Emily Rose's Liblog

The purpose of this blog is to give and receive feedback about current issues in librarianship. Technology should be one of the more important topics discussed on the blog. I wouldn't consider myself technologically savvy...but I am willing and trying to learn!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Multilingual Library Websites

After reading Leah's post where she addressed the lack of dual language library websites, I went and checked my old library's website to see how they are doing. I am originally from Elgin, Illinois and was served by, and worked for, the Gail Borden Public Library District. The reason I checked Gail Borden's site is because Elgin's population is about 40 percent Hispanic. In fact, while I worked there I was in the process of mastering the art of library Spanish...oh yeah...I could register both English and Spanish speakers for a library card in mere minutes! Unfortunately, in the nearly four years since I worked at Gail Borden, I have lost much of my Spanish-speaking ability. My desire to relearn Spanish aside, here is what I found at the GBPL website:

Included in the main menu at the top of GBPL's homepage, among "Library Catalog", "Electronic Resources", etc., is a link to the library's "Informacion en Espanol". While there is general library information, there is also quite a bit of technological information for Spanish speakers. One section, "Centro de Computacion", links to information about the library's computer center's services and regulations. Another section, "Introduccion a la Internet", explains internet basics such as what the internet and Netscape are and what a URL is. This section also includes a Glossary ("Glosario") and a Webography ("Webografia"). The webografia area gives links to a couple of sites that teach basic internet use in Spanish. The last technological section is "
Fuentes de la Internet en Espanol". This section gives links to useful websites in Spanish, such as news sites and online dictionaries.

I was impressed by the attention given to the Spanish speaking community in Elgin on the Gail Borden Public Library's website. While an entirely dual-language website is ideal in a community such as Elgin, I feel that this is a great start and a good model for many library websites with no multilingual online services.

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