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BC Newcomers Find a Sense of Belonging Through Local Library Programs

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BC Newcomers Find a Sense of Belonging Through Local Library ProgramsWe often hear newcomers to BC say that once they’ve discovered their public library, they’ve found a place where they belong. Libraries are welcoming and inclusive to all guests and provide specific services to help their community. Libraries across the Lower Mainland are unique and respond to the demographics of their neighbourhood and the needs of newcomers.

BC Libraries are Rich in Information for Newcomers

Lower Mainland libraries help guide newcomers both online and in-person with information, workshops, and books in a variety of languages. In addition to this, libraries offer external resources, programs, and services to connect newcomers. Below are some great examples of how local libraries work to provide the information our communities need.

A section of the Richmond Public Library’s website is dedicated to helping newcomers access settlement services, ranging from online practice citizenship tests to language learning workshops. In addition, users will find a Chinese collection of books and DVDs in Chinese.

For newcomers living near the Port Moody Public Library, the library advertises English Language practice groups, offered by Share Family and Community Services as well as an Adult Learners Book Club for the lovers of literature.

The Vancouver Public Library’s Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre provides information about the Canadian workplace alongside information to find work, explore careers, or start a business. There are many scheduled virtual workshops for more detailed information.

The West Vancouver Memorial Library introduces you to a myriad of services that can help you settle into Canada. This listing ranges from the BC Newcomer’s Guide to the West Vancouver Newcomer’s Club.

The North Vancouver City Library has compiled a list of books for newcomers, details about library programs, and links to websites to help you with important things like transportation, medical care, find a job, a home, daycare of schools. In addition, they offer a Persian Book Club, inviting members of the Persian community to enjoy a group reading experience.

The Surrey Libraries has a list of ideas for low cost or free services and activities in Surrey and links to online learning platforms that can be accessed with your library card, among the myriad of services and support listed.

The Coquitlam Public Library offers virtual English Practice Groups where a facilitator leads discussions via zoom and other language learners join in the conversation. Additionally, the library offers an EAL Book Club is for English language learners. Meetings are scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of every month. Newcomers can also start their own book clubs with ESL book sets available at the library.

Library Services are Free and Accessible for All BC Newcomers!

Whatever the service or resource you need, start with your local library. Librarians in BC speak many languages and they work hard to be inclusive, welcoming, and informative. This is a free resource for all. All you need is your library card.