Transparent Language Blog

Why Every Language Learner Needs a Library Card Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in For Libraries

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, 61% of Americans have a library card, though only 48% have visited a library in the last 12 months. More surprisingly, in the digital age, is that only 30% have visited a library website in the last 12 months. This tells us that Americans, language learners in particular, are missing out.

Why every language learner needs a library card:

  1. Books: Most libraries offer international collections, ranging from the most famous foreign novels to translations of popular YA novels. Whether you’re interested in interested in Don Quixote or Los Juegos del Hambre, your public library is the first place to look. (Bonus: they may also have language-learning workbooks that you can photocopy and use for practice.)
  2. Other Lendable Materials: From DVDs to CDs to audiobooks, libraries have a lot more between the stacks than just books. Queens Borough Public Library, for example, is home to an International Resource Center that provides books, CDs, DVDs, and more in a dozen languages from Bengali to Italian.
  3. eResources: If you’d rather learn online, most libraries nowadays have online collections as well. And it’s not just foreign language eBooks, you can also access newspapers, magazines, and more.
  4. Online Courses: Speaking of online resources, many public libraries subscribe to an online language learning program, like Transparent Language Online. We work with hundreds of libraries across the U.S. to bring 100+ languages to their community. Best of all, you can access it at home or on the go as long as you have your library card!
  5. Discussion Groups and Classes: There are benefits to physically going to the library, too. Libraries often offer informal discussion groups or formal language classes, like our friends at Jacksonville Public Library, who received the 2015 Top Innovator Award in Customer Experiencefor their immersive language classes.

From the resources listed above, to free internet access, to a quiet, cozy place to study, the library is a language learner’s haven. If you’re not convinced, your local library has a lot more to offer beyond languages.

Visit your local library and sign up for a library card to see what’s available to you. (And find a library near you that offers free access to Transparent Language Online!)

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About the Author: Transparent Language

Transparent Language is a leading provider of best-practice language learning software for consumers, government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses. We want everyone to love learning language as much as we do, so we provide a large offering of free resources and social media communities to help you do just that!


  1. Jim curtice:

    Thanks for doing s great job and helping so many!

    Aloha from Kailua
    Old Uncle Jim

  2. Keith Arnold:

    Thank you!
    My first library was when I nine years of age.
    Keith Arnold

  3. oanh:

    thanks for your help in my learning

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