A new spring ad campaign is underway here at the Free Library and this year’s theme is focused on new Americans and the role the library can play as a gateway to learning and information. With nearly 200,000 foreign-born individuals living in Philadelphia, the Library has come to play an increasingly important role in the lives of these individuals. Every day, New Americans visit the library to take advantage of free Wi-Fi and computer access, afterschool homework help, and online resources and databases. This in addition to ESL classes, English conversation groups, a robust collection of materials in 27 world languages, and daily programming opportunities.
This year’s campaign will be translated into Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and Russian, and feature advertisements in eight publications and on the backs and sides of buses. Please keep your eyes open for the inviting “Welcome” buses coming to a street near you! The Free Library’s own Mary Marques has also added her voice to the La Mega 1310AM airwaves where she recorded three spots, in Spanish, about our services. The radio station was so impressed with Mary’s brilliant voice that they canceled their plans to have a professional jock record the spots! They will run multiple times per day for three months. Listen for Mary on La Mega!
With many community and ethnic festivals each year in our city, we felt the need and opportunity for Library outreach to these Philadelphians. Free Library staff recently participated in the Al Dia Diversity Career Fair at the HUB Commerce and will be represented at upcoming events such as the Sugar Festival, Hispanic Fiesta at Penn’s Landing, and the Asian American Heritage Festival.
And lastly, as part of the work of the Free Library’s New Americans Committee, we have a suite of new pages designed specifically for New Americans users looking for information and resources about the library and beyond. See for yourself here!