For ILS503 Foundations of Libraryship, we must complete a final project in which we must design and implement an information service. The professor encourages us to create this service for a real organization. I will be working with another woman in my class to develop an English as a Foreign Language pathfinder for a public library that serves groups from Eastern Europe and Brazil.
Our proposal to the professor (written by my partner):
Basic concept: We aim to create a pathfinder for non-native Englishspeakers and new immigrants.
Summary: This will include suggested materials such as books and audio-visual materials. We also will include various internet-based reference materials such as web page translators and other translation pages that have been researched and deemed useful. We will add suggested materials for libraries to own to better service to the non-native speaking population. In addition there will be resources for new immigrants such as government offices and web sites as well as localized information (i.e. local international groups if possible). A shorter version of the pathfinder will be presented as a pamphlet for take-home usage and distributed at the particular library we have chosen.
Background of concept: Living in a predominantly English-speaking area, I have noticed that through the last couple of years of working at my Library, we have had numerous requests for language-learning materials, mostly from nannies, but also from newly-immigrated people. In searching for reference materials for them, the most common language tools were in Spanish. These were not useful to our patrons as they primarily came from Eastern Europe and Brasil and were not familiar with Spanish. Aside from the lack of materials for non-native/non-Spanish speakers, the patrons were also asking for local resources—things to do, places to meet up with like-minded people, etc. This made me think that there is a definite need for resources for this population which is often overlooked in the non-urban library. In working together, Jennifer and I will create a pathfinder of information resources for not only language learning, but also information for newly-minted citizens or people preparing for their citizenship tests. We will then actually implement it in my library as it something that my director has agreed we have a need for. This part of the project could easily be utilized in any library, just specialized for the chosen area.
I am very excited about the project. Here’s hoping it all goes well!!!