New In Your Community? Your Library Can Help!
What is the first place people who are trying to get settled in a new city should visit? The library! It might not be what comes to mind until you are all unpacked and ready to find some reading materials, but there is a lot that the library offers to newcomers. It’s an ideal resource for those who are looking to socialize and to learn more about their community. Whether you’ve moved from just down the road or from across the world, add the library to your move-in checklist.
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An important service that libraries offer is access to legal advice, government agencies, and local organizations. These can be useful for those who need assistance applying for aid or looking for childcare. Immigrants are one population that may face the most challenges when it comes to joining a new community. Leaving a familiar place is not easy, which is why libraries are great for helping immigrants adjust and access resources. In addition, libraries also offer language courses for those who are trying to figure out how to communicate in a new language. These can look like adult education programs or even simple storytime sessions where everyone is welcome to attend and learn.
Libraries are very welcoming spaces. Librarians around the country place a great deal of emphasis on making libraries safe and inviting for new community members. An example of this is a Welcoming Library, set up to drive conversation around New Arrival and New American families. This is a collection of books that center around immigrant stories that reflect local and national communities and comes with a toolkit to guide people. These books are a traveling collection curated by librarians to educate and improve the library experience for all users.
Libraries house a massive amount of knowledge, especially relating to their local community. This means that there is no better place to learn about the place you’ve moved to than the library. Whether you’re a history buff and excited to learn about the roots of your new town or you are wishing to locate basic information, the library is a great aid.
Activities for Getting Involved
The calendar of events that libraries offer is typically extensive. Moving to a new city can be difficult, especially if you had to leave your social circle behind. The library is a great place to build new relationships and find a new crowd to spend your time with.
The variety of library programs makes this phase of exploring even more fun. You can choose to attend something completely new to you and meet new friends while you discover different interests. Or you can stick with your favorite things to do and come across others who share the same passions.
The library is a place to get creative. This is where great minds can come together and where you can explore ideas and innovate. These are great ways to destress during your move and keep yourself engaged in ways other than arranging your new home. There is a lot of technology to explore at the library and makerspaces are also available to guide you through your creative process.
It can be hard to feel at home in a new place, especially when you don’t have your usual community of supporters at your side. Libraries can connect you to your safe space and, for many, they also serve as a safe space. There is information and resources for all communities- whether you’re looking for people with similar backgrounds, similar identities, or similar interests.
Connect with Loved Ones
While making new friends and getting to know the area is important, it is also important to remain connected to your loved ones. If you made the move with your family, take them on your library trips. This is a great opportunity to explore together, pick out some books, and snuggle in library spaces while you teach your kids about all the best things a library can offer.
If you are missing your friends and family that you no longer live near, you could take ideas from the library to stay close with your friends and family back home. Start a virtual book club using resources from the library or share what you’ve learned with your friends.
Libraries are Community Centers
Whatever you may be looking for, you are sure to find it at the library. Libraries have always been community centers, offering endless opportunities, resources, and help to those who come through their doors. Moving to a new town is an adjustment for anyone to make. Stop by your new local library to ease into your new life and make a smooth transition to your next adventure.