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Within the project 'Libraries for All' we researched public libraries around the world and found some exemplary multicultural practices. This database aspires to be an inspiration to librarians, providing ideas on how to create a library that is welcoming and accessible for foreign library users. This database will be updated continuously.

Best Practices

IFLA - The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. ...more»

DBV - Deutscher Bibliotheksverband / German Library Association

[DBV, Germany]
The German Library Association (DBV) has been working over 60 years for libraries in Germany. The association has 2,000 member libraries nationwide. Its goal is to make the impact of libraries in cultural and educational visible and to strengthen their role in society. ...more»

Intercultural Library - Interkulturelle Bibliothek

[Bibliotheksportal - Interkulturelle Bibliothek, Germany]
German Library Association (Deutscher Bibliotheksverband, dvb) designed a new web portal, the "Intercultural Library". This is the first Internet platform in Germany to serve the twin goals of library-specific communication and the provision of important aids to everyday library work. ...more»

Forumoeb - Forum Oeffentliche Bibliotheken / Public Libraries Forum

The German-language forum for multicultural library services in public libraries. ...more»

Welcome To Your Library

[Welcome To Your Library, United Kingdom]
The project Welcome To Your Library searches to engage refugees and asylumseekers in service delivery at a local level. Libraries are one of the very few services that anyone can access freely, irrespective of status or money and can act as gateways to civic presence, with the library card as an easily accessible symbol of citizenship. 

Affinity Centres – A Tool for Reaching Diverse Communities: The San Francisco Model

[San Francisco Public Library, USA]
The Main Library is the resource center for the entire San Francisco Public Library system and the libraries of Northern California. Its large collection and extensive programs and exhibits support the Library's mission of "access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joy of reading." ...more»

"" by the Dutch Public Library Association

["", Netherlands]
Many children in the Netherlands have another mother tongue then Dutch. To learn the Dutch language, it is important that these children keep in touch with stories, music, poetry from different sources like books, CD and video. In their own language and in Dutch. The site (= provides information about materials and projects for all intermediaries who wish these children to grow up in a multilingual environment. ...more»

Library and Archives Canada - Multicultural Resources and Services

[Library and Archives Canada - Multicultural Resources and Services, Canada]
Multicultural Initiatives is the office that coordinates multicultural and multilingual services, programs and collections within LAC and facilitates cooperation at the national and international level. The office acts as champion for multiculturalism and builds networks to ensure that LAC represents and serves the geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity of all Canadians. ...more»

Coventry Libraries and Information Services

[Coventry Libraries and Information Services, United Kingdom]
Multicultural Library Services provides library services to diverse community groups. ...more»

E.S.L. Center

[The Jones Library, USA]
The Jones Library E.S.L. Center is an award winning program providing volunteer tutors, tutoring space, study materials, computer-assisted instruction, citizenship classes, English classes and referrals to adult immigrants in the Amherst area.

The American Place

[Hartford Public Library, USA]
The American public library empowered many immigrants to transform their individual dreams and potentialities into American realities." Eric Frederick Goldman, "Century of the American dream," Saturday Review (Dec. 13, 1975) ...more»

Multicultural Outreach

[Boulder Public Library, USA]
The purpose of the Boulder Public Library is to enhance the personal development of Boulder's citizens and to meet their informational needs, recognizing the need for a well-informed citizenry, the individual's capacity for self-improvement, the worth of each person, and the need for human dignity. The Multicultural Outreach department at BPL develops multicultural and outreach events and programs and provides a number of services to the commuity.

New Immigrants Centers

[Austin Public Library (APL) , USA]
The New Immigrants Program of Austin Public Library (APL) provides information and services to Austin's new, primarily non-English-speaking, immigrant population. New Immigrants Centers are offered in eight APL locations: Faulk Central Library, Little Walnut Creek, Cepeda, Ruiz, St. John, Southeast Austin Community, Terrazas, and University Hills branches. ...more»

Service for Newcomers

[Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), Canada]
To help newcomers learn more about their new country, Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) offers, in the collection for newcomers, many documentary resources in which they'll find practical information on Québec and Canada. BAnQ also places at disposal a language laboratory so newcomers can improve their knowledge of French or of another language, and a software library to familiarize with new technologies. ...more»

Working together project

[Vancouver Public Library, Canada]
Vancouver Public Library initiated the Working Together project in 2004 to develop methods for libraries to work with low-income communities through a community development approach. Funded as a demonstration project by the Office of Learning Technologies of Human Resources and Social development Canada. ...more»

Multicultural Service

[Toronto Public Library, Canada]
Half of Toronto’s population was born outside Canada. 47% of the population have a mother tongue in a language other than English or French. Toronto Public Library recognizes and welcomes the responsibility to develop and provide services for newcomers and people with diverse cultural backgrounds.

Multicultural Connections

[Toronto Public Library, Canada]
The Toronto Public Library’s services for cultural communities are integrated into the work they do for English and French-speaking populations. At the Toronto Public Library, 10% of the collection budget is reserved for materials in non-English languages and another 2 % is reserved for English as a second language. In this way, the library is sure that cultural diversity will be reflected in the collection. ...more»

Library’s Multilingual Center (MLC)

[Central Library & Central Library Learning Centre Brooklyn USA, USA]
Brooklyn Public Library’s Multilingual Center (MLC) serves as the library gateway for the borough’s immigrants. The Center evolved from thoughtful study of the borough’s changing populations and its needs and through the use of demographic analyses, telephone surveys and focus groups. The MLC sets system-wide standards for foreign language collections.

Libraries for All Building Program

[The Seattle Public Library, USA]
SPL is in the midst of a major capital improvement program that will replace, add to or renovate every branch in the system. As building improvements are planned, library staff engages the community in »hopes and dreams« meetings to find out what they want and need in their new libraries. These meetings, in conjunction with creative ideas from staff and hired consultants, help to create new buildings that recognize, celebrate and welcome cultural communities. ...more»

Talk Time Program

[The Seattle Public Library, USA]
In the last 10 years, the city of Seattle has experienced significant increases in the numbers of immigrants and refugees settling in the area. The Seattle Public Library’s strong connections with agencies that serve these populations as well as community based organizations that serve particular cultural communities allow the library to provide services that complement those of other agencies. ...more»

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With the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union.
support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Unionsupport of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union
© 2009 Project partners of the Libraries for All - ESME project

Immigrant InstituteMulticultural Center Pragueokay. zusammen lebenSAT 3Public Library of Frankfurt am Main