Language and Libraries

Posted: March 8, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Funding cuts for libraries have become an ugly reality here in the US, but as much as this is an unhappy situation, the US is still better off than large segments of the world population.  The US can be seen as the ‘gold standard’ of library service; we have multiple library schools, public libraries are prevalent, most schools have libraries and academic libraries are still vast fonts of and for information.  What happens when literacy is present, as in the US, but there is a conflict between the spoken language and the language of education?  Are smaller languages able to support significant publishing to create a body of work in the target language?  Academic libraries seem to be present and functioning in many if not most countries although language can be an issue with a global trend towards English language works.  Academic libraries can expect, realistically or not, that as students have risen through the ranks of education that they will have acquired sufficient English to follow reference and textbooks in English.  The same cannot be said of young children, who are beginning to read, especially if they are the first generation to be text literate.  How do public libraries in countries with more than one language handle this?

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