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World Language Collection

The Madison Public Library has materials for adults, kids, and teens available to check out in Spanish and other world languages, as well as materials to help you learn another language.

Spanish and Other World Language Materials

All Madison Public Library locations, with the exception of the Monroe Street Library, have growing collections of fiction and nonfiction in Spanish for adults and children, including books originally in Spanish by Latin American and Spanish authors and translations of popular English works. These books range from bestsellers to classics, and include books for pleasure reading, learning new skills, and for help with practical matters, such as learning English or studying for tests like the GED or the U.S. Naturalization Test. Some locations also have audiobooks and magazines in Spanish. Downloadable eBooks and audiobooks in Spanish are available in Wisconsin’s Digital Library, and some magazines in Spanish are available to download on Flipster

The Central Library and Sequoya Library also collect a limited number of works in other languages, including Chinese, French, German, and Italian. If you can't find what you're looking for, we may be able to find items for you through Outerlibrary Loan, or you can also recommend a purchase.

Language Learning Resources

Instructional materials including dictionaries, grammar and vocabulary study materials, and audiobooks for learning languages including Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Japanese are available at most Madison Public Library locations; the Central Library’s collection is the largest and has materials for learning approximately 60 world languages. If you can't find what you're looking for, we may be able to find items for you through Outerlibrary Loan, or you can also recommend a purchase. The library also provides access to two language learning databases with your library card, Mango Languages and Transparent Language.

English as a Second Language and New Readers

All locations except the Monroe Street Library also have collections of materials for teaching and learning English as a Second Language, as well as materials for individuals looking to improve their English reading skills. 

Tips for Searching for World Language Materials in LINKcat

  • Use the subject heading "___________ Language Materials" to find all available materials in a particular language, or about learning that language.
  • Adding a second subject heading or keyword along with "___________ Language Materials" in the Advanced Search can help you narrow your results. For example, adding "Fiction" as a second subject heading along with "German Language Materials" will show you all German language fiction in the collection, or adding "Instruction" or "Study" as a keyword along with the subject heading "Korean Language Materials" will show you all the materials to help you learn to speak Korean.