In addition to community agencies, school boards, and community colleges, the public library is one of many organizations that help you adjust to a new country and city. Many libraries offer services in various languages and also have telephone interpreters available to help you. Your neighbourhood library may offer some of the following services or programs:
If you live in Peel Region, Toronto, or York Region and Simcoe County, scroll down to read more about the various services available through your local library.
Some libraries and community agencies work together to help you adjust to your new life in Canada. Settlement workers provide in-person, one-on-one assistance to help you and your family with settlement-related issues. They also provide information and/or referral in areas such as job search, English classes, health issues, legal advice, children and information, banking and housing issues, as well as citizenship and immigration.
You can also take Citizenship classes at most libraries. Citizenship classes prepare you for Canadian citizenship. Topics include Canadian history, geography, and government.
Click here to read more about the Library Settlement Partnership and to find a library in your community that has settlement workers onsite to help you.
From English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to ESL collections, most libraries provide a wide range of language services. In addition to ESL classes, your local library may also offer other English classes such as TOEFL classes or English Conversation Circles.
Your local library has books, DVDs, CDs, and other materials in many different langauges. Click here to find a library in your community that carries your language.
Most libraries also have computers and printers you can use for word processing – they also have free public internet access. Because computer access is very popular, you need to make a reservation in advance. You may be charged for printing and photocopying services, but you can access the computer for free.
When you first visit the library, ask for an orientation tour. Library staff can tell you about the collections at your branch and about how to use the catalogues. Most library catalogues are now in electronic format, and many can be searched from home through the internet. Scroll down and click on the library name close to your home.
Aurora Public Library
Barrie Public Library
Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library
Brampton Public Library
Caledon Public Library
Cambridge Public Library
Halton Public Library
Innisfil Public Library
King Township Public Library
Markham Public Library
Milton Public Library
Mississauga Public Library
Newmarket Public Library
Richmond Hill Public Library
Toronto Public Library
Vaughan Public Library
If you are having trouble finding your local library, click here for a full listing of Ontario Public Libraries.