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  1. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users NTRLS Haltom Public Library and Decatur Public Library, Texas June 1- 2, 2006 Miriam J Rodriguez Assistant Director, Dallas Public Library Chair, District V TLA mrodriguez@dallaslibrary.org 214-671-9282 Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  2. Cultural implications of a global context… • Globalization provides the contextual framework for cultural changes in the library user group. In order to be more effective, and realistically, more client-focused, the reference librarian is challenged to ask again: “Who is my client?” Carolyn McSwiney, IFLA, Aug, 2002 Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  3. Exercise #1 What is already available @ My library Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  4. Who lives in our community? • Population Characteristics • Geographic Characteristics • Educational Characteristics • Economic Characteristics • Cultural Characteristics Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  5. PROFILE of the SERVICE AREA Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  6. Population Characteristics of the Community (service area) • What is the total population of the community you serve? • Percentage of population under 5 yrs. of age. • Percentage of population 5 to 19 yrs. of age. • Percentage of population 19 to 65 yrs. of age. • Percentage of population over 65 yrs. of age. • Describe the ethnic make up of your community (percentages). • What languages are spoken at home • What is the number of households in your community? Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  7. Geography or Physical Characteristics • What is the area/size of the community your library serves? • Describe the distribution of population over that area. • Are there any topographical features that isolate potential users from services? Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  8. Educational Characteristics of Your Community • Percentage of population over 25 with 12 yrs. of school completed. • Percentage with 16 yrs. of school completed. • List the schools in your community (e.g., high schools, junior highs or middle schools, elementary schools) and their approximate enrollments. • Describe the library/media facilities in the listed schools - - are they adequate? • Are there higher education institutions available (include extension services, distance education, etc.), and how many people are enrolled? What needed library services are available to them? Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  9. Economic Characteristics of Your Community • Who are the major employers? • How do most people make a living? (break down into percentages for each major category of employment such as manufacturing, farming, mining, government, professional, self-employed, and so on) • What is the average household income? • What is the median household income? • What is the unemployment rate? • What percentage is below the poverty line? • How many working mothers are there with children under 6? Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  10. Cultural Characteristics of Your Community • Describe the cultural and recreational activities that are popular in your community. • List the cultural and recreational facilities available and the cultural and recreational organizations that are active (facilities include parks, pools, gyms, theatres, etc., and groups include clubs, societies, teams, and so on). • What civic groups are active in your service area? What are their goals and interests, and what services do they provide for residents? • What are your community's means for public communication? Examples include newspaper, radio, cable message board, etc. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  11. Sources to use: 1. Census data www.census.gov 2. Public Library Geographic Database www.geolib.org/PLGDB.cfm • Non-profit organizations http://www.dfwinternational.org/ • Community representatives/gatekeepers • School Districts • Others Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  12. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  13. Analyzing the findings • How do the physical characteristics of your community affect the delivery of library services? Are those services convenient to all potential users? Does the library have the means to reach those who are far away? • What do the population profiles of your community tell you about its informational needs? (For example, are the mission and roles you have chosen appropriate for the population you serve? What about your collection and programs?) • What are the economic trends or prospects for your area? Is the local economy growing, stagnant, or declining? • What are the informational needs of the local economy? Can they or should they be met by the library? • Is your library getting the financial support it needs? What are the possibilities for increasing that support? • What is the level of cooperation between educational facilities and their libraries and the public library? Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  14. …analyzing the findings • What does the educational profile of your community tell you about the library's mission? Collection? Programs, policies, and facilities? • Do students make demands on the library for materials, services, or special needs? Are those demands met? Should they be met by the public library? • How is the cultural life of your community reflected in the library's mission, collection, and programs? • What kind of relationships has the library developed with the cultural, recreational, and civic groups that are important in your area? Are you aware of their activities, interests and needs? Are they aware of the resources you can offer them? • Overall, what does our needs assessment tell us about the library's mission? Are the roles we have chosen for our library appropriate? Do we need to add, modify, or delete any of those roles? • What are the library's strengths? Where are we weakest? • Based on our needs assessment, is our collection adequate? Do we need to change or improve the collection? If so, how will we do this? Does our collection development policy need to be modified? Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  15. Limited English Proficient: LEP Most individuals living in the United States read, write, speak and understand English. There are many individuals for whom English is not their primary language. If these individuals have a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English, they are limited English proficient or LEP. Institute of Museum and Library Services Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  16. Limited English Speakers in Texas According to the 2000 Census • In Texas, 6,010,753 reported they spoke a language other than English at home • Texas has the 2nd largest numbers of non-English language speakers in the nation • Seven counties more than 80% of the population spoke a non-English language at home • All but one of the 20 counties with the highest proportions of non-English language speakers were located in Texas Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  17. DFW International, whose statistics are based on data from numerous sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, reports that North Texas is home to: 1 million Mexicans, including 325,000 from the state of Guanajuato •More than 90,000 people from India •About 80,000 people of Vietnamese descent •Approximately 60,000 Koreans •More than 40,000 Iranians •About 80,000 Chinese-Americans •45,000 Pakistanis Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  18. Exercise #2 Communication with ESL Customers Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  19. Communicating with Patrons Across Languages • Make it visual • Speak slowly • Keep it simple • Say it again • Allow time for response • “Walk in their shoes” • Smile, but don’t laugh • Do not equate lack of English proficiency with lack of education Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  20. Sophie’s Choice, a film Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stop for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality. We slowly drove, he knew no haste, And I had put away My labor, and my leisure too, For his civility We passed the school where children played, Their lessons scarcely done; We passed the fields of gazing grain, We passed the setting sun We paused before a house that seemed A swelling of the ground The roof was scarcely visible, The cornice but a mound Since then ‘tis centuries; but each Feels shorter than the day I first surmised the horses’ heads Were toward eternity Poem by Emily Dickinson Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  21. Diverse communities • Are the expectations of different ethnic groups the same or do they differ? • How can we create an environment that welcomes all users? • Is the concept of a public library the same in other countries as it is in the US? Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  22. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  23. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  24. American culture • By and large, Americans value the ideals of individual liberty, individualism, self-sufficiency. • Americans can be ethnocentric, with little interest in the culture of other countries. For example, very few books from European countries or Japan are translated for sale in the United States and sales of those that are translated are slow. Imported television shows are rare, except on PBS, although remakes of foreign shows are increasingly common. Imported films are generally less successful than domestic productions. This stereotype of ethnocentricity does not apply to all Americans, however, and in fact applies to a moderately small, but very vocal minority • Americans also tend to travel abroad less than citizens of other countries, partly due to the fact that it entails traveling much further than it would for a European. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  25. Culture of Mexico • Mexican culture is known for the unified nature of the family. The country's divorce rate is among the lowest in the world (0.33 divorces per 1000 population, compared to 4.95 in the United States) (http://www.divorcemag.com/statistics/statsWorld.shtml). • Children regularly live with their parents until they marry, even if they remain single until their thirties or later. It is also quite common for family units to remain connected, often with grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and children all living in the same area or even in the same house. • The foundation of the Mexican community is the nuclear family. Extended family relationships also have special significance. Mexican families place value on having family members live close by, providing one another with mutual aid. Don’t be surprised if a patient arrives at the imaging department with several family members wanting to wait close by while the examination is done. • Lack of faith in the government and other organizations is also the result of widespread political corruption.. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  26. Culture of India • The culture of India is one of the oldest cultures known to humanity. • Indians join their hands (palms together) and bow slightly in front of the other person, and say Namaste (Sanskrit for "I bow unto you") This custom comes from a Hindu understanding that each person is inherently divine. • The earliest literary traditions were mostly oral and were later transcribed. • Bollywood is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based film industry in India. Bollywood and the other major cinematic hubs (Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu) constitute the broader indian film industry, whose output is considered to be the largest in the world in terms of number of films produced and, possibly, number of tickets sold. