Minnesota residents speak more than one hundred languages at home.

Libraries of all types are working to serve their community members, including people speaking all of these languages. Serving Emerging Bilingual community members can present some challenges to the traditional library services you are already providing, as well as bringing in new strategies and ideas for providing service to your community.

Who are Emerging Bilingual community members? They may, or may not, already be using your library. They speak languages other than English as their first language, and are learning English or speaking it fluently as a second language (or third, or fourth!). 

We want to know how it is going for you! We are interested in the things that are great - successes you have had, good resources you have found, community groups you have connected with. And we want to know where you see opportunities for improvement - resources, funding, training, time, and anything else that is an obstacle to your library providing outstanding service to everyone, regardless of language.

Why are we bothering you with this survey? We are from the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange (CMLE). We are one of the multitype library systems in Minnesota; and that means we are always looking for ways to help support all of our member libraries: public, school (K-12), academic, and special libraries of all types.

No one library, or one type of library, can solve every issue themselves. We want to bring together knowledge, skills, ideas, and information from libraries across Minnesota; then we can share with everyone successes and strategies for improvement of service. This will hopefully provide an overview of where we are right now in the state. We will share our grouped results, and libraries and library organizations can make decisions about service, materials, and training based on the information.

Please distribute this widely - send it to anyone you know in a Minnesota library. We want to hear from people in all kinds of libraries, doing all kinds of jobs. Everyone will have a different perspective to share; and everyone will see some things that may be unique.

This survey is anonymous - we do not ask who you are individually; we just want to see the collection of ideas at the end.

We do not want to make anyone feel like you are not already doing enough, or that you are not providing the service we think you should have for your community. This is an area where many libraries are struggling to provide new services and new resources. We want to figure out where struggles are happening, and help to make service easier for you and better for your community.


We think that by asking everyone, and pooling ideas across all these libraries in Minnesota (hundreds of us!), we can help to find some resources and ideas for you.

All good ideas we find will be shared across the state. While we cannot promise to solve all the issues we find, we will help to connect people with other training, resources, and ideas that may make your work easier and more effective.

Does all of that sound reasonable?

We really want you to fill out this survey. It should not take you more than ten or fifteen minutes. At the end, you will have an option to leave a name and email address (we will explain how you can still be anonymous!); two people who complete the entire survey and enter their information will be randomly selected to each win a $30 Amazon.com gift card.

You can play a role in helping some good statewide action to happen!

If you have any questions about this survey, or want to talk further about Emerging Bilingual library service, you can reach CMLE's Executive Director, Mary Jordan, at admin@cmle.org.


* 1. Are you ready to answer some questions, and share your ideas?