Thursday 14th April 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: press release – Ajuntament de Xàbia
The Municipal Public Library in Xàbia has been allocated a specific budget to buy books with which to strengthen its international section to cover the Dutch, English, French and German languages. Batches of books have been acquired in these four languages and it is planned to incorporate more titles during the year.
Currently, the collection of each language numbers about 2,000 books (which are being cataloged with the same database and with labelling already used in the Library), especially novels by recent writers and some on subject matter, which mostly come from donations.
For the loan and consultation of books (which is managed using the same library card), each nationality has an established day with volunteers who help with cataloging, information and the loan process. The English are on Tuesday mornings (from 10.00am to 12.00pm), the French on Wednesdays (from 10.00am to 12.00pm and from 4.30pm to 6.30pm), the Dutch on Thursdays from 10.00am to 12.00pm and the Germans on the Friday mornings from 10.00am to 12.00pm.
In addition to being a cultural service for foreign residents, it is also an option to consider for people who are studying languages and want to improve by practicing reading.
The international section of the Xàbia Library has been active since 2004, when the local council signed a collaboration agreement with a group of residents – who promised to provide free books in exchange for the library giving them a space to put them and make the loan.
Its founders were Cornelis Romeijn and Jan Carel Van Den Burg, who donated and inventoried the first batches at the beginning in which they occupied a small space located in the basement of the library. They then moved to the second floor, where their headquarters are still located. Currently, they occupy a shared space, divided into four sections of equal dimensions, organized by language. The number of shelves has been increased, reaching 12 for each nationality.
Until before the pandemic, the International Section used an empty market stall to release unwanted books; anyone could take them in exchange for a cash donation and the money collected was used to purchase bibliographic novelties.
The library and the departments of Culture and Resident Care have thanked the people who have been maintaining this service for 18 years, and especially those who continue it today: Dominique, from the French section, Brigitte and Doris from the German section, Jolande from the Dutch section and Alma from the English section. Also, special thanks to Milagros Uriarte who is helping with the task of cataloging the books.