On April 14, 2016, the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement officially launched the Immigrant Information Corners (IIC) initiative with a Ribbon Cutting and Press Conference at the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library. This initiative was a result of the collaboration between the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Office (USCIS), the Boston Public Library (BPL), the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), and various community partners, as well as the generous contribution made by Citi Community Development. The IIC’s are information stations meant to serve the immigrant community. The Corners are currently up and running in all the 24 BPL branches. The resources available in the IIC’s include: citizenship information, financial empowerment information, as well as information about public and community resources.
“We are pleased to be part of today’s launch of Immigrant Information Corners at the Boston Public Library,” said Denis Riordan, USCIS Boston District Director. “Boston’s aspiring citizens will now be able to visit their local library branch to find free USCIS citizenship preparation information and materials. Our nation’s libraries play a vital role in serving immigrant communities, and we are proud to join in this announcement during National Library Week.”
“Libraries are a very important resource for the whole community, and with new Immigrant Information Corners throughout the city they will play an increasingly significant role, providing critical information on the journey towards becoming a citizen,” said David Leonard, Boston Public Library Interim President.
Having completed the initial set-up of the corners, we are now focusing on developing information programming at various library branches. The first official IIC program took place at the Hyde Park Branch on Thursday, July 21. Our office partnered with Agencia ALPHA, an immigration advocacy not-for-profit organization, and OFE to host informal Q&A consultations regarding immigration and financial empowerment with a BIA accredited representative and an OFE staff member. The objective is to hold monthly workshops and informational sessions at the library branches.
“In the City of Boston our immigrant population represents a dynamic and growing landscape and it is our hope that with this rebranding effort and the launch of Immigrant Information Corners, we are better able to serve our immigrant residents,” said Mayor Walsh. “Immigrants interact with the city’s library branches more than any other city agency, which offers us a great opportunity to engage our residents in their neighborhoods. The impact that immigrants have on our city will continue to grow in the years ahead and it is important that we plan for this growth and make sure it reaches everyone.”