Mount Prospect residents and neighbors have begun to use the Mount Prospect Public Library's collection of Bulgarian materials, now housed in the Library's World Language Collection at the Main Library,10 South Emerson Street.
The Library was pleased to host Ivan Anchev, Consul General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Chicago, Mount Prospect officials, and members of the local Bulgarian community last week to dedicate the unique collection of approximately 50 adult books and about 20 youth books.
During the ceremony, Anchev called the collection a "bridge" between Bulgaria and United States, and stressed the importance of books in the Bulgarian home.
Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek reflected on how the village was founded by German immigrants and how 43 percent of current Mount Prospect residents speak a language other than English at home.
"Library staff has already helped Bulgarian families get library cards and check out books from the new collections as well as English materials," said Executive Director Marilyn Genther. "We are thrilled to see how excited they are, and happy to do our best to offer them a great experience at the Library."
According to information provided by the Bulgarian Cultural Center in Chicago, there are at least 50,000 people of Bulgarian descent living in the Chicagoland area, making it one of the biggest Bulgarian ethnic communities around the world and the largest in America.
The collection began after a request from the community for Bulgarian language materials, and is being seeded by community donations. All area Bulgarian speakers are welcome to browse the collection, and those from outside Mount Prospect can register their local library cards to check out materials.
MPPL's World Language Collection reflects the broad diversity of the Mount Prospect community. The adult World Language book collection at the Main Library contains 8,200 books in 15 languages: Spanish, Polish, Russian, Korean, German, Chinese, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Urdu, Vietnamese, Malayalam, and Bulgarian. In addition, the youth World Language collection of 7,600 books, also includes Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Greek, Hmong, Persian, Punjabi, Swahili, Tibetan, Burmese, Inuktitut, Tagalong, and Turkish.
According to Ivan Anchev, Consul General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Chicago, the Bulgarian language section at the Mount Prospect Public Library is the first of its kind in a United States public library.