Language (400)

General Comments

The collection aims to provide access to a variety of language and linguistics sources, developed primarily for an English-speaking audience.

The 400s are the smallest collection in nonfiction. English receives the primary emphasis, with a variety of English-usage tools consisting of dictionaries, grammars, thesauri, usage guides, and subject books about the language. At present the library offers electronic resources that facilitate foreign language studies for English speakers in 45 languages and English for foreign speakers in 5 languages.

Development Plan

  • 400 Language. Minimally developed, with a light focus given to children's acquisition of language.
  • 410 Linguistics. A small overview collection of linguistics, including paleography (study of ancient and medieval handwriting) is maintained. Signing sources should be further developed.
  • 420 English and Old English (Anglo-Saxon). No Old English sources are collected. Modern English sources such as general dictionaries for various reading levels, some specialized dictionaries, thesauri, grammars, and usage guides are maintained. Repetition in this small collection is carefully avoided. Popular books about the English language are developed and maintained. All titles by established authors in the field are purchased. ESL (English as a Second Language) and/or literacy tutor sources are developed and maintained as determined by cooperative effort between the library and local literacy office.
  • 430 Germanic (Teutonic) languages. A small assortment of dictionaries, grammars, and phrase books with an emphasis on German is maintained. A small collection of Scandinavian and Dutch sources are maintained.
  • 440 Romance languages. A small assortment of French dictionaries, grammars, and phrase books is maintained.
  • 450 Italian, Romanian, Rhaeto-Romanic languages. A small assortment of dictionaries, grammars, and phrase books with an emphasis on Italian is maintained.
  • 460 Spanish and Portuguese languages. A small assortment of dictionaries, grammars, and phrase books with an emphasis on Spanish is maintained. Spanish sources are more developed than other foreign languages. Major Spanish works may be considered for the collection. A small collection of Portuguese is developed and maintained with minimal representation of dictionaries, grammars, and phrase books.
  • 470 Italic languages. A small Latin collection with minimal representation of dictionaries and grammar is maintained.
  • 480 Hellenic languages. Both small collections, ancient Greek and Modern Greek are maintained with minimal representation of dictionaries and grammars. For modern Greek, phrase book coverage is maintained.
  • 490 Other languages. None should receive coverage equivalent to Spanish, German, or French, but a small emphasis on Hebrew and Chinese sources is maintained. Japanese and Russian sources need to be more fully developed. Phrase book collections are maintained to include numerous languages (e.g., Serbo-Croatian, Korean, Thai, Sioux, Filipino, Indonesian).

Influencing Factors

Purchases and buying patterns are determined in large part by:
  • the primary language spoken by the majority of Campbell County's population.
  • books and other materials are minimally collected in Spanish and other languages as changes in our population warrant.
  • electronic/Internet sources availability.
  • new works.
  • budget constraints.
  • circulation statistics.
  • patron requests.
  • present and potential relevance to the community.
  • shelf space.


  • English language dictionaries are replaced every five to ten years, usage guides every four to five years, thesauri less often.
  • Sources about the use of the English language are weeded as new ones are purchased.
  • Foreign language sources are weeded only lightly, replacing grammars and dictionaries every ten years, phrase books more frequently in order to keep up with changes in the vernacular.