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Community Focus: Library has many options for Spanish speakers

The library in the Capitol Hill community has the largest selection of books in Spanish in the metro (FILE).

From learning English to expanding their Spanish speaking skills, an Oklahoma City library is helping students get ahead for free. The Metropolitan Library System says catering to the needs of each community they serve is its goal, and for the Capitol Hill Library that means community outreach.

At the Capitol Hill Library, there are rows and rows of books, many in English, but also a large collection in Spanish. This location serves a largely Spanish speaking community.

“It is important for everyone to have access to information, so a part of us making access to information available, is making it available to everyone, and that means different languages and different formats,” says Victoria Garten, Metropolitan Library System communications coordinator.

Some of their busiest hours happen after school. Students use some of the 30-computers and get homework help in English.

“A lot of these homes around the area, they don't have internet service at home, so they come here to do homework, projects. They also come to fill out applications online as well,” says Gloria Melchor, children's librarian.

For Melchor, helping students learn means teaching them to get ahead in English and continue developing their Spanish.

“Try to have your kids maintain both languages because I think it is something that will help them in the future -- job prospects, but also in life,” says Melchor.

Parents in the Capitol Hill area can send their children or go themselves to the library, even if they don't speak English. Most of the staff at this location is bilingual in Spanish and English.

Most library locations also have a variety of free events to help you revamp your resume or learn about using technology. A digital book mobile is coming to the Capitol Hill community on April 23rd, and will be the only library in the state hosting this pop-up. It will teach people how to get the e-books the library offers on your devices.

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