am a student at the Humboldt-University in Berlin. I am studying Library and Information Science and as I slowly reach the end of my studies I am writing now on my thesis. The topic of my thesis is to write about programs in libraries for children with a migrational background, children from socially disadvantaged families and refugees. I think this was and is a very important topic and will be probably even more important in the future years because of the enormous amount of refugees coming to Europe and of course Germany. It will be a major challenge to integrate all of them into the society to which they flee. I think the refugees of today are the people with a migrational background in the future. I could see on your hompage that you are dealing with this topic. I hope I could ask you some more questions or maybe there are brochures etc. I am not sure if you could answer allof those questions because most of them are very library specific but maybe you could answer some of them from your perspective and maybe with some kind of an "overview" look on it.
In my thesis I try to answer the following questions and it would be great if you could answer me those questions which you dealing with or give me a name of a contact person, with whom I can get in contact:
1.: How are the different programs evaluated, that means is there a quantitatively and qualitatively evaluation? Do you know if there is such an evaluation of this programs and do you have firmly prescribed questionnaires?
2.: What are the measure for a successful program? How do you measure the success of a program from your perspective?
3.: How are these programs monitored? What conclusions came out of this monitoring? Does that lead to improvements of the programs or a complete change of the program?
4.: How is the marketing for the programs? Do you advertise that directly in the parts of the city where is a high proportion of people with a migrational background or people who are socially disadvantaged? In the case of the refugees, do you try to contact them in the refugee camps? Main question is how do you get these people into the library and make them participate in these programs?
5.: How do you define success for those programs? I mean integration is a very abstract subject and in my opinion very hard to categorize or to find reliable parameter you could rely on. Do you have parameters you can rely on?
6.: Is there any interaction with the schools in the way that you offer programs that fits to the curriculum of the schools (e.g. homework support/help etc.)? Is there a close interaction between teachers and librarians?
7.: Do you have librarians with a migrational background and if yes what is the proportion of librarians with a migrational background in the library staff? What is the proportion of non-english books in your library and can you say if the budget for these kind of books is increasing, remaining the same or falling over the last 10 years?
8.: In Germany e.g. in Berlin there is a lack of a holistic approach to intercultural library services/programs, is there a holistic approach in your region? Is there an overall plan that is used by all the libraries like a guideline for their intercultural programs/services?
9.: Is there a systematic and continuous cooperation and exchange of/between all libraries regarding this topic?
I hope you could help me with all these questions. I would be very grateful, if you could find the time to answer my questions.
Thank you very much in advance.
I think your library is very exemplary for my topic, thats why it would be great to get in touch with someone from your library who is working on that specific topic.
Thank you for asking! I will refer your question in a separate email to Adrian Gomez Meza, our Immigrant and Refugee Services Coordinator. He will be the person best equipped to connect you with the relevant information about our programs and services and the communities we serve.
There are many demands on Adrian's time, and the depth of your survey questions may involve metrics we are still developing or the work of other agencies - thank you for understanding that it may take a while to get a response, and that he may not be able to answer your questions fully.
All the best in your research, and thanks again for using AskOPL!