350 langues, 80 alphabets dans une seule bibliothèque… Défis et enjeux

LECOMTE, Héloïse and MION-MOUTON, Fanny (2014) 350 langues, 80 alphabets dans une seule bibliothèque… Défis et enjeux. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 221 - Library Services to Multicultural Populations. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

Bookmark or cite this item: https://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/887
Language: French (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


350 langues, 80 alphabets dans une seule bibliothèque… Défis et enjeux

The opening of the Bibliothèque universitaire des langues et civilisations (BULAC) - University Library for Languages and Civilisations - in Paris, France in December 2011 represented a real challenge : 19 libraries or parts of collections have merged into one institution, 1.5 million documents, 350 languages from all continents in 80 writing systems, brand new 15 000 m2 premises at the heart of the Pôle des langues et civilisations’ (Language and Civilisation Centre) facilities. BULAC's primary mission is to create relevant and robust collections of books and other materials, mainly in vernacular languages, on the languages and civilisations of the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, the Maghreb, the Near East, the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, Asia, the South Sea Islands and native American civilizations. Linguistics, literature, history and other fields in the humanities and social sciences are among the vast disciplinary fields BULAC covers to promote understanding of these cultural spaces. BULAC is a modern “orientalist” library. Without regard to the historic and geographic meaning of that word, this means that our library displays the global cultural diversity in a public space and highlights all cultures with a neutral point of view, in order for all these cultures to be discovered and studied. In that sense, BULAC is definitely a “multicultural library” according to IFLA’s manifesto. BULAC is indeed a place for expressions of cultural identity - tensions are thus sometimes witnessed (graffiti, stickers, virulent leaflets, etc.) - but it makes no sense in our opinion, in view of our scientific mission, to address our patrons according to the “community” they originate from. On a daily basis though, our staff meets challenges related to our multilingual collections and the variety of audiences’ needs. All of our main working procedures are affected and influenced by BULAC’s special identity: collections management and marketing, staff recruitment and training, technological options. This paper gives experience-based details on how these processes are handled in our library, and how they have allowed our staff to develop special skills.

FOR IFLA HQ (login required)

Edit item Edit item