The White Paper

In 2018, the ALA Public Programs Office convened an exploration of public library programs and services that support new American populations. The New Americans Library Project explored the landscape of literature and resources about library services for new Americans, studied how libraries can more effectively serve new Americans, and made recommendations about this topic for the library field.

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Libraries have long had a reputation for supporting healthy communities by providing a range of programs, services, and reference and educational materials.

Part 1: Summary of Research Findings

For this white paper, the term “new Americans” encompasses people who might consider themselves new arrivals in the US and anyone who is a non-native English language speaker.


Public libraries are hard at work supporting new Americans. This research has uncovered just a fraction of the vibrant library programs and services that help new Americans achieve their aspirations in this country.