Now entering its sixth year, our Library Innovation Lab: Exploring New Ways of Engaging California’s Immigrant Communities (LIL) program continues to support the goal of making our state a more welcoming place for immigrants. Each year LIL engages a new group of librarians, providing training and resources, including $5,000 in grant funds, that encourage experimentation with innovative, relevant, and engaging immigrant-centered programming.
To date, 52 libraries have participated in the nationally recognized program, and they have offered hundreds of programs that have reached over 40,000 Californians. Evaluations show that the participants have developed a diverse array of engaging activities that have engaged immigrants and promoted a greater understanding of the immigrant experience on the part of other community members. In addition to increasing librarians’ ability to work effectively with immigrants, the LIL program has also provided valuable professional development experiences and increased the capacity of participating libraries to deliver meaningful humanities programs for their communities.
To visually share the “story” of this program, we are excited to introduce our Library Innovation Lab infographic. Started by Kirsten Brehm, a UC Irvine Humanities graduate fellow, and completed by staff member Steven Loscutoff, this infographic was created from data gathered from reports and interviews with program participants, mentors, and staff. The completion illuminates LIL’s reach and impact over the past five years.
To learn more about the Library Innovation Lab program, click here. Stay tuned for information on programming happening this fall at libraries around the state–shared in our monthly eNews and on the California Humanities blog site.
Each year, LIL recruits a new group of public library programmers through an open call to libraries across the state. Over nine months, they research, design, implement and assess a small-scale, short-term public humanities project before the year’s end. Working in a collaborative learning environment that includes group meetings and individualized advising, cohort participants acquire new skills and knowledge in program development and project management, build confidence, develop the capacity to work with immigrants, and exercise creativity and imagination through experimenting with new programming approaches.
Contact Project & Evaluation Director Felicia Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.