I presented a few research interests which I firmly believe hold great potential for exploration in last week’s post. Luckily, I was able to draw upon my interest in the issues surrounding youth collections development policies and practices in public library settings. I have, however, made modifications to this topic of inquiry by narrowing one aspect to encapsulate a type of youth collection; namely, that of multilingual materials. Incorporating the study of multilingual youth collections dawned upon me quite recently – to be exact, yesterday night, as I examined the multilingual section at the branch where I work. I was shocked to find a large disparity in the availability of multilingual materials categorized as youth-appropriate in comparison to the heaping amount of Junior and Adult fiction/non-fiction titles which dominated the section. I also was only able to locate French language YA fiction within my branch. Surely there must be someone interested in reading a YA book in other languages!
This may be an unfair sample since I have only examined the multilingual collection thus far through a limited scope (being what is offered by the sub-urban public library system I’m employed within). Yet, this discovery has me asking – what are the issues surrounding developing collections for youth with multilingual reading interests? Can the lack of YA multilingual materials be attributed to a lack of interest from multilingual/immigrant youth in using non-English language texts and/or audiovisual materials? Or is there a variety of underlying socio-cultural and political issues involved here? Oddly enough, these questions began to pop like kernels of corn in my mind as I began to draw, outline, and colour in the various sections of my daisy. Not only did process of drawing assist greatly in formalizing my thoughts, for it also allocated time for rumination on the spectrum of possibilities that lie within each petal as solitary or coupled areas of inquiry.
And so, without further ado, I present to you the eight petals on my bedraggled daisy:
- Multilingual Collections Development methods and practices
- Publication and production of YA multilingual texts
- Range of non-English language materials and their availability (in terms of language, format/medium)
- Demand for Young Adult Multilingual texts
- Information-seeking behaviours of non-native English speaking immigrant youth.
- Multilingual reading interests of native vs. non-native English speaking youth
- Attitudes and perspectives of librarians on multilingual collections
- Political implications of expanding or decreasing emphasis on multilingual collections
I attempt to analyze the relationships among these petals within the framework of major Canadian urban/sub-urban public libraries, and am truly interested in the findings this research will produce.
– Olivia Wisniewski