Multicultural services and community languages

Multicultural services and community languages
Photo of a stack of books
The library holds a range of community language materials. This includes books, magazines, DVDs, videos and music CDs. Multicultural Services Community Languages canterbury bankstown The library holds a range of community language materials. This includes books, magazines, DVDs, videos and music CDs. Library Services
Photo of a stack of books


Council libraries have a number of Multicultural Services available to customers. We have books, newspapers, magazines, and DVDs in community languages; including in Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese. This collection is shelved separately from the English language collection and contains adult fiction and non-fiction, junior fiction and non-fiction and picture books.​

We can order materials in other languages for you to borrow – please ask at your Library and Knowledge Centre for more information. 

  • Library information in Arabic;
  • Library information in Chinese; and ​
  • Library information in Vietnamese.

Greek language books and books on CD are available to bring in from the State Library of New South Wales.

You can also learn a language thanks to Mango Languages, or you can learn a new 'Language' by taking a computer or short education course FREE and online.

The Library offers IELTS o​nline preparation course, or you can learn English online via AMES.

For more information, contact our Multicultural Specialist on 9707 9708.

Books in your language

We can borrow books for you in your own language from the State Library of NSW. Please ask at your local library for help. This is a free service.

Each language has its own identification prefix on the spine of the item (book, video, DVD, etc.). Fiction book labels also have the first four letters of the author's surname and non-fiction books are given a Dewey number. Children's books are marked with a 'J'.

  • ARA - Arabic
  • BEN - Bengali 
  • CHI - Chinese
  • GRE - Greek
  • ITA - Italian
  • KOR - Korean
  • VIE - Vietnamese​

Chinese eBooks

Popular Chinese martial arts eBooks are now available to read online. Popular authors such as Jin Yong and Gu Long are included in the library catalogue. Just search for Jin Yong as an author and several eBooks are listed to view online in traditional Chinese script.

These popular authors are just part of a new service with other Western Sydney Council libraries in providing community information in community languages through our online public catalogue. We have permission from the website owners to link to their site offering many eBooks in Chinese traditional script.

Library members can search anytime anywhere in the library catalogue for community information in Chinese as well as 75 popular eBooks.

There are over 390 documents in Chinese that are available online which are included in the library catalogue. For example patrons can search for NJSW Health and of the 80 items more than half are online documents in Chinese.

The project will include materials in Arabic and Vietnamese in the near future.

Resources from NSW Fair Trading​

NSW Fair Trading has released their video 'help with tenancy problems' in ArabicChinese and Vietnamese on YouTube. 

Fair Trading NSW have produced a helpful checklist with tips about laybys, refunds and other ways to manage spending over the Christmas period available in English, Ar​abic, Chinese Traditional, Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, Farsi/Persian, Dinka.

Useful l​inks​

  • Information about Citizenship

  • Road User's Handbook in various languages

  • Carers N​SW  The Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care - fact sheets in different languages

  • Community Languages Collection Guide is from the State Library of NSW to locate books in languages other than English.    

  • Thousands of World Newspapers helps find a newspaper in your own language. 

  • Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia FECCA 

  • Navitas English provide English language, literacy and employment training services, and effective settlement services to migrants and humanitarian entrants.     

  • NSW Multicu​lt​ural Health Communication Service provides pamphlets on subjects including diabetes, exercise, pregnancy, medication and health services in a variety of languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.​