Welcoming Spaces: Creating Welcoming Environments for Immigrant and Refugee Communities

This webinar will present the findings from the Welcoming Spaces National Forum, which provided a space for practitioners from libraries and children’s museums to gather together to document extant efforts, exchange ideas, and cultivate dialogue across two family-oriented services to determine best practices and areas for improvement in community outreach and patron services. 

The Welcoming Spaces grant was provided by IMLS and executed by the Association for Children’s Museums (ACM) and the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC).

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will be able to assess opportunities for a library or museum space to improve and become more welcoming to immigrant and refugee populations in communities.
  • Participants will be able to identify current strategies and new approaches to welcome patrons from immigrant and refugee communities into their children’s museums or library.
  • Participants will be able to determine possible community partners and partnerships to help create spaces where all patrons feel welcomed.

This webinar was recorded on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. 


Jacqueline “Jacquie” Kociubuk, MLIS/MEd, is a PhD student in the Information School at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on understanding the role of the public library as an informal learning and community space and place for children and families. She has previously worked as a children’s librarian and PreK-12th grade educator.

As the longest tenured member of Kidzu Children's Museum, in Chapel Hill, NC, Melanie Hatz Levinson joined the museum in 2007. In her current role as Chief Creative Officer, Melanie is responsible for leading the museum's educational and strategic master planning process, working closely with their academic and community collaborators to enhance access to quality early learning experiences and create a museum culture that is inclusive, welcoming and responsive to new populations.

Sarah C. Polen is the Deputy Executive Director at the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). Her work focuses on advancing the strategic priority of the association, including initiatives in membership, programs & partnerships, and continuing education.