How Can the Library Serve Newcomers Better? Please tell us what you think!
Hello readers of the "New to Canada" blog! Toronto Public Library is creating a new strategic plan 2012-2015 for the next four years and we need your help. We would like to ask you - the newcomers to Toronto, Canada - to take a moment and please tell us:
- What library services are most important to you?
- What could we do to improve our library services for newcomers?
The library is often one of the first places that new immigrants visit in the early days after they arrive in Toronto. Toronto Public Library has been striving to support newcomers all through their process of settlement and living in our vibrant city. Adults, teens and children can all register for a free library card, attend various programs, use computers and Internet (including wireless). Through its branches - the library provides safe and welcoming spaces for people to read, do research, meet people or simply relax.
NEWCOMERS AT THE LIBRARY CAN:
- meet with an LSP settlement worker at the library to get free assistance with information and referrals on finding housing, looking for a job, registering a child at school, joining an ESL class etc.
- borrow materials in their language in addition to the rich collections in English language.
- borrow books on how to write a resume and cover letter, how to prepare for a job interview; use books and online databases for business and career research. There are also various workshops at the library - you can hear experienced speakers talk about topics such as finding a job, networking, starting a business.
- borrow a free MAP museum family pass with an adult ibrary and visit Toronto's great cultural places.
Families with children can find much support at the library and help their kids succeed in school - books for reading at various levels, after-school activities, even a free Dial-a-story phone line with stories in twelve (12) languages. And for the youngest preschool kids and their caregivers - there are storytimes, such as the example in the video below.
Watch this short video of a "Story time" at the library. A great place for kids to meet and parents/caregivers to get together.
These were just some of the examples of library servives that you can use at Toronto Public Library. Find out more about our vision and goals on our Strategic Plan website, and you can fill in our survey online. Your feedback is really important to us, so please take the time to send us your comments and ideas - you can reply to this blog post below as well.
You might also find interesting to read this earlier blog post related to the new strategic plan survey: Making Ontario Home: settlement and integration services, Sept 5, 2012 - by Debbie Douglas, director of OCASI: The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.
Please tell us what you think! What library services are most important to you?
What could we do to improve our library services for newcomers?