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  27. Culture of Korea • The traditional culture of Korea is shared by South Korea and North Korea, but there are regional differences. • South Korea is a very competitive academic environment (getting into a prestigious university is considered a prerequisite to any kind of success); for this reason, high school students often spend a huge amount of their time studying. Many South Korean parents consider it to be essential that their sons and daughters attend private institutes to learn a variety of subjects, ranging from the study of Chinese characters to music, art and English. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  28. Korean family • We American parents do not want to cling to our children. We fear we will cripple them emotionally, and they will not "make it" on their own. Most of us do not assume our children will support us when we are old, and most dare not expect to live with them when we can no longer care for ourselves. We require no specific obligations from our children beyond a vaguely defined respect that includes burying us. In our old age we often try to ask as little as possible from them, preferring independence to "being a burden.“ • Most Koreans find this bewildering and inhuman. Most would not agree that they, as individuals, should think of themselves as separate from their parents and families. The close family ties and dependencies valued so highly in Korea might seem unhealthy to us; we think a child's sense of autonomy necessary to mental health. To Koreans such autonomy is not a virtue. "A life in which egos are all autonomous, separate, discrete and self-sufficient [is] too cold, impersonal, lonely and inhuman." * Article written by Clark W. Sorensen for the Asia Society's Focus on Asian Studies, Special Issue, No. 1, Korea: A Teacher's Guide, pp. 31-35, Fall 1986 Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  29. Culture of China • The culture of China has been influenced by China's long history and by diverse ethnic groups. Chinese civilization is said to have begun 5000 years ago. Chinese culture, despite all of its regional diversity, was dominated by the Confucian value system. The teachings of Confucius emphasizing love for humanity; high value given to learning and to devotion to family (including ancestors); peace; justice; influenced the traditional culture of China • Chinese social relations are typified by a reciprocal social network. Often social obligations within the network are characterized in familial terms. Social relations are often expressed by the exchange of gifts. • Unlike other societies, Chinese tend to see social relations in terms of networks rather than boxes. Hence, people are perceived as being "near" or "far" rather than "in" or "out". Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  30. Culture of Peru • The relationship between Hispanic and Indian cultures has shaped the face of Peru. During pre-Columbian times, Peru was one of the major centers of artistic expression in America • Peru has passed through various intellectual stages--from colonial Hispanic culture to European Romanticism after independence. The early 20th century brought "indigenismo," expressed in a new awareness of Indian culture. Since World War II, Peruvian writers, artists, and intellectuals such as Cesar Vallejo and have participated in worldwide intellectual and artistic movements, drawing especially on U.S. and European trends. • “Ya” word often used to express agreement, understanding Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  31. Cultural Programming • We are all culturally programmed • No individual is culture free • None of us has the same program • Sense of self and space • Communication and language • Dress and appearance • Food and eating • Time and time consciousness • Relationships • Value and norms • Beliefs and attitudes • Mental processes and learning • Work habits and practices Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  32. Multiple modes of Communicating • What were some of the rules of communication that you learned growing up? • How comfortable do you feel talking about issues of race and ethnicity and other differences? Are there any subjects particularly uncomfortable for you? Why? • What are some words that apparently offend other people? • How does this relates to the customer relations aspects of your job? Exercise #3 Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  33. Communicating with diverse library customers: • The American free public library system is a new concept to many people of other cultures • To make the library more accessible to patrons library signs should be in key languages • Vietnamese are traditionally modest soft spoken and agreeable, family life and love of learning are important values to them. • Lack of eye contact by lowering eyes in other cultures is a sign of respect. • Let them see the library as a friendly and good place for their children Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  34. Think Globally, Act Locally Bingo Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  35. Reference interview They are from Mars, we are from Reference! Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  36. Reference Interview • The reference interview is an exercise in communication . Communication is culture-bond. Culture: The system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that the members of society use to cope with their world, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  37. Basic rules of a reference interview • Greet people warmly • Appear interested in the question • Restate request • Ask open questions to get more information • Verify, restate questions by paraphrasing • Locate information, offer help with using the tool • Check if the question has been answered • Offer additional help if anything is needed Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  38. Communicating with LEP Patrons at the Reference Desk • Speak slowly and do not hesitate to repeat yourself • Keep your sentences short • Do not use idiomatic phrases or slang (ESL, GED) • If at all possible use a list of prepared phrases (un momento…) • Make an effort to show, rather than to say • Ask patrons to spell big words, or to type keywords on the computer • When asking a question, allow time