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March 26, 2008 > Infobrain: Citizenship 101 at the library

Infobrain: Citizenship 101 at the library

If you are a new American looking for help on the path to U.S. citizenship, the welcome mat is out for you at Alameda County Library. Your free library card gives you access to many study materials designed to help you pass the citizenship test as well as understand the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

If your learning style is visual and you like to work with hard copy books, you can borrow study guides such as "Citizenship Made Simple: an easy-to-read-guide to the U.S. citizenship process" by Barbara Brooks Kimmel:Next Decade Press, c2006. Study books are also available in Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Vietnamese language. Free copies of the 100 sample U.S. history and civics questions that the U.S. government produces are also available at your nearby branch of Alameda County Library.

For learners who prefer the emersion method, the Library offers many choices including bilingual videos in Chinese, English, Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese language. These are designed to help the student understand the interview process and gain confidence in preparation for undergoing the actual citizenship interview. For students who would like to improve their English language skills, the Library offers materials in many formats including books on CD, videocassette, audiocassette, and DVD. At the Union City Library, these materials are located in the English as a Second Language section right next to the international newspapers and magazines.

If you would like to work from home using your Alameda County Library card, you have access to the Learning Express Library from the Library website. At you can point your mouse to the blue research tab then click on articles and databases. Listed there is Test Preparation, click on Learning Express Library. Scroll down and click on U.S. Citizenship History & Civics Review. With your Library Card number you can create a free account and access the online test preparation materials which will help you prepare to pass the oral test for citizenship. You can take the practice test as many times as you want and take as long as you like to work through the test.

Another resource offered at the Union City Library on the third Thursday of each month is the free Lawyer in the Library program. An attorney specializing in immigration law is available for a brief consultation from 6 - 7 p.m. Sign up for a session with the lawyer beginning at 5 p.m. on the day of the program.

The Library also offers cardholders the opportunity to access the U.S. government INS website from any county library location public access terminal. Just click on the Education and Resources tab from the INS homepage and then click on Civics and Citizenship Study Materials. There are many study guides that can be purchased from the U.S. government or viewed from this website.

Remember, if you need help finding or using any of these resources just stop by the Information Desk at the nearest Alameda County Library branch and ask the reference librarian on duty to get you started on your path to becoming a U.S. citizen.

Mira Geroy
Library Manager
Union City Library
(510) 745-1464, ext. 11

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