Library Services and Resources

Category: Education

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The United States is rapidly becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, with Latinos being the fastest growing ethnic group, and expected to account for 24.4% of the total U.S. population in 2050 (up from 12.6% in 2000). In 2007, Mecklenburg County had an estimated 867,067 residents, of which about 10% (88,548) were Hispanic, indicating a 97% increase from the Hispanic population in 2000 (44,875). Latino immigrants and their children continue to preserve their culture, traditions and main Spanish language, which is the second most used language in the United States. In view of all these changes, it is important for public libraries to understand and develop suitable services and collections for the new bi and multi cultural generations. By providing resources in Spanish, the Library informs the Latino community of available library services, winning the trust of the community, and overcoming the main barrier to service, the language barrier, which is a challenge for most monolingual library staff.

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The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library recognizes the importance of providing resources aimed at serving specific populations, and offers free services to the Spanish-speaking community and those institutions and people interested in working with the Latino population of Mecklenburg County. The programs provided by the Spanish Outreach Services department reach Hispanic individuals in all 24 library branches, hospitals, Senior centers, churches, preschools, jails, school systems and community organizations, among many other institutions. The library is dedicated to its mission of expanding minds, empowering individuals and enriching our community. Learn more about the Resources for Spanish speakers provided by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

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MAIN MENU Services for Children Services for Seniors and Inmates Services for Adults Special Programs Books and other Resources SITE MAP QUIT START OVER

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To address school readiness of Hispanic children, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has implemented Connections that Count (Conexiones que Cuentan), a storytime for children up to 5 years old. Children are exposed to theatrical activities, music, cultural experiences, and bilingual storytelling in order to prepare them for school. Connections that Count also provides literacy training and resources for families, encouraging the formation of “neighborhood teachers” for the children of their communities. The programs are conducted in Spanish, but all are welcome to attend. Connections that Count is free of charge. NEXT SITE MAP SUB MENU MAIN MENU QUIT CONNECTIONS THAT COUNT

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Through Connections that Count, children: Expand their vocabulary Build phonemic awareness Learn correlation between letters and sounds Learn the colors, numbers and alphabet Socialize with other children Learn to listen and to follow directions Strengthen fine and gross motor skills Stimulate their imagination and creativity Children also learn important concepts about books and reading: Recognize the front and back of the book, and understand the significance of the title and author The direction of writing, from left to right The appearance of words and the space between them Differences between punctuation CONNECTIONS THAT COUNT

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Connections that Count employs both staff and volunteers to conduct the hour-long, weekly programs at the Independence Regional, Mint Hill, North County Regional, Scaleybark, Steele Creek, Sugar Creek, and University Regional libraries, as well as in other community locations. Volunteers complete a month-long training program that includes being paired with a mentor who oversees their training, observing other storytellers, gradually conducting the programs themselves, and attending a series of workshops with topics ranging from reading a book to music and movement. Volunteers also have access to Storytelling Kits, which include books, manipulatives, music, and craft supplies, all arranged by theme. Some of the kits available are: Animals Colors Numbers Shapes Charlotte Mecklenburg Library values the time and energy of staff and volunteers, who often become a teacher to each child and their parents, and encourage their lifelong love for reading. SITE MAP BACK QUIT SUB MENU MAIN MENU CONNECTIONS THAT COUNT

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Latino elementary school students have distinct disadvantages when it comes to doing their homework every night. Not only are they challenged with learning new materials, but they are also often faced with a language barrier. Some students do not understand their homework due to not being able to ask for assistance from their parents, who like their children, are learning English as a new language. Amigos Tutoring provides tutoring aid for Latino elementary school ESL (English as a Second Language) children. The program trains high school students to tutor elementary school children once or twice a week for one or two hours in a library setting. They help children in reading, writing, and homework in general. Parents and children also have an opportunity to discover library services and resources available to them, and participate in other library activities. SITE MAP NEXT QUIT SUB MENU MAIN MENU AMIGOS TUTORING

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Amigos Tutoring also offers high school students the opportunity to learn about a different culture, practice and/or learn Spanish, and receive community service hours for their hard work. In the year 2003-2004, 46 tutors from East Mecklenburg High School and 8 from North Mecklenburg High School dedicated their time to helping approximately 75 different students a week at the Independence Regional and North County Regional Libraries. In the year 2008-2009, 74 tutors from different public and private High Schools in Charlotte dedicated their time to helping approximately 85 different students a week at the Independence Regional, Mountain Island, North County Regional, South County Regional and University City Regional libraries. SITE MAP BACK QUIT SUB MENU MAIN MENU AMIGOS TUTORING

