Summer 2019 LEARN Meeting

The Fall 2019 LEARN Meeting will be replaced by a joint WLNG (World Languages Networking Group), Business Interest Group, and LEARN meeting on August 8, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Vernon Area Library. The meeting will explore ways in which ELL and business services have merged (e.g. new arrivals on visa, entrepreneurs and business owners, or even legal or immigration resources).

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Spring 2019 LEARN Meeting

The Spring 2019 LEARN Meeting will be at Skokie Library on April 16 from 2-4 p.m.

The topic will be how to market or promote our ESL, citizenship, and related collections. Rather than a presentation, the meeting will follow more of a discussion format. Below are some examples of marketing that have been discussed in the past. If you have examples of these or other types of marketing, please be ready to share them with the group. If you are new to the group, please bring your questions.

  1. Market to your staff. Promote the Library’s ability to serve this clientele during staff meetings. Show what kinds of materials you have in the collection so they can direct patrons to the appropriate service desk.
  2. Text Tips. Keep any text in plain fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. Fancy letters and fonts are hard to read for someone who doesn’t know the language.
  3. Pictures are helpful. Keep language as simple and clear as possible — it will be easier for the relative or friend who may need to translate it.
  4. Bookmarks, Posters, Brochures, Signs, Exhibit Cases. Use words and language your intended audience will understand or recognize.
  5. Special Events. Promote literacy and ESL through special events. September 8 is International Literacy Day, April 30 is El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), National Library Week, Family Reading Night, etc. Send a press release to the local newspaper.
  6. Train your staff on conducting a reference interview with this clientele. Have some sample scripts on hand, if necessary.
  7. Communities of Faith. A letter or brochure describing resources available at your library. Encourage their members’ help in identifying and referring neighbors to your library.
  8. Host a program for an agency serving your area. Examples include a tutor training workshop or a conversation café!
  9. Area schools, community colleges, social service agencies. Promote services and resources to these and other community groups, encouraging them to make referrals to your library.
  10. Links on Website. Provide links to literacy and ESL resources on library’s website. Begin with links to LEARN and agencies serving your area.
  11. Library Newsletter. Use your newsletter to raise awareness among your patrons, promoting literacy and ESL resources, services or events.
  12. Do promotion at schools
  13. Set up table at local fest or events
  14. Post flyers in library, park district, grocery stores, email to schools, downtown shops, etc.
  15. Contact ESL programs in your area and invite them to your library for a tour.
  16. Collect emails to send reminders
  17. Reflejo newspaper
  18. Local newspaper.
  19. Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  20. Chamber of Commerce/Businesses
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Fall 2018 LEARN Meeting

The Fall 2018 LEARN Meeting will be at Joliet Public Library, Ottawa St. Branch (150 North Ottawa Street, Joliet, Illinois) on Tuesday, October 16 from 2-4 p.m.

2:00 Introductions
2:10 Charlene Choi of the Hanul Family Alliance
2:40 Brian Delli of the Joliet Area Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Neighborhood Affairs
3:00 Break
3:15 Spanish Community Center: Vernica Gloria, executive Director, on the Spanish Community Center in general
and Sylvia Acosta Chavez will speak on Family Advocacy
3:35 Jose E. Vera of the Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project
3:55 Wrap Up
4:00 Tour of the Library (Optional)

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Spring 2018 LEARN Meeting

The Spring 2018 LEARN Meeting will be Tuesday, April 17 from 2-4 p.m. at Indian Trails Library, 355 Schoenbeck Rd., Wheeling.

Department of Justice Recognition and Accreditation Program at Addison Public Library by Brooke Sievers
Libraries as Safe Havens for Immigrants by Jean Demas
Tour of Indian Trails Library

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FCC Consumer Guides in Various Languages

FCC’s Top Five Consumer Guides:

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Fall 2017 LEARN Meeting

The Fall 2017 LEARN Meeting will be at the White Oak Library in Lockport located at 121 East 8th Street, Lockport. The meeting will be on Wed., Nov. 1 from 2-4 p.m. The Library parking lot is located directly across the street from the entrance on 8th Street.


