According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 30.5 percent of Somerset County residents speak a language other than English at home. As a result, the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) offers translation devices at all 10 Library branches to ensure that all customers are able to communicate with Library staff.
“We are excited by how well these inexpensive devices enable us to bridge the language divide,” said Brian Auger, county Library administrator.
The Google minis can translate to and from 44 different languages including Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. The U.S. Census survey shows that approximately 11 percent of residents in the County speak Spanish at home, while 9.5 percent speak a European based language, and 8.3 percent speak an Asian or Pacific Island based language.
“We deployed these devices to serve as on-demand language translators in our communities,” said Lauren Ryan, manager of branch services, strategic initiatives and special projects. “While we aim to have bilingual staff present in our branches, these devices can supplement communication when a bilingual staff member is not present. This initiative is in alignment with our Strategic Priority of addressing the needs of shifting demographics and our Core Service of providing technology access and expertise that meet the needs of the community.”
In addition to these devices, the Library System offers hundreds of titles in Spanish; foreign language learning resources including Mango Languages and Rosetta Stone; and English Conversation classes in partnership with Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County.
For more information contact Ryan: firstname.lastname@example.org.