Learning languages from the comfort of your own home---it pays to be a member!

As the President of the Public Libraries section, I wanted to share some exciting information with professionals and lovers of public libraries alike.  The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library has just introduced a new on-line Language Learning program for its members called Mango Languages.  Launched on the library’s website the second week of January, it was received with enthusiasm from many patrons who wanted to learn a language with the convenience of being at home and not having to worry about due dates.

Previously, members would take out language kits that would go out for four weeks, but then were never able to renew because of the high demand.  People would be put on waiting lists for the most popular kits, but the library realized that a better service was needed for all those patrons who wanted a refresher on languages without the hassle of bringing back kits on time or paying for a language course at school.

The solution has been to offer Mango Languages, where members can choose from a selection of 29 languages at basic or more comprehensive levels.  Patrons create an account through Mango and can keep track of how many or which languages they are learning, while also being able to continue a session where they left off.  The key to success is having it available 24 hours a day / seven days a week, and the pacing can be at the person’s own timing and around their busy schedules.

Going to Portugal for vacation and want to brush up on some Portuguese phrases?  Log on to Mango and learn the essential words for getting around town.  Want to learn in-depth grammar skills in Russian?  You can choose the “Complete 2.0” to help you along your way.  Lessons range from a few minutes to hours, and include features such as listening to how a word is pronounced and then playing back the recording of your own pronunciation. There is even a “translation tool” tab that you can use for whatever small paragraphs or words you would like to double check when writing.

As public libraries need to adjust to new technologies and serve member’s needs, offering this service is one step in the right direction; and just another wonderful reason to encourage membership at your library.  I urge other public libraries to try out this program---your patrons will love you for it!
Melissa Tomecz