IBBY-Yamada 2022: France

Creating a library in the Emergency Accommodation Centre for Migrants

The Emergency Accommodation Centre for Migrants (Centre d’hébergement d’urgence pour migrants d’Ivry) was created in January 2017 to provide accommodation to migrant women, families and couples arriving in Paris. Run by the non-profit organisation Emmaüs Solidarité, the Centre combines emergency treatment with the establishment of social support to enable migrants to find a place in French society. The children living in the Centre are educated in a school led by educators specialised in teaching French as a foreign language. In the school, there is a room allocated to books, however, the donated book selection is not always relevant for the children and there are no books in their languages. There is only limited access to the library and the teachers have a full workload and no training in managing a library. IBBY France began working with the school in October 2019 and began to collect new books, sort the existing books and establish a library management system with library cards for the children. During the pandemic, when the Centre was under lockdown, the need for a library became acute. A project was developed to permit the library to be accessible all day, including mobile equipment to be used outdoors. The staff was trained in running the library and reading promotion activities including storytelling sessions in French and the languages spoken by the students. Finally, quality books in the relevant languages (Amharic, Arabic, Bambara, Dari, English, Farsi, Pashto, Tigrinya and Urdu) were purchased.

Keywords: Reading promotion through storybooks; Reading promotion with libraries; Target audience: children – refugees; Target audience: children – vulnerable children; Target audience: adults