linguoboy wrote:One of the proposed solutions was interfiling the non-English titles. This seems reasonable to me if most of the patrons interested in them are L1 speakers of English looking for reading in their target languages, but I would find it extremely inconvenient to have to browse the entire fiction section in the hopes of finding a few volumes in a particular non-English language.
I've seen libraries do this for non-fiction, and I quite like it. Besides being useful, it makes the point that "books are books" regardless of language. What makes the most sense to me is to interfile by subject matter regardless of language for nonfiction, but then for fiction have language-specific sections. You're right that it's inconvenient to browse the fiction section in hopes of finding something a particular language (not to mention: in hopes of finding something you like in that language), but for non-fiction, you'll want to go straight to the right topic, and often nonfiction books in a language you don't know as well could still be useful if you're doing research or trying to learn about a topic. (Maybe you know a bit of the language and can understand parts of it even though you don't know it well enough to read it cover-to-cover like you would with fiction; or maybe it has useful charts, graphs, photos, diagrams, whatever).
Of course, all of that is based on the idea that the patron is browsing to begin with rather than having found a particular book in the catalog or a particular fiction author you're looking for (which is what I tend to do myself). But I'll often end up looking at the other books in the same section, and the organization I've described is good for that.
linguoboy wrote:n academic settings, when there aren't separate departments for particular languages or language families, it's most common to have a department of "Modern Languages" and possibly an "Ancient Languages" department
There, too, it means "Modern Languages besides English" (so quite analogous to "World Languages," with the except that ancient/classical/Biblical languages are separate). I think of "Modern Languages" as the college/university equivalent of "World Language" in K12/primary/secondary schools. IME the difference is that colleges/universities offer ancient/classical languages (and want to distinguish them from the languages that aren't in that category) where most secondary schools with "World Language" departments do not.