Discussion Sessions

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs has partnered with ALA on the IMLS-funded “Project Welcome: Libraries and Community Anchors Planning for Resettlement and Integration of Refugees and Asylum Seekers”.  https://publish.illinois.edu/projectwelcome/   Project Welcome is a one-year planning grant (May 2016 – April 2017) that aims to learn about and articulate ways libraries can address the information needs of refugees and asylum seekers in order to support and empower them in their resettlement and integration process.  We are assessing the information needs and gaps in library services by learning from US and international librarians, international and national governmental agencies, and domestic resettlement and social services to develop recommendations and an action agenda on information resources, services, training, and research needed to support the resettlement and integration of refugees and asylum seekers in the United States.

As part of the planning grant, we are holding listening sessions to learn from the library and information community: How can libraries better serve refugees and asylum seekers?  The input will be incorporated into a thought paper, that will be used to provide background for the 2-day collaborative learning space/meeting to explore library and information solutions, including a 1-day public summit (February 6, 2017; Cambria Chicago Hotel)


We are attending conferences where we share information about the project and are available to talk to learn what services libraries are providing, how librarians are learning about the information needs of and how to serve refugees and asylum seekers, as well as any concerns and recommendations.  If you have information and experiences to share, please contact the project or individual project members.

Follow and participate on social media using hashtags:
#projectwelcome #refugeeswelcome

August 13-18, 2016. IFLA World Library and Information Congress. University of Illinois booth and American Library Association booth at Exhibition Hall. Columbus, OH.

June 23-26, 2016. American Library Association Conference. Orlando, FL.

Join the Conversation and Share Your Experiences @ ALA 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016
2:00-3:00 pm Networking Uncommons (OCCC).  Refugees and Asylum Seekers @ Your Library

Saturday, June 25, 2016
9:15-10:00 am Conversation Starter Session: “Welcoming Refugees and Asylum Seekers,” OCCC W414CD
1:00-2:30pm “New IMLS Grant: Librarians Serving Refugees and Asylum Seekers” OCCC S321

Sunday, June 26, 2016
8:00-9:00 am Networking Uncommons (OCCC).  Refugees and Asylum Seekers @ Your Library

Project Materials

Web-conference sessions:
Join us in a discussion on How can libraries better serve refugees and asylum seekers?

  • November 28, 2016 12:00-1:00 pm CT
  • December 2, 2016 10:30-11:30 am CT

Participant link: http://tinyurl.com/pw-room
Best used with headset and high speed internet on the Chrome browser, or another browser with Flash Player

Twitter chat sessions:
Join us in a discussion on How can libraries better serve refugees and asylum seekers?

  • November 29, 2016 1:00-2:00 pm CT
  • December 5, 2016; 8:00-9:00 pm CT

Join the Twitter discussion @MortensonCenter using the hashtag #libraries4refugees

Use https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html to determine your local time.


If you have questions, please email projectwelcome01_at_gmail.com [no longer active]