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Bergen Public Library Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, but still a small city with 268 000 people. More than 14% of the population are immigrants.

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Presentation on theme: "Bergen Public Library Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, but still a small city with 268 000 people. More than 14% of the population are immigrants."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bergen Public Library Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, but still a small city with 268 000 people. More than 14% of the population are immigrants or children of immigrants. About 50% of the immigrants are from Europe, and 50% from the rest of the world. The largest immigrant group in Bergen is from Poland, the second largest group is from Irak. Right now many people are coming from the horn of Africa, especially Eritrea and Somalia

2 Librarys services to the immigrant population To improve the librarys services to the immigrant population and ensure good quality library services to the city which was developing into a multilingual society, the library has from 2003 a special librarian as a coordinator and initiator of multilingual library services. In 2011 we joined a project which is a collaboration between the the public libraries in five large cities in Norway; Love of reading and language development. The project received funding from The National Library. The aim was to develop new practices in our serving of the multilingual population and to share the experience we gained to make each other better.This one year project was very rewarding, so the libraries continues the project with new funding from the national library and now also incorporates ICT-activities.

3 Project Love of Reading, Language development and ICT Language Café

4 This spring we started a Norwegian language café in the library for two hours once a week. It is open with no formal registration. We expected a small group, but are amazed at how many people are coming, about 50 every week. We sit in groups around small tables with at least one Norwegian speaker at each table. We prepare simple games or exercises and hands out to the groups, to help start the conversations and to ensure that all participants will be able to speak. We are very happy with the success of this café, everyone is so happy with it. We have very simple refreshments and the exercises are easy, but people love it because they really need to speak more Norwegian and also meet others in this informal setting. From this autumn we also have a Language café in one of our branch libraries.

5 Reading group for women We started a reading group for immigrant women in 2011. in cooperation with the Immigrant service of our community. About 10-20 women meet in the library every week and read Norwegian short stories, poems or small books together and have a cup and coffee/tea, fruit and biscuits together. The aim is to create a joy of reading both in the group and for the participants in their spare time, both to improve their Norwegian and to become fond of literature, and also to create social networks so that women dont get isolated in their homes.

6 Reading group for women In the group the women read aloud for each other and talk about what they read. The leader has been our librarian, but is now a hired teacher. The group has done several excursions together to share experiences to trigger more talking together and to get to know the city and life in Norway better. One of the excursions was a walk in town with a well known author as a guide, another time a fishing trip where all the women caught fish

7 Project Love of Reading, Language development and ICT Laptop Club

8 In 2012 we started a laptop club for immigrants. The purpose is to give the participants the opportunity to know websites and programs necessary to participate in the Norwegian society. The club is held by people in our ICT-unit and two men with ICT competence and with an immigrant background. In this way people in the group may get help in their own language by people who understand their needs, and the leaders gets a working experience and a certificate that may help to get future jobs. All participants get a certificate that says that they have participated in the club. The group also has a social purpose, they have a coffee break and usually have an excurcion at the end of semester. Here also we cooperate with the immigrant service in the community who sign up those who take part.

9 Homework support for students Twice a week in cooperation with Norweigian Red Cross we organize homework support for highschool students from 4pm till 7pm in the afternoon. Young volunteres student from the University College or University students help highschool students with their homework. They also get a small meal as they come after school hours

10 Introduction Centre for Refugees

11 Introduction Centre for refugees There are about 33 000 immigrants living in Bergen, the total number of citizens are 268 000. Many are immigrants coming for work, and as I said earlyer the largest group is from Poland! The municipality's Introduction centre for refugees is responsible for housing and an introduction program for all refugees that receive a permit to stay in Norway and are settling in Bergen. These are about 400 refugees settling each year. They receive a salary for two years and have a right and a responsibility to take part in a fulltime program during these two years. The program contains about 50% Norwegian course. The rest are many different courses that are held by a variety of institutions to help integrate the refugees into the Norwegian society. The aim of the program is to qualify the participants for self-sufficiency through a job or further education.

12 Introduction Centre for refugees The Reading group for women, the Laptop club and the Language Café are all groups and events that the refugees may take part in and sign up for in the Introductionary program. The Introduction Centre is also responsible for translation service in the municipality and have translators in about 50 languages.

13 Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants and co-financed by the Polish funds.

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