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Appendix B: Section 2, Collection and Selection of Materials, Guidelines for Multilingual Materials Collection and Development and Library Services (ALA), June 1990

2.0 Collection and Selection of Materials

Libraries should provide an effective, balanced and substantial collection for each ethnic, cultural or linguistic group in the community.

In the case of small or widely scattered groups, a central or cooperative library effort is the best means to provide materials and services to maximize efficiency, reduce costs and still provide adequate materials and services.

2.1 Levels for Selection

2.1.1 Provision of library materials should be related primarily to the size of the group in the community.

2.1.2 Demand and availability of materials are important factors to be considered in collection development.

The low volume of publishing in some languages or difficulty in obtaining what is published may make it impossible to provide the same amount of material in all languages.
Demand may not correspond to the population size of an ethnic, linguistic or cultural group in the community; low demand could be the result of situations where inadequate or no service has been previously provided, or because of low expectations or unfamiliarity with library services on the part of some potential users. In addition, the educational level or reading interest level of the target community may affect demand.
Therefore, the library must make every effort to determine the potential need for service as a preliminary step for collection development.

2.1.3 In general, the amount of materials provided should be at least the same as for the general population. However, it may be necessary in the case of smaller and widely scattered groups, to provide a proportionally higher level in order to establish a minimally effective collection.

2.2 Types of Formats of Materials

2.2.1 Materials should be acquired in a variety of formats, including print, audio-visual, and computer software.
Where there is a shortage of materials in one format, the increased provision of circulating materials in another format should be considered as an alternative.
Where there is a lack of written materials in a language, libraries should encourage the recording of materials from the oral tradition in appropriate formats.

2.2.2 Libraries should acquire materials to service the diverse needs of the community, including children, the physically challenged, and all educational and reading levels.

2.2.3 Multilingual collections should represent a cross-section of subjects, literary genres and time periods.
This should specifically include materials by authors from each particular national and linguistic group, published within and without the country of origin.
Works of important world literature should be available in other languages in addition to the original language.
To provide information and to promote intercultural awareness and understanding, it is desirable that library materials reflecting the interests and experiences of the ethnic groups be available in English.

2.2.4 Libraries should provide language-learning materials to encourage heritage language retention and to provide Americans/Canadians with an opportunity to learn or review other languages. Libraries should provide users from specific language backgrounds with ESL learning materials.

2.2.5 Libraries should facilitate, encourage and sponsor the preservation of original materials that relate to the heritage of local ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups.

2.3 Bibliographic Access

2.3.1 Libraries should catalog all materials in the original language and script. They should provide subject access both in English and in the original language. Bibliographic information must be transliterated for staff use.

2.4 Physical Access

2.4.1 Multilingual collections housed separately should be visible and accessible to the community.

2.4.2 Directional signage should be highly visible and in the languages of the major linguistic groups that use the library's multilingual collection.

2.4.3 Library registration forms, overdue notices and other forms used by the library should be available in targeted languages.

2.5 Collection Maintenance

2.5.1 Collections should be maintained so that they contain current and relevant materials as well as classic literature.

2.5.2 Out-of-date and worn-out materials should be evaluated, then discarded or offered to community organizations' archives or special collections, or other appropriate groups.

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