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ARCHIVED - Multicultural Resources and Services

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1. Introduction

Welcome to the toolkit for libraries developing multicultural/multilingual collections and services. The toolkit contains many resources for libraries to assist in collection development, Web design, language issues and much more.

The toolkit includes:

  • a template/brochure outlining how libraries can develop multicultural/multilingual collections (process, checklist);
  • a document identifying and annotating critical Web resources for the development of multilingual/multicultural resources; and
  • a comprehensive list of multilingual publishers, jobbers and distributors in Canada, including a full description and contact information.

A significant percentage of Canadians speak a language other than French, English or an Aboriginal language. Every day, libraries across Canada serve people who need information and library materials in other languages. Many libraries provide these materials; however, budget limitations and the difficulties involved in acquiring materials in other languages prevent most libraries from developing significant collections. Nonetheless, since most libraries now have Internet access and provide Web-based resources for their patrons, they are able to provide access to significant online collections that are of interest to people who speak other languages. Library and Archives Canada's approach to multicultural library collection development recognizes that the Internet and the Web have brought about a paradigm shift in the methods of delivering multicultural library collections and in the amount of information that can be made accessible to library patrons in any library in Canada.

The current level of multicultural e-content on the Web has exponentially increased the potential for libraries to provide multicultural library services and access to information and e-content in other languages. One of the main roles for libraries in providing this type of service is to evaluate and provide links to an appropriate selection of e-content. This toolkit, therefore, contains a significant number of annotated links to:

  • guidelines for developing multicultural library services and collections;
  • manuals on the use of the technology required to develop multicultural library services and collections;
  • a selection of multicultural e-content on the Web;
  • descriptions and links to a selection of libraries that have developed multicultural Web content; and
  • lists of jobbers and vendors of other language materials.

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