Providing library services to newcomer (immigrant) families has become increasingly important in Connecticut. In order to help libraries with these services the State Library is presenting a workshop on May 7th at the Farmington Library highlighting groundbreaking programs of the Hamilton Ontario Public Library, which has made celebrating the community’s diversity a strategic priority. Newcomer families in Hamilton are participating in two innovative family literacy projects: the Multicultural Early Learning Development (MELD) project and Family Language Kit (FLAG) initiative. With the support of many partners, the library promotes reading, language development and library use. Learn about the kits, the programs, the collections, and the partnerships and why these dual language outreach initiatives have been so successful.
The workshop will include an overview of the Hamilton program, a DVD that the library produced with their settlement services agency, newcomer services on their web page and a discussion of best practices when serving newcomers. After learning more about the Hamilton model we will talk about how these services may be adapted to Connecticut libraries and the possibility of an LSTA grant funded program to support them.