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Hailey Public Library serving Hispanic community through literacy

Posted at 5:05 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 10:16:17-05

HAILEY, Idaho — The Hailey Public Library expanded its selection of Spanish books available for children, teens and adults.

As a public library, Kristin Fletcher Programs and Engagement Manager said their top priority is serving the entire community.

With over 30% of the people in Hailey identifying as Hispanic, Fletcher said the library staff noticed they weren't reaching the Hispanic community.

"They represent a solid third of our population, but when we looked at who was coming in our doors and checking out our various materials it was a small, small percentage."

The Hailey Public Library became aware of a grant opportunity offered by the American Library Association called Libraries Transform Communities. A grant dedicated to assisting small and rural libraries.

Through this grant, the library was awarded $3000.

Fletcher said this was the perfect opportunity to learn about the needs of the Hispanic community and take the necessary steps to expand their available resources.

Library staff utilized money from the grant to purchase around 200 Spanish and bilingual books.

They soon realized the new Spanish books deserved to be displayed.

Previously, the Spanish books for children were in the back corner. Now, the section was moved to the front entrance for everyone to see.

Elise Deklotz is one of the youth coordinators for children programming, she said parents are enthused when they see the display of Spanish children books.

“That was really important for people to see the books," Deklotz said. "We did front-face a lot of the books so when families come in, they can actually see the Spanish language here on the covers of the books."

The book selection includes traditional stories from Mexico to Spanish versions of American favorites.

"We just have a lot of bilingual books and we would love our Latino population to come and be apart of our library," Deklotz said.