Biblioteca 101

Hispanic community members get welcome tour of library

Biblioteca 2

Logan County Libraries librarian Judy Headings reads to youths during a Sunday afternoon session to introduce Hispanic families who have moved to the area to help fill needs in the employment market. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | REUBEN MEES)

A group of several dozen new members of the local community — the Hispanic individuals and families brought to the area to help fill staffing needs at NEX Transport — got a firsthand tour Sunday of the Logan County Library and the resources it has to offer.

Es marveloso,” Gabriel Estrella said of the day, before clarifying: “Wonderful.”

“This is a great opportunity for the Spanish community to be integrated in Bellefontaine. Normally, when people went to another country, it is ... culturally difficult,” the Caracas, Venezuela, native said, after pausing to find the right words to express his sentiment.

While local residents have been friendly, the weather was a bit of a challenge early on, but otherwise the adjustment has been going well, Estrella said.

“Maybe in invierno ... the winter is very cool, but now it is wonderful. The weather is very fresh.”

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Librarian Melinda Ridgway explains the electronic catalog and how to reserve books.

During the tour, members of the library staff showed off their computer facilities, which include a language learning program called Mango Languages that can help students learn not only Spanish to English but can be used to learn 72 different languages, librarian Karen Lyons said.

The library is also getting a second language learning package called Transparent Languages through its partnership with the Ohio Public Library Information Network, Executive Director Judith Goodrich said. While their Spanish language books are currently limited, she said the library plans to apply for a grant to obtain more resources in the future.

The libraries wanted to offer the session after taking part in an earlier welcome hosted by the Logan County Chamber of Commerce, Goodrich said. It was conducted on a Sunday when the library is normally closed, to avoid disrupting services for other patrons and to accommodate the group’s work schedule.

“When the chamber had that first welcome lunch, we had two staff members who attended and when they came back, we felt the need was there to do something like this, but we thought it was important to get them together as a group and show them what the library has to offer.”


Read complete story in Monday's Examiner
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