Digital Equality for Spanish Patrons

We know Hispanics are the largest growing population in the United States (55 million people and expected to double by 2060). Many libraries throughout the country are witnessing rapidly changing demographics in the communities they serve.  Some libraries may offer Spanish materials, special programming and outreach, classes for ESL and computer skills, or even have their main website in different languages. But when it comes to online resources, libraries struggle to find quality content.

eMarketer forecasts that “US Hispanics will have the highest tablet penetration rate of any race or ethnicity through at least 2018,” while the Wall Street Journal reported in 2014 that “72% of Latinos over age 18 own smartphones, nearly 10 percentage points higher than the national average.” So, it is safe to say your Hispanic communities are using devices, they are just missing the content!

Companies like Gale, Digitalia, and Encyclopedia Britannica offer academic solutions, however when it comes to content for recreational reading or supplemental reading for a student, libraries often cannot find the content their Spanish patrons want. A few eBook providers offer Spanish fiction and non-fiction content, however, much of that content consists of English content loosely translated into Spanish (think: Gone Girl in Spanish). Now, there is nothing wrong with offering English content translated into Spanish, but libraries know that much of what the Hispanic population wants is quality, native content…books they might have read if they were still living in their native country.  In fact, if you look at a library’s print collection, you will often notice that much of it is made up of native content. This is where ODILO can truly help.

As a company headquartered in Madrid, Spain, and known as a global leader in the eBook industry, ODILO provides libraries with all types of digital content to serve diverse communities. ODILO’s expertise and relationships with publishers throughout Latin America and Spain enables ODILO to offer the best Spanish-language platform available.

ODILO is very well known in many Spanish-speaking countries, as it is the eBook platform for all libraries in Spain, Chile, and Bogota (Columbia).  With access to tens of thousands of Spanish eBooks, along with the flexibility of multiple lending models, libraries can finally provide desired eBooks about cooking, religion, romance, spirituality, or even something for children and young adults. ODILO also offers over 1,200 Spanish eAudiobooks and hundreds of Spanish streaming films. Whereas libraries once struggled to find anything online, ODILO now offers the ideal digital solution for serving your Spanish-speaking patrons. Plus, with ODILO’s multiple lending models, including Pay-per-Use, libraries can offer thousands of titles with very minimal investment.

Here are just a few Spanish collections we have curated to make your shopping experience enjoyable (and your collection development painless):

For those libraries already offering Spanish eBooks…Congratulations! You are ahead of the curve! Now just be sure to ask yourself if you are providing the best solution for your Spanish patrons?

  • Are the Spanish eBooks easy to find amongst the larger English collection, or do they struggle to find the Spanish eBooks (since they generally equate to <1% of the overall collection)?
  • Do your Spanish patrons get confused having to navigate through an English interface to read Spanish content (perhaps causing mixed messages)?
  • Are you offering the quality, native content they really want?

If you answered no to any of these, you owe it to your community to take a closer look at ODILO.

And what about those libraries serving a Russian, Chinese, German, French, or another large foreign language community? ODILO offers over 100,000 foreign language titles, and our collection is rapidly growing.

Interested in learning more about how you can inexpensively serve your diverse community? Email Mark with any questions you may have. If you are attending PLA, TLA, or ALA Annual, you can also visit the ODILO booth to enjoy a quick demo.


-Mark Eaton

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