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Community Languages

Community language collections

We have books for children and adults, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, and CDs in 13 different community languages.

  • عَرَبيْ (Arabic) - Coburg, Fawkner and Glenroy
  • 中文 (Chinese) - Brunswick, Coburg, and Glenroy
  • Hrvatski (Croatian) - Coburg
  • Français (French) - Coburg and Brunswick
  • ελληνικά (Greek) - Brunswick, Coburg, and Glenroy
  • हिंदी (Hindi) - Glenroy
  • Italiano (Italian) - All Merri-bek libraries
  • नेपाली (Nepali) - Glenroy
  • Polski (Polish) - Glenroy
  • සිංහල (Sinhala) - Glenroy
  • Español (Spanish) - Coburg and Brunswick
  • Türkçe (Turkish) - Coburg and Glenroy
  • اردو (Urdu) - Fawkner and Glenroy

There are also books, dictionaries, kits, and online resources for learning English and other languages.

Bilingual books and DVDs

Merri-bek Libraries have a selection of children’s picture books, picture dictionaries, ESL learning materials, and world movie DVDs in additional community languages alongside English text or subtitles. You can search to see what is available on our Merri-bek Libraries catalogue.

Suggestions and requests

We welcome suggestions for new items in community languages that are suitable for the library collection. You can make a suggestion for a new item in a community language using the form on our How to borrow page.

Before you suggest an item, please check to see if we already have the item in the library catalogue.

Community language collections at other Victorian libraries

You can find information about community language items for all Victorian libraries on the Public Libraries Victoria website. If items in a community language are not held by Merri-bek Libraries you can request up to 10 items from another Victorian library for free.

Please email ill@merri-bek.vic.gov.au or call 9389 8600 if you would like to request a bulk loan.

Community language eResources

Access to all online library resources (also known as eResources) requires using your Merri-bek Libraries member details. You will need to log in using your library card number (e.g. 2000301xxxxxxx). If you have not updated your password, it will be your date of birth in 8 numbers (e.g. DDMMYYYY).

eBooks, eMagazines, and eAudiobooks

Digital materials in community languages are available through the Merri-bek Libraries Overdrive website. You can also read eBooks, eMagazines, and Audiobooks when you are offline by downloading the Libby app from the Google Play Store website or from the Apple App Store website

LOTE4 Kids
Read and listen to children’s eBooks. Learn a language through storytelling on the LOTE4Kids website. With over 40 languages from all over the world, each book is provided with an English translation to help develop multilingual listening and reading skills. You can also enjoy LOTE4Kids through their app on the Google Play Store website or the Apple App Store website.

Newspapers and magazines

Access national and local newspapers and magazines from around the world in their original languages on the Press Reader website

Language learning

We offer access to an online preparation and practice resource for learning how to read, write and speak English. This preparation and practice resource is called Road to IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The resource is available at two levels:

If you are looking to learn and prepare for realistic conversations and communication in a new language, we recommend using the tools on the Mango languages website. The tools on this site are available in over 70 world languages including Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, and English.

Multicultural events

Conversation Cafe

Conversation Cafe is a weekly social group for adults who speak English as a second language and anyone interested in intercultural conversations. At Conversation Cafe you can practise speaking and listening in English. Updated times, dates, and locations of Conversation Cafe sessions are available on our Learning English and other languages page.

Chatty Cafe

Chatty Cafe brings the community together for friendly conversation, English practise and social connection. No need to book, just come along and make some new friends over a cuppa.  Updated times, dates, and locations of Chatty Cafe sessions are available on our Library activities and events page.

Community language storytimes

Community language storytimes are suitable for preschool children and their families. Enjoy songs, stories, and craft activities with your child as they develop their language skills and love of reading.

You can view community language storytime session details on our Merri-bek Libraries Eventbrite page. You can also find more of our online storytime sessions on the Merri-bek Libraries YouTube channel.

  • Join Océane for fun stories, songs and activities for pre-kinder babies and children. The session is in French, all are welcome! No bookings required.

    Starts at 10:30am:

    • Tuesday 16 January
    • Tuesday 20 February
    • Tuesday 19 March
    • Tuesday 16 April
    • Tuesday 21 May
    • Tuesday 18 June
    • Tuesday 16 July
    • Tuesday 20 August
    • Tuesday 17 September
    • Tuesday 15 October
    • Tuesday 19 November
    • Tuesday 17 December
  • Join in the fun at Greek storytime. Enjoy stories,
    songs and a craft activity with your child. Every
    Friday at Glenroy Library during school terms.

    2024

    Term 1 : Friday 2 Feb – Friday 22 March

    Term 2: Friday 19 April – Friday June 28

    Term 3: Friday 19 July – Friday 20 September

    Term 4: Friday 11 October – Friday 20 December

  • Italian storytime is held at Coburg Library monthly at 10.30 am on the following dates:

    • Tuesday 6 February
    • Tuesday 5 March
    • Tuesday 2 April
    • Tuesday 7 May
    • Tuesday 4 June
    • Tuesday 2 July
    • Tuesday 6 August
    • Tuesday 3 September
    • Tuesday 1 October
    • Tuesday 12 November
    • Tuesday 3 December
  • Spanish storytime is held at Brunswick Library monthly at 10.30 am. 

    • Monday 12 February
    • Monday 18 March
    • Monday 8 April
    • Monday 13 May
    • Monday 17 June
    • Monday July 8
    • Monday August 12
    • Monday September 9
    • Monday October 14
    • Monday November 11
    • Monday December 9
  • Turkish storytime is held at monthly at Glenroy Library at 10.30 am on the following dates:

    • Thursday 1 February
    • Thursday 7 March
    • Thursday 4 April
    • Thursday 2 May
    • Thursday 6 June
    • Thursday 4 July
    • Thursday 1 August
    • Thursday 5 September
    • Thursday 3 October
    • Thursday 7 November
    • Thursday 5 December

 

Cultural events

Events celebrating the diversity of Merri-bek are regularly held at Merri-bek Libraries. These include cooking demonstrations, dance and musical performances, personal experiences, and celebrating significant dates. You can see what cultural events are coming up at Merri-bek Libraries on our Library activities and events page.

Additional resources

Translated resources

Multicultural organisations