IMLS Partnership Announced at LC Citizenship Ceremony

April 15, 2013

In honor of National Library Week (April 14–20), 25 new US citizens swore their Oath of Allegiance at the Library of Congress in a special naturalization ceremony on the morning of April 15. Alejandro Mayorkas, director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), administered the oaths.

Mayorkas and Susan H. Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), also announced a partnership between USCIS and IMLS that will provide public libraries around the country with immigration and citizenship information.

Through this partnership, information about citizenship and the naturalization process for immigrants will be more readily available. For example, USCIS and IMLS will:

  • Provide library personnel with information on USCIS processes and educational resources;
  • Distribute citizenship and immigration materials to designated libraries;
  • Partner to combat the unauthorized practice of immigration law;
  • Highlight promising citizenship education practices that can be replicated; and
  • Hold citizenship information sessions and naturalization ceremonies in local libraries.

The new citizens—whose countries of origin included Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iraq, Lithuania, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Venezuela—were addressed by Hildreth and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.


Ellis Island, 1913. An image from DPLA's exhibition on emigrants leaving Europe for America.

A Digital Library for Everyone

The project seeks to digitize the country’s cultural archives and share them—free of charge—with the public