Commentary and Conclusions of Interviews

In this commentary I will be drawing conclusions based on all the interviews I have conducted thinking of ways to increase library usage and accessibility to Syrian refugees whose numbers continue to grow in our small state of Rhode Island.

The first issue that comes about from Syrian refugees and barriers that they face is they did not have any previous experience with public libraries. Both Families interviewed cited a lack of public libraries in their home countries with libraries only existing at the colleges and universities. This is not unusual or unexpected as similar findings were recorded in a study done in Norway with nine Female immigrants from Middle Eastern countries, they reported that “The libraries they knew from their home countries were relatively inaccessible” (Audunson, R., Essmat, S., & Aabo, S., 2011, p. 223). Similarly the families did find the library to be an inviting and welcoming place, just as the women in the study had found the library to be they found it “an attractive place. Their perception of library services, however, was colored by their lack of library experiences in their home countries” (p. 223). It seems that this was also the case with these families, the staff at the Knight Memorial Library had a difficult time explaining the Hot spot borrowing procedures, Manager Rod Burkett cited the problem to be a result of the “language barrier” however it would appear that the concept of public libraries was an entirely new one to them as well so this further complicates the problem of access to these patrons.

The language barrier is another issue, the library can’t afford to pay someone to be a translator and no one on staff currently speaks Arabic. This is something that other libraries in the country have as Kitty Pope, Windsor Public Library CEO states in the Library Journal article “Public Libraries Support Refugees”, “that WPL staff include several native Arabic speakers; many staffers are bilingual in other languages” this seems to have greatly impacted the success rate of their outreach efforts (Witteveen, 2016, p.13). Though the Providence Community Library system is able to serve Spanish speakers, French, and at the Rochambeau branch there is a clerk who speaks Russian. Aside from this there is no one able to speak any dialect of Chinese, or Arabic, both communities of which there has been an increase of in Providence. This is an effect of a lack of diverse staff in libraries all across the country not only in Providence, or even Rhode Island on the Whole. As Keith Curry Lance explains in his article “Racial and Ethnic Diversity of U.S. Library Workers” not only are minorities less likely to procure advanced degrees but very few of those who do are choosing librarianship as a career, the result is a huge lack of diversity among librarian staff. Though Libraries may be looking for a more diverse staff to fill positions in their diverse neighborhoods it is difficult to do so with a pool of applicants who though qualified are a majority white.

The issue of the Hotspots is one that both the staff and the refugee families had noted in their talks to me. The families are in need of internet access to not only access a multitude of government services such as state assistance and so on, they also use it to access Mango Languages which is a program offered by the RI Library system, it is an essential addition to their library usage at home. The issue of affording internet is one that falls on many in this country, not only the refugee families, 75 million Americans don’t have internet. These refugee families are automatically victims of the digital divide from the moment they arrive. They are even more so than most Americans who also have trouble finding stable internet source as most Americans have a cell phone at least, as these families come to this country without a penny to their name or any digital devices, making the digital divide further for these families when they first arrive, though these families in particular currently have a computer for the family to use. When talking to the families the secondary necessity aside from learning English was access to the internet and computers on the whole, and when it comes to the Mango Languages meets one need but requires another it is hard for those among the digital divide to access this library service when other services such as the hotspot borrowing are not always available. It becomes a problem for libraries in general, how to offer more accessibility to the world’s newest necessity? The hotspots certainly help but in this case there are not enough to go around, especially in poorer neighborhoods where more people will be less likely to afford internet access on their own.

After collecting all of these interviews it seems a huge issue is a lack of outreach on the part of the library to connect with organizations like DORCAS and AHOPE. The DORCAS institute though sometimes telling incoming refugees about the library does not always do so and it seems to be at the discretion of the individual ESL teachers to take a field trip to the library. Both families had cited learning about the library through the AHOPE organization, which is a rather new non-profit that was formed, whereas DORCAS has a much longer history of assisting and placing refugees in this country but they do not turn to the library as a major resource, Sarah Antaya of DORCAS says that if the library were to provide pamphlets in more than Spanish and English that they would be very happy to give them to incoming refugees and it would make it much easier to explain. The library itself is lacking the necessary people to perform such a translation and thus it becomes a problem. This is where a non-profit organization such as AHOPE could assist. In my research for this project I came across many resources for libraries in Canada and Europe but not many here. In one guide put out by the Society of Chief Librarians in the UK they list a few suggestions for helping refugees use the library.  These are a few examples as to how their libraries reshaped themselves:

“Re-create our spaces as welcoming, inclusive places. Develop consultation and outreach. Review procedures to ensure that they are welcoming and do not place barriers in the way of refugees engaging with our services (eg joining procedures, bookings, access)” (The Network, 2016).

