ISSofBC staff helps newcomers connect to libraries


Navigating library and settlement resources and programs across Metro Vancouver is now at your finger tips thanks to a collaborative effort of 10 public libraries and immigrant service providers including ISSofBC.

NewToBC, a library settlement partnership, was created to support public libraries in Metro Vancouver in their effort to help newcomers.

The NewToBC website includes information on library resources in multiple languages, library events, community programs, settlement services, volunteering opportunities and recommended English as an Additional Language (EAL) resources.

“It’s really about promoting existing resources through libraries and forging relationships,” said Ben Hart, NewToBC Coordinator.

Hart said every library has differences and NewToBC created the ability for everyone to take advantage of all the resources available despite of the user’s location in Metro Vancouver.

ISSofBC’s involvement in NewToBC included the help of ELSA Instructor Paul Carter who compiled comprehensive EAL resources.

“The scope of the resources is tremendous,” Carter said.

Carter has taught EAL for eight years including five in the ISSofBC ELSA program and has spent years collecting and refining resources for teachers and students.

“At the end of the day, I have either used these resources in the classroom or I have spent time reading through them, always with the learner in mind,” he said.

In addition to Carter’s resources, ISSofBC staff is involved in settlement training at the 10 public libraries to help staff better assist their newcomer patrons. The two hour sessions includes current demographics, challenges newcomers face and using the NewToBC library link.

Currently NewToBC only includes 10 Metro Vancouver Communities from Delta to West Vancouver but Hart hopes with future funding to implement the resource province-wide.

NewToBC is a project managed by Public Library InterLINK and funded by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and through the Government of Canada.

Connect to NewToBC

Interested in volunteering? Join the NewToBC Library Champion project and help newcomers discover libraries.

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