DPL Statement on Afghan Newcomers

Dear Denver Public Library Community,

On August 30, 2021, the U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Due to this withdrawal, thousands of people are fleeing Afghanistan to ensure their safety and the safety of their families. An estimated 1,000 to 2,000 Afghan people are expected to resettle in the Denver Metro Area and Colorado Springs over the next 18 months. Our new neighbors will be in need of safety, housing, food assistance, employment, and other essential resources.

The Denver Public Library strives to be a welcoming community where everyone thrives. This statement applies to everyone, including our new neighbors. Being forced out of one’s home is a terrible and life-altering ordeal that no one should have to go through. We believe our lived experiences and differences make our community stronger and this couldn’t be more true today. We stand by our value of welcoming everyone and recognizing the inherent dignity of everyone that we serve. We unapologetically focus our limited resources on supporting Denver’s most vulnerable community members, including refugees who have been forced to flee their country because of persecution, war, or violence. 

The library stands ready to assist to the best of our ability. Leading the library's response, our Cultural Inclusivity Services, in collaboration with other library departments and partner organizations, will work to identify service needs to support our new community members. Our goal is to design our services and programs to meet the individual and collective needs of our Afghan community members with direct outreach to resettled communities, personalized services and resources in Dari, Farsi, and Pashto, educational supplies to newly resettled children and the education of individuals about the asylum process.  

Learn more about the current situation and what you can personally do to help. We welcome our new neighbors to Colorado, and together, we can and will get through these difficult and challenging times. 

Sincerely,

Michelle Jeske 
City Librarian 
 

Written by Michelle on October 14, 2021