Burbank Public Library Debuts Free Language Learning App

By On September 30, 2014

Since the Burbank Public Library’s recent debut of new language learning programs Mango and Little Pim, library patrons have access to more resources than ever, at the library, online at home or on the go via a mobile app for handheld smart phones and tablets.

“Mango provides instructional courses in 63 languages, including how to talk like a pirate which we put to good use [for] Talk Like a Pirate Day!” commented Sharon Cohen, BPL Library Services Director. “You can also learn English as a Second Language, with courses available in 18 native languages, including Spanish and Armenian.”

Jai Yoo, age 2, checks out a Little Pim language lesson in Spanish at the Burbank Central Library. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Jai Yoo, age 2, checks out a Little Pim language lesson in Spanish at the Burbank Central Library. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Little Pim is a language program developed for children ages 0-6 and focuses on introductory words for colors, numbers and shapes, in several languages. Mango is focused for conversational language learning, touching on main topics and phrases used by the traveler.

“This program is provided free of charge, thanks to the Friends of the Burbank Public Library,” added Cohen. “All you need to get started is a Burbank Library card.”

Cathleen Bowley and Jenny Darwent from the Central Library's Children's Department get in the spirit for Talk Like A Pirate Day. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

Cathleen Bowley and Jenny Darwent from the Central Library’s Children’s Department get in the spirit for Talk Like A Pirate Day. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

“Each lesson combines real life situations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions,” Cohen explained. “The courses are presented with an appreciation for cultural nuance and real-world application by focusing on the four key elements of language learning: vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture.”

Provided by the Friends of the Burbank Public Library, Mango and Little Pim are joined by several additional databases including Ancestry.com and the Testing and Education Reference Center (TERC.)

“Ancestry is a popular genealogy database that allows patrons the ability to find distant relatives or even build a family tree,” said Carey Vance, head of Reference at the Central Library. “It is free and easy to use so we are very excited to offer this new service to our community.”

TERC provides practice exams for SAT, the California High School Exit Exam, AP tests and the PSAT. Additional tests available on the database include civil service exams, ASVAB, GRE, MCAT, U.S. Citizenship information and resume building tutorials.

Two-year-old Jai Yoo learns from a Spanish lesson from the Little Pim language program. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Two-year-old Jai Yoo learns from a Spanish lesson from the Little Pim language program. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“We are so grateful to the Friends of the Burbank Public Library for helping to make all of this possible with their generous support of our research resources,” Vance added. “Ancestry allows our patrons to discover their past while TERC allows them to plan for the future. Mango helps make the present that much more fun!”

On Talk Like A Pirate Day at the Burbank Central Library,  Laura Goldstein from Circulation and Laura Brownell from Reference have fun with the costumes. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

On Talk Like A Pirate Day at the Burbank Central Library, Laura Goldstein from Circulation and Laura Brownell from Reference have fun with the costumes. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

While the Central and Buena Vista libraries have had Early Literacy Stations in the children’s area for the past several years, the touchscreen monitor, colorful keyboard and fun programs continue to be a favorite of young children.

Ancestry.com is only available to library patrons using the computers in one of the three library locations. The TERC database can be accessed with a library card from home or at the library.

Mango can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection as well as with iPhone and Android apps. Patrons can track their progress by registering with their library card.

Jai Yoo, age 2, uses the touch screen on the Early Literacy Station at the Central Library. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Jai Yoo, age 2, uses the touch screen on the Early Literacy Station at the Central Library. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)