We are just back in Denver, in time for a weekend that included the Denver Public Library’s annual book sale.We normally enjoy the book sale: a chance to contribute to the library and, at the same time, find some interesting books.
There was an unusual quantity of foreign language books this year, including many Italian ones. Unlike last year, when the Italian books available mostly came from a couple of private donors, this year all of the books came from the library’s own shelves.
I had a bad feeling about that: I thought the library had decided to reduce its Italian collection. I asked a librarian, but it was even worse than I thought: the Denver Public Library has decided to get rid of most foreign language collections in their entirety.
Considering the painful cost-cutting measures the library has to implement (including the planned closure of up to half its branches) I could understand a decision not to purchase foreign language books any longer. But why not keep those they already had, at least until they were in fit conditions for borrowing (and the stamps on the books clearly showed most of them had been borrowed many times from the library)?
So, if you want to read Petrarca, Dante, Goldoni, Calvino, Pavese or Levi in the original, you are out of luck at the Denver Public Library.