Language diversity at the Southwest Regional Library

By Daniela Mendoza

The Southwest Regional Library offers bilingual story time on Mondays for families who speak Spanish and English.
Rita Alfaro, a youth library assistant, said the bilingual story time is based on the community the library serves.
The story time consists of a few songs and activities in both languages as well as the reading of about three books.
Alfaro said she reads at least one book entirely in Spanish.
“Sometimes it’s kind of hard to find something that is good quality and in Spanish,” she said. “If there is an English book that is easily translatable, sometimes I’ll do that on the spot.”
Alfaro often uses an English book on shapes  to teach the children shapes and colors in Spanish.
The age and reading level of the children at story time vary but everyone seems to enjoy it, said Alfaro.
“I’ll choose an easier level at least English-wise,” she said.
Different level children’s books are available in both English and Spanish at the library but the collection isn’t as big, said Alfaro.
“It’s actually hard to find publishers that will publish things in English and Spanish,” she said. “It takes a little longer to get titles. The department that orders them is doing a really good job; especially, lately we’ve been getting lots of new materials.”
“The collection at each branch differs but parents can order books that are located at a different Fort Worth branch library,” said Alfaro.
“All of Fort Worth libraries are connected,” she said. “If they primarily come here, but they want some Spanish books and they know the ones that they want, then they can request them online and we will send them over here.”
Bilingual story time is every Monday at 4 p.m. at the Southwest Regional Library. Anyone interested in attending a story time at another branch can contact the library to check the schedule at any one of the 16 branches.