Pilot project in London 2003-4

The Welcome To Your Library pilot project, also funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and co-ordinated through the London Libraries Development Agency, took place in the London boroughs of Brent, Camden, Enfield, Merton and Newham in 2003-4.

Final report on pilot project by Project Co-ordinator (PDF document)

Independent evaluation of pilot project (MSWord document)

Enriching Communities: How archives, libraries and museums can work with asylum seekers and refugees. Edited transcript of the highlights of this conference, held at the Museum of London on 14 July 2004. Includes detailed analysis of the pilot phase of Welcome To Your Library.

Project activities

These included:

  • Mapping of refugee communities and support organisations
  • Identifying barriers to library use and ways to overcome these
  • Awareness training for library staff on issues facing asylum seekers and refugees
  • Developing local partnerships with refugee community organisations and others
  • Structured taster visits and ICT sessions
  • Simplifying joining procedures
  • Providing ESOL, community language and reading support
  • Acquiring new stock with input from refugee communities
  • Storytelling and other events and workshops bringing together communities and cultures.

Continuing work in the pilot boroughs includes:

  • Securing further funding
  • New service developments such as library work placements for refugees
  • Real participation in service planning, design and delivery by new communities.

For further information please contact the Project Co-ordinator, Helen Carpenter.

National Project 2005-7

In 2005, a further £250,000 from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation enabled Welcome To Your Library to extend the project nationally.

The national project is adopting a similar approach and activities as the pilot project. However, core library staff now carry out the work at local level, rather than short-term project staff. This should help to integrate learning from the project in the long-term. The national project also involves:

  • spreading good practice and sharing learning more widely, including through this website
  • more extensive resources to train and mentor library staff to support change in planning, delivering and sustaining services for refugee communities
  • sharing lessons learnt from the project, so these can be applied to both policy and practice in other areas of service planning and development.

By the end of 2007, we expect libraries will be applying learning from the project to public library service planning and delivery for everyone. Activities with refugees and asylum seekers will form an integral part of this.

Successful bid to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation 2005 (PDF document)

Leaflet on Welcome To Your Library (link to leaflet)


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