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ERIC Number: EJ869039
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1094-9046
The Purpose of the Cataloging for Matters of Equitable Access: Spanish-Language Cataloging and "Everyday" Approaches of Non-Native English Speakers
Adamich, Tom
Knowledge Quest, v37 n5 p42-47 May-Jun 2009
While teacher-librarians embrace the concept of equitable access when they select "multicultural" materials to include in their collections, plan special programs, and teach lessons on a variety of topics, what do they do to make equitable access a part of their online catalogs? Have they achieved (or nearly achieved) a consistent level of equitable access that can be measured to assess their program's effectiveness and to support their school's required performance reporting, and local, state, and Federal funding requests? Some school libraries have addressed the issue of promoting access to library materials of all types by incorporating Spanish-language cataloging into their library catalogs. This approach not only provides equitable access to students, but also gives both school library staff and school administrators the ability to advocate for additional support in supporting other non-native English speakers. At this point, one may ask the question, "Why focus on Latinos and their language skills? Don't other non-native English speakers have English-language proficiency barriers, emanating from the home, to overcome? Aren't their needs for equitable access equally important?" Yes, other non-native English speakers have home-based language barriers. However, the impact of English language proficiency deficits in the Latino home are more dramatic. This may be due in part to the fact that, statistically speaking, Latino students themselves may be the only ones with any English language proficiency in the home. Furthermore, the more generations living in one household, the greater the likelihood that English-language proficiency is low. Since the data for the Latino population indicates that English is not a primary language for many (and even if English is a primary language, it is often not understood at a high level of proficiency), "multiple language access" (in Spanish as well as other dominant non-native languages) in the school library online catalog should be a priority. However, the recognition of this need and its dramatic impact on student achievement has been slow to evolve. Since good cataloging promotes access to materials, which assists in satisfying both information and pleasure reading/viewing needs, there is strong evidence that if an online catalog is to serve all users, it should include language elements for both English-speaking and "dominant" non-English-speaking populations (in the case of this article, Latinos and Spanish language). (Contains 2 figures.)
American Association of School Librarians. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 1-800-545-2433; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A