Library Programs for Immigrants

American Dream Starts @ your library

Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) staff visited three current round American Dream libraries, and participated in two conferences with a poster session on the American Dream during October and November.

On October 17, OLOS staff shared information on the American Dream project at the Illinois Library Association, and were joined by Esther Chase from Berwyn Public Library, one of the libraries in the current round of the American Dream project. On October 22, OLOS Communications Officer John Amundsen visited the Citizen Study Group at Berwyn Public Library to see their program firsthand. In early November, the OLOS staff visited Waukegan Public Library to get a closer look at the wide variety of programs and services being offered with the American Dream grant.

On November 14, OLOS staff had the pleasure of visiting another current round American Dream library, the Pinewoods Branch of the Athens (GA) Public Library, and meeting its wonderful program staff, volunteers and students. The next day, OLOS staff were joined by Pinewoods Branch Coordinator, Aida Quinones, and Lois Strauss from Greenwood (SC) County Library (another current round library), to share information on the American Dream Starts @your library project during a poster session at the joint SELA/SCLC conference in Greenville, SC.

Source: Fiels, Keith Michael. Report to [ALA] Council and Executive Board, December 12, 2013.

I didn’t know about the American Dream Starts @your library initiative before Mr. Fiels’ report. I’m supportive of it now that I’m aware. I think libraries helping new immigrants on the paths to citizenship and English proficiency is really good for our country.

Some days it does seem like ALA has more programs and initiatives than any one person can keep track of. Not positive this is a good thing nor do I have a cure to offer beyond continued evaluation efforts and dropping those initiatives that don’t seem to produce results. Which may already be standard practice. I’ve just started my term on ALA Council and have a lot to learn.

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