Spanish-language books added to Brandeis Library

Spanish-language books added to Brandeis Library

The Brandeis library has recently added many Spanish-language books to the non-English recreational reading collection. The books can be seen in Farber one, near Starbucks.

Maric Kramer, a social sciences librarian, was able to attend the Fería Internacional del Libro (FIL) in Guadalajara, Mexico, which inspired her to add these new books to the non-English recreational reading collection. The Fería Internacional del Libro is a Spanish-language book fair with around two thousand publishers from 47 countries. The festival includes an activity in which authors from various continents who speak different languages get to engage in a discussion about the major issues that plague the world today.

Kramer was able to attend the Fería Internacional del Libro through a sponsorship from the American Library Association. Through this festival, Brandeis was able to acquire books in many different languages, especially books in Spanish. Kramer explained that “Attending FIL allowed me to learn more about the Spanish-language publishing industry, as well as to discover new releases from a wide variety of publishers.” Books that were initially written in Spanish were brought to the Brandeis Library, rather than being translated from Spanish into English, in an attempt to support the Spanish-language curriculum in Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) and in Hispanic Studies. Kramer met with Jerónimo Arellano, Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture and Program Chair for LALS, to figure out which books would be most beneficial to the library.

In addition to academic reading, Kramer also bought books that students at Brandeis could simply read for enjoyment. Kramer said, “It’s important that our library collection provides access to the voices of people from around the world—especially those who are writing from the places that students are studying.” It is vital to have books describing, for example, the development of Mexico through the eyes of Mexican scholars, rather than having U.S. scholars describe the development of this country. It is important for students studying Spanish and Latin American culture and also for heritage speakers. In addition, it is difficult to find some of these books in the United States, so having these books at Brandeis creates unique resources for students.

The books include topics such as history, Jewish life and culture, gender and sexuality studies, politics, film and television, indigenous studies, fiction and graphic novels. Some of the books have been damaged so replacements are on the way. More books will be added to the display. Kramer hopes “to attend FIL again this November to purchase more Spanish-language books for the Brandeis community!”

Books have the ability to influence people and change lives. Therefore, it is vital that Brandeis continues to provide its students with the best resources to aid them in their education. The new Spanish-language books allow students to get a firsthand look into Spanish literature and allows heritage speakers to enjoy a piece of their heritage at Brandeis, a place that they will hopefully now call home. Books allow for connections between people, and the addition of the Spanish-language books can allow for more connections between people at Brandeis and foster connections that students can make with others later on in their career.

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