 

By being culturally competent and taking the above mentioned steps the UK

Library leaders have confirmed that the support for newly arrived people includes:

Free access to computers and Wi-Fi.

Free access to materials to learn English, and access to physical and online

resources in other languages (Including Welsh in Wales).

Free activities and reading resources for children and families.

Trained workforce who can help with access to information and resources.

Community space to use for learning and networking.

Signposting to local education, health and wellbeing services.

Signposting to other Council services.

Signposting to community organisations and resources.

Tours of the library and all services offered (Elford, 2016).

Though there seems to be many more examples abroad of libraries reaching out there are also many Libraries in the United States who are also working hard to help immigrants and refugees. “Indeed, the Los Angeles Public Library has already partnered with the International Refugee Committee to provide ESL (English as a second language) and finance classes. In addition to its live programs, the Los Angeles Public Library offers a directory of internet resources to help immigrants in the areas of citizenship, getting a job, literacy, health, and money matters” (McDermott 2016). It would seem that the most effective and efficient ways to assist these refugee families is for the Library to perform outreach and partner with other organizations in the area committed to similar goals, such as the Los Angeles Public Library and the libraries in Europe.

But the library is a source of abundant knowledge and the refugee families I interviewed are not alone in their desire to learn, it seems to be a theme among Syrian refugees to hold education as their highest priority. In Melissa Fleming’s TED talk “Let’s help refugees thrive, not just survive” she recounts that “Syrian refugee children, all refugee children tell us education is the most important thing in their lives. Why? Because it allows them to think of their future rather than the nightmare of their past. It allows them to think of hope rather than hatred” (Flemming 2014). This learning seems that it is vital to the healing process of these refugees who have suffered much in their time before coming to this country. For this reason the library should look into establishing connections with other organizations as I previously mentioned DORCAS and AHOPE to name a few, with them they can get translations of library informational brochures and volunteer translators. They can also reach out to the community of refugees and the Syrian community themselves. Though the Knight Memorial Library emailed the local mosques and they did not email back I would assume that the reason being no one has checked that email and phone calls might work out better, but they should also look into local churches such as St. Mary’s in Pawtucket which has been helping Syrian refugees of both the Christian and Muslim faiths. The church’s congregation is comprised of Lebanese, Syrian, and other middle eastern people who possibly along with those at the mosques would be willing to donate gently used materials in Arabic. Even if the library purchases one book or movie in Arabic it would surely go long ways in helping the Syrian refugees feel welcome and happier with their library services. They also wished for more English classes and programs for children. The library does offer ESL classes, but again it seems that the lack of information in their native language led them to believe they did not. The refugee families Children attended the Bryte Summer camp and they greatly enjoyed that program.  The Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE) is an organization led by students that pairs Brown university undergraduate tutors with students in refugee families that have recently relocated to Providence from Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Bryte is run in collaboration with DORCAS, The swearer Center and the Providence Public School department. The camp was held at the Leviton Dual Language School in Providence. The families mistook this camp to be a library program, perhaps because the Providence Community library’s Mobile Library visited the Leviton Dual Language school this past summer as a part of their Summer in the Schoolyard program. I think that perhaps the library can reach out to BRYTE to also offer some programs for these children at the library as well. Though it is a lot of work to do since “introducing public library services to people who may not have had a public library and who do not understand the concept of a public library is both exhilarating and overwhelming. Thankfully there are libraries that have been providing these services all along and we can look to them for guidance” (Wilson, 2015).  Another resource is the library webpage on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration website which hosts a variety of resources and tool kits to use in the library. The Hartford Public library is the closest of which taking advantage of such a resource.

