Coventry Libraries have been recognised with the Libraries of Sanctuary Award for the warm welcome and support that they show to the refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in the city, as well as the wider community. On Tuesday 17th of January 2023, a presentation was held at the Central Library in Coventry city centre to celebrate this nationally recognised achievement, which the city is proud to have received.
The Libraries of Sanctuary Award was created to celebrate the public libraries who go above and beyond to welcome people seeking sanctuary. The concept of utilising libraries in the heart of the community was formed to help create an accessible hub that can help transform lives.
Commitment to creating a welcoming culture isn’t new to our city. Coventry has been long recognised as a City of Peace, and more recently has received the City of Sanctuary title for the support that has been shown to the people seeking refuge within such an uncertain period.
Libraries of Sanctuary is one stream within the City of Sanctuary UK movement, which aims to build a culture of welcome and a place of safety for people seeking sanctuary from conflict, persecution, environmental issues and for other new arrivals.
Coventry Public Libraries play a vital role in the journey for the people who seek sanctuary in Coventry. They do this by providing free membership, free use of computers, and providing welcoming spaces to those in need. Helpful librarians foster a culture of welcome and inclusivity, which reflects the peaceful and respectful values of the City. It also helps build a community for those individuals that seek a caring culture, and lack a sense of belonging in their lives. Coventry Public Libraries act as a safe haven for locals as well as newcomers, allowing for the socialisation, education and integration of individuals.
Cllr Dr Kindy Sandhu, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “It’s wonderful news that our fantastic Library Service has been nationally recognised and achieved the Libraries of Sanctuary award. The team have worked tremendously hard to make this happen, and I am very proud of everyone involved”.
For more information about Coventry Libraries of Sanctuary Award please click here.