Immigrant and refugee bilingual fair slated for this upcoming Monday

Rosenblum

Rosenblum

Monday evening, the Marshalltown Public Library will sponsor a Welcome Center Immigrant and Refugee Resource Fair, from 5-6:30 p.m. inside its large meeting room. The purpose of this event is to gather together experts in several fields to give people the opportunity to learn more about immigration, citizenship, taxes, laws, education and more.

“The library exists to provide residents of Marshalltown and Marshall County with resources and information,” said Library Director Sarah Rosenblum. “So our welcome center is just another way to meet those needs.”

The fair, free and open to the public, is designed to be a “come and go” event, allowing people to pick up brochures and other resources, and have the chance to speak with representatives from the following agencies: EMBARC, ACCESS, LUNA, Immigrant Allies, MICA, Youth & Shelter Services, Iowa Valley Continuing Education, Iowa Department of Human Rights and Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors.

A table will be set up with volunteer immigration attorneys, available to answer general questions. In addition, representatives from MCC will be on hand to help immigrant and refugee populations better understand student financial aid.

The event is also an opportunity for the library to highlight the efforts of its welcome center, an area in the library which consists of reference materials for non-English speakers and those just starting to learn the language, with the help of Mango, an English learning software, plus books and other resources.

“The fair really isn’t just for immigrants and refugees — there is information, such as for taxes, drivers licenses, financial aid, etc, that many types of people may be seeking to learn more about,” Rosenblum said. “The Welcome Center/Centro de Bienvenida is a new project started in partnership with Immigrant Allies of Marshalltown and the Marshalltown Public Library, and soon will expand to include a family resource center component through the involvement of several community organizations. This resource and referral project includes a brochure rack for a ‘one stop’ place for information on helping organizations, as well as a collection of print, audio, and DVD resources that can be checked out from the Marshalltown Public Library. In December, one-on-one attention will be offered by appointment, or to walk-ins — on a first come, first served basis — on Mondays, from 4-6 p.m.”

Light refreshments will be provided. To learn more, contact the library at 641-754-5738.

——

Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com