Languages at the Library

Language literacy at Chillicothe Public Library goes beyond English. Learning a new language introduces
countless new ways of seeing the world and interacting with other people—plus, it’s good for your
brain!—and the library loves to be a part of making those connections through our materials collection
and programming.

Browsing the library shelves, you may have come across formal language-learning books, as well as
picture books in a variety of world languages, including Spanish, Chinese, French, and Cherokee.
Reading children’s books is a great way to build vocabulary naturally in the context of a story and with
the help of illustrations. If you don’t know where to look to find these books, just ask! And if we don’t
have what you’re looking for, chances are we can borrow it from another library in our region.

In addition to printed resources, the library works with local people fluent in languages other than
English to provide programs that can introduce the public to new languages or give them opportunities
to practice in a low-stress environment. Earlier this year, we hosted a series of seven workshops on the
basics of Mandarin Chinese, taught by community member MengMeng. In August, instructor Stephanie
Lipe led a four-part class on American Sign Language. More language-learning programs are in the works
for the future, including a language café, where people can gather and practice their conversation skills
in a friendly, informal setting.

In addition to programs where you can actively learn a language, the library occasionally hosts movies in
world languages with English subtitles. Movies can be great for absorbing the sound and sense of a
language and picking up on some of the cultural nuances that you may not get simply from reading
words on a page. Sound like fun? You can hear some Spanish and Rarámuri in the documentary Swift
Feet on October 9 at noon, and catch the popular animated film Coco in Spanish on October 24 at 5