Librarian Tal Wieczorek is the new co-ordinator of Reading Buddies and will be leading the Chilliwack Library's new Man in the Moon story time for male caregivers and their children. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Okanagan libraries help new residents settle in

Champion Program gives immigrants access to resources

New Okanagan residents can check out another chapter of their community at the library.

Library Champions is a three-month, online volunteer project that connects new immigrants to the library and the community.

This project has trained 1,800 new immigrants who have reached out to over 100,000 people throughout the Lower Mainland over the past 10 years.

Now expanding throughout B.C., the Library Champions Project (LCP) is collaborating with the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) to deliver a new cycle in the fall of 2022.

LCP is a part of the NewToBC initiative which aims to connect new immigrants with the information they need to settle in B.C. This project, funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and managed by Public Library InterLINK, is open to permanent residents of Canada who are interested in developing their English, communication and networking skills and want to give back to the community.

Library Champions will learn about the range of programs, services, and resources available through libraries and community agencies within the region and share that information with other new immigrants.

The champions also make new friends and gain confidence.

“I learned so much and am so grateful for this experience. It helped me see my blind spots and learn new skills. I got to familiarize myself with so many resources. I developed my network, and I even opened some doors for my professional development,” a previous participant said.

An information session for interested participants takes place Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. via Zoom. Register at https://tinyurl.com/yc7zanny.

To learn more about the project and to access other settlement resources, visit newtobc.ca.

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