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Download a free booklet to get started creating an ESL or citizenship program.


Public Libraries

Libraries are important community institutions. In the United States, people turn to public libraries as vital sources of information and service referrals. Immigrants often come to libraries for those reasons and to learn about the resources available to help them.

The links below will help librarians identify resources to assist newcomers.

Citizenship Resources for Learners, Adult Educators, and Organizations
The Citizenship Resource Center from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides a one-stop resource for locating information about becoming a U.S. citizen, lesson plans for citizenship classes, and resources for immigrant-serving organizations.

Free Educational Materials for Immigrant-Serving Organizations
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers a free Civics and Citizenship Toolkit to immigrant-serving organizations, including public libraries, that help prepare immigrants for citizenship. The Toolkit contains educational materials that focus on both naturalization preparation and civic learning.

Free Materials to Promote Citizenship Education and Awareness
Learn about U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) initiative to raise awareness of the rights, responsibilities, and importance of U.S. citizenship. Find posters, radio and video messages, and information on how community organizations, including libraries, can support this effort.

Find an ESL or Citizenship Class
America's Literacy Directory allows immigrants to search for an English and/or citizenship class in their local area. If your library offers classes or programs, we encourage you to add them to the directory.

Promising Practices for Libraries Offering Services to Immigrants
Library Services for Immigrants: A Report on Current Practices is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) publication that provides ideas and recommendations for libraries offering services to immigrants.

Examples of Citizenship Education Initiatives in Public Libraries:

  • The Los Angeles Public Library established “citizenship corners” in each of their branches containing essential information for those looking to apply for citizenship or learn more about the benefits and responsibilites of being a U.S. citizen.
  • The Queens Library includes a “Citizenship and Immigration” section on its website, which provides a list of community resources available to immigrants. The library also has a New Americans Program highlighting services, programs, and resources the library provides to immigrants.
  • The Hartford Public Library's website includes an “Immigration and Citizenship” section with information on the services it provides to immigrants.

Email Alerts on Citizenship and Citizenship Education
Sign up to receive free email alerts from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with important news and information on a variety of topics. We encourage you to sign up for the “citizenship” and “Citizenship Resource Center” topics.