In the News

ESL Students Tour Library, Find Resources for Language Learning

Madison Public Library Community Engagement Librarian Mary Fahndrich welcomed an intermediate ESL (English as a Second Language) class from Madison College to Central Library for a tour last week, introducing them to library resources to aid them in learning English.

These tours help familiarize ESL students with the library’s resources that will help them in their endeavor to learn English, including collections, free Wi-Fi and internet access, study rooms and more.

“I loved their curiosity and excitement as they learned about all the wonderful, free resources available to them at the library,” Fahndrich said.

Madison Public Library Foundation has funded the World Language Materials collection, and a foundation Pop! Challenge grant has also funded other non-English language material, both important resources for ESL students. During the tours, Fahndrich gives special attention to these collections as well as the Adult ESL, New Readers and Foreign Feature Films collections. She also emphasizes the Mango Languages database, which gives ESL students access to 21 different language pairings for learning English.

Students were given a chance to sign up for a library card to utilize these resources, and everyone found an item to check out and bring home to practice their English skills.

Fahndrich said she is inspired by students and their appetite for learning.

“I love meeting people from all over the world and hearing their stories. On a previous ESL tour one young man from Iraq told me this was his first time ever in a public library,” she said. “I’m always inspired by the students’ kindness, excitement and openness to learning.”

The library conducts tours like these several times each semester for students enrolled in Madison College’s five levels of ESL courses.

Madison College ESL students pose for a picture after a tour of Central Library after discovering the library's resources for language learning.

Library Website