Community-Led Library Programming

What is community-led library programming? In short, it's where staff listen to the community they're serving and develop programming (classes, events or services) around what they are hearing.

So, what does community-led library programming look like? We're glad you asked. Here at APL, we have a great example of community-led library programming and it's called Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education - RISE for short.

Our adult services and engagement librarian, in partnership with Forward Services and World Relief introduced RISE last fall. The program was intentionally designed to welcome refugees and immigrants, and ease their transition into the community. Each session is focused on the participants' interests and needs; incorporating recreational activities, educational and job training workshops, basic life skills classes and the library.

Most of the individuals and families are from Congo. They arrive in the United States, in some cases, with very little knowledge of the English language or formal education. They come to RISE looking for opportunities to learn English and find support in the areas of jobs, family, health and education.

This semester we are looking forward to expanding our partnerships and working with the Fox Valley Literacy Council and St. Joseph's Food Pantry. FVLC will be offering a 30-minute English conversation class and St. Joe's will provide weekly snacks to the participants.

If you would like more information about this program, or other services for refugees and immigrants, please contact us at 832-6173 or