The Welcoming Library is a collection of acclaimed children’s picture books featuring new arrival and new Canadian families. (Langley Literacy Network/Special to Langley Advance Times)

The Welcoming Library is a collection of acclaimed children’s picture books featuring new arrival and new Canadian families. (Langley Literacy Network/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley’s travelling Welcome Library aims to start dialogue about immigration

Collection of 30 books available to borrow by community groups and schools

A travelling library is making its way through Langley in an effort to strengthen children’s sense of community belonging and start dialogue about immigration.

The Langley Children Committee and the Langley Literacy Network have launched the Canadian version of “I’m Your Neighbour Books,” a take on the U.S.-based “I’m Your Neighbour Books.”

READ MORE: Painful Truth: Canada’s immigration hopes may not be enough in post-COVID world

The Welcoming Library is a collection of acclaimed children’s picture books featuring new arrival and new Canadian families, explained Alicia Rempel, spokesperson for the Langley community groups.

“This project is a larger literacy movement founded to draw attention to immigration, children’s literature and to its potential to start sometimes difficult conversations about who belongs here, welcoming, assimilation, and how to celebrate all families,” she elaborated.

The local organizations behind the project aim for readers to “both meet a stranger on the page and to see aspects of their own family reflected.”

Studies have shown that reading builds empathy and that cross-racial scenes in picture books build acceptance, the groups found.

READ MORE: Refusal rate for immigration on humanitarian and compassionate grounds rising: data

Each book contains a discussion guide affixed to the inside back cover to facilitate engagement in the topics of welcoming and belonging.

The collection of 30 books are available to borrow at no cost.

The travelling library can be booked out by community, schools and public groups by contacting: info@langleyliteracynetwork.com.


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BooksEducationImmigrant childrenimmigrantsLangleyliterary