 

I have recently learned of more libraries in providence seeing refugee families such as at the Washington Park and South Providence branches, for this reason Providence Community Library should be looking into this on the whole not just the Knight memorial library itself. Effort into outreach, materials, and even professional development for staff should be made a priority so that the libraries can do their best to be a welcoming experience for Syrian refugees because though the Knight Memorial staff has tried with limited resources, it is crucial to get support from upper management as well in assisting all the branches affected by the increase in refugee Syrian patrons.

References

 75 million Americans don’t have internet. Here’s what it’s like. (2015, January 28). Retrieved December 09, 2016, from https://youtu.be/m7I2YiobGKU

Audunson, R., Essmat, S., & Aabo, S. (2011). Public libraries: A meeting place for immigrant women? Library & Information Science Research, 33, 220-227.

Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment | BRYTE–Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://students.brown.edu/refugee-youth-tutoring-enrichment/home

Elford, E. (2015, September). Library leaders across England and Wales confirm the welcome offered to refugees and asylum seekers from public libraries. Retrieved December 09, 2016, from http://goscl.com/scls-commitment-to-library-services/

Fleming, M. Melissa Fleming: Let’s Help Refugees Thrive, Not Just Survive | TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript | TED.com. N.p., Oct. 2014. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.

Gonzalez, S. (2016, November 23). The Students, Families Who Can’t Afford Internet in the Bronx. WNYC News. Retrieved from http://www.wnyc.org/story/bronx-has-least-internet-connectivity-city/

Lance, K. C. (2005). Racial and ethnic diversity of U.S. library workers. American Libraries, 36(5), 41-43.Jaeger, P. T., Subramaniam, M., Jones, C. B., & Bertot, J. C. (2011).

Mcdermott, I. (2016, March/April). How Public Libraries Can Help Syrian Refugees. Online Searcher, 40(2), 35-38. Retrieved from http://www.infotoday.com/OnlineSearcher/Articles/Internet-Express/How-Public-Libraries-Can-Help-Syrian-Refugees-109501.shtml

 

The Network. How can the Cultural sector support refugees? [Web log post]. (2016, November 17). Retrieved from http://www.seapn.org.uk/post/how-can-the-cultural-sector-support-refugees

Shorey, E. (2016, November 1). Local church adopts refugees as their own. Valley Breeze. Retrieved from http://www.valleybreeze.com/2016-11-01/pawtucket/local-church-adopts-refugees-their-own#.WEtcW_krKCh

Wilson, P. (n.d.). Refugees and The Public Library. Public Libraries Online-Public Library Association. Retrieved from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2015/12/refugees-and-the-public-library/

Witteveen, A. (2015, December 29). Public Libraries Support Refugees. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/12/public-services/public-libraries-support-refugees/#_

 

 

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An Interview with the Al-Haliri Family

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The Al-Haliri Family with their first Library cards!

What did you think about libraries before you came to the US?
The Library was only for students in University.

What were libraries like in Syria?
There were no Public libraries only universities have libraries.

What do you think about the Libraries here in the US?
They are very good places with friendly people.

Do you use the library? How?
Yes, we have library cards we get whatever we want and then check it out at the desk.

Who told you about the Library?
Cheryl Al-Sasah of AHOPE

When you went to the Library did you feel welcome there?
Yes, the Staff was very friendly, smiling and tried to talk to us about the library.

What kinds of resources do you think the library could offer that would be helpful for you as you are starting to live in America?
English classes would be good and more Wifi Hotspots, Many times we go but there are no Wifi available to check out.

What could the library do to make you feel more welcome?
More programs like the Summer one for kids*.

What kinds of programs would you like to go to at the library? (classes, speakers, cultural programs, children’s programs, etc. )
English classes for international people.

If the library offered Arabic books, movies, and CDS would you borrow them?
Yes, we would love to have arabic movies.

If the library offered you a chance to share syrian culture with others would you like to be given that opportunity?
Yes, we would love to do this.

What is the most important thing that you would like to learn about?
English is the most important thing we want to learn.



*The Summer Program the Refugee families referred to was not a program run by the library but rather a summer camp run by the The Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE).
BRYTE is an organization led by students that pairs Brown university undergraduate tutors with students in refugee families that have recently relocated to Providence from Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Bryte is run in collaboration with DORCAS, The swearer Center and the Providence Public School department. The camp was held at the Leviton Dual Language School in Providence. The families mistook this camp to be a library program, perhaps because the Providence Community library’s Mobile Library visited the Leviton Dual Language school this past summer as a part of their Summer in the Schoolyard program.

