As an immigrant myself, I know the loneliness of feeling like you’re different from everyone because you don’t speak English. I felt as a librarian, I was able to go full-circle and create a welcoming atmosphere for my patrons, and send them a message: You’re not alone, we’re here for you!
Posts Tagged ‘immigrants’
Undocumented, unauthorized, illegal, immigrant, migrant, alien, noncitizen.
Immigrating to a new country is a daunting and complicated task. You are surrounded by new customs, new people, possibly a new language, and paperwork. Finding help for questions as well as a welcoming place during this transitional time can make all the difference in a person’s life. As a recent article illustrates, libraries can be the place that helps newcomers to find information, services, and small comforts, as well as new acquaintances.
The Civil War in Syria has left large numbers of refugees pouring into many countries in Europe. Public Libraries in the UK, Germany, France, Norway, and others are front-runners in giving them their welcome and support.
The function of libraries and librarians is constantly changing. We have moved from organizations that served as repositories for information to places where creation of information and hands-on training take shape. An example of this might be if someone were to ask for information about services, such as job search skills or health insurance, we would be able to not only refer that individual to relevant resources, but also incorporate workshops into library programming. But what about immigration services? Some libraries are following this model of librarianship by training staff members to provide legal services regarding citizenship and naturalization.
Failing to Read Well The Role of Public Libraries in Adult Literacy, Immigrant Community Building, and Free Access to Learning
There are 104,000 foreigners arriving in the United States every day. Out of those arrivals, the majority of foreigners enter with visas and about 2,000 are unauthorized.1 With the economic downturn resulting in loss of employment and homes, plus an increased pressure on workers to keep or find new jobs, learners’ English proficiency and effective […]
This past summer, I ran a biweekly book club for teen Somali girls at a Minneapolis community center. Through the experience, I and other staff in Multicultural Services learned some important lessons about collaboration and working successfully across cultural backgrounds.