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Best Practices

New Americans Program (NAP)

[Queens Library, USA]
Begun as a project in 1977, the New Americans Program (NAP) has evolved into a permanent element of the Programs and Services Department. NAP provides all foreign-language services and programs. The Adult Learner Program (ALP), which provides English as a Second Language and literacy programming, rounds out the broad spectrum of services provided by the library.

NAP’s programming philosophy involves attracting immigrants to the library with programming that celebrates their cultures and giving them an introduction to the library and its resources in an effort to encourage them to return for other services. NAP staff demonstrates the library’s value by displaying materials in the patrons’ native language, providing information in translation, helping them obtain library cards, and highlighting other programs targeted at their particular needs. NAP’s success depends in large part on excellent community analyses conducted by a dedicated analyst librarian, and significant outreach efforts, which include an annual branch profiling effort to examine the patron base and how the branch collections are used.
NAP’s efforts include development and management of print and non-print collections in 22 foreign languages; a Mail-a-Book program for residents who speak Chinese, French, Greek, Italian, Korean, Russian and Spanish; WorldLinQ, which makes non-English Internet based resources readily available and interactive, free programs in the most widely spoken immigrant languages on topics essential to new immigrants’ acculturation; and free programs that celebrate the literary, performing, and folk arts of immigrants.

In addition to the permanent collections selected by NAP, branch libraries can access a rotating collection of materials in 47 languages. This collection is managed by the Central Library’s Literature and Languages Division, which has its own large foreign language collection. QPL’s collections benefits from staff attendance at major foreign book fairs as well as some direct buying by branch staff from local foreign language bookstores.

Source: Cultural Diversity. How Public Libraries Can Serve the Diversity in the Community (Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2004)

Queens Library
89-11 Merrick Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11432, USA
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

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