Providing Informed Referrals for Immigrant Populations

JAMISON, Mark A. (2016) Providing Informed Referrals for Immigrant Populations. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 125 - Reference and Information Services.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Providing Informed Referrals for Immigrant Populations

As immigration continues to be an important topic in the sociopolitical world, libraries have increasingly become a trusted provider of information services for immigrants, English-language learners and new Americans. Strategically located in the most diverse county in the United States, Queens Borough Public Library, recipient of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, has developed a curriculum and already trained over 200 librarians and public-serving staff members on enhancing reference services to immigrant customers, just over half of the project goal of 400 by early 2017. Queens Library staff members have participated in an extensive workshop-based training program that develops core skills, such as cultural competence, communication, creating and maintaining referral systems, and developing key community partnerships. These workshops have increased the quality of information services by further aligning Queens Library’s Core Values and Mission of meeting the “informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs” of our ever-changing and diverse community. This presentation and paper highlights the successes and lessons learned in the implementation of the “Librarian Digital & Integration Gateway Project” at Queens Library and its impact on internal and external services and partnerships, connecting with immigrants and English-language learning populations, and increasing informational and organizational referrals for patrons.

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