The State Library’s adult literacy program emphasizes the use and importance of the public library in assisting students. For some new immigrants, a public library is a new experience. At World Relief Refugee Services in Chicago, students and tutors take class trips to libraries, and design language lessons around using the public library in their intensive English programs.
In addition, the organization’s volunteer coordinator strongly encourages all in-home tutors to take their students to the library within the first three months of tutoring. The volunteer coordinator gives all new tutors a handout entitled “The Power of the Chicago Public Library,” which lists specific ways that the library benefits newly arrived refugees and immigrants.
The coordinator also follows up with each tutor individually to make certain they know the location of the closest public library, and what documents students need to obtain a library card. Through classroom trips and individual trips with in-home tutors, students learn firsthand about library resources so that they will continue to use the library after they leave the program.