Library system reaching out to immigrant population

Aug 12, 2014

Multi-language pamphlets are among the tools the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library is using as it tries reach the area's new immigrants.

Credit WBFO File Photo

The Niagara Branch has long had a significant collection of Spanish-language material, reflecting decades of Latino families in the neighborhood.

Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski says the system is trying to develop materials for the new neighbors. She says it's not easy, even with computer access to materials, databases and dictionaries of the many languages spoken on the street and in nearby Grover Cleveland High School.

"We do have Farsi, Hindi, Polish, Portuguese, the list goes on and on. Tagalog, Duduru, Vietnamese and we are doing our best to get in materials in the native language, at least in the spoken word," Jakubowski said.

"We do a lot of things with our on-line databases."

Working with Catholic Charities, Journey's End and other agencies helping refugees, Jakubowski says the system works to get them into the library. She says some come from countries where there are no libraries. Some of these countries have libraries, though they are only available to only a select portion of society.