Meet your new neighbour at the Cologne Public Library! Facilitating integration into society by bringing locals and refugees together

DUDEK, Sarah (2017) Meet your new neighbour at the Cologne Public Library! Facilitating integration into society by bringing locals and refugees together. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 112 - Poster Sessions.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Meet your new neighbour at the Cologne Public Library! Facilitating integration into society by bringing locals and refugees together

The Cologne Public Library’s “sprachraum” (“language space”) opened in October 2015. It has developed into a volunteer-run meeting place, providing information and programs, where locals and refugees learn German together. Intercultural work has been a central part of the Cologne Public Library’s strategic plan for many years. The exponential increase in the numbers of refugees coming to Germany in the last two years has prompted the library to offer new services for this target group. While the previous focus was on long-term integration, the second or third phase of migration, the efforts of the “sprachraum” are aimed at the diverse group of newcomers in the first and second phase of migration. The “sprachraum”, with its events, collection, digital resources and networking activities, provides a forum for two-way communication. More than 70 volunteers work for the “sprachraum” helping newcomers to learn German, get to know locals, and get orientation in everyday-life. The library acts as a mediator and facilitator between newcomers and society. For more information please visit www.stbib-koeln.de/sprachraum

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