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Serving New Americans
Public libraries help ease the way for people new to the United States to participate fully in American society. Libraries serve as a gateway to citizenship, offering English language learning, training materials and resources on immigration and citizenship, and opportunities to connect with the local community.
Museums also address the needs of new arrivals with cross-cultural programming and outreach. Museum exhibitions and events help deepen understanding of diverse cultures and strengthen community connections.
Since 2013, IMLS has worked with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to help libraries and museums provide accurate and useful information about immigration and citizenship benefits.
IMLS has a memorandum of understanding (PDF, 1 MB) with USCIS pledging to provide information and outreach to local libraries to help newly arrived individuals understand the benefits of citizenship and learn how to undertake the citizenship process. The partnership now also provides outreach to museums. IMLS and USCIS regularly provide webinars on this topic to museum and library professionals.