Hi, This is an intriguing development. (In the KC area, the 'old-time' Hispanics are NOT happy about such moves...there is an interesting tension between the newer group which is either newly made legal but used to be illegal group or the illegal and hiding it with the old-timers who went through immigration the 'hard way', etc. But, even so, there is not quite the same 'push' towards this...though my library system, for the first time, is offering a bilingual storytime...) In Houston, there is quite an interesting tension that is somewhat similar--though the tendency is to pay lip service towards teaching English, but even in the schools, it does not seem to be happening...there is more of a concession towards making the English speaking set learn Spanish (I met with a couple of people from a different list that I'm on and one of them is a teacher and another attended various graduations of kids she knows...interesting to have some of the graduations done in Spanish even though it was an English-speaking school [my friend and her family do not speak Spanish and were a bit dismayed at this...the teacher said she was not surprised...] Following this article are the stats on Denver (reported by the Rocky Mountain News per the DPL) Best, Marlena, thinking about the United States of the World (though with all the Texas flags flying around here in Houston, you'd think it was an independent state, still...<g>) Spanish Set to Become Official Language of Seven Denver Public Library Branches Wed Aug 3,12:24 PM ET WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In a sharp break from American tradition, the Denver Public Library is promoting a plan that would make seven of its branches "Spanish focused," banishing English language books to the backroom. The "Languages and Learning" plan would dramatically increase Spanish language offerings and staff, designating some locations as Spanish dominant. The proposal is currently under review by the Library Commission and an advisory board. "Denver's action is a dubious first in American history: a major U.S. city is creating a public institution that intentionally excludes native-born Americans," explained Mauro E. Mujica, chairman of the board of U.S. English, Inc. "This action goes against the model of assimilation that has successfully served the United States for centuries." "In a nation of immigrants, focusing on a single non-English language is the type of favoritism that we should have abandoned years ago. The taxpayers of Denver -- residents who speak 68 languages -- should not stand idly by while their money goes to support immigrants from El Salvador or Colombia over immigrants from Vietnam or Egypt." Library officials counter that the switch to Spanish dominant libraries is an extension of the institution's purpose. They claim that the Languages and Learning plan will assist Spanish speaking residents in becoming members of their community. Proponents call the plan "cutting edge" and "revolutionary." "I fail to see how an 'Official Spanish' Library will aid immigrants in learning English and becoming Americans," Mujica continued. "If anything, it will further the notion that Spanish-speaking immigrants can live in relative comfort without needing to learn our common language. If we are to successfully continue as a nation of immigrants, we cannot send an 'English Optional' message to any immigrant group." ------ -0- /© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/ From the Rocky Mountain News, here are the statistics on who lives in Denver: "According to statistics compiled by the Denver Public Library, 34.8 percent of Denver's population is Hispanic, 21 percent of Denver residents speak Spanish at home, and children from Hispanic families account for 54.1 percent of Denver Public Schools enrollment. The research also showed that the use of Spanish language materials is increasing, with Spanish magazines already accounting for the most heavily circulated magazines at seven library locations. The research on demographics and customer trends backdrop the proposal for a new service styles plan."