Interactive Immersion Approach Features 30 LanguagesIn a growing trend, language learning is no longer viewed as a luxury by many library patrons, but a necessary skill for education and career advancement.
Starting Oct. 1, the Community Library Network and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library are adding Rosetta Stone language learning resources to their online offerings.
www.communitylibrary.net or www.cdalibrary.org.
The service offers more than 50 hours of foundational instruction using an interactive immersion approach to build skills in 30 languages. Core lessons will build reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Mobile apps are also available to reinforce language learning on the go.
“Both the Community Library Network and the Coeur d’Alene library have received multiple requests for us to provide the Rosetta Stone language CDs,” said Coeur d’Alene Library Director Bette Ammon. “We feel this online resource is a better investment, because it allows for multiple users at the same time and covers more languages than we could otherwise provide.”
Community Library Network Director John Hartung noted that the online materials are also more cost effective because the libraries do not have processing costs or the risk of damaged or lost items as they would with physical audio CDs.
“Our libraries can offer a more versatile language-learning service to more patrons and make better use of the public funds at our disposal,” he said.
A recent survey by Library Journal found that librarians and vendors alike are starting to see a transition from thinking of language learning services as a luxury item to something that libraries need to provide for their patrons.
“People used to think of learning a language like something you do so you can speak Italian on your honeymoon in Tuscany,” says Chris Vander Groef, manager of library sales at Rosetta Stone, which cosponsored the survey with LJ. “It’s become a thing you need to have for education, for your career.”
While librarians surveyed told LJ that travel was still the most common reason for new language learners to put the library’s resources to use, less leisurely concerns followed close behind. Communicating with neighbors and community members and improving employment prospects both earned nods as popular reasons that patrons worked to learn a new language at their library.
Librarians in the survey identified adults as the most likely users of language learning materials they provide and noted that in the past three years, the materials had either maintained a steady — and fairly high — degree of popularity among library users or seen increasing demand.