The California State Library’s Immigrant Alliance Project has awarded the Santa Maria Public Library System a $7,500 grant to purchase bilingual children’s books for the main library and all branch library locations.  These books will feature printed text in both Spanish and English, to help meet the needs of families in various local communities.

The books purchased will be geared to children in pre-Kindergarten through the sixth-grade with the intention of promoting family reading, literacy and language skills. According to the 2015 American Factfinder, U.S. Census, in Santa Maria as many as 58 percent of residents speak Spanish at home, and in Guadalupe and Cuyama as many as 64 percent of residents speak Spanish at home.

The bilingual English/Spanish books will be purchased for public libraries in Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Cuyama, Los Alamos, and Orcutt and available to check out by the end of August.

“Receiving this funding will be a boon for the communities we serve,” Dawn Jackson, Librarian III overseeing Youth and Branch services, stated. “Providing access to updated materials written in a Spanish/English format is especially important to patrons who are learning English, as well as being helpful to those who are learning Spanish. The ability to offer these materials furthers the Santa Maria Public Library’s mission of strengthening our diverse community through free and equal access to information, knowledge and ideas.”

Questions may be directed to Dawn Jackson, Library Youth Services, 925-0994 extension 2319.