KDL Introduces New Phone Interpreting Service

Kent District Library now offers live phone interpreting services in more than 200 languages, ensuring greater access to its collections, programs and services. Through the new over-the-phone service, patrons who speak languages other than English are now able to connect with KDL staff members.

According to the U.S. Census, 8.6% of the population of Kent County was born outside of the U.S. and 12 percent speak a language other than English. KDL is hoping to bridge the language gap and ensure that all patrons receive excellent service from the Patron Services Department, which takes all the calls for KDL. 

There are two ways to contact Patron Services using the new service:

1. Call 616-784-2007 and name your language. A staff member will connect with an interpreter to provide service in your native language.

2. Call your specific language line to connect with an interpreter first, who will then connect you with the library for assistance with your question. Direct phone lines are available for the following languages: Spanish, Kinyarwanda, Swahili, French, Farsi, Arabic, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

Spanish - 1-616-300-2483
French - 1-616-300-2569
Kinyarwanda - 1-616-737-0978
Swahili - 1-616-303-5122
Farsi - 1-616-303-3557
Arabic - 1-616-303-5471
Mandarin - 1-616-441-3801
Vietnamese - 1-616-303-3996

Kent District Library is committed to language accessibility. In addition to the new over-the-phone language service, KDL also provides TBS electronic translation equipment, language learning apps and materials, and information about other language resources available in your community.