Supporters helping Gander library stock shelves for Syrian refugees
Employees with the Gander Public Library are doing their best to make sure the shelves are stocked for the five refugee families who are coming to Central Newfoundland in the coming weeks.
This includes books in Arabic for children and adults.
Regional librarian Courtney Penney said supporters of the effort have been doing everything they can to prepare for the refugees' arrival.
She said they've been securing and soliciting donations for books and learning materials in Arabic.
These books will include dual English and Arabic language children's books, and materials for adults.
"We are making sure that we have a lot of leisure material for adults, both reading material but also material that will help them with their English," said Penney.
"We want to make sure that we can give them all the tools that they need so that they can thrive in Gander. If they choose not to stay in Gander, that's fine, but it's so important that they learn English."
Three Syrian members of the Gander community have helped with the effort by making sure the library selects appropriate and effective material.
"They've been really helpful in offering their services — of course they speak Arabic — so they're invaluable," she said.
The library has received a number of donations from members of the community, including from the Anglican church.
Penney said more help would be welcomed.
"In the future, we're hoping to purchase some signs that would say 'Welcome' in Arabic and maybe (identify) the different sections of the library."
Details are still being finalized on how the library will welcome the refugees.
Penney said plans are in the works to provide translation services so the new arrivals can get acquainted with the services available at the library.