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Best Practices

Multicultural Connections

[Toronto Public Library, Canada]

A Multicultural Services Committee provides cross-divisional coordination at TPL, but all collections development, planning and citywide services are directed through the Service Planning and Support Division. Serving the most diverse city in North America, TPL provides significant services through electronic resources.
NewsConnect provides a gateway to many international newspapers, some of which are in original ethnic languages. Multicultural Connections, a Web-based resource, promotes the library’s multilingual collections, services and programs, and provides links to external resources, including international directories and search engines. The Termium database translates words, phrases and sentences. Collections cover 100 languages, of which 40 are actively developed. Demographics, settlement patterns, availability of materials, demand, use and cost of materials help determine which languages TPL will include in the world languages collection and how to allocate money among them. A recently implemented resource/deposit model provides a means for circulating additional language materials to branches. Deposit collections can include up to 700 items and are rotated on a 6-month basis.

Source: Cultural Diversity. How Public Libraries Can Serve the Diversity in the Community (Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2004)

Toronto Public Library
789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4W 2G8, Canada

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