The communities libraries serve are becoming more diverse. In seeking to move beyond the tired label of being “just about books,” libraries must engage with these communities through outreach and engagement.
Posts Tagged ‘service to immigrants’
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!
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 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.