For recently published Chinese materials, more records contain a statement in a note field (546) that says “Text in simplified Chinese script.”  This appears as a “language note” in the full record in Bibliocommons. The field is searchable, but at the moment only about 70 items come up.  Of course there are far more books with simplified text than that in our collection, but it is something that may be increasingly helpful in the future for customers doing searches.

Also, I am concentrating on purchasing more materials in simplified text going forward. Before I was getting significant quantities of both, but I’m making this change in emphasis as the preponderance of feedback I have been getting so far from different staff, librarians from regional libraries, and customers indicates a preference for simplified for most new materials, though I have my feelers out for any additional feedback you hear.  Place of publication may also help steer readers to the preferred script – simplified script was introduced on the mainland beginning in the 1950’s and so publication in Beijing or other mainland city is much more likely to be simplified, whereas Taiwan or Hong Kong publications are more likely in traditional characters.

For information about these differences and their origins see “Language and Language Policy.” Encyclopedia of Modern China, edited by David Pong, vol. 2, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2009, pp. 431-433. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 4 Apr. 2018.


Chi xiang hei ye de nu ren (Simplified Chinese)  Ying yang shi de yang sheng chu fang : si ji jia chang cai (Simplified Chinese)Ren min de ming yi (Simplified Chinese)Bai shuo


Rapid Dutch. Vol. 1 & 2Rapid Mandarin. Vols. 1-2Rapid Greek. Vols. 1-2

Living Language is really migrating to all online courses, so I am phasing out physical discs of them.  I’m pulling unviable old editions from the collection as well, especially if there’s only one copy left.

A lot of Pimsleur programs are still sold by Recorded Books, but because of their price I am being judicious about new orders and replacements.  I would appreciate SINC’s or input  if you notice (or especially if through deletion you are having to create) any gaps in any language learning materials. The response may be a substitution rather than literal replacement.

I’ve also purchased a bit of Pimsleur on OverDrive but there again I’m going slow. It might be worth mentioning to anyone for whom Mango isn’t right or isn’t enough and who really wants something portable.

I also want to point out the newish Berlitz’ Earworms “musical brain trainer” series, which I’m hoping will serve largely as a kind of replacement for the basic “in your car” old series.  They are fun, but I’m  not sure they’re for everyone.  These work by punching out lyrical repetitions of common phrases against jazzy background music, with no detailed grammar explanation. They seem best for business and leisure travelers and hearing learners who don’t care how anything’s spelled. Here’s a positive review from Mezzofanti Guild.

We have bumped up the budget for International materials this year, too, in part because the new Mariner Branch serves a linguistically diverse community.  I am trying to work steadily on those, keeping something in the pipeline at all times. If you regularly work with a community using a collected language and sense stagnation in new items, I would not mind a nudge.


Rapid Italian  Rapid French. Vols. 1-3   Rapid German. Vols. 1-2

INTL Circulation Trends

December 22, 2014

Below is a brief table showing international collection circulation for all of 2013 and 2014 year to December 18th, according to a Polaris Simply Reports report.  We have been trying to target funds to more copies of the most popular items and getting assistance wherever we can from Sno-Isle staff who speak the relevant languages and/or have contacts to local communities. This assistance has been a tremendous help and I think we see results in Russian and Spanish especially.  Korean perhaps bears some watching. The others seem to be holding up anyway. We also collect Vietnamese but its circulation is far smaller.

Remember we no longer collect Tagalog, and the collection we had is now out of the catalog, except for literally 2 items in problematic statuses.


INTL TOTL YTD CIRC 2014 61208 INTL TOTL TYD CIRC 2013 Total 60040
CHIN 8509 CHIN 8688
JAPA 15320 JAPA 15404
KORE 12582 KORE 13854
RUSS 9369 RUSS 8410
SPAN 15428 SPAN 13684

We have decided to stop receiving language sets from Multicultural Books after August 1, 2013.  Some of the issues we were having with these sets include speed of filling orders and lack of control of the kinds of items we were getting.

