By the Capital Area District Library Reference Department
The Reference Staff at the Downtown Lansing Library includes librarians with a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. They are some of the most valuable best resources the library offers! For example, Marisela G. heads up our language resources. She is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish, so she often assists patrons who would otherwise have a difficult time communicating with staff.
Marisela is in charge of ordering library materials for people who want to learn the English language.
She makes sure we have an updated selection of picture dictionaries, plus books and audiobooks on topics such as beginning English, accent reduction, vocabulary building and grammar exercises. We also offer a lot of test preparation books for ESOL patrons needing to show proficiency for college entrance.
For English learners who are comfortable using computers, we offer a software program called English Discoveries Online. Classes are offered regularly at the Downtown Lansing Library, showing patrons how to use the program. Other programs for English learners include occasional ESL classes and U.S. Citizenship classes.
For anyone interested in learning a language other than English, we have a large collection of foreign language learning materials. You'll find books from Catalan to Farsi to Sanskrit to Swedish and everything in between! Some of our books for language learning are on CD. We also have a few USB ports; these contain software that you load onto your personal computer. They can be checked out over and over with a library card, allowing you to pick up right where you left off. Available languages include Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish, and the content equals about one semester's worth of foreign language study.
Another online foreign language learning system we offer is called BYKI. It's a self-paced system that involves hearing, visualizing, speaking and typing a language. There are plenty of languages to choose from, and once you set up a username and password, you can access the program from home (requires a CADL card).
To learn much more about all that the library offers for learners of English and other languages, visit cadl.org/esol.
The Capital Area District Library Reference Department is located at 401 S. Capitol Avenue in Lansing, MI. Contact them at 517-367-6346 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was printed in the January 2 - January 15, 2011 edition.