“We were really pleased to to receive this grant and we are happy that can offer these to our Spanish-speaking population. We are always looking for new ways to serve our patrons,” library director James Tolbert said.
The grant gave the Milan-Berlin Library District a total of $2,000, to be split evenly between the Berlin Heights library, 4 E. Main St., and the Milan branch, 19 E. Church St.
“I wanted to get the word out that these resources are available,” children services coordinator Stacy Phillips said. “I definitely think this is a need in our community. I think it is very important to provide materials to everyone.”
Phillips applied for the grant Sept. 17.
“It’s a big deal; I can purchase quite a few books for that amount,” said Phillips, who believes that Hispanic residents are “pretty regular” patrons in Berlin Heights and Milan. “We really didn’t have that many (books before that).”
Tolbert wants native Spanish speakers and those working on English as a second language to use the new children’s books.
“We’ve definitely seen an uptick,” he added, referring to the Hispanic population.
In applying for the grant, Phillips partially was inspired by Norwalk High School librarian Lucy Hokes, a friend of hers who has seen a lot of usage of Spanish books.
“They go out a lot … so there is a need for it,” Phillips said.
For more information, call the Berlin Heights library at 419-588-2250 and the Milan library at 419-499-4117.
In other district library action, the board recently decided to do away with imposing fines. Tolbert said the “fine-free” concept is a way to remove any obstacles from residents using the library.
“We have taken care of this for everyone,” the director added. “We are excited about that.”