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The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers free computer classes in Spanish to adults ages 18 and up. Each class is two hours long and is offered at the Cornelius, North County, Scaleybark, Sugar Creek and University City Regional library, as well as in churches and other community locations. Topics include: Windows XP, Vista or 7 Basics, Introduction to Computers, Microsoft Word, Internet and Email. Windows Basics Learn how to navigate in the Windows environment, work with folders, files, diskettes, CD’s and Flash Drives, and use keyboard shortcuts.   Introduction to Computers Get a basic overview of computer terms and concepts, as well as hands-on practice using a computer, keyboard and mouse in this class for adults with little previous computer experience. SITE MAP NEXT QUIT SUB MENU MAIN MENU COMPUTER CLASSES

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Microsoft Word Create, edit and save a document in Microsoft Word. Editing functions such as changing text color and size will be demonstrated. This series is designed for adults with some computer experience, but little or no previous word processing experience. Introduction to the Internet This workshop is for Web “newbies.” Browsers and search engines will be defined and discussed, and Web addresses will be explained. Participants should be familiar with using a mouse and with working in Windows. Email Basics This course is an introduction to email for those who do not already have an email account. You will learn how to create an email account using Gmail (Google's free email service). You will also learn how to send emails, send files, and manage your account. COMPUTER CLASSES

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Since the classes began in the year 2000, the Library has helped many people achieve their goals by increasing their computer skills, which assist individuals in the following areas: Job Searching Helping their children with homework Email and chat communication with family members in other countries Gaining knowledge that is helpful when purchasing a computer Each month, the library serves approximately 50 students through its computer classes in Spanish. These students continue to use their library after their class is over to check out materials that promote their lifelong learning. SITE MAP BACK QUIT SUB MENU MAIN MENU COMPUTER CLASSES

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Most Latinos in Mecklenburg County have less than a high school diploma and are employed in low or average-wage jobs. Among persons +25 years, 48.7 percent have less than a high school education. Median Latino household income, as reported by the 2000 Census, was $39,265, or 77.6 percent of the countywide median income. The greatest barrier to improving these conditions is language. Learning a second language is very difficult, and requires time and opportunity, which is often a challenge for adult learners. The absence of language skills creates a wide range of service provision and settlement adjustment problems. These include tension between service providers and clients; a lack of accessibility to initial and continued assistance; and incomplete and ineffective service provision. NEXT SITE MAP SUB MENU MAIN MENU QUIT ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE CLASSES

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Recognizing the need for English as a Second Language (ESL) classes throughout Mecklenburg County, the Library has partnered with Central Piedmont Community College’s (CPCC) English as a Second Language (ESL) Division to offer Crossroads Café Classroom. Crossroads Café Classroom combines Intelecom's Crossroads Café series with wraparounds produced by CPCC TV's Video Production Unit to create a 26 episode English language series that is viewed by students at various library locations, including the Cornelius, Sugar Creek, and Morrison libraries, as well as in other community organizations. The classes are offered in the evenings or on Saturdays, providing working students with flexibility and the opportunity to participate in the class. ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE CLASSES

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The series is used in combination with a website, workbooks, and face-to-face meetings so that students can have the greatest possible chance for success. Each episode revolves around a city café where six characters come together and discuss life in their new country. Each episode features "Word Play," an animated segment demonstrating a specific language function, and Culture Clips, a documentary-style look at the issues dramatized in each episode. This helps students build English language skills and deepen their understanding of U.S. culture. Students receive materials to help them study at their own pace; they check out materials from their library. A teacher from CPCC meets with the students once a week to answer questions. ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE CLASSES

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For students with computer skills who are comfortable in an online environment, the Library offers Mango Languages, an easy to use and effective language learning tool focusing on everyday conversation. The program provides step-by-step lesson plans for nine different languages, including English for Spanish Speakers. The language is taught using real life situations and believable conversations which means that the student will walk away from the lesson with some extra knowledge about it. Students will find it much easier to pick up and learn the language by listening to and repeating what has just been said. This makes it possible to learn the words and phrases and also to apply them in conversations. Students will learn much more than just the basics; they also learn how to communicate in that language. Like most language software, Mango shows and plays conversations between two people in a variety of social relationships. The hundred or so lessons dissect and recombine conversations line by line and word by word until students become familiar with the phrases by dint of repetition if not actual absorption. Each ensuing level builds on skills learned in the last. Minimum Requirements: Internet Explorer 6 or higher, Firefox, Safari or Opera Adobe Flash Player 9 Javascript enabled ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE CLASSES

