Reply To: Update for Help

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Caitlin .

As I missed your message, I will just put a brief here and if you have time to provide feedback that’s great. Otherwise given the time frame I can just go through the lecture recording. Enjoy your break. 🙂

Many smaller towns in Australia have declared a welcome to Syrian refugees to settle in their towns. For many towns this will be the largest non English speaking group in their communities.
Depending on the legalities of Australian policy these people will be housed in refugee camps or effectively integrated into the community. In both scenarios it is important they are treated as people not problems to be solved but newcomers that bring their own gifts to the communities that welcome them. While the good will of the community may be overwhelming at the start infrastructure that can assist them to rebuild their lives will be paramount.
As their local Library our goal is to offer information and access to all sectors off the community reaching out to those in need and attempting to provide information, a bridge to their new world, entertainment infrastructure for future learning and thought.
Proposal: Mobile Library comprising both digital infrastructure and range of texts, games, toys that can be set up on site.
Staffed by volunteers and Library staff on a few occasions during the week however also the training of onsite volunteers to allow the facilities continued use out of hours. Can be establishes in a camp type arrangement or in a community center or religious center if the refugee community ends up more dispersed.
Aims: to fill the immediate need for information, computer access to local services, Arabic news services, information including books, movies, music. Toys and games for children and collections that facilitate learning about the local environment.
A permanent infrastructure inspired by the “Ideas Box” dispersed into refugees camps by the Libraries without Borders organization.
Collections from existing Library and new boxes to be cycled in or a fortnightly basis, this can include specialist collections ie a science box with books and games about local animals.
Primary focus is women and children as these make up the bulk of Syrian refugees, mix of information and entertainment with the option of building resources as needs become more long term.
Research has shown that their initial need will be for information, and entertainments as relief form their journeys. As times go by other communities have experienced difficulties in facilitating access to local resources because of lack of knowledge about what’s available, fear of outsiders or language barriers. By meeting the refugees in their own environment relationships can be established that can encourage them to access other services by visiting the library etc.

Things to Consider:
What will the mobile Library Contain?
What are its immediate Aims?
Long term goals?
Long term funding?
Other uses for the library i.e in other communities or by other Libraires?
Rotational boxes: Science, Games, Craft