Libraries in Europe Strive To Meet Needs of Refugees

One might think that there are many more pressing issues facing now-nomadic refugees fleeing life-threatening situations than to be concerned about public libraries but European countries have been thrust into the very difficult task of accommodating and embracing waves of people who will have great difficulties communicating.  It might be reasonable to think that many refugees probably know some English but it would be doubtful that many Middle Easterners would know Danish, a country which will be the destination for a good number of them.  This, however, is the dilemma that these host countries find themselves in but what better place than the library to be a focal point of information dissemination?  Danish public libraries have made a pact to make every effort to help Syrian refugees any way they can . “Free access to education and training, to information and culture is a fundamental right of all people” is the oath the German Library Association has put forth, likewise in Austria, France and Finland.

This is a tall order but it is the unwritten code that all libraries worldwide strive for:  to offer all the best in information regardless of ethnicity and politics.