for the answer • It is easier to read than to make a verbal request • Keep pencil and paper handy to use when spoken words do not work Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  39. The Library Cardby: Jane Medina Today I went to the library. Mamá wouldn’t let go of my stiff hand. Mamá called it She looked like Miguelito - la librería- before a spelling test But I know - big eyes they don’t sell books here. Her shoulders up high underneath her blue shawl. My teacher said with a library card you can use them for free: We need a card. - ¡Necesitamos una tarjeta, Mamá! - Free books I tugged Mamá Standing still, to the long, wooden desk, Straight and tall shiny, So anybody can grab them like the head of the man Anybody who gave us paper for a card. Can open them The man made a frown And wander inside with his mouth Their halls of dreams. after he gave us the paper - like he didn’t want us to take the paper Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  40. The Library Card (cont.)by: Jane Medina • Vámonos, m’ijo, She twisted it around and around Mamá said. ‘till she found the best way “But, Mamá, to fit it in her hand. we can’t go! Then she drew her name. I need the books for school.” The paper and I jumped up Free books from the table Standing still, and ran to the Straight and tall shiny-head man. So anybody can grab them “Boy,” he said too loud Anybody and too slow paper for a card. - like talking to Abuelita, Can open them “You can’t sign this paper.” And wander inside I told him my mom signed it. Their halls of dreams. - Mamá, ¿verdad que la firmó usted? - She shook her head – Sí.- We hid at a corner table. But the man laughed at Mamá’s bent name, Mamá whispered the answers Mamá’s little girl signature. When I read from the paper. I gave her the pen. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  41. The Library Card (cont.)by: Jane Medina Then his frown surrounded Mamá and me. -Vámonos, Mamá. – I don’t want these books. (Free books Standing still, Straight and tall So anybody can grab them Anybody Can open them And wander inside Their halls of dreams. Anybody but Mamá and me.) Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  42. Steps To Improve Reference Services To LEP • Multilingual library signs • “I speak” cards for identifying public contact personnel • Translation of forms and key documents • Procedures for effective telephone and in-person communications • Consultation with community organizations that represent LEP language groups Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  43. …Steps To Improve Reference Services To LEP • Multicultural embracing attitude of the staff • Emphasize intercultural staff training and effective non-verbal communication • Develop a reference collection in Foreign Languages • Locate multilingual collections in prominent visual position of the library Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  44. Handout #3 The Reference Interview: A Common Sense Approach Techniques that help when dealing with Limited English Proficient customers Greet: Look welcoming and animated Appear interested in the person and what he or she needs Greet people warmly and directly Reference Interview: Speak slowly and do not hesitate to repeat yourself Keep your sentences short Do not use idiomatic phrases or slang (ESL, GED) Restate request Ask open questions to get more information Make an effort to show rather than to say Ask patrons to spell big words or to write their request When asking a question, allow time for answer Keep paper and pencil handy to use when spoken words do not work Have a list of prepared phrases (example: Un momento por favor) Locate information Check appropriateness of materials Offer help with using the tool (book, computer, database) Close Check if the question has been answered Check to see if anything else is needed Expressly offer additional help Withdraw cordially Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  45. Information Seeking Behavior of Non-English Speakers • It is related to both their experience and their culture • Many new immigrants are not aware of reference services and rely on family and friends for information • Recent immigrants are looking for survival types of information like health, ESL, immigration, finding a job • Others are looking for life-long learning, assisting their children with homework • Children often act as mediators Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  46. Information and Referral When serving Limited English patrons Information and Referral services are a needed extension from the traditional reference services. Knowing the local ethnic communities, the gatekeepers of those communities and the local agencies providing services are needed as well for liaison work. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  47. Foreign Language Materials • Easy access • Browsing purposes • Bilingual/Multilingual signage • Reference collection: dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases • Multilingual online catalogs ex: Queens Borough Library www.queenslibrary.org Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  48. Spanish Language Reference Collection Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  49. Proven Ideas! • Load presentations on a public computer that highlight databases or Internet sites on topics of interest: Health Information / Información de Salud Home Buying / Compra de casa Scholarship / Beca • Have a list of basic phrases at the Service desk, could be loaded on the computer, easy to minimize and refer to as needed; eventually, may not even have to refer to because phrases, expressions, vocabulary will become internalized. Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users

  50. …More Ideas! • ESL resources 3 computers available by reservation with Rosetta Stone and Reading Recognition software Ingles sin Barreras reference use only TV/VCR • Use the language capabilities of the search engines • Program: Born to Read with Parkland Hospital • Program: International Day / Cookbook • Program: International Book Fair Library Services to Non-English Speaking Users