LatinaLista — When it comes to city budget cuts, more and more of the nation’s libraries are considered expendable. Yet, in a nation that needs reading scores and comprehension levels to increase, cutting libraries out of the budget or cutting library budgets themselves seems short-sighted to say the least.
Librarians are so alarmed at the rapid decline of library services offered to their local communities that they’ve created an online site called Losing Libraries to show a national map of just where communities are losing library hours, staff and branches.
LosingLibraries.org map showing the state of 2010 library budget cuts across the nation.
Unbelievably, the same thing is happening among school libraries. So, school librarians have banded together to create A Nation without School Librarians.
The school librarians’ map “marks the cities, towns, communities, and states that have made the decision to either eliminate certified school library positions or require one school librarian to work with two (2) or more school library programs throughout the week.”
Obviously, libraries can’t be saved or helped without public support. For families who already invest in a home library for their children, the loss of the neighborhood library may not be so acute.
Yet, in underserved communities, libraries are not just a place to get access to books that for these families are considered luxury items but libraries are also places to use computers, take English as a Second Language class or have their children exposed to a wide variety of titles.
Many of these budget cuts include eliminating or severely reducing the number of books libraries can buy and so Latina Lista would like to help.
Every week, we get new books written by talented Latino and Latina authors who want their books reviewed so more people will discover them. It’s something that we love to do but the books pile up because we don’t have enough book reviewers.
So, we’ve thought of a win-win situation.
Latina Lista is willing to donate the review copies of new children’s, young adult and adult fiction and non-fiction to any library, school library or non-profit that offers a library as part of their services in return for the staff reviewing the books they receive.
As mentioned, all of the books we accept are written by Latino and Latina authors and some of the childrens’ books are bilingual. For that reason, we would like to see the books go to those libraries/schools that serve a large Latino population.
If your library/school meets this guideline and is interested in receiving free books to add to their library, drop a line to Latina Lista at firstname.lastname@example.org.