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Bilal Al-Sasah translating above questions with the Al-Haliri Family


Translation provided by Bilal Al-Sasah

An Interview with the Al-Namess Family

 

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The Al-Namess Family with Congressman David Cicilline

What did you think about libraries before you came to the US?

There are no public libraries in Syria so we didn’t think about going to them.

What were libraries like in Syria?

The libraries were only for universities for students to use.

What do you think about the Libraries here in the US?

They are very nice and have many services.

Do you use the library? How?

Yes, We use it to get books, videos and the summer programs* this past year were very good.

Who told you about the Library?

Cheryl Al-Sasah from AHOPE.

When you went to the Library did you feel welcome there?

Yes, Very much so.

What kinds of resources do you think the library could offer that would be helpful for you as you are starting to live in America?

We would like more programs for learning English.

What could the library do to make you feel more welcome?

More computers and programs like the summer one*.

What kinds of programs would you like to go to at the library? (classes, speakers, cultural programs, children’s programs, etc. )

English classes specifically for the children would be helpful.

If the library offered Arabic books, movies, and CDS would you borrow them?

Yes, we would.

If the library offered you a chance to share syrian culture with others would you like to be given that opportunity?

Yes, we would love to do that.

What is the most important thing that you would like to learn about?

The thing we want to learn most is english, how to communicate with Americans.

*The Summer Program the Refugee families referred to was not a program run by the library but rather a summer camp run by the The Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE).
BRYTE is an organization led by students that pairs Brown university undergraduate tutors with students in refugee families that have recently relocated to Providence from Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Bryte is run in collaboration with DORCAS, The swearer Center and the Providence Public School department. The camp was held at the Leviton Dual Language School in Providence. The families mistook this camp to be a library program, perhaps because the Providence Community library’s Mobile Library visited the Leviton Dual Language school this past summer as a part of their Summer in the Schoolyard program.

Translations provided by Bilal Al-Sasah.

An Interview with Cheryl Al-Sasah founder of AHOPE

What do you do for AHOPE?

I am the Founder I currently run the Setup /Clean teams, set up Mentors for new  families, and help in social aspects of new families face in daily encounters.

What does AHOPE do?
Americans Helping Others ProspEr (AHOPE) is a volunteer based non-profit organization that was established to assist new Syrian and other refugees coming to Rhode Island with little to their name. We are dedicated to helping families integrate into American society.

How do you view libraries?

I view libraries as a resource many do not take advantage of today.

How does AHOPE as an organization view libraries?
Ahope views libraries as a needed resource in guiding our families to independence.

 

Do you tell Refugee families about libraries as a resource?
Yes, we do.

What do you tell them?

We bring our new arrivals to their local library show them how it works, help them get cards, help them understand how to utilize what the library offers, such as the english learning cds, videos books on tape, computer access in libraries,and books. We also show them how to utilize the free wifi hotspot for their homes. Once families have computers at home we set them up to use the Mango language learning site. We also encourage them and their children to utilize the programs at the library. Once we have trained families we let them help teach other new arrivals this helps them learn independence as well.

What experiences do you have with refugees and libraries?
I have personally helped families oneonone and help assist numerous families set up their cards, introduce them to the librarians, and asked for resources. Showing them the multiple libraries within their communities.

What do you and or AHOPE believe to be something that Syrian refugees need but are not getting that the library could provide to them?

Access to more english learning material for Arab speaking communities. Translated rules of the library in arabic on how to navigate the library and how to ask for help. Most libraries have bilingual workers but not in their language. More books and videos in their language and programs perhaps geared towards the arabic speaking patrons. Even have cultural  events to welcome the many cultures of the city, especially the newcomers.

Would you be interested in Partnering with the library to develop programming/services for refugees at the library?

Yes, this is a possibility.

The Library has expressed frustration over not having a staff member who speaks arabic, would there be anyone willing to volunteer to be a translator on behalf of the library?

