Loving the Library in 14 languages

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers expanded world languages collection and resources in more than dozen different languages.

Libraries are houses of words.

They’re in the books on shelves, in magazines, in DVDs and in audiobooks.

At Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, those words come in 14 different languages. Including English, the Library offers resources in American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), French, German, Gujarati (spoken mostly in India), Hindi, Japanese, Marathi (spoken mostly in India), Russian, Spanish, Telugu (spoken mostly in India) and Vietnamese. While it’s not technically a separate language, the Library also offers materials in braille.

As our community grows and diversifies, the Library grows along with it, selecting accessible resources for families who speak many different languages.

The world languages collection, which includes nearly 6,000 print books in all other world languages not including Spanish, floats across the 20-branch system to go where they’re needed. However, some materials get priority at certain Library locations because of a greater need for a specific language. University City Regional Library has a larger collection of Hindi materials, for example, while Scaleybark Library has a larger collection in Spanish.

Several locations have even created a world languages “center” where adults’ and children’s materials are housed together in all languages.

By far, the Library offers more Spanish materials than others (nearly 21,000 print books alone) to match the community’s needs. The Library also offers a variety of bilingual materials in English and Spanish to help readers learn a new language.

But for those families who speak Hindi? The Library has movies on Hoopla for them, too. French-speaking customers can listen to music or read e-books in their language on Hoopla, read French books on Tumblebooks or even read scholarly titles on ProQuest in French. There are Films On Demand in American Sign Language, Chinese, English, French and Spanish. The Library even has Elle Mexico, GQ Mexico and Cosmopolitan en Español for free through RBDigital.

Of course, you, reading this now, speak English. But what if you wanted to one day read books in Russian, Arabic or Japanese?

The Library can help with that too!

Through its free online language learning software, Mango, the Library offers a digital language-learning classroom to make that a reality.

More than anything, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is a safe space for families of all kinds and of all different backgrounds. If we’re missing materials in any language, make a purchase request! We’re always looking for ways to help build a stronger community.