Library News

Chinese Language Collection

by Children's Librarian 1 | January 16, 2015 at 03:01 PM

The library's Chinese Collection was established in 2004 with a $20,000 federal LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant, administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.  Today the Chinese collection consists of over 2,000 fiction and non-fiction books in both simplified and traditional Chinese, a small collection of VCDs  (English-subtitled Chinese DVDs are shelved in the general DVD collection), several periodicals (shelved with Magazines), and the World Journal newspaper (shelved with Newspapers).  The Children's Department also has a selection of books for Children in Chinese and bilingual Chinese/English.

The Minuteman Library Network (the consortium to which our library belongs) has also made efforts to support services to speakers of other languages. Several years ago the Network implemented the ability to search the Minuteman Catalog with Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian input. This means books written in Chinese can be found by searching with the Chinese characters, as well as with the pinyin transliterations, and results will display in both pinyin and in the original Chinese scripts.   The library's public computers have been set up to allow users to select a different keyboard input method so that users can take advantage of searching the Catalog in this way. Users can also type in other scripts while using websites and email. (To change the keyboard input use the "Region & Language" icon located on the computer's desktop.)

Several other libraries in the Minuteman Network have substantial Chinese language collections and most of these materials (24,000+ book titles) are available for requesting and borrowing through the Minuteman Catalog.  The easiest way to find all of the Chinese language materials in the Minuteman Catalog is to follow these steps:

  • Go to the newer version of the Catalog at
  • Click on "Advanced Search"
  • Type a single asterisk (*) in the Keyword search box, select "Chinese" in the Language drop-down box, and click the "Search" button.

screenshot of advanced search screen

The facets to the left of the search results can be used to refine initial search results by Format, Location, and Language. 

Catalog search results screenshot

The Chinese Collection is the library's largest non-English book collection, but we also offer smaller collections of books in French, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Portuguese, Gujarati, Hindi, and Tamil.

Collections Foreign Language Minuteman Catalog