Welcoming Spaces Test

Learn more about how to get involved in the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

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Leverage Your Programs.

Relevant programming increases the chances immigrants will utilize the library in the future,1 and immigrant-led cultural programs are effective bridges to these groups.2

Learn more

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Connect with Community Partners.

Partnerships can provide insight, build connections, and increase the impact of both library and community organizations’ work.3

Learn more

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Be a Community Presence.

Being a positive presence in places in your community where immigrant groups might frequent helps build trust and visibility.4

Learn more

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Provide Accessible and Diverse Materials.

Access to materials in both English and immigrants’ native language helps support the transition to life in a new country3 and demonstrates that the library is for all members of the community.5

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Involve Community Members.

Involving key leaders of immigrant and refugee groups increases understanding of those groups,6 and encouraging other community members to be involved in these efforts can help ensure the whole community welcomes its new neighbors.7

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Hire and Train Culturally Competent Staff.

Seek out hirees who are able to work effectively in cross-cultural situations with people of various backgrounds or experiences and offer ongoing initiatives to develop cultural competence among all members of the library staff.

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Don't Forget!

The physical library space communicates a lot about who is welcome in the space, what behaviors are expected, and if it is a safe place for families.

Consider these factors in making your library space more welcoming and safe for immigrant and refugee families:

Decor. Flags, art, and other pieces of decoration can provide a clutural connection for families to their home country.

Furniture. Comfortable seats, which are clearly available for use, help show this is a space to relax in.