2/21/2018 City of Tonawanda library closed until further notice - Visit the bookmobile in the library parking lot Saturday 2/24 - Hours for the bookmobile are 9:30 am to 2:00 pm

About the Library


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Subject Guides

Subject Guides

Click on any topic listed below to find a guide containing websites, databases and books chosen by librarians.

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The Central library has a Foreign Fiction section, with books in a variety of native languages in addition to an ESL (English as a Second Language) section.  The Niagara library also has an extensive collection of Spanish language materials.  Visit a local library to see what language kits they have available for learning a new language.  The library system also has various research databases translated into Spanish. 

Also, search "Learn language" or the name of the language you want to learn in Downloads 2 Go to see if you can download a language learning program for your PC or other portable device.

Check out our Immigrants, Refugees, and Non-Native English Speakers subject guide for links to ESL resources.



Masterfile Premier
MasterFILE™ Premier contains full text for 1,935 periodicals covering general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and much more.  This database also contains full text for more than 300 reference books, 96,600 biographies, and 76,000 primary source documents.  Virtual tour

Masterfile Premier offers translation of full text HTML files in 29 languages - Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Serbian, Swedish, Thai and Urdu.

Nueva Enciclopedia Cumbre
Una enciclopedia completa para los hispanohablantes y estudiantes de español. Virtual Tour

Procitizen will help you prepare for the Civics, Reading, and Writing portions of the Naturalization Test through a series of 100 videos, practice exercises and quizzes.  If you have already signed up for a user name and password through Pronunciator, you can use the same user name and password for ProCitizen.

Pronunciator is a language resource database offering instruction for beginner, intermediate and advanced students in 80 foreign languages. It also offers English instruction for speakers of 50 foreign languages including Arabic, Bengali, Nepali, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.  

SCOLA receives and re-transmits foreign TV programming from around the world and provides other foreign language resources, language lessons, and learning material on this site.



Interactive language lessons, mobile apps, grammar guides and an online community to help with practicing language skills. Most courses are free, but there is the option of a premium membership for additional content.

Free online language learning, with courses in Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian. There are also apps for this website and a gamified approach to learning. Sign up through email or Facebook.

Google Translate
Free online language translation service instantly translates text and web pages

Health Information in Multiple Languages
Find health information in languages other than English.

Health information in many languages

A resource for learning and practicing foreign languages that focuses on writing.  Write a journal entry in the language you are learning and a native speaker will correct you.

Language Exchange
Find a partner at the online community and practice your second language (any language) with a native speaker who is learning your language.


Community and Local Links 

Alliance Française de Buffalo
Offers French conversational classes and workshops year-round. From true beginner to advanced classes, all classes and workshops are taught by experienced native or near native French speakers. 

Buffalo Chinese School
The objective of the school is to provide an environment and opportunity for all interested (with or without Chinese heritage) students to learn Chinese language and culture. The school teaches standard Mandarin, its Romanization system, pinyin, and simplified characters. The school is affiliated to the Western New York Chinese Club and a member school of Chinese School Association of United States.

Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education
Classes are available to improve English language skills, literacy, vocational education, and much more.  Free ESL and TOEFL classes are listed free of charge.  There are various online courses for a fee as well.

Centro Culturale Italiano di Buffalo
Non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote Italian culture in the Western New York area. The primary goal of the Center is to provide Italian lessons so as to preserve the Italian language in Western New York.

Erie 1 Boces (ESL)
Featuring free adult English classes of various levels, which include speaking, listening, writing and reading.

International Institute of Buffalo
Dedicated to assisting refugees and immigrants overcome language and cultural barriers so that they can become self-sufficient, productive members of the community. The Institute helps with learning English, getting oriented to life in America, acquiring job skills, seeking refuge from domestic violence, receiving interpreting and translation assistance, or learning about cultures, languages and countries around the world.

Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara
Provides reading, English language learning and literacy services to anyone wishing to improve their literacy skills.

UB Language Institute
Offers English language instruction, cultural orientation, and pre-academic training to international students, scholars, and professionals on an intensive and per-course basis.  Also, includes overseas programs offering language-learning and teacher-training opportunities both in other countries and in Buffalo.

WNY Deaf Access Services
A human services agency qualified to serve the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing.  The agency also offers training prep programs for applications who wish to become certified interpreters.


Library Materials

Click on the following topics for a quick search in the Library's Catalog.

American Sign Language 
Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Language History