Serving New Americans
We know that more than 55% of new Americans use the public library at least once a week. They find a trusted environment, resources and community connections that can ease the way to full participation in American society. For many people, new to the U.S., libraries serve as a gateway to citizenship, English language learning, and civic engagement. Libraries offer educational materials and training resources on immigration and citizenship.
Museums also address the needs of new arrivals with cross cultural programming and inclusive community outreach. Museum exhibitions and events help deepen understanding of diverse cultures and strengthen community connections.
On June 30, 2013, IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to help libraries provide accurate and useful information about immigration and citizenship benefits, promote an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensure the integrity of the immigration system.
For more information see the memorandum of understanding.
See resources for libraries on the USCIS website.
Webinars -- Upcoming
Human Trafficking Prevention 101: An Overview for Public Libraries
Monday, February 23, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EDT
As part of their partnership to provide resources for public librarians, IMLS and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will present a webinar on Human Trafficking Prevention and the Blue Campaign. Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign and USCIS will discuss the resources and tools available to help combat human trafficking that librarians can help distribute in their communities. Read more.
Webinars -- Archives
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (PDF, 3.4MB)
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of “deferred action” for a period of two years, subject to renewal. The webinar, presented by USCIS and hosted by IMLS, will provide librarians with a basic understanding of deferred action, specifics on who may qualify, and identify how to file.
E-Verify: Employment Eligibility Verification Webinar for Public Librarians (PDF, 1.9MB)
Monday, June 2, 2014
This webinar will explore E-Verify, the federal government’s no-cost web-based service that enables employers to verify new hires’ employment eligibility. The presentation will also include an overview of Form I-9, the Employee Rights Toolkit, Self Check, and other USCIS resources. Familiarity with these resources can be vital for public librarians to assist library customers with employment eligibility verification information.
USCIS Citizenship Education and Initiatives (PDF, 2.2MB)
Thursday, March 6, 2014
This presentation will build on many of the topics discussed in the first USCIS-IMLS webinar held on February 4, 2014. Specifically, this webinar will highlight USCIS educational resources related to citizenship and the naturalization process, as well as information on how libraries can actively engage in citizenship-related activities and events.
USCIS Customer Service Tools and Resources: An Overview for Libraries
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
IMLS and USCIS are partnering to ensure that librarians have the necessary tools and knowledge to refer their patrons to accurate and reliable sources of information on immigration-related topics. The webinar highlights the agency’s work with libraries, ways in which libraries can find immigration and citizenship information online, and practical activities libraries can implement to engage the immigrant community. Read transcript (PDF, 87 KB)
Susan Hildreth and Alejandro Mayorkas signing the memorandum.
Partnership resources on the IMLS website:
February 6, 2015 11:23 AM
Learn about the government’s Blue Campaign and steps you can take to raise awareness and combat this terrible crime.
December 5, 2014 08:43 AM
Join us for Customer Service Tools and Resources: An Overview for Libraries at 2 p.m. ET.
September 16, 2014 11:33 AM
The September 29 webinar will help librarians understand how the ELIS system works and what’s in store as USCIS transitions to a fully electronic application process.
January 15, 2015 03:53 PM
During my four years leading IMLS, we helped shaped a future course for the nation’s libraries and museums through our investments, partnerships, and leadership initiatives.
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries collaborated with library and community-based programs to support English language learning, civic engagement, and preparation for citizenship.
Supported by the IMLS Grants to States program, Salt Lake County Library Services partnered with nonprofit Spy Hop to teach a free six-week course called Speak Up!, to teach local refugee youth how to use digital media to tell their stories.
Quick summary of the impact of library services for new Americans.
July 16, 2013 12:00 AM
Marshalltown Public Library Director, Sarah Rosenblum,and community member Veronica Guevara traveled to Washington from Marshalltown, Iowa to receive the national medal and spoke to IMLS about how the library impacts the community.
February 6, 2013 12:00 AM
The National Medal for Museum and Library Services is the nation’s highest honor for libraries and museums that are serving their communities in exceptional ways. Long Island Children’s Museum director Suzanne LeBlanc (the a is like “launch”) and community members Francisco and Ruth Quijada (sounds like key – ha – da) traveled to Washington from Garden City, NY to receive the national medal and spoke to IMLS about how the museum impacts the community.
April 16, 2012 12:00 AM
San José Public Library director Jane Light sits down with community member Vikram K. Kanth to discuss how he has been a has been a strong and effective advocate for the library.