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Immigrant Services

Indianapolis has a diverse population of immigrants. More than 80,000 immigrants call Indianapolis home, hailing from countries such as Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), and India. After making their way to the Hoosier state, they must adjust to a new culture, government, and educational system. The Library is one of many community organizations providing resources and education to immigrants, helping them adapt to their new homes.

Library Programs

Bilingual Storytimes
Reading to children in their home languages shapes their views on literacy and their home cultures. It is also impactful to read to children in different languages. Come join us for Bilingual Storytimes in Spanish! In the near future, please join us for storytimes in Ukrainian. Storytimes occur in various branches in the city, please see our Bilingual Storytime schedule.

Citizenship Class
Join us for a citizenship instruction class provided by the Burmese American Community Institute (BACI). Call (317) 331-7537 or email to inquire and register.

English Conversation Circles
Join our English conversation circles to practice and improve your English skills in a comfortable and welcoming place. We discuss topics on American culture, idioms, phrasal verbs, some grammar, and much much more! Facilitators are TESOL trained. Please check the online calendar for details.

Other Programs & Collaborations Throughout the year, as needs and interests in the community arise and partnerships form, we offer additional opportunities. Other programs we will have this year include:

  • Mayo Mas Mexicano Festival with Arte Mexicano en Indiana
  • Contemporary Mexican Film Festival with the Mexican Consulate
  • Welcoming Week with the Immigrant Welcome Center

More Than a Place Podcast: Celebrating Immigrant Stories

What does it mean to find a home? For many, home is the place where we feel safe, joyful, and welcomed by the people around us. We use our senses and memories to define what it means, every single day. For Indianapolis immigrants, an understanding of home emerges from dreams, sacrifices, and journeys of miles and years. Join us for a special podcast series to explore the diverse lived experiences of Indy’s immigrant community. Together, we’ll see how, rather than exchanging an old home for a new one, immigrants create a powerful idea: that home is so much more than a place. Listen wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about podcast episodes and guests.

Community Partners

Our Neighbor, Our Partner
Immigrant Welcome Center (IWC) is a great resource for the Indianapolis community. The mission of IWC is to be a trusted partner and advocate for all immigrants. They support this work through programming and working with community partners and local leaders to offer programs and services that address the following focus areas: Immigrant and Refugee Support, Naturalization and Legal Assistance, English Language Literacy, and Community Partner Support. Learn more about the services provided by the Immigrant Welcome Center.

Immigrant Welcome Center Logo

Naturalization Ceremonies
This special event is hosted by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and takes place at Central Library. Each month, close to 300 new citizens partake in the ceremonies, representing 30-35 languages. Organizations that help make this day important are the League of Women Voters, Indy 11 soccer team, and the Immigrant Welcome Center. Welcome the country’s newest citizens at Central Library as they complete the final step toward naturalization – the swearing-in ceremony. We are seeking volunteers to greet and direct guests. For more information see our Volunteering page.

For questions, partnerships, and programming please contact the Immigrant Outreach Program Specialist, Sakura Fuqua, by email or phone (317) 275-4088.

In Our Collection

World Language Book Collection
The Indianapolis Public Library is proud of the programing and partnerships created to serve our community. We are also proud of growing our world language book collection to reflect our growing immigrant community. We have books, movies, language learning audiobooks and citizenship guides for all ages in:

Recommendations from IndyPL Staff
What does it take to become fluent? How do I get started? Find answers to these and many other language related questions in the apps, books, audiobooks, and videos included in this list of books you can check out with your IndyPL library card.

Spanish Titles Newsletter - Títulos en Español
Subscribe to our monthly Spanish email newsletter to receive reading recommendations of recently added Spanish materials. View the most recent issue.

Mango Language Learning Online
Learn English (and 70+ other languages) with Mango! Mango teaches everyday greetings, helpful phrases, and real-life situations. There are 10+ English as a Second Language (ESL) courses offered. Watch this video tutorial or learn more about Mango.

Mango Language Learning App