Multilingual Library Services


5 Things You Should Know...

  1. According to the US Census, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States, with an approximate number of 35 million speakers and growing[1]. Additionally, there are close to 6 million elementary, high school and college Spanish language students and teachers in the United States[2]
  2. American libraries have historically demonstrated a commitment to providing equity of access to information and the highest level of service to all library users
  3. Language diversity can present challenges to libraries, in terms of staffing, resources, and funding to meet changing needs
  4. Libraries benefit from professional support in providing reference to Spanish-speakers, and in navigating issues related to Spanish speakers (resources, policy, etc.)
  5. Whether it is students or scholars consulting Spanish-language material, second or third generation Latinos seeking to retain their bi-lingual skills, or new immigrants to the US in need of education and guidance, libraries should meet the challenge of effectively serving this section of the US population.


   [1] U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 American Community Survey

   [2] Enciclopedia del español en los Estados Unidos (Encyclopedia of the Spanish Language in the United States López Morales, Humberto (coord.) Spain/U.S.: Santillana & Instituto Cervantes. 2008. P. 447



To improve library services to multilingual and ethnic culture groups at the local and national levels.

Current Roster


Meeting Minutes

Current minutes and other materials available through ALA Connect


Report: Survey on Library Services for Spanish Speakers
In the spring/summer of 2011, the committee conducted an informal survey of librarians who work with Spanish-speakers about successful programming ideas, greatest challenges experienced and collection development topics and resources.

Spanish-language reference materials