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Language and Literature in the Library

by Fiona Collins and Ahlya Fountain

JS Parents may have noticed that their children have started bringing home nearly double the number of books they usually do. Since October students in Junior school have been visiting the library with their homeroom and their language classes. Now they are borrowing books in English, Korean, and Chinese, books that challenge them to learn new vocabulary and volumes that are old favorites or more easy reading. MS and SS parents may have noticed that the non-fiction Korean and Chinese books are shelved alongside English non-fiction works. The library has a new set of shelves that are eagerly waiting to house the 500+ new Chinese and Korean books on order. Who could miss the buzz and excitement of Hangul Day Celebrations in October or the current Chinese Language and Literature Celebrations happening ahead of the Lunar New Year break?  

The importance of language is not found just in literacy but in culture and understanding. The Library Team feels strongly that our community should be offered the opportunity to borrow widely across different literary genres and from a collection that provides a range of options in the different languages spoken within our community. To that end, while we celebrate books everyday we want to emphasize Korean and Chinese to instill a sense of pride in the language and literature in our students. To show the diversity of thought available to us all. To highlight that many in our community are bi-and perhaps tri-lingual and that being multilingual can only benefit our students as they go out in the world. Our library is not just for students but parents and teachers and we want to be able to offer everyone something that appeals to them in language that is accessible. We encourage everyone to participate no matter their language ability in sharing stories with us and with each other. 

If you are interested in knowing more about the importance of reading in different languages, take a look at this article.

Elle, Per Jarl, and Mari Lund Eide (translation). “Reading in Different Languages Is Good for the Brain.” Nord University, 2019,