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World Language Collection Policy

Co-Created World Language Collections at the Cary Memorial Library
Collection Development Guidelines

Over the past decade, the Cary Memorial Library has seen a significant increase in demand for materials in languages other than English. Currently, there is demand for materials in Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Bengali, and Korean. As community demographics shift, there may be need for additional languages in the future. In some cases, we will mean expanding existing collections and in others we will be building new collections from the ground up.

Because the library is unlikely to have staff with proficiency in all of these languages, and to ensure that our world language collections are relevant and responsive to our community, the Cary Memorial Library is developing teams of library staff and community members in order to develop these collections together. Initially these partnerships will include the following:

  • Chinese – a collaboration between library staff who are native Chinese speakers and the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL)
  • Hindi and Bengali – a collaboration between library staff and members of the Indian Americans of Lexington (IAL)
  • Korean – a collaboration between library staff and members of the Korean Organization of Lexington (KoLex)

Types of Materials Included in Collections:

The purpose of the Cary Library’s World Language collections is to provide popular reading materials to those interested in reading in languages other than English.

  • Classics in their original languages
  • Modern writers of popular materials writing in their native language
  • Select American/European writers translated into other languages
  • Audio/Visual materials (if sufficient funding is available)

The World Language collections are not intended to be comprehensive or archival, and will not include academic or technical titles.

Procurement of Materials:
The Library will purchase these materials through vendors who can supply catalog records which meet the standards of the Minuteman Library Network. The Library will work with known vendors and community partners to identify appropriate titles and will procure them directly from the vendor. Generally speaking, the library will not accept donations of titles in languages other than English because of the expense and difficulty of procuring online catalog records for these items. Exceptions to this must be discussed with library staff prior to the materials being delivered to the library.

Evaluation of Collections:
The Library will use circulation data to guide future selections for World Language collections. Items that are not popular and do not circulate will be withdrawn from library collections according to the Collection Maintenance portion of the Collection Development Policy. Items removed from World Language collections will be offered for sale to the community through the Friends of the Library Bookstore.