Information Code-Switching: A Study of Language Preferences in Academic Libraries

Frans Albarillo


Initially coined by sociolinguists, the term code-switching refers to the alternation of languages by multilinguals. Code-switching is an active research area that has significant implications for academic libraries. Using data from focus groups and a survey tool, this paper examines language preferences of foreign-born students for particular information tasks. The main finding of this paper is that students’ culture and language represent an active influence on and important part of their identity, information consumption, and academic socialization. The author discusses the practical implications of these findings on academic library services in relation to ACRL’s 2012 Diversity Standards Cultural Competency with an emphasis on standard 6, linguistic diversity.

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