Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Habla Ingles Por Favor

Hot on the heels of firing Jo Ann Pinder, the Gwinnett County Public Library board decided to eliminate funding for Spanish language fiction from their collections budget. The system is going to continue collecting selected Spanish non-fiction titles. According to an AJC article, the Spanish collection has a 41% circulation rate versus 37% for the entire collection. And cites some interesting numbers for non-English populations and collections in Gwinnett and some other area library systems/ counties too.

So why eliminate the fiction titles? The article quotes a member of the GCPL Watch website as saying that reading fiction in Spanish doesn't encourage Hispanic residents to assimilate (IE learn English). I know it is virtually impossible to 100% serve all of the needs and segements of a diverse community with the budgets that public library systems are given. But this really smacks of the library board using their position to try to force a particular social philosophy on the system and county. Not good.

Additional editorial from today's AJC and bugmenot to read it.


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