Although it’s now an inviting and organized space where patrons can peruse DLS’s collection of books and teaching materials from around the world, the room was originally a storage closet for language training materials. Lilia Kamoun, Language Training Assistant for Romance & Arabic Languages, originally recognized the need for a language library at DLS during a 2011 training program for managers. While Lilia initiated the project, coordinated staff involvement, and prepared both the project plan and supporting plans, she states that the project “was the result of teamwork”.
The task of transforming the dark, disorganized storage room into a proper library was given to Yassine Farhi, our Operations Assistant and familiar face to many, when he joined our team last October. He and Steven Fleming, our Operations Coordinator, spent the next six months selecting exactly the right library management software to catalog and track all of our language training materials, designing a space plan and an organizational system for the room itself, entering data, and overseeing the myriad of other details associated with creating a library from scratch. “For me, working on our language library brought to light much of what makes DLS such a special place”, says Yassine of the project. “The end result is beautiful and really illustrates the commitment everyone at DLS has to making language education accessible to everyone.”
Our Language Training department, managed by Janet Chou, also had a major hand in the design and organization of the DLS Language Library. Each Language Training Supervisor & Assistant took time to ensure that the library was well-stocked with only the best textbooks and teaching materials available today, some of which were designed by the DLS Curriculum Development department or donated by generous DLS instructors. As a result, DLS is proud to say that our language library contains materials that are as diverse and well-travelled as the individuals who use them!
Today, anyone who walks into the DLS Language Library will find themselves surrounded by textbooks, reference materials, cultural guides, and electronic media in over 80 different languages, all beautifully organized and resting on shelves against warm, peach-colored walls. Gone are the days of signing out materials by hand in a 3-ring binder; simply take your selections to the front desk, give your name, and let the computer do the rest of the work! Providing easy access to such a wide variety of linguistic and cultural materials is certainly a reflection of our greater mission, both in our library and as a company, to facilitate communication in and encourage an understanding of the world around us.