How can libraries help welcome new Californians?
Over the past six months, a group of ten dedicated and imaginative programming librarians from across the state have been thinking hard about this question. With support from California Humanities staff and consultants, the Library Innovation Lab participants have been actively conducting research to uncover the needs and concerns of recent immigrants in their communities. In late June, the cohort gathered in Los Angeles for a 2-day convening to share what they have learned and how they plan to respond through a variety of innovative public humanities programs.
Among the projects envisioned are a Moth-like live storytelling evening featuring immigrant voices in Fresno, the use of Virtual Reality technology to enable immigrants to “revisit” their old homes and share stories and memories with friends, family, and neighbors in Chula Vista, and a bilingual community-wide read in the East Bay that will address the heightened sense of fear many immigrants are currently experiencing. Stay tuned for more information about all ten exciting programs. Activities will begin this summer and extend through the fall, with information available on our online calendar.
Library Innovation Lab: Exploring New Ways to Engage California’s Immigrant Communities is a new pilot program of California Humanities that aims to strengthen library capacity to provide public humanities programs that will respond to the needs and circumstances of today’s immigrants and immigrant communities and foster more inclusive communities within our state. Ten libraries were selected to participate through an open call application process in fall 2016. Awards provide a package of training, support, and resources, including a $5,000 cash grant to support program-related activities.
For more information, contact Felicia Kelley, Project and Evaluation Director.