Whenever somebody asks me if the library has books in Spanish, I’m fortunately able to answer yes, but then most unfortunately have to follow it up with the caveat that we don’t have many of them, and they have to be hunted down in the general collection in which they are interfiled. It’s an answer that’s as dissatisfying to give as I’m sure it is to receive.
At BPL, we don’t like dissatisfaction. Like Jimmy and misunderstandings, BPL and dissatisfaction kinda clash. I had been considering adding a standalone Spanish collection for a while, but there were always excuses not to do it. There’s no space. It’s yet another collection to manage. It may not get utilized as much as we’d like. You can make excuses to justify inaction in just about any situation, but let us not forget what a wise t-shirt I saw in a New Orleans gift shop once said: Excuses are like…something I can’t write in this space. Suffice it to say it’s not a favorable simile. The point is, excuses are often flimsy rationalizations, and unlike my totally legitimate excuses for not exercising or eating vegetables on the regular, my excuses for not establishing a collection of books in Spanish at a public library in Texas (!) could be tossed out and overcome. I’m happy to report that is exactly what has happened.
As of today, the library is offering a standalone collection of fiction and non-fiction Spanish language books for your reading pleasure. The collection, which resides in its own corner of the adult stacks, was made possible by a grant from the Texas Book Festival. Newly purchased titles combined with the library’s existing holdings make for nearly 175 available books. Whether Spanish is your sole or primary language (admittedly unlikely if you’re reading this, unless it has been translated), you’re a multilingual person looking to mix things up, or you’re learning Spanish and wanting to improve your skills, come take a look at what our new collection has to offer. It’s easily browseable, and we’ll gladly direct you to it without any dissatisfying caveats.