Moving from Morocco is no small step. Volunteering as a Library Champion after having been in Canada for only 9 months is also quite bold. Jamila Imrani has done both. She’s learning more about libraries and, in turn, is helping other newcomers adjust to life in BC. We caught up with Jamila recently; here’s what she had to say about this project:
What strikes you most about the differences between the libraries here and the libraries where you’re from?
There is a big difference between libraries here and the ones in my country. To begin with, there is no connection between libraries in my country. In addition to this, The books or what ever you borrow must be returned to the library you borrow from. And a library card is used only for the library mentioned on it.
Why did you become a Library Champion?
Because I found library very interesting for me, I registered for this project. By learning more, I will help newcomers to get more information for their new life in Canada. Me too I’m a newcomer, and I know very well how its feels to be in a new country. It’s like a fish out of water.
Tell me about the Library Champion Project. What is your role in this?
This project is the best way for newcomers to give them all information they need. As a newcomer, I can learn more new things from this project and then teach it to others. Due to the introduction of this project by one of my classmate, I first felt curious as well as doubtful about all what she said. Later on, I discovered all she told me about libraries is true. After that, I decided to spend lots of time in the library because I found it useful and very interesting. Two months later, I registered for this project and was selected. Now that I’m a Library Champion, my role is to let newcomers know all I’ve known about libraries in BC. Sharing information and introducing libraries to people will facilitate there new life in Canada.
What’s your favourite library here?
To be honest, I like all libraries. But the most ones I spend more time in are New Westminster Library and Vancouver Public Library.
What is the library service that you use the most?
The ESL Learning Centre.
What is the library service that surprised you most?
All libraries in BC are connected to each other? It’s unbelievable but true.
Register in one library is enough. And by using one library card we can borrow whatever we want from libraries in BC.
What are you most excited about with this project?
It’s amazing to see libraries in BC work together and with newcomers to develop, using Social Media to offer more than access to all kind of services that are available in Libraries in BC. All for free.
What recommendations do you have for other newcomers to BC?
Don’t panic. Be more confident and go out to attend newcomer’s program so that you can get all information you need. Go to libraries. You are welcome in BC Libraries.
*It sounds to me like Jamila is taking her own advice to heart. She is most welcome in the BC Libraries and she is doing the best at utilizing all services and locations available.