What are Libraries of Sanctuary?
Libraries of Sanctuary is one stream within the City of Sanctuary UK movement which aims to build a culture of welcome and place of safety for people seeking sanctuary from conflict, persecution, environmental issues and for other new arrivals.
In August 2021 Kirklees Libraries were awarded Official Libraries of Sanctuary status, recognising the work we have done to welcome people fleeing conflict, changing climates and persecution.
Carol Stump, Chief Librarian and President of Libraries Connected said:
“Gaining the Libraries of Sanctuary award is a huge achievement for our staff, and I’m extremely proud of the team who have worked with a range of partners and organisations to ensure sanctuary seekers receive the welcome and support they need across Kirklees.”
Our Sanctuary Resolution.
Kirklees Libraries will be safe, neutral, welcoming spaces that are accessible to all.
Our staff and volunteers will be trained to understand issues faced by sanctuary seekers and provide them with support.
We will provide free and low-cost activities which support the specific needs of communities and we will engage with sanctuary seekers and organisations to ensure our services are relevant.
We will work in partnership with others to promote inclusion, extend the sanctuary movement and highlight the positive contribution of sanctuary seekers.
- Sanctuary seekers gain a consistent welcome, the support they need and associate libraries with a go to space and a safe, non-judgmental environment.
- Improvement of sanctuary seekers’ knowledge of library offers and support available.
- Increase in staff, volunteer and community awareness of asylum and migration issues.
- Libraries are active in supporting the successful settlement and integration of sanctuary seekers into the local community.
- Expansion of collaborative working with other services, organisations and sanctuary seekers themselves to deliver sanctuary agenda within libraries and via outreach.
- Gain local, regional and national recognition for Kirklees Libraries’ work with sanctuary seekers.
What Are We Doing To Achieve Our Outcomes?
- Free access to books including community and dual language books are available in our libraries and as part of our e-book collection.
- Free access to Pressreader, allowing people to read international publications that would otherwise not be available in the UK.
- Free access to e-resources such as Go Citizen, which helps people prepare for the Life in the UK test.
- Free public access I.T. for all library members.
- Volunteering opportunities.
- Formal ID no longer needed to become a library member.
- ESOL provision including informal library run conversation groups and signposting to more formal courses via #KirkleesWelcomes.
- Regular events such as Meet, Try, Learn and Refugee Week and special one off events, such as Eid and Christmas parties.
If you would like more information about Libraries of Sanctuary within Kirklees, or to work with us, please contact Frontline.Services@kirklees.gov.uk.