World Refugee Day 2021

Webinar on “Library Services to Refugees during the COVID-19 Pandemic” | 2021.06.18; noon-1:15 pm CT | details <here> | FREE Registration <click here>

World Refugee Day 2021 is June 20th!  This international observance honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. 

As partners on the 2016-18 IMLS-funded planning grant: Project Welcome: Libraries and Community Anchors Planning for Resettlement and Integration of Refugees and Asylum Seekers, the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and the American Library Association (ALA) invite libraries to commemorate World Refugee Day.  The theme for 2021 is Together we heal, learn and shine.

Support #WithRefugees

UNHCR World Refugee Day 2021 Toolkit

Participate #WithRefugees

Host a Watch OR Listen Party

  1. Decide to host a watch OR a listen party.
  2. Select a video or podcast (see selected resources below).
  3. Invite the community to watch or listen individually OR together virtually or in alignment with local safety guidelines.  For virtual group communication platforms, use: Facebook Watch Party feature, Facebook Rooms, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams,  WebEx, Zoom,  etc.

What to Watch (below is freely available selected content)

What to Listen to (below is freely available selected content)

What to do in your library:

Use #WithRefugees, #WorldRefugeeDay and Project Welcome hashtags:  #projectwelcome, #librariesrespond, #libraries4refugees

ALA’s World Refugee Day resources:

Join us for a WEBINAR

“Library Services to Refugees during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Date/Time: June 18th, 12:00-1:15 pm CST | FREE Registration <click here>
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“Recreating Our Outreach,“ Julie Robinson, Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment Outreach Manager, The Kansas City Public Library
“Equitable Library Supports During the Pandemic: Toronto Public Library’s Experience,” Elsa Ngan, Senior Services Specialist, Multicultural Services, Toronto Public Library
“Refugees in Latin America and the Caribbean Amidst a Multitude of Crises,” Marcelo Rodríguez, Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian, Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library, University of Arizona

Clara M. Chu, Director, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library

The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for communities worldwide and the libraries that serve them. Libraries have had to pivot to ensure the safety of their staff and users while continuing to provide accessible and safe services. How have libraries specifically responded to serve refugees and how are they planning to transition to offer welcoming spaces and services for refugees post-pandemic? The webinar will present the experiences of libraries in and outside the United States serving refugees, and policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted the welfare of refugees and asylum seekers. The webinar addresses the 2021 World Refugee Day theme: Together we heal, learn and shine.

For questions, write to and/or

Co-sponsors: Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, and ALA International Relations Office.