Central Library

Languages & Literature

Literary classics, contemporary fiction, poetry, drama, literary criticism, information about authors, writing, publishing, and related fields are located in the Languages & Literature Division on the first floor of the Central Library.  The Division houses fiction & non-fiction materials in over 20 languages, language learning materials, as well as print and digital reference collections.

The Languages & Literature Division is where you pick up items held for you at Central Library:

  • Holds: Cataloged items you request using your online account are held for you on designated bookcases. They are organized alphabetically by your last name.
  • ILL: Items loaned to you by other libraries are held for you at the Reference Desk.
  • Book Calls: Items retrieved from Central Library’s storage are held on book trucks next to the Reference Desk.

English Language Collections:

  • New books are displayed at the entrance to the Division.
  • General fiction, romance paperbacks, mystery, science fiction, and graphic novels are shelved in distinct groups.
  • Nonfiction collection call numbers located here are 000, 400, and 800.
  • Many popular titles are also available in large print format.
  • Books frequently assigned as homework are in the Assignment Collection, followed by the Monarch, Spark and Cliffs Notes section. 
  • Print directories, handbooks, encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, etc. are available in our Reference Collection. Some are kept at the Reference Desk.
  • Books on improving writing skills and publishing industry directories form an important part of our collection. Ask for the latest edition of the directories at the Reference Desk. Students and professionals use these tools.

World Languages Collections:

  • We have fiction and non-fiction books in more than 30 languages, such as Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, and French.
  • We offer language learning materials and foreign language magazines.
  • We provide Rosetta Stone software for people who want to improve their English, or are interested in learning other languages. (Library use only)
  • For additional Foreign Language Resources see: Español, Français, Pусский, 中文資料

 Digital Collections:

 See the Articles & Databases section of our web page for electronic resources on literature, Spanish language and Caribbean resources, eBooks, online language learning materials from BBC, encyclopedias, and much more.


  • Conversation groups: People wanting to improve their fluency in    Chinese, Spanish, Russian, French, Portuguese , Japanese , and  Arabic come together in Information Commons for informal chats on various topics. The sessions are led by volunteers. (Free. No registration needed.)  For more information you can call 718-230-2133.
  • Citizenship sessions: Staff offers workshops for residents who’d like to become Computer Basics for Spanish speakers: For Spanish-speaking immigrants.
  • Class visits: Library tours for adult ESOL classes.
  • Russian Literary Series: Monthly events with popular writers, poets, and journalists from Russia, Israel, and USA.
  • Russian Films: Monthly screenings of feature, animation, and documentary films.
  • Other programs are offered on demand, or together with other Departments.  Advanced Chinese Studies in I-Ching is among the most popular one.
  • Check the events calendar for all programs and events, including author visits, book discussions, writing workshops, and seasonal events.
  • Materials of fiction and non-fiction in the following languages must be requested from storage

    Albanian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hindi can be requested from storage.

For more information contact the Division staff at 718-230-2133.