Involving refugees through volunteering at Leicester Libraries
Involving Refugees through Volunteering at Leicester Libraries
This case study is based on interviews with Leicester City Council's Senior Community Librarian and a refugee who volunteers for Leciester Libraries.
Leicester Libraries have been working to involve refugees and asylum seekers in service development since 2001. Starting from a consultation exercise with asylum seekers about their information and stock requirements, the work took shape with the creation of a post in 2005 dedicated to service development and community involvement.
Time was invested into relationship-building with refugee organisations, and developing a refugee volunteer programme. This has led to a range of initiatives to involve the community, based at the library, including a partnership from 2008 with a community media social enterprise, Citizens' Eye, and Hatnews, an associated news agency dedicated to refugee and asylum issues.