While we recognize that decision-making processes vary widely, as does inclusion, libraries should prioritize finding ways to include new Americans in decision-making and implementation of programming designed for their communities. Involving new Americans can consist of creating additional volunteer positions at smaller libraries or hiring additional staff members as cultural liaisons at larger library systems. Libraries could also consider having new Americans teach or co-teach classes, or even lead tours of the library — in several languages — to introduce newcomers to its people, programs, and resources. New Americans could also be informally included through discussion groups and/or the community needs assessment.

Suggested Action Steps

  1. Consider what type of involvement for new Americans is possible at your library and ask staff if they know new Americans at the library or in the community who might be well-suited to fill the roles you identify.
  2. If you’re doing a community needs assessment, make sure new Americans’ voices are included!
  3. Develop an advisory group that has equal representation of the new and “old” American communities. 

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