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4. Content Resources for Multicultural Library Web Sites

There is a great deal of online multicultural content readily available for any library that wishes to develop a multicultural library Web site. Much of this e-content is available at no cost, and any library can provide links on their Web site to this material. This section of the toolkit presents information on some of the multicultural content that is available for multicultural Web sites. The sites identified are all general multicultural and language Web sites. There are also a vast number of sites on the Web dedicated to almost every language that is spoken on the globe, enabling libraries to develop a series of links to specific language sites to match the demographic profile of any community.

Each of the following listings is categorized as being

4.1. Language-specific
4.2. Focussing on multi-cultural issues

4.1 Language-specific Resources

Ethnologue: Languages of the World is Web site with many resources on the world's languages. The resources include

  • ethnologue language data: a comprehensive listing of information about the currently known languages of the world;
  • language maps: maps showing the locations of the world's living languages; and
  • bibliography: bibliographic citations for thousands of published works about the languages of the world.

European Bureau of Lesser-Used Languages
EBLUL represents the language interests of over 40 million EU citizens who speak a different language to the majority language of their State. EBLUL's range of activities includes

  • running a specialized information centre, which hosts thematic information sessions open for the public on a regular basis;
  • running a press agency with the aim to provide quality information on issues of interest to regional and/or minority language communities;
  • publishing books, brochures and various documents on the EU's regional or minority languages; and
  • providing free information on linguistic situations.
This site provides a collection of links to online dictionaries, automatic translators, language and translation and news. It includes a translator directory, language forums, and the Xanadu translation wizard, developed to assist users in accessing dozens of online dictionaries and translation services from their computers.

Goethe-Tests provides language tests and multilingual vocabulary exercise in 21 languages and 420 language combinations. The languages are Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

ILoveLanguages is the latest redesign of the Human-Languages Page and the Languages catalog of the WWW Virtual Library. ILoveLanguages is a catalogue of language-related Internet resources. More than 2000 links at iLoveLanguages have been hand-reviewed to provide a directory of language links to Web content. These links include online language lessons, translating dictionaries, native literature, translation services, software, language schools, or information on a specific language.
Access to thousands of newspapers throughout the world.
Provides a directory of over 1 500 online dictionaries for more than 230 languages as well as grammar and linguistic resources.

4.2. Resources Focussing on Multi-Cultural issues

Canadian Ethnocultural Council
The Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC) is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of national ethnocultural umbrella organizations, which, in turn, represent a cross-section of ethnocultural groups across Canada. The CEC's objectives are to ensure the preservation, enhancement and sharing of the cultural heritage of Canadians, the removal of barriers that prevent some Canadians from participating fully and equally in society, the elimination of racism and the preservation of a united Canada. The CEC Web site includes information on CEC and their activities and publications.

Canadian Heritage - Multiculturalism
Provides information on the multiculturalism programs provided by the Government of Canada.

Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation
The Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation (CMEF) was incorporated in Alberta in 1990. It is a non-profit volunteer society founded by a small group of veteran educators, communicators and advocates for multiculturalism and human rights to promote public awareness of the opportunities and benefits of an evolving multicultural society in Canada, and to foster individual and community initiatives and support for policies and programs that serve all Canadians. The CMEF sponsors conferences and forums. There is little actual multicultural content on their Web site.

Cultural Profiles Project
The Cultural Profiles Project was developed with support from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Each cultural profile provides an overview of life and customs in the profiled country. While the profile provides insight into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life, and the customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from the profiled country. These cultural profiles were developed in association with the AMNI Centre at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.

Diversity and Libraries
Developed by Dr. Clara M. Chu of the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. The site provides resources to help librarians stay informed about the diverse communities they serve and to provide services appropriate to their needs, and to help library educators infuse multiculturalism in LIS programs to train professionals in serving culturally diverse communities.

Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT)
EMIERT is a round table of the American Library Association and has long been active in multicultural library issues. The EMIERT Web site was in the process of being moved to a server operated by the American Library Association when this study was being conducted. The Web site was not available and as a result no information is provided here.

Foreign Language and Culture
This Speakeasy site lists extensive and eclectic language and culture sites by individual country.

IFLA Section on Library Services to Multicultural Populations
The Section brings together libraries and institutions interested in the development and availability of library services designed to meet the needs of cultural and linguistic minorities.

MCPAVILION - the Multicultural Pavilion
Hosted by the University of Virginia
The Multicultural Pavilion is an interactive international Internet project designed to provide both resources for educators interested in multicultural issues and education and to build a network of these educators so that they may share their resources and ideas. MCPavilion includes an archive of multicultural activities, music reviews, archives of papers and essays, a Hypernews Online Discussion page, an email discussion group, an extensive list of links separated into categories, and many other resources for educators.

MOST - Journal on Multicultural Studies (UNESCO)
A free, full-text online journal produced through the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme, which offers information on new research directions and policy recommendations, and presents the various activities of MOST concerning multicultural societies and international migrations, urban development, globalization, governance and sustainability.

Multicultural Health Communication Service, New South Wales, Australia
The Multicultural Health Communication Service provides information and services to assist health professionals to communicate with non-English speaking communities throughout New South Wales. The NSW Department of Health endorses the multilingual health information published on the Web site. There are more than 450 publications on health in a wide range of languages and a new publication is produced each month. Some multilingual resources produced by other services are also listed on this Web site and there are links to related sites.

Multicultural Review
MultiCultural Review is a quarterly journal for anyone interested in learning about new developments and trends in the field of cultural diversity. The journal features reviews of new print and non-print resources on multicultural topics, and articles that explore current issues. In addition, there are columns and departments to keep you up to date on news, new curriculum materials, online resources, and useful bibliographies on various subjects. The Web site contains basic information on Multicultural Review and the contents pages of all editions.

Open Road, Victoria, Australia
The Open Road project assists public libraries and community organizations in exploring the potential of using the Internet to provide services to their diverse communities. The Open Road explores issues relating to both the provision of accessible and multilingual Internet access, and the provision of accessible and multilingual community information (e-diversity). The Open Road Web site provides a wide range of resources for librarians interested in establishing Web-based multicultural services. Projects under development include:

  • MCL-net. The Internet provides a new opportunity to extend the scope of Multicultural library services. MCL-net (Multicultural Libraries Network) is a forum for the exploration of the possibilities of this new medium. MCL-net includes:
    • directories for Web resources in various languages including Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Turkish;
    • resources for languages not covered in the directories;
    • reference Resources: links to English language resources that provide information for basic reference queries on countries, language and culture;
    • examples of multilingual Web sites; and
    • policy and Research.
  • Small and emerging languages support
    This support service presents language support solutions in Unicode for languages that operating system vendors do not currently support.
  • LOTEit: Notes on a multilingual Web
    LOTEit is a resource designed for staff from public libraries and community organizations and includes information on the basic elements in multilingual Web design.
  • Mclforum
    The Multicultural Libraries forum (mclforum) was established to facilitate the discussion of issues and ideas involved in the provision of multicultural library services. It is an international forum for library staff interested in the provision of services to multicultural or linguistically diverse populations. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
    • the use of technology to facilitate the provision of multicultural library services;
    • multilingual internet technology and Web site design;
    • the provision of library services to communities across a diaspora;
    • the effects of globalization on multicultural library services, and the possibilities and opportunities for capitalizing on these changes; and
    • the opportunities for, both formal and informal, international cooperation in the provision of multicultural library services.

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