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"Remember your weekly mix of activity will vary, depending on how soon you need to be employed, how much time you have to spend on your campaign each week, the economy, the relative difficulty of job finding in your targeted field, and the relative effectiveness of each job search method with regards to your job objective. Good Luck!!!" [source: JobSearch-in-Canada.com]
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10 February 2013

The library focuses on newcomers

PS. This article is reproduced with kind permission of Pradip Rodrigues @ canindia.com

The library focuses on newcomers

Kids in a libraryLast week I served as a panelist on a session titled “Newcomers and public libraries” at the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference held at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto. The OLA is Canada’s largest library organization and the Super Conference is the largest continuing education event in librarianship in North America. The room was filled to capacity with librarians from across the province who were grappling with a variety of issues dealing with newcomers.At the onset, moderator Stephen Abram made it quite clear that the library did a poor job marketing itself, he recognized the fact that librarians were the least diverse group of employees and ageing. It was evident that the OLA had to go after newcomers and we the panelist were there to have a conversation about the needs and special needs of newcomers.

Some suggestions I offered:
Most immigrants stumble into libraries quite by accident. It would be a great idea to actually have a public library in every airport of this country as it would go a long way to promote reading and would be the first great institution a newcomer to Canada would discover and develop a life-long relationship with it. Newcomers could get their… library cards and check out books about Canada along with their luggage if they so wanted or at least they could be told about the location of their new neighborhood library. I have personally seen newcomers in the library looking quite lost while librarians went about their business assuming they would approach them if they had any question. I suggested what the moderator termed ‘the retail approach’, where library staff come around and ensure the visitor is finding everything okay. I was peppered with questions- would newcomers be offended if asked if they were new to Canada? I explained that some newcomers who are trying to forget that fact may feel mildly offended, but suggested that perhaps library staff could ask if they were new to the library system.

All newcomers to Canada aren’t necessarily Asian, South Asian or black. I once met a White South African couple and their children who had immigrated a year earlier, passed this library many times but never entered assuming it was like the kind they had back in the old country which was nothing to write home about. They were amazed to know that the library system carried every major literary work, books and periodicals on current affairs, thousands of DVDs, CDs, books on tape, children’s books… Then they asked, “How much are the user fees?” When I told them it was all free, they couldn’t believe their ears and signed up for library cards immediately. Most newcomers are aware of the library, but do not realize its potential.

As a newcomer to Canada 14 years ago, the library was at the top of the great things I listed about this country. I devoured books on Canadian history, geography and politics, read guide books, watched DVDs and listened to great music on CDs. I developed a love and understanding of this country through library books and I am convinced a library can be one of the greatest tools to integrate newcomers into Canada.

Observation at my branch library
This weekend I was at my branch library in Mississauga where I saw a sign “Newcomer Information”. A young South Asian newcomer was being given literature and information about services he could access like the conversational English classes his wife could attend, places he could go to get his credentials recognized and resumes made. The man then left the library without even glancing at a book. I thought to myself, here is a man who has come into the library for information on settling in, but no effort was made to actually give him a tour of the library. I am quite sure he or his wife don’t have library cards. The man indicated that fluency in verbal and written English was their handicap, but not once through the conversation did the counselor suggest he explore the vast riches of the library. To me this was like a hungry man asking for directions to the food bank when he was in one already.

What can be done
If libraries in immigrant-rich GTA are figuring out ways to engage newcomers, libraries in parts of the province that are only now beginning to see more and more visible minorities are struggling. Librarians from Barrie and communities beyond are having to stock up on relevant material for newcomers, order books and periodicals in other languages and help them as best they can. Perhaps librarians across this country can start by engaging in some conversations with some of their users who happen to be newcomers and make them feel welcome.

07 February 2013

Debunking The 'Myth Of The Muslim Tide' : NPR

"In Canada, a major analysis of national statistics found that skin colour, not religion, affected the ability to integrate, and that Muslims are no less (and sometimes slightly more) able to integrate economically and socially other than people of the same race." p(. 75)
The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West? by Doug Saunders
Book Description
From the author of prize-winning Arrival City, a controversial and long-overdue rejoinder to the excessive fears of an Islamic threat that have spread throughout America and Europe and threaten our basic values.
Since September 11, 2001, a growing chorus has warned that Western society and values are at risk of being overrun by a tide of Islamic immigrants. These sentiments reached their most extreme expression in July 2011, with Anders Breivik’s shooting spree in Norway. Breivik left behind a 1500 page manifesto denouncing the impact of Islam on the West, which showed how his thinking had been shaped by anti-immigrant writings that had appeared widely in books and respectable publications. In The Myth of the Muslim Tide, Doug Saunders offers a brave challenge to these ideas, debunking popular misconceptions about Muslims and their effect on the communities in which they live. He demonstrates how modern Islamophobia echoes historical responses to earlier immigrant groups, especially Jews and Catholics. Above all, he provides a set of concrete proposals to help absorb these newcomers and make immigration work. The most important trend of the twenty-first century will be a massive global migration to cities and across international borders. Rather than responding to our new religious-minority neighbours with fear and resentment, this book shows us how we can make this change work to our advantage.
What others say:
Listen to: The myth of the Muslim tide | Q with Jian Ghomeshi | CBC Radio
The Myth of the Muslim Tide : NPR
The Myth of the Muslim Tide by Doug Saunders rebuts right-wing fear mongers, by Charlie Smith -- "The Myth of the Muslim Tide may calm fears about women in hijabs and niqabs."
“Saunders’ approach is refreshingly levelheaded and fact-based… An invaluable contribution to the contemporary debate over Muslim immigration into Western communities.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Cogent and timely.” - Publishers Weekly

About Doug Saunders

Doug Saunders is a Canadian-British author and journalist. He is the author of the book Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World (2011) and the London-based European bureau chief for The Globe and Mail. He writes a weekly column devoted to the larger themes and intellectual concepts behind international news, and has won the National Newspaper Award, Canada’s counterpart to the Pulitzer Prize, on four occasions.
Table of Contents
1 Popular Fiction
The New Neighbours 2
Crescent Fever: The Brief History of an Idea 9
The Parties of Eurabia 24
A Very American Invasion 29

2 The Facts
Population 38
Integration 61
Extremism 82

3 We've Been Here Before
The Catholic Tide 115
The Jewish Tide 127

4 What We Oughy to Worry About
The Invention of the Muslim People 139
The Problem of Integration 144
The Privatization of Religion 150
Escaping the Prison House of Culture 158

Library of Congress Subject headings:
Muslims --Western countries.
Islamophobia --Western countries.
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration
On the same shelf:
  • On TV, an Everyday Muslim as Everyday American February 8, 2013, The New York Times --Extract: "On a Sunday afternoon several months ago, I was engaged in one of my favorite religious rituals, watching pro football on television. During a break in the game, I reflexively clicked the “mute” button on the remote control. But my eyes stayed fixed on a startling commercial.
    The screen showed a balding man with tawny skin and a salt-and-pepper goatee, and seconds later it spelled out his name: Mujahid Abdul-Rashid. The advertisement went on to show him fishing, playing in a yard with two toddlers, and sitting down to a family meal. One week later, again during an N.F.L. game, the same commercial appeared. This time I listened to the words. The advertisement was for Prudential’s financial products for retirees. Mr. Abdul-Rashid was talking about his own retirement after 19 years as a clothing salesman, and the family time he now intended to enjoy."



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