Local libraries working to eliminate language barriers for Dream Bus

MADISON, Wis. – Libraries in Dane County started the Dream Bus in April, 2019, with the purpose of delivering library books to people in communities where having access to libraries may be restricted. Although the Dream Bus eliminates some barriers for people in those communities, it doesn’t necessarily restrict language barriers, according to an article from Madison365.

The people in the Allied-Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood are mostly from black and Latinx communities. Some of those people are having a difficult time learning about the Dream Bus’ services or about the Dream Bus itself due to language barriers.

Dane County Library Services’ director, Tracy Herold, said that since the Dream Bus isn’t even a year old, there’s a lot of work yet to be done and that the library system is continuously working to best meet the needs of everyone. Madison Public Library’s marketing manager, Tana Elias, added that the library is listening to feedback.

“We know that we’re reaching a lot of people, but we know that we have a ways to go in terms of reaching all of the communities that could best benefit from library service in Madison,” Elias said.

The Madison Public Library is starting a campaign in 2020 that would create a media set, in Spanish, English and possibly other languages, that would provide information on the Dream Bus. In its two school semesters since it began, the bus has changed schedules based off the needs of local communities.

Elias said that after hearing that the libraries could bring more books to communities, library officials started the Dream Bus.

“We just really appreciate the opportunity to bring the dream bus to Madison neighborhoods,” Elias said. “It grew out of the work that we’ve done with the neighborhood resource teams.”

The bus has DVDs, books and city schedules in Spanish, and one of the two bus drivers speaks fluent and native Spanish.

“(This) has helped us tremendously in promoting the service and welcoming customers at his stops,” Elias said.

For those looking for more information on the Dream Bus or its schedules, information is posted on the Madison Public Library’s website in both English and Spanish.

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