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Bridges to Citizenship: New Training Brings Librarians and Adult Educators Together

March 11, 2016

March 11, 2016

Dr. Michael Jones

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

We know that libraries are a trusted resource for immigrants across the country. Immigrants turn to libraries for help learning English, studying for the naturalization test, and navigating immigration forms. Another similarly trusted resource is adult educators – teachers of English as a Second Language, civics and citizenship.

At USCIS, we recognize the critical role that librarians and adult educators play in helping immigrants prepare for citizenship, and the opportunities for collaboration. We recently began offering Bridges to Citizenship Institutes. These are training events to bring both groups together to share ideas and resources, and to find ways to expand citizenship education services around the country.

At the Bridges to Citizenship Institutes, we talk about strategies for teaching adult learners, how to meet the needs of the immigrant community, and the education materials available to help immigrants prepare for citizenship. Participants share the successes and challenges in their respective fields and talk about how to help one another. The goal is for participants to form new partnerships and continue building on the network after the training.

Our next Institute will take place May 18-19 in New York City, and we have more events scheduled throughout the year. You can visit our Libraries/Training page for more information about upcoming events and summaries of past events.

We’re excited about the new “bridges” we’re creating. We look forward to working together to continue helping immigrants pursue their American dream.

Editor's Note: IMLS and USCIS have a memorandum of understanding to work together to help libraries provide accurate and useful information about immigration and citizenship benefits, promote an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensure the integrity of the immigration system. You can learn more about that effort here.