Library services for immigrants and refugees: actions and principles from a global perspective

LEONG, Jack Hang-tat (2016) Library services for immigrants and refugees: actions and principles from a global perspective. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 81 - Division III Programme.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1334
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Library services for immigrants and refugees: actions and principles from a global perspective

IFLA in 2006 and UNESCO in 2009, lays out interesting principles for offering culturally and linguistically relevant, appropriate, and accessible library services in the culturally diverse societies shaped partly by immigrants and refugees. It paves a smooth path for social inclusion and coherence in a world that is becoming more heterogeneous with an increasingly number of immigrants and refugees. Libraries have a long tradition of providing sanctuary to all people who seek information, space and services to understand and adapt to the changing and globalizing environment. In IFLA’s manifesto, “cultural diversity” or “multiculturalism” refers to the harmonious co-existence and interaction of different cultures. It acts as the foundation of our collective strength in our local communities and in our global society. Building on these values, libraries of all types should reflect, support and promote cultural and linguistic diversity at the international, national, and local levels, and thus work for cross-cultural dialogue and active citizenship. In this paper, I summarize the principles presented in the manifesto and the guidelines published by IFLA. From literature review and survey of library services, I discuss actions and implementation of the concept of multicultural library around the world in the last decade responding to users consisting of more and more immigrants and refugees.

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