Non-English books find way to libraries

The Honolulu Advertiser reported Tuesday that the McCully-Mo’ili’ili Library in Honolulu has a large collection of non-English language books.

“The library, beset by a critical staffing shortage and other needs, has an annual budget of only $35,000 for buying books in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Filipino and Vietnamese, said Jim Long, the librarian who specializes in foreign-language acquisitions. About half that amount goes toward purchase of Japanese books, which are in great demand and are the most expensive to buy, he said.”

Of course, the cost of the books is not the only thing that the library has to consider when making purchase decisions. There is also the difficulty in cataloging some titles.

“Long said the principal difficulty in expanding the collection is cataloging, especially the Asian titles written in characters that must be romanized for the database. They also must be categorized correctly, and it’s sometimes hard to find resources to help librarians do that, he said.”