Starting Immigration Services at Your Library

Wednesday, 7/26/2017
  • 2:00 PM-3:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Pacific)

A FREE webinar presented in partnership with ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy & Outreach Services

Map of the continental United States with diverse population represented and FREE bannerAre you interested in learning how to incorporate immigration services into the library? PLA and the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS) have invited the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) to share valuable information about their free online tools—immi and Citizenshipworks—which can be used to expand the capacity of your citizenship corner and provide people with self-guided immigration legal assistance. IAN will also discuss the ways libraries are currently using immi and Citizenshipworks in its branches. In addition, two public librarians engaged in working with the immigrant population in their communities will give examples of citizenship workshops and other programs at their libraries aimed towards immigrant patrons.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will:

  • Recognize the importance of providing immigration services to their library communities;
  • Understand the components and features of tools like immi and Citizenshipworks and be able to guide a person through the online interviews; and
  • Know the next steps to get immigration services set up at their libraries.

Who Should Attend

All library staff who work with immigrants, answer any immigration questions, or oversee legal service programs.


Sebastian ZavalaSebastian Zavala is a program manager at the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) in San Francisco, Calif. Before he joined IAN, he was an adjudications officer for Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), interviewing applicants for naturalization and permanent residency. He also served as a chief program officer for Catholic Charities of the East Bay, director of programs at the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA), increasing the capacity of legal programs to serve low income clients through technology, efficient volunteer management, and cultivating the next generation of immigration advocates.

Sebastian was one of the founding members of the East Bay Naturalization Collaborative, and the Bay Area DACA Collaborative.

He received a B.A. in Raza Studies with an emphasis in behavioral and social sciences from San Francisco State University, and received a J.D. from Arizona State University, with the highest pro bono distinctions.

Zizi BanderaZizi Bandera is the community engagement coordinator at Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) in San Francisco, Calif. They have experience working for immigrant, worker, and LGBTQ rights as an organizer, policy advocate, and community educator. Prior to joining IAN, they served as an organizer and community education coordinator at the Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights (CHIRLA). They are currently working towards a Master’s in Public Policy at Mills College.

Julie RobinsonJulie Robinson moved from the Anaheim (Calif.) Public Library to the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library in 2003. She spent 11 years as an embedded librarian at the Irene H. Ruiz Biblioteca de las Americas on Kansas City’s Westside. She has been the Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment (RISE) outreach manager for almost three years.

Prior to working in public libraries, Julie was the corporate librarian for an international economics research firm and the project librarian for the Diamond Valley Reservoir project.

Helen Stewart (photo © 2016 Steven E. Gross)Helen Stewart is the literacy coordinator at the Schaumburg Township District Library—the second largest public library in Illinois. The library serves a vast array of multicultural patrons on a daily basis, and Helen represents the library in fulfilling their needs and answering their questions. Her day-to-day responsibilities range from management of a sizeable ESL collection, to liaising with local partners in class provision for the library—which includes ESL, literacy tutoring, and citizenship study classes. Hundreds of diverse patrons are served monthly. She also teaches a popular conversation club for immigrants to practice their newly acquired language skills and helps students access online and digital learning options, as well as consulting one-on-one with students who need particular literacy assistance.

She is proud to work with Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) biannually to coordinate naturalization ceremonies for new citizens at the library.

A native of the Scotland, and naturalized citizen herself, Helen has a deep understanding and empathy for the immigrant experience. She is proud to facilitate learning options for library patrons.



THIS WEBINAR IS FREE, BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED AND SPACE IS LIMITED. You can register for this webinar until it begins, or until space is no longer available, whichever comes first. Please do not register unless you are sincere about attending the live webinar. Space is limited, and signing up and not attending may deprive someone else of the opportunity. Thank you for your cooperation.

How to Register


Archived Recording

If you're unable to register for this webinar, an archived recording will be freely available typically within 1–3 business of the live event. Visit PLA On-Demand Webinars for more information.

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be presented using the WebEx Event Center platform. You may listen to the audio portion of the webinar via your computer's speakers, headphones plugged into your computer's audio jack or USB port; or by dialing in with your telephone (your carrier's charges may apply) or Skype (by following the process outlined by Skype to place calls to land lines). We suggest that groups, especially larger groups, plan ahead to use an LCD/LED projector in the room to project the webinar. Groups will also want to have speakers or a sound system capable of amplifying the webinar audio for the entire room. No microphone is required.

PLEASE NOTE: PLA provides its webinar audio through voice over IP (VoIP), which means the sound comes through speakers or headphones plugged into your computer. PLA works with its webinar platform provider to assure the highest quality audio is being delivered to attendees. However, variables over which PLA has no control—such as the speed of your Internet connection or traffic on your local network—can affect the end quality of the webinar audio delivered by your computer. Each webinar’s audio is also available by teleconference via a toll number, so we recommend you have access to a long-distance enabled phone as a backup in case you experience audio issues with VoIP. If you do encounter any problems during the webinar, you will receive a link to its archived recording within a week of the live event and can review anything you missed.

Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, or CEUs, but will provide a boilerplate certificate of completion for this webinar, which registrants—individuals and groups—can personalize as needed.


Questions about this webinar? Please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).