[Library Media] Collection Development - foreign language

Juan Lee jtlee at utah.gov
Fri May 19 17:01:10 MDT 2017


As an "outsider" to school libraries, I find this conversation fascinating.
In the spirit of sharing ideas, here are some thoughts:

I totally agree with Bill and Sarah that these books are not the first ones
students will pick up on their own, so adding them to the collection and
putting them on the shelf is not enough. I believe these titles are best
introduced to students as part of the curriculum where there is initial
guidance and structure to the exploration of the literature. The impact of
the book can be meaningful when the educator uses specific titles as
support tools in their lessons; the student might recognize in the story
elements or in the language used or the illustrations, cultural traits that
may ring true given their own cultural backgrounds.

Some sources for culturally authentic literature include:
- State Library's resources for Culturally Authentic Literature
- Lee & Low Books <https://www.leeandlow.com/>

One librarian cannot be expected to be an "expert" on all the cultures and
languages represented in your school. So, I recommend turning to many
experts and follow their recommendations.

For Spanish materials, one source is the AMERICA READS SPANISH
<http://www.americareadsspanish.org/>, a campaign sponsored by the Spanish
Institute for Foreign Trade and the Spanish Association. Download and take
a look at their "Essential Guide to Spanish Reading for Children and Young
Adults 2011´s Edition

Another source of experts are the various book awards from diverse
traditions, like those listed in Utah Library Association's Diversity
Services Round Table <http://ula.org/dsrt-resources/diversity-booklists/>:

   - American Indian Youth Literature Award
   - Américas Award
   - Middle East Book Award <http://www.meoc.us/meoc/book-awards>
   - Pura Belpré Award
   - South Asia Book Award <http://southasiabookaward.org/>
   - Tomás Rivera Award <http://riverabookaward.org/book-award-winners/>

​ ​
encourage you to visit the Main Library of the Salt Lake City Public
Library System, in downtown Salt Lake. They have books in various languages
that include original titles and translations of English popular materials.
The Children's Department (in the basement) includes items appropriate for
K-8ish. Items for young adults may be found on Level 3, with the Foreign
Language collections.

(2) Talk to the librarians in charge of buying those materials. Tell them
about your needs and ask where they are having the most success buying the
materials. They may be able to share with you some of the older catalogs
they've used and names and contact information for various vendors. I admit
that larger libraries tend to buy their materials from the large vendors
who carry mostly "popular" materials; I advise to balance your collection
with items purchased from smaller and independent booksellers.

My belief is that the question should not be an "either/or" proposition. An
effective collection would probably have a mix of popular titles translated
from the English originals and other items originally written in various
languages. If you are starting to build a collection, you may want to
introduce your students to "familiar" items that have been translated from
English. Later you can highlight some originals, but the trick is "How do
you book-talk a book you can't read?" or "how do you recommend something
you don't understand?" Here's where the recommendations from the experts
noted above can come in handy.

Just my two cents...


*Juan Tomás Lee*, Library Consultant

he / him / his

Utah *State Library* Division
250 N 1950 W Suite A
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
801-715-6769  |  800-662-9150  |  jtlee at utah.gov


On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 8:20 AM, Mariah Gerlach <
moverlock at providencehall.com> wrote:

> How do you select titles to meet the needs of your multi-lingual patrons
> without actually being multi-lingual yourself?
> Any tips or tricks to purchasing those books and ebooks?  (Specifically, I
> need to service Spanish and Chinese at my school right now).
> Thanks for any advice!
> *Mariah Gerlach*
> *High School Librarian*
> *Providence Hall International **Baccalaureate*
> *moverlock at providencehall.com <moverlock at providencehall.com>*
> _______________________________________________
> library-media mailing list
> library-media at lists.uen.org
> To unsubscribe visit: https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/library-media
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