Community language collections
We have books for children and adults, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, and CDs in 15 different community languages.
- عَرَبيْ (Arabic) - Coburg, Fawkner and Glenroy. Brunswick (magazines only)
- 中文 (Chinese) - Brunswick, Coburg, and Glenroy
- Hrvatski (Croatian) - Coburg
- Français (French) - Coburg
- Deutsch (German) - Brunswick and Glenroy (magazines only)
- ελληνικά (Greek) - Brunswick, Coburg, and Glenroy
- हिंदी (Hindi) - Coburg
- Italiano (Italian) - All Merri-bek libraries
- नेपाली (Nepali) - Coburg and Glenroy
- Polski (Polish) - Glenroy
- Српски (Serbian) - Coburg (magazines only)
- 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 (Libero).
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 email@example.com 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. A2000301xxxxxxxB). Your password is 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.
LOTE Online for Kids
Read and listen to children’s eBooks. Learn a language through storytelling on the LOTE Online for Kids 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.
Newspapers and magazines
Access national and local newspapers and magazines from around the world in their original languages on the Press Reader website.
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:
- access the 'general' level of Road to IELTS on the Clarity English website
- access the 'academic' level of Road to IELTS on the Clarity English website
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.
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 practice speaking and listening in English. Updated times, dates, and locations of Conversation Cafe sessions are available on our Learning English and other languages page.
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.
Italian storytime is held at Coburg Library monthly at 10.30 am on the following dates:
Tuesday 4 October
Tuesday 8 November
Tuesday 6 December
Spanish storytime is held at Brunswick Library monthly at 10.30 am on the following dates:
Tuesday 19 September
Tuesday 18 October
Tuesday 15 November
Urdu storytime is held at Fawkner Library monthly at 10.30 am on the following dates:
Monday 3 October
Monday 7 November
Monday 5 December
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.
Translated resources for families include:
- Free access to children's online picture books in lots of languages on the International Children's Digital Library website. Languages available include Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, and Urdu.
- Translated flyers on benefits of reading and tips for each age group on the Let's Read website.
- Translated brochures and resources for families on the Ethnic Community Services Co-operative website.
Health translations include:
- Health information from trusted organisations is translated into many languages on the Health translations website
- Select a topic to find translated fact sheets, or choose a language under Find a Fact sheet for a list of documents in your language on the Royal Women’s Hospital website
- Information about aged care services in selected languages on the My Aged Care website
Translated resources about lifelong learning include:
- Information from Vic Roads is available in a variety of languages. You can learn to drive using the in-language versions of their Learner driver handbooks on the VicRoads website. You can also access in-language fact sheets on the VicRoads website.
- You can develop your digital skills with worksheets covering the basics of using your device and connecting to the internet on the Australian Government's Be connected website. Choose the topic you’re interested in to discover translated guides.
Community langauge organisations in the media include:
- The largest ethnic community station in Australia with programs in 70 community languages is 3ZZZ and can be accessed on the 3ZZZ website.
- For news, information and music in community languages you can go to the SBS Radio website.
- To search the National Library of Australia's archives of Australian ethnic community newspapers you can visit the TROVE website.
Community language organisations with cultural events and information include:
- news and information on multicultural events in Victoria on the Victorian Multicultural Commission website
- You can learn more about the cultural background of Australia’s migrant populations on the SBS cultural atlas website
- A resource to explore Australia's cultural diversity, tolerance, and anti-racism is the Making multicultural Australia website
Community language organisations that provide community support include:
- Information on immigration, citizenship and visas is on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website
- Settlement services including help with learning English and finding a job is on the AMES website
- A range of settlement and immigration services for residents of the North-West region is on the Migrant Resource Centre North West Region website
- Community support for older Victorians living at home is on the Australian Multicultural Community Services website
- The national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them is the Refugee Council of Australia. You can find out more about their community support on the Refugee Council of Australia website.