2015-12-09: Information Station Column
Sioux Center Public Library’s mission is “to fuel Sioux Center’s passion for reading, personal growth, and learning.” The library is striving to support Sioux Center’s ethnically and linguistically diverse learners too. Here’s a few ways we’re doing that.
Spanish computer classes for adults are offered periodically at the library. One participant in the classes said, “I decided to take the computer class because I need to learn about computers to be able to better help my children since these days everything is on the computer.” It is exciting to see students use their skills outside of class whether it’s helping their children with homework, finding a book at their child’s AR level, sending emails to teachers and family members, or even taking online college classes as one of our students went on to do.
Stories and Songs is a weekly evening story hour. The whole family is invited to sing, dance, play, and read together. Each week some activities incorporate Spanish and English language learning—so it’s a great opportunity for parents and children alike to develop their vocabularies. This is also an opportunity for you and your children to come and learn some Spanish. Because reading at home is traditionally not as common in the Hispanic community, this is an important way the library strives to welcome and connect Hispanic children to books and literacy rich environments.
Learning a language is hard, but the library supports language learners by loaning books, cds, and DVDs to facilitate self-study. Students are also referred to local community organizations that provide English classes—many of which are hosted in the library’s meeting rooms. In addition, all library patrons have access to Mango Languages to study English (or any of the 71 languages offered including Spanish, Arabic, Biblical Hebrew, and Korean) on any computer, tablet, or smartphone.
In the words of one Hispanic library user, “The Sioux Center Library pays a lot of attention to our kids, youth, and adults. You help us get involved in our community’s activities and in school activities. Thanks for your dedication to the Hispanic community.”