Programs, Services & Resources
The Simcoe County Libraries’ Immigrant Hub provides resources and services that are inclusive and mindful of Simcoe County’s changing demographic.
You can do many exciting things at a public library in Simcoe County. Public library staff are trained to assist you to connect with service providers who will help you and your family to feel at home in your community. They can recommend programs, services and resources for you. They can help you find materials that you might be interested in such as books, DVDs, magazines, audiobooks and newspapers. Many of these items are available in multiple languages. Library staff can tell you how to find services in your community such as applying or renewing your health card or getting a pass to a cultural attraction.
Library staff are happy to take you on a tour of the Library and to register you for a library membership card. You will need to show ID to register for your card but personal information will never be shared with anyone or any other organization. During your visit to the Library ask staff to tell you about the various programs offered. Most programs are free and open to everyone.
If you would like to read the content for this section, or the entire website, in your language, please click the Google Translate button below.
If you are new to the Library, to Simcoe County, or to Canada, your public library will help you feel welcome and at home.
If you live in Barrie, Innisfil, Midland, or Orillia the YMCA can help you to access employment, language, and settlement support services. More information is available here: https://ymcaofsimcoemuskoka.ca
The Welcome Centre Mobile Unit provides settlement to newcomers in all other communities throughout the County. Regular service delivery sites are located in Alliston, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, and Orillia. However, if you live in another community, the Mobile Unit can meet you at a more convenient location.
If you are interested in information on having your international education, work experience and skills recognized by local employers, you may benefit from an appointment with the Mobile Unit’s Accreditation and Qualification Information Service. This service is available anywhere in Simcoe County. More information is available here: http://welcomecentre.ca/activities/index.html#mu
Or you can visit any of the following libraries and use the secure web-based video connection, Click, Connect Immigration Assistance to access services. Click, Connect Immigration Assistance is a new service that is being delivered in libraries through a partnership between the Simcoe County Library Cooperative and the Welcome Centre’s Settlement Services. It uses video technology to immediately access an expert who can assist you with your immigration, accreditation, employment, and language needs.
Click, Connect can connect you with a translator, if you need one, in order to be able to discuss your immigration needs with a specialist. The internet connection is safe and secure. Library staff will help you to find a quiet, private space where you can speak with a service expert securely and without interruptions.
Focus on Language
If you are interested in learning English, French or another language, these resources can help you:
Mango Languages is an interactive online resource that provides coaching in a variety of languages from around the world – including Pirate-speak!
Simcoe Muskoka Literacy Network – (SMLN) is your information source about essential skills training and academic upgrading for adults in Simcoe County and Muskoka.
Next Step Literacy Council of South Simcoe assigns you to experienced staff who will provide free literacy, numeracy, and computer training.
Barrie Literacy Council provides literacy, numeracy, and English as a Second Language (ESL) training.
YMCA of Simcoe-Muskoka provides employment, literacy, and newcomer services such as English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, assistance in completing forms, arranging for interpreters and translators, and information on community services.
Conversation Circles: If you would like to join one, speak with a member of the library staff.
This link will take you to the Immigration Simcoe site: http://immigration.simcoe.ca.
It is an online resource for newcomers in Simcoe County where you can learn about local community and immigration services; finding work and doing business; and how to make connections with local agencies.
Multilingual Library Materials
|تحتوي المكتبات في مقاطعة Simcoe على كتب وأقراص DVD وكتب مسموعة وأجهزة لوحية وآراء ومجلات وصحف بلغتك.|
|Bibliotheken in Simcoe County hebben boeken, dvd’s, audioboeken, tablets, views, tijdschriften en kranten in de volgende talen.|
|Bibliotheken in Simcoe County bieten Bücher, DVDs, Hörbücher, Tablets, Ansichten, Zeitschriften und Zeitungen in den folgenden Sprachen an.|
|As bibliotecas no Condado de Simcoe têm livros, DVDs, audiolivros, tablets, visualizações, revistas e jornais nos seguintes idiomas.|
|В библиотеках округа Симко есть книги, DVD, аудиокниги, планшеты, обзоры, журналы и газеты на следующих языках.|
|Las bibliotecas del condado de Simcoe tienen libros, DVD, audiolibros, tabletas, vistas, revistas y periódicos en los siguientes idiomas.|
|Ang mga aklatan sa Simcoe County ay mayroong Mga Libro, DVD, Audiobook, Tablet, View, Magazines at Pahayagan sa mga sumusunod na wika.|
|سمکوئ کاؤنٹی میں کتب خانوں میں درج ذیل زبانوں میں|
|کتابیں ، DVDs ، آڈیو بُکس ، گولیاں ، مناظر ، رسالے اور اخبارات موجود ہیں۔|
|Các thư viện ở Simcoe County có Sách, DVD, Sách nói, Máy tính bảng, Chế độ xem, Tạp chí và Báo bằng các ngôn ngữ sau.|
The material is available for both adults and children but not all languages are available in all formats. Ask a New Tecumseth Public Library staff member which formats are available.
Multilingual Electronic Resources
Foreign-language e-books are available online for you to download to your computer, laptop or mobile device. Go to https://simcoe.overdrive.com to access these materials. These e-books are available in a number of languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
You can use Flipster to flip through your favourite Spanish language magazines online. Simply log into your library account to access these colourful and informative magazines that celebrate the Hispanic culture. Titles include: Forbes Mexico, Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica, People en Español and more!
Ask a library staff member if you need assistance accessing e-books or Flipster from home.
Simcoe County Libraries Multicultural Book Club
If you have traveled the roads, entered a restaurant, or visited a school in Simcoe County, you have seen the County’s diversity first-hand. With more than 50,000 foreign-born residents within our borders and 107 different languages being spoken, diversity is, indeed, a way of life for those of us who live, work and play in Simcoe County!
Books are a great way to learn about, and gain appreciation for, other cultures. In an effort to celebrate Simcoe County’s diversity while providing a resource for building cultural competency, the libraries have teamed up to provide book club kits with titles designed to educate and enlighten readers from all backgrounds. The themes of inclusivity and tolerance are central to all the titles. They feature multicultural characters who face inter-cultural challenges. Titles include popular novels such as Kite Runner, as well as foreign-language international titles that have been translated into English. The kits are designed to spark conversations about inclusion and acceptance within books clubs and groups of friends across Simcoe County. The kits are available for loan to members of any Simcoe County library, through an online booking system on the Simcoe County Libraries Multicultural Book Club website. Bookings can be made up to one year in advance. Check the calendar on the website for availability.
Each kit consists of ten (10) copies of the book, discussion questions, and a canvas book bag. The kits circulate for six weeks and can be picked up at the nearest branch of your local library.
We hope to include titles and authors from as many cultures as we can. Be sure and check back often for new titles and authors! In the meantime, if you have suggestions, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click, Connect Immigration Assistance
Click, Connect Immigration Assistance is a service for immigrants living in Simcoe County. Newcomers are able to access via a dedicated laptop computer located in the library.
Recently, Simcoe County Libraries have been focused on creating spaces that are more inclusive for newcomers by developing multilingual collections, offering programs that encourage participation regardless of language and providing professional development that enables staff to become more culturally aware.
For the last several years the Welcome Centre Mobile Unit has been delivering service that provides immigrants in rural areas of Simcoe County with the tools that allow them to integrate into their new communities. The combination of technology and social supports can provide geographically challenged immigrants a wraparound solution that better supports integration.