City Paper is not for tourists
Leave it to the District to transfer Laura Kleinmann, the Public Library System’s only Spanish-speaking children’s librarian, out of Mount Pleasant, the area in which most of the city’s Latinos live. As part of the library system’s drive to cut 34 positions and reduce hours in all local facilities, Kleinmann was transferred last Friday out of Ward 1’s only library to the Shaw branch in Ward 2. According to Brenda Johnson, the library system’s assistant director of public service, Kleinmann was relocated due “to a matter of funds,” and not because she has less seniority than the branch’s other children’s librarian. Robert Fleming, chairman of the Mount Pleasant Advisory Neighborhood Commission, says that in addition to her exemplary work in the library, Kleinmann created bilingual programs at area schools, organized a storytelling program in Lamont Park, and oversaw children’s activities for the Mount Pleasant Festival. He adds that the Mount Pleasant branch serves about 4,000 children each month—more than the central Martin Luther King Memorial Library, which has four children’s librarians, and the Georgetown branch, which, because it is a “regional” library, will continue to have two children’s librarians even though it serves only about 1,300 children a month.