What is the most popular language in public libraries currently? The answer may surprise you. According to a recent article (posted by School Library Journal, Críticas, on April 4th, 2008), “About 21 million people in the United States speak limited or no English.” This number is up 50% more than it was a decade ago, according to Críticas.

What is the reason for this, and if this is the case, why aren’t there more #1 bestsellers in Spanish? At the least, we should be seeing higher rankings. It would make sense that with this new trend, Editorial Campana and similar organizations should start seeing their books in more and more libraries. This does not seem to be the case for sales though. When you go to stores such as Amazon and Barnes&Nobles, the ratings of Spanish books have not pushed them to top spots in “general book” selling statistics. Maybe this just means that more people want to read books in Spanish, but don’t want to buy them. As well, Spanish language books may be starting to overflow from library shelves due to the following findings from the same article:

“Libraries reported that the most successful programs and services for non-English speakers were English as a Second Language (ESL), language-specific materials and collections, computer use and computer classes, story time, and special programs.”

This new trend may help libraries better serve the people they hope to help. By realizing that more non-English related literature is needed, librarians will start to emphasize the need for literature that the public wants.  This idea was emphasized by that of the A.L.A. ( The American Library Association)-

“These study findings can provide a venue for developing better and more precise materials, services and programs for those linguistically isolated. Librarians can better predict what specific language materials and services may be required to optimally serve non-English speaking group” (Click here to read the full article)

If this new trend holds true, the next step would be finding out how to get individuals to by books in Spanish as well, thus increasing their overall popularity.

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