This is a possibility as there is a vast arab community in RI. Getting volunteers sometimes proves tricky offering a part time position maybe the better route to encourage those who may want a small job.

Should Translation services be offered as a part of the volunteer work you do?

Yes, based on availability we can offer translation of documents or face to face services for translation. We have people within our organization who speak arabic, french and Urdu. Our refugee clients come from multiple speaking countries so we are fortunate to have these individuals volunteering for us.

Interview with Sarah Antaya of the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island

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Sarah Antaya, Refugee resettlement Program Manager for the DORCAS Institute

 

The following is an interview with Sarah Antaya of the Dorcas Institute which helps resettle refugees through a variety of means.

  • Basic needs assistance (housing, food, enrolling in schools, etc. )
  • Cultural orientation and skills building programs
  • Assistance accessing healthcare
  • English as a Second Language and Workforce education programs
  • Employment services (job training & placement)
  • Ongoing advocacy and case management to insure self-sufficiency

What do you do at the DORCAS Institute?

I manage the Reception & Placement part of the Refugee Resettlement program here at Dorcas International Institute (DIIRI). I supervise the caseworkers whose clients are new refugee arrivals; these caseworkers prepare for the arrival of refugee individuals and families. We then provide orientations and assist the refugee clients in a variety of ways during their initial 90-day period (called the Reception & Placement period).
What resources does Dorcas provide to refugees?
Dorcas provides comprehensive case management to refugee clients, which includes provision of initial housing, access to the Refugee Resource Center (for free clothing and some household goods and hygiene items), assistance with applying for government benefits, assistance with scheduling and attending medical appointments, referral to adult education (ESL) at our agency, assistance with registering children in public school/child care. Employable adults are provided with the assistance of a Career Developer in order to seek employment. Clients are provided with Cultural Orientation and ongoing case management when needed.
How do you view  public libraries?
I love the American public library system and I view it as a fantastic resource for all of us. I encourage utilization of the public library whenever possible.
Are libraries advocated to refugees as a resource for free learning (in the form of materials and classes), culture, and children’s classes and programs?

Yes.

If Yes, How?

We don’t really have a formal, consistent way of recommending the library to our refugee clients as a resource. It generally comes up in a case-by-case way, depending on the needs/capabilities of the client.

Some of our ESL teachers have organized field trips for the adult students to the library – I’m not sure if that’s a regular thing. (and the ESL classes include refugees and non-refugees)

When we get volunteer tutors/mentors involved with refugee families, we definitely suggest the library as an activity idea.

And the library is mentioned as a community resource in the Cultural Orientation sessions conducted with all new arrivals (the amount of time devoted to it depends on the facilitator of the orientation).

If there were materials (like brochures about what the library offers, etc) in languages other than English/Spanish, it would certainly be easier to promote it.

The library provides free access to information to patrons on any topic and can provide resources to organizations in the community for help with health, education, housing and more, is the library advocated to refugees for these reasons?

Use of the public library is advocated informally by caseworkers and during cultural orientation as a community resource in general.  For some clients, use of the library may be challenging due to the language barrier.
Would you say that the DORCAS institute would be interested in forming a partnership with the local libraries in the areas where syrian and other refugees are placed?

Possibly.   I cannot speak for the agency as a whole, but we are always interested in pursuing ways to open up more resources to our refugee clients.

What things do you believe the library could offer that would appeal to the Syrian Refugees or be a useful resource to them?

More frequent ESL classes (or classes aimed specifically at our female clients, who are often unable to attend ESL class due to lack of child care). Also, if there was some sort of “orientation” offered, with interpreters, to refugee clients with very little English – this could be great.  The orientation could show clients how to make the most of the public library, even if they have little to no English ability. The public library may be a new concept to some refugee clients and accessing it may also intimidate clients who speak very little English.

Interview with Knight Memorial Library Regional Manager Rod Burkett

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Rod Burkett Providence Community Library Regional Manager

The following is an Interview with Rod Burkett who is the Library Manager of Knight Memorial Library which is located in the neighborhood where many Syrian refugee families were placed.

How well prepared do you think the library was to receive Syrian refugees?

 

PCL was not prepared.  We had no advance knowledge that numbers of new patrons, whose language was Arabic, were arriving in Providence until they started applying for library cards to check out Hot Spots.  The library has minimal financial support so even if we had received advanced information, we do not have the financial resources to quickly adapt to changing needs.

