Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MB Lib Conf 2010: Reaching Out to Newcomers

...with Winnipeg Public Lib staff...

  • ESL is now called EAL (English as an ADDITIONAL language)...I wonder if that is a MB thing or if we should change our signage / brochures etc.
  • (btw found out today there are 200 peeps at this conference)
  • Riccardo, a newcomer to Wpg (from Argentina), spoke about the magical role of EAL teachers...the key to the transformation in to a new life in a new country is the public library...a safe place for independent work and freedom...a place that teaches people how to *learn*
  • the public lib is a revolutionary place that supports freedom to learn and freedom of thought...where you can perform the alchemy of transforming info in to knowledge...wow, very well spoken
  • newcomers might be: immigrant (planned move) or refugee (from conflict zones, experienced interrupted schooling...Canada might not have been their first choice
  • MB expecting 20,000 immigrants a year by 2016...double the number of 2006 (I wonder what the #s for ON / TBay are)
  • make the Labour and Immigration Web site your friend...lots of info re languages, number of refugees etc.
  • immigrants are a remarkably diverse community
  • Why reach out to newcomers?...if they don't know you exist, you risk being redundant and out of touch with a community that is clearly changing
  • the immediate needs are housing, employment, education
  • Labour and Imm. web site outlines the settlement strategy...there is some library information included
  • WPL does regular presentations for the local EAL teachers
  • WPL did a needs assessment...a large demographic...but what do they know of libraries?...did they use them before?...are our procedures a barrier?...are we meeting their needs?....WPL wanted to know what newcomers thought of them...what's working, what's not....what do they need from the Lib?
  • four staff went out and talked to newcomers and people who work with them...settlement workers, EAL teachers...newcomers...
  • not everyone knows about libraries ... how they work etc.
  • wide variety of libraries out there in the world!
  • don't assume what s/one might know about libraries and how they work
  • Received fab feedback..."tell me why I want to go to the lib"..."libraries can be overwhealming"..."rules aren't always understood -- fines are a barrier"..."I want to feel welcome"...fear of the security gates...what happens when they beep...bad experience in the past with police..."I want to feel welcome"...not staff rolling their eyes b/c I'm going to take longer b/c you have to explain things to me
  • not understanding the date due receipt...confusion re 05/04/10 date due...so format was adjusted to 05 April 2010
  • developed a strategy...photo novels for EAL classrooms / web site for resources / multilingual info / collection improvements / stronger outreach / staff newcomer awareness and orientation w. EAL rsources
  • photo novels: needed to explain what the lib is all about in pictures...nifty! I wonder if we can get a copy?
  • why photo novels?...diversity of newcomers required diverse strategies for meaningful in
  • brochures etc.
  • (btw found out today there are 200 peeps at this conference)
  • Riccardo, a newcomer to Wpg, spoke about the magical role of EAL teachers...the key to the transformation in to a new life in a new country is the public library...a safe place for independent work and freedom...a place that teaches people how to *learn*
  • the public lib is a revolutionary place that supports freedom to learn and freedom of thought...where you can perform the alchemy of transforming info in to knowledge...wow, very well spoken
  • newcomers might be: immigrant (planned move) or refugee (from conflict zones, experienced interrupted schooling...Canada might not
  • o
  • English is critical
  • benefits: tareting groups who may not be familiar with libs...uses existing network to get the msg out (ie EAL teachers)...wanted to involve the EAL teachers, so ensure to meet their needs, and sense of ownership...not only informs learners, but also teachers...easy to update as is web-based (woot!!!)
  • modules of lib info: collections / services / programs...and WHY and HOW to use the Library...also lib space/place...programs...virtual stuff
  • photo novels tell a story about common library experiences...EAL teachers can use in the classroom, and build activities around...so full understanding...follow up with visit to EAL class from the library
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks (www.language.ca)...fab to be familiar with in order to provide appropriate level of communication ...check them out
  • the new Word has a feature to tell you what grade level you're writing at...under "spelling"...plush kinkaide reading level (check the name of that!)...we tend to write at a grade 10-12 level, should write at grade 7 level for broader understanding...***consider including that in new web site guidelines*** double check how that works and teach others to check their writing for the Web site there (then wash out the coding in note pad)
  • to do: email kathleen (email adr in handout) re photo novels...are they online?...will they share?
  • benchmarks...Rex Murphy is level 12!!!
  • photo book of getting a lib card
  • WPL newcomer Web page
  • photo books are pdf, so easy to update...same pics, but change the blurbs when your info changes...project for next year???...talk it up with BP...probably AS + virtual + major partnership with Multi...but first ascertain if we need...
  • Century Gothic is a font that is most readable to EAL level 1 and 2 (look at the "a"s...interesting...) ***take that in to account for the Web site look and feel***
  • photo stories for different levels...lower level has word "balloons", higher the students make up their own story / dialogue...wowser this is fab
  • the answers are provided for the EAL teachers
  • matching exercise for library lingo fab (in level 5/6 book)
  • Tumblebooks would be superfab for newcomers...for both children and adults (WPL mentioned other "read along" databases)
  • they also have a dual language collection (books in English + another language)
  • puzzlemaker.com is a fab resource for making word searches, anagrams, crossword puzzles etc...check it out...it is free
  • how did they connect with EAL teachers?...word of mouth / connections btn the teachers, and Riccardo who had approached Katie
  • leverage your community connections
  • applied for a small grant ($5,000) to fund the project (paid for Riccardo's time...taking pics / formatting the photo books) and also for EAL teacchers consulting for the photo books exercises etc?
  • overview...look at YOUR demographics...ask Labour and Immigration...talk to your local settlement works + schools...make connections with the service agencies (who want to provide good info)...connect with your EAL teachers...build relationships....open the communication for both positive and negative feedback
  • "Welcome to the Lib" flyer produced by WPL and Man. Lib. Services...I think I got one...will be a pdf / translated to 10 languges...for use by MB languages...Katie happy to share the text...email her

2 comments:

Danielle said...

Hi Joanne! I'm not Kathleen, but I work at the WPL & I can tell you that the photo essays about the library are available on our website here:
http://wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/libraryservices/newcomers.asp

Glad you enjoyed the conference,
Danielle P

Library Detective said...

Hi Danielle -- thanks so much! I was blogging live and didn't go back to edit that part after Kathleen talked about it!!! But thanks again. The photo essays are amazing.
Joanna