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.
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, 87KB)
Susan Hildreth and Alejandro Mayorkas signing the memorandum.
Partnership resources on the IMLS website:
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.
April 16, 2012 12:00 AM
John L. Vanco, director of the Erie Art Museum, sits down with Victoria Angelo, community member and a refugee from Southern Sudan, to discuss how the museum's Old Songs New Opportunities Project has helped her find employment and opportunities to teach and perform traditional Acholi song and dance.