This year we have been ordering most Spanish materials from Brodart (which will include Guadalajara Fair recommendations) and will now be ordering most Asian materials from Tsai Fong and Russian materials from direct vendors such as  We have had good experiences so far with Brodart and Tsai Fong.  I am intentionally concentrating selection on titles with proven popularity (popular subjects such as cookbooks, bestselling fiction, picture books, etc.) rather than trying to maintain a broad sort of “balance.”  My hope is that by going this route we can increase circulation and customer satisfaction for these collections and reduce the back-and-forth movement of dead international items between branches.

One exciting development: this year Shannon Dye, Children’ Librarian at Monroe, has secured outside funding to attend the Guadalajara International Book Fair in late November/early December.  While she is there, Shannon has offered to do some substantial selection of new Spanish materials for Sno-Isle to be received early in 2014. Here is a link to the fair’s website if interested.  The fair is an excellent source of new, relevant, and popular materials focused more on Mexico and Central America rather than Spain and South America.  They should be of interest to our local community.  I am grateful to Shannon and all of you who offer assistance in identifying valuable new children’s titles for our Spanish Collection.  Also I want to mention how helpful Ala Beissel from Mukilteo has been in identifying materials for our Russian Collection.  Sno-Isle is lucky to have staff with diverse language and cultural skills.

Note: though we do float International collections these days, Circulation Services still distributes brand new items based on the grid we used in pre-floating times.  The branches that receive these items initially are logical destinations based on demonstrated community interest.

Chinese                Japanese             Russian           Spanish

What’s the difference between international and foreign DVD’s?  The distinction we make is straightforward: if the DVD has either an English soundtrack or subtitles, it is DVD Foreign and is shelved accordingly. If the DVD has no English options, it’s in the International collection for the corresponding language and is shelved with other international materials.

International DVD’s should now have an INTL call number and should not have a Foreign genre label. We are setting up a special fund account with Midwest Tapes, our main media vendor, to help assure these items are properly processed when we purchase them.  However, occasionally you may encounter a DVD that has a Foreign label and/or no INTL call number, but a customer has told you there was no English option and the package doesn’t indicate any English option.   It’s likely that’s an error, and you could send it in to Cataloging Review with a blue slip or just let me know.  Again, we’re taking steps that we hope will minimize this confusion.

By the way, thanks to Betsy Lewis for procuring a large donation of  Mexican DVD’s from Fred Meyer, which will go in the INTL collection.  These include many old classic, highly popular titles featuring the likes of Cantinflas, Pedro Infante, and la India Maria. 

Product Details           Product Details 


Posted by Darren

Selectors changing places

January 5, 2012

It’s a new year and we in Collection Development are making a few changes.

Darren Nelson will now be selecting International materials.  He previously selected Spanish at other libraries.

Becky Buckingham is taking over selection of Best Bets.

Posted by Becky and Darren

I received a request to have the Countdown to Kindergarten titles available in Spanish.  This turned out to be quixotic search. 

 I did not want to purchase bilingual books since we usually catalog bilingual items in the general  collection not the  INTL-SPA collection. I did replace worn copies of bilingual books that we already had cataloged INTL-SPA.

We  are no longer cataloging board books  so there went several titles.  The Live Oak titles that are E-CD are no longer available.  Many of the titles we own are Live Oak version. My preference was hardbound or reinforced but most were only in paperback.  Many titles seem to be in-print but there was no stock at Baker and Taylor or Ingram.

So here is what I was able to buy:

I was able to add copies to some editions we currently own. 

I bought newer editions of titles we already own.

 I bought ten titles we did not own. 

I bought limited number of copies since the collection is small. 

The order went into Acquisitions today so it will be some time before you see the books at your branch.  Look for them to use in Spanish language storytimes.

Posted by Becky