 

The requests to use Hot Spots overwhelmed the staff.  Because of a language barrier and the new demand for Hot Spots, it was impossible to continue the procedures to borrow them.  This resulted in frustration for both patrons and staff until a new system could be worked out.

 

What efforts have been made here at Knight Memorial library to engage the refugees in library usage?

 

Dorcas Place brought an ESL class for a tour of the library.  The majority, if not all students, spoke Arabic as their first language.  Dorcas arranged to have an interpreter accompany the class, and this was vital to the success of the tour.  I work with four libraries so I am not at a KML service desk enough to determine if students on the tour have made repeat visits.
In what ways do you notice the refugees utilizing library services?

 

Hot Spots are the items most in demand.  I am not aware of requests for printed materials in Arabic.  As I recall, an Arabic speaking patron asked for Bollywood films so I ordered a few DVDs.

What would be helpful to your library in order to engage these users?

 

Written instructions in Arabic (effective) would have been helpful to show patrons when they wanted to borrow Hot Spots.  I used Google translate to provide instructions, but the interpreter for the Dorcas tour said they were poor.

What plans does the library have to help the Syrian refugees in the future?

 

I would like to provide some book titles in Arabic.  I reached out to one or two local mosques via email to ask for help in choosing a few titles that might be of interest, but I did not receive a response.  It is difficult for me to find the time to pursue searching for titles so outside help would be much appreciated.

 

I don’t have enough money for materials as it is; Knight Memorial has the equivalent of $866 per month to spend on library materials.  This includes print (books and periodicals) and DVDs for juvenile, YA and adult patrons, fiction and nonfiction, English and Spanish.  I would need to seek outside (grant) funds to acquire books in Arabic.

Do you have any stories you would like to share about your interactions with these patrons?

 

My interactions have been fine, but I know the Circ Staff has felt frustrated in the lack of ability to communicate with the Syrian patrons.  Patrons whose first language is Spanish can be served fairly well at Knight Memorial, and on rare occasions, we have been able to serve patrons whose first language is French.  We have served other patrons whose first language is not English, but there has often been someone who could translate for the patron.

I think some basic training in Arabic for staff could have been helpful.  If there was knowledge of another influx of Syrian refugees that were expected, it would be good if staff members could be offered very basic language skills to do a patron registration (translated to Arabic would be helpful) and to explain check out, check in, due dates and fines.

Interview with Youth Services Specialist Melissa Rivera of Knight Memorial Library

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Melissa Rivera, Knight Memorial Library Youth Services Specialist

The following is an Interview with Melissa Rivera, Youth Services Specialist at the Knight Memorial library in Providence which is located closest to where Syrian Refugee Families have been located.

How well prepared do you think the library was to receive Syrian refugees?
None of the circ staff, reference librarians or children’s staff were prepared.  None of the staff at Knight know how to speak Arabic.
 What efforts have been made here at Knight Memorial Library to engage the refugees in library usage?
After noticing the refugees had a difficult time in understanding the usage of the Hot Spot, Rod ( Library Manager) took the initiative to translate PCL’s Hot Spot Policy.  He tried his best to translate the policy to Arabic and only then it seemed to help our Syrian patrons get a better understanding of how to check out free WIFI.
In what ways do you notice the refugees utilizing library services?
The refugees only use the library to check out Hot Spots and movies.  We would love for them to attend our children’s programs and also check out learning English language materials.
What would be helpful to your library in order to engage these users?
An Arabic translator would be extremely helpful for the patrons and also for the Knight staff.  Also adding Arabic materials to our collection (fiction and non fiction books, audio books, juvenile fiction and non fiction books, etc).  Possibly have an ESL teacher who speaks Arabic and is able to teach the Syrian refugees English.
 What plans does the library have to help the Syrian refugees in the future?
Unknown.  Possibly thoughts of collaborating with Dorcas International Institute.
Do you have any stories you would like to share about your interactions with these patrons?
I haven’t had many interactions with the Syrian refugee patrons per say but the circ staff seem to have day to day questions from them… example, is a Hot Spot available and if not, can we place our name on the waiting list.