World Language Karaoke

The photograph depicts a woman in traditional Indian clothing of red, black, white, holding a microphone with arm outstretched as if belting out a song. She stands in two spotlights shining on her from above, and in front of a representation of the globe with the words "World Language Karaoke" surrounding the globe in yellow. All of this is against a backdrop of twinkling stars against in the darkness of outer space.

by Piyali C.

“Reading is not really my thing. I don’t come to the library.” My customer told me this as he waited for me to find a book that he needed for his school project. He was honest with me about his preferences. He was only at the library because his teacher made him come.

“Do you like music?” I asked him.

“Oh yes. I love music.” He replied enthusiastically.

“Did you know that we are having a class called World Language Karaoke ” I asked him.

“WHAT? You can do karaoke in a library?” He was incredulous.

The idea of library being a quiet place filled with books is a thing of the past. To quote Paula Poundstone, libraries have truly become, “raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy, and community.” And we love to celebrate our diverse community every chance we get. Our community speaks so many different languages. It makes us smile as we walk around our library and hear the plethora of languages being spoken around us. We thought, why not celebrate all these different languages and bring everyone together for an evening of music? After all, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow did say that “music is the universal language of humanity.”

Join us on Thursday, January 26 at 7 pm for World Language Karaoke at Miller Branch to sing songs in the language that you prefer, INCLUDING ENGLISH.

When you register, please tell us the song or songs that you are going to sing in the ‘Special Notes’ field, so we can create a playlist before the class and keep it ready for you to belt it out!

Register for the class here.

Piyali is an instructor and research specialist at HCLS Miller Branch, where she co-facilitates Global Reads and facilitates Light But Not Fluffy (starting in March 2023!) and keeps the hope alive that someday she will reach the bottom of her to-read list.

World Language Collection & Lunar New Year

The picture shows wooden tables and chairs, as if in a cafe, with a clock on the red brick interior wall surrounded by a variety of wooden rectangular clocks painted with the flag emblems of various countries.
Photo by Farzad Mohsenvanda at Unsplash.

by Mai-Leng O.

Welcome to Howard County Library System’s World Languages Collection! 

Howard County is a diverse and multi-ethnic community where the population comes from a myriad of countries across the globe. The vibrant, multiracial population makes our county an exciting place to be. With the growth of these demographics, HCLS began to enlarge its World Languages collection, consisting of print literature and DVDs, to support the reading and viewing needs of all residents. 

Presently, the print collection consists of many languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian, Spanish, and several Indian languages such as Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Urdu. The World Languages DVD collection consists of languages ranging from Albanian to Zulu. Many of the DVDs have English subtitles, so non-speakers of the language can appreciate and enjoy movies and documentaries from countries around the world. 

In addition to the physical World Languages DVD collection, we offer streaming video options through the Kanopy and Hoopla platforms. You just need a library card!

We invite you to visit our branches to borrow and enjoy our World Languages print and DVD collections, or visit us at hclibrary.org to access the streaming platforms. Happy reading and watching!

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with these upcoming events:

Lunar New Year: What Animal Are You?  
Mon, Jan 23
all day
HCLS Glenwood Branch
Family; all ages. Drop In. 
Celebrate Lunar New Year at the Glenwood Branch! Are you a lion? An ox? A rabbit? Find out what animal matches your birth year, then decorate a paper animal to join others in this self-directed community art project.
Visit our classes and events page here for more information.

Dim Sum of Crafts 
Mon, Jan 23
11 am – 12:30 pm & 2 – 3:30 pm 
HCLS Miller Branch
Ages 4 & up. Drop In. Allow 30 minutes.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with a variety of crafts. For more information, visit our classes and events page here for the first sessions and here for the second session.

Mon, Jan 23
2 – 3 pm 
HCLS Savage Branch
Ages 3 & up. Ticketed. Allow 30 minutes.

Visit our classes and events page here for more information.

Mai-Leng Ong is the Senior Materials Specialist at Howard County Library System. She holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.