Libraries – Your Community Hub
Public Libraries are often the first point of contact for many newcomers when they move to Canada. Not just for books, libraries have a wide range of resources to help newcomers integrate into their new community. Library staff speak many different languages and can often direct visitors to books in their native languages. Library staff can also direct newcomers to resources to help them settle as well as point them to areas that can connect them to their new communities. One of these connection points is book clubs offered through libraries in the Lower Mainland.
ESL Book Clubs for All levels
People who are working on their English can find book clubs who read books shorter in length. The Surrey Libraries and the Fraser Valley Regional Library offer an ESL book club for all levels of English language learners – inviting people to practice reading, speaking, and listening in English. The Richmond Public Library offers an ESL book club for intermediate to advanced English language learners with books longer in length, and more challenging to read. The West Vancouver Memorial Library offers an Advanced ESL book club for those ready for longer novels who wish to improve their reading skills and practise English conversation.
Non-English Book Clubs
Libraries also offer book clubs in languages other than English. The North Vancouver City Library offers a Persian book club. The Library has a popular collection of Persian book club sets containing 12-15 copies. Patrons meet the last Wednesday of every month to discuss the book in a ‘kitchen table’ conversation. Likewise, the Richmond Public Library offers a Mandarin book reading club that meets on the second Friday of each month to discuss a book’s topic.
Start Your Own Book Club
Libraries offer the resources needed to start your own book club too. The North Vancouver District Public Library supports book clubs in the community with suggestions for what to read, book sets, collections of reviews, author bios, and discussion questions. If you would like your book club to meet at the library, you can also ask a librarian about booking a space.
Connect with Others – Over a Great Book!
Over the years, libraries have helped newcomers adjust to life in Canada. In many cases, having a conversation with other newcomers over a good book is what helps connect them to their new community. If you’re new to Canada, consider attending one of these events. The library staff have worked hard to make libraries inclusive and welcoming to meet your needs.