I would like to thank the German Library Association for the opportunity to speak about library services to immigrants and refugees at the 6th Library Congresss Leipzig 2016 in March. My presentation is available on Slideshare. Here’s an excerpt of the presentation:
Libraries are vital centers for diverse populations including immigrants, refugees and multi-lingual people. There are 232 million of migrants worldwide with USA and Germany in the top countries receiving migrants. As per the UnitedNations, in 2014 there were 59.5 million people forcibly displaced with 19.5 million of those being refugees which might have doubled in 2015.
My presentation covered topics such as core principals and guidelines to serve these populations as recently published on IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto and Accompanying Toolkit, and best practices and models from academic, public, school libraries meeting the needs of immigrants, migrants, refugees and multi-lingual people in communities in the U.S. and in other regions of the globe. These libraries partnered with government, public and private agencies to develop collections, programs and services to meet needs related to education, digital innovation, health, housing, jobs, literacy and women empowerment among others.
I also shared early findings and initial recommendations based on early research results of my study about public libraries serving immigrants and refugees in the USA. The presentation sought to engage librarians and decision makers by starting a conversation about the what, why, when and how of building a library that welcomes and serves diverse populations and in the process saves lives.