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Immigrant Civic Engagement

With the support of a three year National Leadership Grant from the federal Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS), Hartford Public Library has worked to promote services and programs that promote immigrant civic involvement. These strategies are rooted in the concept of building trusting relationships between immigrants and the receiving community. 

     Ivory Coast artist
    Geroges Annan Kingsley

Volunteering as a
Cultural Navigator

Working with a
Cultural Navigator

Hartford artist Georges Annan Kingsley, immigrant of Ivory Coast, had his first art exhibition in September 2013. Here he reflects on how Hartford Public Library has helped him acclimate to his country and adjust this country to feel he belongs here in America. (2013)

A Cultural Navigator tells of her experience volunteering in the library's Cultural Navigator program. The Cultural Navigator program helps guide new arrival immigrants as they adjust to living in Hartford. (2012)


A newcomer from Sri Lanka tells about her experience working with a Cultural Navigator in this volunteer program at Hartford Public Library. (2013)

First Days Project

The First Days Project, sponsored by South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA), collects and archives stories about first days in the United States from individuals who can trace their heritage to South Asia. For more information, click here. (2013)

Aruna & Nayomi (Sri Lanka)

Leela & Kranti (Nepal)

Than (Burma/Thailand)

Aruna & Nayomi, a married couple from Sri Lanka

Leela & Kranti, two young refugees from Nepal

Than, a refugee from Burma/Thailand

Voices from Newly Naturalized Citizens

Hear stories from newly naturalized citizens about what it has meant to them to become U.S. citizens and how they have worked to achieve their citizenship goals through the many services available at the library. This project was funded in part by USCIS Citizenship Instruction grant. (2013)



(Polish with English subtitles)

Naturalization Ceremonies @ Hartford Public Library

September 17, 2013

April 11, 2013

April 29, 2011

In celebration of National Citizenship Day and Welcoming America Week, a Naturalization ceremony was held at City Hall.

Walter Dean Myers, the influential author and national advocate for children’s reading programs, was invited as key note speaker.

USCIS presented 30 candidates for U.S. citizenship at HPL. Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman provided opening remarks with additional remarks by Mayor Pedro Segarra.

Community Dialogues

Community Dialogues designed to engage immigrants and the receiving community in dialogue on a topic of mutual concern. There are various approaches to this, but all lead to a plan of action. In 2012, Hartford Public Library piloted a Dialogue designed to promote immigrant civic engagement. For further information, click here.

May 15, 2012

The Action Forum presented the ideas discussed in Community Dialogues on the adult learning.