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Spring 2017 LEARN Meeting

The Spring LEARN Meeting will be Tuesday, May 2 from 2-4 p.m. at Arlington Heights Library. We will discuss which types of online products seem to work best for our ESL populations, with everyone sharing experiences with current resources being used in their libraries.

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Assisting Immigrant Communities from Undocumented to Citizenship

LEARN is coordinating a one-day training presented by ICIRR (Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights) called “Assisting Immigrant Communities from Undocumented to Citizenship” on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Oak Park Library (834 Lake St, Oak Park).
Below is a tentative agenda and a description of the training modules. There will be one hour for lunch, and we can provide a list of nearby places to eat for those who do not bring a lunch. If you are interested in attending, please email
9:00 a.m. Refreshments and Sign-in
9:15 a.m. Module 1: Background & Introduction to Community Navigators (CN)
Community navigators (or promotores) are community members who receive specialized training to provide quality immigration information for their communities in an empowering and effective way. Community navigators are also liaisons between their community, legal service providers, social service organizations, and government representatives. They are often advocates, educators, mentors, and interpreters in their communities working in organizations, schools, libraries etc.
9:25 a.m. Group Activity: Immigration Timeline
9:40 a.m. Module 2: Immigration 101
Learn basic immigration law concepts (e.g. types of status, family-based immigration, etc.), discuss primary avenues for seeking legal status affirmatively, and understand what we mean when we talk about the “broken immigration system.”
10:45  a.m. Break
10:55 a.m. Module 9: Naturalization 101
Learn the basics of naturalization eligibility and how to prepare community members for their pathway from legal permanent residency to citizenship.
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Module 5: Avoiding Unauthorized Practice of Law & Identifying Legal Help
Ensure that CNs understand the “bright lines” that demarcate practicing law and that CN’s are
equipped with simple, practical, and effective strategies to respond to communities’ hunger to know where they stand legally. Provide strategies on when and how to make legal referrals; and, provide strategies on when and how to report fraud.
1:45 p.m. Break
2:00 p.m. Module 10: Know Your Rights
During this presentation, participants will learn what to do and not to do in case of an immigration raid, what are their basic rights with immigration -regardless of legal status- and how to share the information learned to others. Issues: DACA, Detention, Consulate, Islamophobia, Hate Crimes, FSN/KYR Cards.
4:15 p.m. Post-assessment & Evaluation
4:30 p.m. End of Training
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LEARN Presentation at ILA, Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 3-4 p.m.

Jean Demas and Joe Popowitch will speak at the Illinois Library Association Annual Conference at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont on Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 3-4 p.m. in Room 40-41.

Besides giving an overview of LEARN and the networking opportunities it provides, the session will include lists and examples of recommended resources, website links, apps, marketing checklists, publishers lists, and promotional materials to spread the word about your Literacy/ESL services.

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LEARN Workshop Oct. 5, 2016, at Schaumburg Library

LEARN will Host an ESL Workshop at Schaumburg Library, 130 S. Roselle Rd., on October 5, 2016, funded by a RAILS Networking CE grant. The workshop, called “Serving the Literacy/ESL User,” will include four one-hour presentations, plus an overview of our updated recommended resources list.

9:00 Welcome & Refreshments
Helen Stewart (Schaumburg Library) and Jean Demas (Lisle Library)

9:15 WorkNet, JobLink, and Beyond: Resources for Work Readiness and Employment
by Laurie Martin (professional development specialist at the Adult Learning Resource Center)

10:15 Break

10:30 Reaching to Non-native English Speakers in Your Community
by Laurie Martin

11:30 Recommended Resources and Overview of Chicago’s Digital Learn

12:00 Lunch

12:45 Community Partnerships and Other Trends in ESL and Adult Literacy
by Kristin Lahurd (literacy officer, American Library Association)

1:45 Break

2:00 How to Keep Literacy Alive During Tough Economic Times
by Beth Paoli (literacy consultant, Illinois State Library)

To register, email Joe Popowitch at

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