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Language coverage indicators

The language coverage indicators defined below are a major change from those originally developed for the RLG Conspectus. The language indicators have been revised so they can be used in many countries and cultures.

Language coverage is closely linked to collection indicator levels. The extent of the collection in the primary language of the country and library, as well as the extent of other languages within the collection helps to determine the collection level indicator for each segment. Language coverage qualifies and amplifies collection levels. In addition to the primary or predominant language, other language coverage is essential for collections at the 3, 4, or 5 level. Generally, the higher the assessment level, the broader or more extensive the additional language coverage expected.

Language indicators may be added to the collection depth indicators for collection level, acquisition commitment and collection goals when appropriate.

P Primary language of the country predominates — little or no other language material
S Selected other language material included in addition to the primary language
W Wide selection of languages represented
X Material is mainly in one language other than the primary language of the library and country

While the above language indicators may be adapted to fit most circumstances, there are instances when further adaptation of the conspectus tool is necessary. Countries such as Canada and New Zealand have dual official national or regional languages. Other countries may also have two languages that predominate, either officially or unofficially. The following additional code is suggested for use in such circumstances. The collection management policy will serve to explain any unique circumstances for language as for other collection characteristics.

D Dual languages or two primary languages predominate with little or no other-language material

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries has used a special language code since 1986 to accommodate their unique language issues. The WLN Conspectus software supports use of these special indicators.

The comments field should be utilized to indicate which language(s) is represented in addition to the primary or dual languages for a subject, category, or division. The use of the comments field for this purpose provides specific information to explain the use of a language code beyond "P" (primary) or "D" (dual) and allows for the report function to generate a list of all subjects supported by any language of interest.

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