360ImmigrantsVancouver:  The success of a new initiative by NewToBC that trains  immigrants to be Library    Champions in their own communities was celebrated on June 19 along with the    people    who    made it all happen, the Champions themselves.

The Library Champion program recruited more than 360 newcomers over a 12 month span,    teaching each individual about the multitude of programs, resources and services libraries offer to    support immigrants in Metro Vancouver.

“The success of this program can be directly attributed to our Library Champions who dedicated themselves to spreading the knowledge they gained about libraries to friends, family, people in their own and other ethnic communities, even to strangers,” says Jody Johnson, Project Coordinator of the NewToBC Library Champions Project. “In all, these Champions reached more than 15,000 people in just one year – 100s obtained library cards and engaged in library services and programs    to help them settle and better understand their new home.”

“During this program I found lots of new friends from different countries and different cultures. I appreciate that this program not only helps newcomers but also helps me to find new friends and    to understood that I am not alone in this multicultural country,” says Beheshteh Maleki, a Library Champion.

The event was held at the Burnaby Firefighter’s Club.

Library Champion Project by Numbers

• 664: Newcomers attended 30 information sessions

• 30:  Three month cycles

• 361:  Champions trained

• 15,257:  Newcomers reached by Champions*

• 696: Newcomers supported to get library cards*

*Three cycles are in progress so numbers will increase