Serving Refugees -- Experiences from German Libraries

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Sun. June 25, 1:00 – 2:30pm, McCormick Place West - W181b

In 2015 there were more than 1 million refugees and asylum-seekers in Germany. The influx of refugees from various cultures, especially from Syria, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and various African countries, is abating. Yet families, young men, and unaccompanied minors are still seeking refuge in Germany. Libraries in Germany have a long tradition of providing multicultural services and resources. Since 2006 an expert panel of the German Library Association has been addressing this topic. The lessons learned from the panel can be used to improve the resources for these user groups in public and academic libraries. There are many challenges, including overcoming language and cultural barriers, and integrating refugees into schools and colleges. Another consideration is staff training and information exchange on the topic using webinars and other channels. A variety of positive and hopeful responses to these challenges will be presented from real-world experiences.


Sabine Homilius
Director
Frankfurt am Main Public Library


Britta Schmedemann
Expert on Target Groups
Bremen Public Library


Hella Klauser
German Library Association Network of Excellence for Libraries


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