Best Practices in Libraries – International

Libraries around the world are serving refugees and asylum seekers.  Below is a list of best practices taking place internationally and outside the United States.


  • The Ideas Box is a mobile and flexible tool used to reach populations lacking access to culture, especially the most vulnerable: young, unstable, migrants, rural populations, etc. Whether in developed countries or in underserved areas, the Ideas Box can play a major role in spreading education and culture and enable libraries to reach new users. By providing access to the Internet, books, films and theater, and educational resources, the Ideas Box empowers communities to pave foundations for a self-reliant future.


Best Practices – Alphabetical by country



  • Cologne Library opens its doors to refugees.
  • The “Integration of Refugee Librarians into the Academic Library System” program was implemented because of refugee interest in pursuing an internship at one of Freie Universität’s libraries. Refugees are eligible to apply if they hold a temporary residence permit while their asylum claim is being processed. The internship also entails intensive bilingual training in cataloging software, media processing, and the Regensburg Classification Scheme, the shelf classification system applied by the libraries of Freie Universität. But coaching in terms of intercultural communication and orientation with regard to the reality of working life in Germany is also part of the program as is help in subsequently finding a job. It is in this context that the project position “representative for the professional integration of refugee librarians” was established in cooperation with the University Library and the Department of History and Cultural Studies. 
  • Leipzig University has a number of initiatives for refugees, including free lectures, an online platform for refugee researchers, activities organized by the students’ union, StuRa, and more.


  • Project Bright Future partners with publishers to buy books to build up the libraries in  under-equipped schools in and around Istanbul teaching refugee children.


United Kingdom