400 Language

Sign Language

Image Credit: Dreamstime.com

Moving along in the library read through we come to the 400’s, Language. I’ve been thinking about how to approach this post for some time. I do not have time to go into all of the etymologies of multiple languages and cultures nor is it very interesting to the majority of Dewey Hop readers to just show a bunch of language dictionaries.  So after much thought I’ve decided to just discuss the 400 section itself and language resources available at the Fulton County Public Library  

400 Language

Image Credit: Feisty Froggy

As with the other Dewey Decimal system numbers, patrons find a description on the stacks about what types of books to expect from the books who call the 400 section their home. Like most small community libraries the language section at the Fulton County Public Library isn’t a huge section. Books are constantly being rotated in a library to make room for other books. As it happened on the day these pictures were taken, the 400 section jumped across an aisle. 


400 Language 2

Image Credits: Feisty Froggy

With the exception of academic libraries, I suspect even larger libraries also have a smaller language section in comparison to the rest of their collections. The number of books in any given language section depends on a variety of factors – patron demand, geographical area which may or may not deal with multiple languages, availability of resource books, etc. I suspect the most common reason that public libraries’ language sections are smaller is due to other resources being available. This is certainly true here at the Fulton County Public Library. As shown in the photos above, our library certainly does have language books. Here are a few that I checked out: 

American Sign LanguageEssential Baby Sign LanguageThe Pocket Dictionary of Signing

Image Credits: Thrift Books, Google, and Maxi Aid

Through the Literacy Department  our library assists patrons who are learning and using English as a second language. This is done through multiple avenues such as one on one instruction, online instruction and language resources available through the library’s digital resources.  To access our language digital resources a patron would go to the Fulton County Public Library homepage, click Digital Resources, then click Mango Languages. This service can be used by anyone anywhere logged in as a guest. The most popular languages to learn are Spanish, French, English, Japanese, German, and Korean. In all there are over 70 languages patrons can choose to learn. 

In addition to hard copy books, one on one instruction, and digital resources, the library often schedules live interactive programing for language related topics. Not all languages are spoken or written; some are signed and by far the most popular language program to date has been sign language courses. Most years one or two live sessions (each about 6 weeks long) have been scheduled that patrons can sign up for free of charge to learn sign language. These programs are popular with all ages of patrons. Unfortunately due to the pandemic this year most live programming has had to be cancelled and our Meeting Rooms are currently being put to important use as quarantine areas for all materials coming in to the library.

Are you fluent in a second language? If so how did you learn to speak that language? Are you interested in or do you use sign language?