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Welcoming Library

OLIS has acquired four Welcoming Libraries available to borrow by Rhode Island public libraries. Each Welcoming Library is a collection of acclaimed picture books featuring New Arrival and New American families representing communities across Rhode Island. Highlighted in an accompanying pop-up display unit, the books have embedded discussion questions written by I'm Your Neighbor Books. These questions help people of all ages and backgrounds have conversations on immigration, welcoming, and belonging.

The Welcoming Library collection and its pop-up display unit packs into two transit bins and travels between libraries via LORI delivery. An online toolkit is available to help support borrowing libraries with everything from display set up to lesson plans and programming guides. Public libraries may request a Welcoming Library through the OLIS Equipment Catalog.

The Welcoming Library project in Rhode Island is supported by the RI Office of Library and Information Services with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Welcoming Library Resources:

About the Welcoming Library

The Welcoming Library is a pop-up conversation on immigration created by I'm Your Neighbor Books. Given the national conversation about immigration, the Welcoming Library seeks to raise awareness and build sensitivity for all ages through children's literature. Poet and author Amit Majmudar said in a New York Times essay that the, "true meeting takes place when the book opens, and a stranger reads about — and comprehends — a stranger." This is the mission of the Welcoming Library, to allow readers to both meet a stranger on the page and to see aspects of their own family reflected.

Each book contains a discussion guide affixed to the inside back cover to facilitate engagement in the topics of welcoming and belonging. Whether it is a parent discussing a picture book with a child or a public library story hour, these books will foster crucial discussions on what it means to arrive in a new culture, country, or community.  Readers who are “new arrivals” themselves may see their cultures and communities reflected in the narratives in this collection.