With the anticipated arrival of possibly hundreds of Syrian refugees, Windsor Public Library branches are bracing for an influx of foot traffic.
Libraries are often one of the first places new Canadians visit, once the new arrivals have housing and food, say library officials.
- First 'new wave' of Syrian refugees arrive in Canada from Lebanon
- How Canadians can help child refugees arriving in Canada
With hundreds of resources for learning English, including dozens specifically written for Arabic speakers, the Windsor Public Library is well prepared for the new members.
"Often people don't think of the public library as a first stop for new Canadians but in reality public libraries are often the No. 1 supporters for new Canadians as they acclimatize to Canada," said Kitty Pope, CEO of Windsor Public Library.
The library already has 1500 titles in Arabic, two Arabic newspapers, plus Arabic music CDs and DVDs.
Getting a library card is also one of the easiest ways for new Canadians to get identification, according to Pope.
"Settlement workers will be bringing their clients to the library fairly quickly, first of all, to start learning about their new country, but also to get that piece of ID," she said.