For immediate release | June 17, 2014

USCIS and ALA Committee on Literacy session to highlight library service to immigrants at 2014 ALA Annual Conference

CHICAGO — The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will participate in a panel discussion to explore practical ways libraries are assisting immigrants in a session entitled, “U.S. Citizenship Starts at Your Library: Success Stories for Serving Immigrants in Your Community” during this year’s American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The panel will be held at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, June 29 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N236. The panel is sponsored by the Committee on Literacy and the American Library Association’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.

The panel will be moderated by Nathan Stiefel, acting deputy chief of the USCIS Office of Citizenship. Panelists will include Mamie Bittner, director of IMLS’ Office of Communications and Government Affairs; Zakkiyya Rivers, senior librarian at Baldwin Hills Branch Library in Los Angeles; and Nicholas Sakhnovsky, librarian at Broward County’s Main Library in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Bittner will provide attendees with an overview of the accomplishments USCIS and IMLS have achieved through their partnership along with information on how libraries can participate. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through this partnership, USCIS and IMLS have provided public libraries with immigration and citizenship information, including training opportunities and educational materials for local librarians.

Rivers and Sakhnovsky will share their experiences in serving immigrants in Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., respectively, and provide practical tips for enhancing library programming and collections for immigrant communities. Stiefel will discuss USCIS’ efforts to support citizenship education and awareness initiatives at the local level as well as the critical role libraries play in that process.

The program is open to all conference attendees. For more information about the program, visit

For more information on USCIS visit


John L. Amundsen

Program Officer, Outreach and Communications

ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services

(312) 280-2140