Services in a Multi-lingual Environment

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Success Stories

Tips for Providing Quality Services

  • PLUS: Public Libraries Using Spanish is a large resource bank offering library signs & bookmarks in Spanish, prototype forms and user brochures, various flavors of language help, and a collection of adaptable, anti-copyright articles & publicity materials.

Promoting Services

  • In New South Wales (Australia) the Working Group on Multicultural Library Services has been very successful with their promotional campaign, featuring billboards, signs on buses, postcards etc. in community languages. The group also has promotional banners which the member libraries can borrow to promote their collections and activities.
  • The State Library of New South Wales in cooperation with the Working Group on Multicultural Library Services has developed a generic text to describe library services to our Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities, this text is translated into more than 30 languages.
  • The State Library of Queensland has just launched a new publication "Welcoming Places" It outlines the State Library of Queensland’s Listen Here! project where five libraries worked creatively to develop successful strategies for improving library services to the Indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Its purpose is to provide a tool kit with practical examples for public librarians of how to improve services to these target groups. There is an accompanying mailing list QATSILS which provides more opportunities for networking in this area.

Collection Development

  • The Multicultural Purchasing Cooperative locates and purchases materials in Languages Other than English (LOTE) on behalf of NSW public libraries. In addition to coordinating purchases, the Cooperative also coordinates the cataloguing and end processing of materials.

Blogs/Websites to Watch

  • Services to Spanish Speakers in WebJunction
  • Services to Immigrants in WebJunction
  • Services to Tribal & First Nation Communities in WebJunction
  • The National Network of Libraries of Medicine "Multilingual Health Information" website provides a webliography of resources that provide patient education materials in numerous languages.
  • Sala Borsa Library of Bologna, Italy
  • MyLanguage is an electronic multicultural library service that enhances access to online information resources for culturally and linguistically diverse CALD individuals and community groups.
  • Multi-lingual glossary database is a professionally generated signage tool designed for libraries. The glossary contains common library phrases in 49 languages. This tool facilitates communication between library staff and patrons from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

Specific Blog Posts/Articles to Check Out

New Immigrants Information Center [1] is an innovative Internet website, developed by members of the SkokieNet Group at Skokie Public Library. Our goal is to build community and provide helpful information for recent immigrants. As New Americans move into the community, we are developing blogspaces and websites with useful links for specific ethnic groups. Chinese Filipino Indian Russian

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