach to Hispanic-Americans. One of these libraries is the Miami-Dade Public Library System which is located in Miami, Florida. Not only does this library system offer their catalog in Spanish, they also provide many links to Spanish resources and services. Below is a screenshot of the Miami-Dade Public Library System's main page along with a link to their Spanish catalog and resources.

The final library system that I would like to mention is the Chicago Public Library System in Chicago, Illinois since Chicago is the home of that American Library Association. This library system's website is, in my opinion, one of the best in terms of outreach to Hispanic Americans. On the far right-hand side of their main web page, the user can find a Spanish link as well as three choices of font size for the website's contents. Below is a screenshot of the Chicago Public Library's main web page along with a link to the Spanish catalog and resources.

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