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July 1, 2009

Celebrate Citizenship at the Library!

As we celebrate Independence Day 2009 we are joined by a number of local residents who will spend their first 4th of July as United States Citizens. On Saturday, June 20, the Orlando Public Library hosted a World Refugee Day event. The highlight of the day was a U.S. Naturalization swearing in ceremony. Twenty-five new citizens were sworn in by Margaret Iglesias, Field Office Director for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. In addition, Bishop Wenski from the Catholic Diocese as well as Congressman Alan Grayson were guest speakers. Both men spoke about the importance of honoring the contribution immigrant communities have made to our country since its inception.

This event tied in well with one of the Library's current initiatives, Citizenship Inspired. The Library is fortunate to be the recipient of a $120,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services with which we have created and promoted the program. This citizenship focused series was designed by Library staff to meet a local need to provide support and training for residents who wish to pursue the naturalization process. Although the program has only been around for 6 months, we have already had over 250 participants enroll in our Citizenship Inspired program with many students coming back to report they have gone on to pass the Citizenship Test, and have become full participants in U.S. Citizenry.

The Library continuously seeks ways in which we can support the needs of our community, whether partnering with Workforce Central Florida to assist job seekers or FINRA to provide important financial education to our residents. An English language version of this program is coming in Fall 2009. If you know of an opportunity or a community need let us hear from you!

Join us during July to celebrate National Hot Dog Month at our Herndon Branch (July 20, 6:30 p.m.) or to pick up a new computer skill. And Save the Date for our Evening with the Author featuring New York Times best selling author, Jeffrey Zaslow, on Friday, September 11, at 7:00 p.m.

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