Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 6, 2013

Grant will allow Jacksonville Library to expand Spanish-language selections

Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — A grant awarded by the Texas Book Festival 2013 will allow the Jacksonville Public Library to expand  and update Spanish-language material for adults, ultimately providing fuller service to patrons, said library circulations supervisor Lisa Pang.

“We're looking forward to being able to provide that,” she said.

Previous grants helped procure such material for both adult and youth Spanish-language readers, but materials for the older group “were out of date and so we need to update and expand” that particular selection, she said. “We have many patrons who are Spanish-speaking and who have a need for those materials.”

Specifically, the $2,494.42 grant “will supply us with books and audio books in Spanish, as well as bilingual versions,” she said.

The local public library was one of 16 throughout the state who received a 2012-13 Public Library Grants during the Texas Library Association conference in Fort Worth on April 26.

All together, the awards totaled more than $45,000.

According to a Book Festival release, “grants are awarded to public libraries to support collection enhancement and to implement or continue innovative literacy and technology programs for our Texas public libraries.”

Since its 1996 founding, Texas Book Festival has donated more than $2.5 million to nearly 600 libraries across Texas, in an effort to promote Texas libraries and literacy, according to the release.

“We are committed to supporting the important work of Texas public libraries,” says Heidi Marquez-Smith, interim executive director of Texas Book Festival. “Public libraries continue to adapt to meet the needs of their communities and we are proud that we can help them make a difference.”

Now that the funds are in hand, the library will begin the process “of looking for information on what patrons most need and want – survey them – then start doing promotions to let know when these books come in,” Pate said. “We're looking to expand the collection with fiction, non fiction and bilingral audio books, and expect to be ordering the books in July and begin circulating by September and Oc-tober.”

Specific topics identified in the grant application reflect “a severe need for religion, sociology, education, English language, health, medical and psychiatric issues, as well as geography and history, and biographies,” she said. “In the fiction collections, we need to have more books by Latin authors. The audio books are going to emphasize English-language learning.”