Immigrant library access topic at conference

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March 17, 2008 // UPDATED 12:15 pm - March 17, 2008
By: Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas

The study detailing immigrant access to public libraries was scheduled for release March 26, during the 12th Public Library Association (PLA) National Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The study examines the use of libraries by non-English speakers, including a survey of the nation’s libraries and their efforts to serve non-English-speaking patrons. It highlights barriers to access as well programs that successfully draw recent immigrants into libraries, PLA reported.

Results of the study will be discussed 10:30 a.m. March 26 at Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall. In addition to officials from PLA and the American Library Association, Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat and Hennepin County Library Director Amy Ryan planned to attend.

The Hennepin County Library system provides library materials in more than 40 languages and has bilingual staffers who speak Spanish, Somali and Hmong, PLA reported.

The PLA National Conference, March 25-29, was expected to draw more than 10,000 library staff and supporters from across the country.