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Library Alphabet Soup: Tips and Resources When the Item in Hand is Not Written in the Latin Alphabet


It is not uncommon for both academic and public librarians to have items, especially gift books, that are in another language that they have either to evaluate for addition to the collection or to catalog. Quite often, librarians seek the help of a colleague who knows the language. But what does one do when there is not such a person available? If the language uses the Latin alphabet, a quick WorldCat search will often do the trick for finding the basic bibliographic data and for learning at least something of its aboutness. But what if the language uses another alphabet or writing system? What if you cannot even identify the language initially? In this session, participants will be presented with tips and resources to help identify common languages that do not use the same alphabet and hopefully to help locate enough data to identify the publication and see if it is in WorldCat.