Immigrant Services

The New York Public Library welcomes people with diverse cultural backgrounds and celebrates the rich multicultural diversity that builds New York City.

Through a series of programs and services, the Library is helping our most recent immigrants find their way in the city:

  • Local Library branches offer free programs related to work and life skills development, as well as cultural and recreational presentations through local partnerships, volunteers, or contracted performers for people of all ages.

  • The Library helps non-English speaking immigrants understand and interact with the culture, government, and educational system of the United States, via resources and services offered.

    • Free classes for people who want to learn and improve their English: English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

    • All New Yorkers can access free and safe immigration legal help through ActionNYC at The New York Public Library. The City-funded program provides free immigration legal screenings and representation in your language, as well as referrals to other providers of legal and non-legal services. Find out more about ActionNYC at NYPL.

  • Multilingual Resources and World Languages collections—available at each of our branch libraries—serve and reflect the local immigrant community needs and offer a variety of print materials (books, magazines, newspapers), as well as media (CDs, DVDs) for all ages, and online resources.

There are an estimated 8.5 million people living in New York City, and approximately 37% of that population—over three million people—are born outside of the United States. Approximately 6-in-10 New Yorkers are immigrants or the children of immigrants.  The Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—the three boroughs served by The New York Public Library—are home to one-third of the city’s immigrant population.

For more information, please email