World Refugee Day


On June 20, 2021, the world will observe the United Nations' (UN) World Refugee Day. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict, and violence. Commemorate this day by pledging, sharing, and learning.  

The theme for 2021 is" together we heal, learn and shine."


Join us for a webinar on June 18, 2021 at 12 p.m. Central.


Title: Library Services to Refugees during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Speakers: Julie Robinson, Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment Outreach Manager, The Kansas City Public Library; Elsa Ngan, Senior Services Specialist, Multicultural Services, Toronto Public Library; and Marcelo Rodríguez, Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian, Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library, University of Arizona
Moderator: Clara M. Chu, Director, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library

Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for communities worldwide and the libraries that serve them.  Libraries have had to pivot to ensure the safety of their staff and users while continuing to provide accessible and safe services. How have libraries specifically responded to serve refugees and how are they planning to transition to offer welcoming spaces and services for refugees post-pandemic?  The webinar will present the experiences of libraries in and outside the United States serving refugees, and policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted the welfare of refugees and asylum seekers.  The webinar addresses the 2021 World Refugee Day theme: Together we heal, learn and shine.  

Co-sponsors: Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, ALA Office for Diversity, Literary and Outreach Services, and ALA International Relations Office


  • #WithRefugees
  • #WorldRefugeeDay2021
  • #LibrariesStandWithRefugees
  • #RefugeesWelcome

What else can you do #WithRefugees?

  • Host a book club or book display on a book written by a refugee
  • Invite staff to learn about policies related to refugees and resettlement
  • Learn about your local refugee communities
  • Invite community organizers to partner on programming related to refugee communities
  • Continue to celebrate and recognize the diversity in your community