For the past 10 years, through the Library Champions Project, we have trained 1,750 new immigrants. Plus we’ve provided outreach to 100,000 new immigrants throughout the Lower Mainland. With additional funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), we are excited to announce that our project is expanding to the rest of British Columbia! We can now reach immigrants and newcomers in all corners of this beautiful province. And share with them the services, programs, and resources available in their libraries and communities.
What is the Library Champions Project?
The Library Champions Project (LCP) is a three-month volunteer program for new immigrants to British Columbia. During the project, Library Champions are trained to conduct outreach to other new immigrants. The training sessions focus on building communication, presentation, and outreach skills. As well as on gaining an understanding of the range of programs, services, and resources. These resources are provided by libraries and immigrant and community service agencies. Library Champions then share this information with other community members.
Who Can Volunteer as a Library Champion?
Permanent residents of Canada, who are not yet Canadian citizens can volunteer as a Library Champion. You are required to be over the age of 19 and enthusiastic about libraries. You are interested in volunteering in your community and sharing information about libraries and settlement resources with other newcomers.
Where in BC will this Expansion Start?
We will encompass large geographical regions in our initial expansion: the Sunshine Coast and the Kootenays. Later, we will move to Northern BC, the Thompson Okanagan Region, and the Vancouver Island Regions.
These Library Champions will meet online, via zoom, with the project facilitator, to learn about their libraries. As well as the immigrant and community services and agencies in their region.
What are the Benefits of Volunteering as a Library Champion?
Newcomers who volunteer as Library Champions not only find amazing programs and resources at their libraries, but they also learn from the community and immigrant serving agencies in their area. During the program, newcomers build their English, communication skills and find that their confidence increases. In giving back to their community, they learn of events and activities in their areas. They learn about different cultures in the program and realize that their experiences as a newcomer are not unique. Additionally, they gain volunteer experience and references, and they make new friends.
Where can I Find More Information?
You can visit the NewToBC website to learn more about the Library Champions Project. To see what region your library is in, please visit the Libraries in British Columbia on our website. We are looking forward to meeting you and sharing all that libraries in BC have to offer newcomers.