Libraries for Migrant women – Erasmus Small-scale partnerships in adult education (KA210-ADU)

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Type of library suitable for the project

  • Public
The project aims to create a safe space for immigrant women, age 25-to 50, inside libraries. Women coming from immigrant backgrounds are often at the receiving end of discrimination and inequality, and they struggle to find recognition and acceptance in the territories they reside in: this reality is particularly true in Italy. As libraries are first and foremost a place of democracy,they could play a huge role in helping immigrant women advocate for themselves and find new opportunitie

Project description

The project intends to identify and investigate the skills and knowledge necessary for the community librarian, within the framework of a specific target that cuts across different territories and countries: women, aged between 25 and 50, of foreign origins.

Women from immigrant background suffer a difficult situation all over Europe: equal rights and fair treatment for migrant and refugee women living in Europe aren’t guaranteed. Many migrant women move to other countries either on their own or to join their husbands or other family members. The number of migrant women is also increasing in Europe. The mass migration of women from highly diverse cultural backgrounds to European countries draws particular attention to the problems of integrating these women in host countries. However, most European countries lack integration policies that take into account the real needs of migrant women.

Libraries coul became a safe space for immigrant women all around europe.

While traditional libraries focus heavenly on books (documents), community libraries gravitate towards the user and his needs. In its traditional form, a library offers a service, regardless of any analysis of the area in which it is located and the users it addresses; in its most modern form, a library finds its audience and only then works on creating the contents and services that will be offered to said audience. Contents that may differ from the book, since the historical function of the library as a “facilitator of knowledge” remains, albeit declined in a radically changed and much more fluid socio-cultural context.

This transformation, far from being an isolated phenomenon, has affected libraries all over the world, igniting an open dialogue about the future of libraries, and about the steps that will need to be taken during this process. One of the most obvious critical issues is related to the professional figure of the librarian, who is still trained for traditionalist concept of library. Since we are dealing with an extremely new reality – that of the community library – it is not surprising that there is not yet a shared and recognized profile of the so-called “community librarian”, although there is a certain consensus on the merits of the basic skills that he should have , and on the need to promote an approach that envisages continuous training.

Librarians will have to acquire the necessary skills to:

  • Identify a target and recognize its characteristics and needs
  • Build a service based on these characteristics and needs, together with the target itself
  • Identify and acquire the specific skills necessary to engage the identified target and deliver the planned service.
  • Build a “toolbox” that allows the skills and general knowledge acquired to be used, also in relation to other targets.

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