Project Welcome: Libraries Serving Refugees

Project Welcome: Libraries and Community Anchors Planning for Resettlement and Integration of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

How can libraries better serve refugees and asylum seekers? The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs has partnered with the American Library Association (ALA) on the IMLS-funded “Project Welcome,” that started as a one-year planning grant (May 2016 – April 2017) and is now extended until April 2018. Project Welcome aims to learn about and articulate ways libraries can address the information needs of refugees and asylum seekers in order to support and empower them in their resettlement and integration process.

We assessed the information needs and gaps in library services by learning from US and international librarians, international and national governmental agencies, and domestic resettlement and social services to develop recommendations and an action agenda on information resources, services, training, and research needed to support the resettlement and integration of refugees and asylum seekers in the United States. The grant was extended an additional year to focus on this aim within the context of public libraries. Visit the website to access the resources developed and the work achieved.

Project Coordinator: Clara M. Chu <>, Mortenson Center for International Library Program, University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign

Project Partners: Michael Dowling <> and Jody Gray <>, American Library Association

Funding: This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS Planning Grant: LG-82-16-0059-16).