World Languages at Your Library

Date: February 28, 2019

Ramsey County Library has made great efforts to create a World Language Collection consisting of a variety of materials in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Hmong, Lakota, Ojibwe, Spanish, Somali, Tamil and Vietnamese. These languages were chosen based on community feedback, demographic data and anticipated future demand.

One day after story time, Marcus Lowry, the library manager at Mounds View, asked a few families to stay for a brief focus group.

"With a growing demand for materials in languages from India in the Mounds View area, we wanted to get feedback on which languages the library could start collecting," said Lowry.

After conversations about who spoke what languages and what area they are from, everyone agreed that Hindi and Tamil would be a good starting point. Library staff also used the 2015 American Community Survey to determine that Hmong, Spanish and Somali are among the most spoken languages in suburban Ramsey County.

The World Language Collection varies from branch to branch with a representative sampling of fiction and nonfiction materials and may include books, DVDs, CDs, magazines and newspapers for adults, children and teens. Ramsey County Library also has online tools, books and audiobooks to help you learn a language, at any skill level, at your own pace.