by Stephanie Longo
ABINGTON SUBURBAN EDITOR
If you can speak more than one language besides English, the Abington Community Library, 1200 W. Grove St., Clarks Summit, is hoping to become the hub for all of your foreign literary needs.
Library board president Leela Baikadi came up with the idea for a foreign language collection when she realized that there wasn’t a central location for either language learners or people whose first language isn’t English to find native texts for recreational reading.
“If there is something regarding your ethnic heritage nearby, you will want to go check it out,” she said. “If there is something regarding the Indian heritage in a drivable distance, I want to go check it out. It is about keeping in touch. These books help you do that.”
Baikadi said that the library is accepting books in any language for any age group. It has already received books in Japanese, German and Indian, among other
“I wanted it strictly in the foreign languages, no translations,” said library director Leah Ducato Rudolph. “Something gets lost in the translation. You can find newspapers online but you can’t really find books.”
For Yuiko Hayden, who recently donated several Japanese books to the library, having the opportunity to read in your native language when in a foreign country is priceless.
“When I came to the United States to attend the graduate school, I intentionally left all of my Japanese books at home, thinking I should be studying in English,” she said. “After a long day of being bombarded with English non-stop, how I wished to read Japanese, even a newspaper advertisement, to relax.”
“When you keep in touch with your heritage, you keep in touch with yourself,” Baikadi said. “These are your precious memories of your customs and everything. We have memories of our grandparents reading us stories, we can help keep that alive here.”
For more information, or to make a donation to the collection, call 570-587-3440.