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From outside a library you will need a valid library card and a PIN to access Mango Languages. From the Library’s webpage at, Click on the Start Using Mango Languages button. This will take you to the Mango start page. You will need to use this link to access Mango Languages. You have the option of setting up an account or using Mango without an account. When you set up an account, Mango will remember your language courses and keep track of your progress as you finish each lesson. To get started without registering for an account just click on Start Learning Now under Skip Login on the Mango start page. If you have any problems accessing the software, or have any other questions, you may call or come to your nearest library branch, and a staff member will be happy to assist you. SITE MAP BACK QUIT SUB MENU MAIN MENU ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE CLASSES

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To promote education, literacy and lifelong learning, the Library provides Foreign Collections, including a Spanish Collection, which includes books, encyclopedias, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and videos. These materials are available at all library branches, with larger collections available in such branches as Independence Regional, North County Regional, Plaza Midwood, Scaleybark, Sugar Creek, Steele Creek, West Boulevard, and University City Regional. Additional resources include English as a second language tools, immigration and citizenship information, children’s materials, and tapes and videos about other countries. These materials are available in Spanish or Bilingual form, and can be checked out free of charge to users with a library card. Additionally, users are welcome to enjoy these materials while in the library. Two of the most popular resources available for check out are Inglés sin Barreras and Computación Sin Barreras. Learn more about each self-study course in the next page. SITE MAP NEXT QUIT MAIN MENU BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES

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INGLÉS SIN BARRERAS Inglés sin Barreras is the most successful English course in America. Since its creation in 1988, thousands of Spanish-speaking people have learned with this product and have shown exceptional abilities to use both written and spoken English. Inglés sin Barreras focuses on the needs of the Hispanic population in the U.S. The spelling and pronunciation are those used in American English.With Inglés sin Barreras, students learn in their own home and are able to speak without ever going to a classroom. Users can listen to the cassettes or CDs while they are relaxing, doing housework or while driving. There is nothing easier, more handy or practical. The Library has the complete, 12-volume set, including workbooks, videos, CDs and a dictionary that accompany the series. COMPUTACIÓN SIN BARRERAS Computación sin Barreras is a seven-volume, self-study course designed for Spanish-speakers with little to no knowledge of the world of computing and the Internet. Key topics in volumes 1 - 3, Introduction to Your Computer, Windows XP and The Internet, include selecting the right computer, navigating in Windows, and searching the Internet. Volumes 4 - 7 feature tutorials on the most widely used Microsoft® Office programs, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. The entire course takes an easy-to-use, step-by-step approach to learning. The course has voice-overs and written instructions in Spanish, with English screenshots that match those on nearly all PCs. MAIN MENU BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES

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In addition to these resources, the Library offers books, videos and CDs to complement the self-study series, as well as children books, and fiction and non-fiction materials for the entire family. The latest movies and music are available for the education and entertainment of Spanish speakers. If an item is unavailable at a specific branch, it may be placed on hold following these simple instructions: Access the online catalog at Click on Search Catalog Locate the item you want to request Click on the Request Item button Enter the bar code number from your library card and click on the Login button Select the Library Location you wish to pick your item up at. Click on the Request button Library staff is available in person or over the phone to assist in locating and checking out materials. For more information about all resources, continue to the next page. MAIN MENU BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES

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BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES EXTERNAL LINKS Click on any of the images below to view each webpage Connections that Count Library Tour Amigos Tutoring Online Resources Library Catalog in Spanish Library Programs and Events Library Locations SITE MAP BACK QUIT MAIN MENU

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Resources for Spanish Speakers Intro Page 1 Intro Page 2 Main Menu Services for Children Sub Menu Connections that Count Page 2 Page 3 Amigos Tutoring Page 2 Page 2 Page 3 External Links Books and other Resources Services for Adults Sub Menu Book Clubs (inactive) Computer Classes (3 pages) Educational Workshops (inactive) ESL Classes (5 pages) Services for Seniors and Inmates (inactive) Special Programs (inactive) START OVER MAIN MENU SITE MAP

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