Immigrants at a swearing in ceremony

WELCOME

Are you an international newcomer interested in finding out about community, economic, educational, and social resources? Maybe you want to find a way to celebrate the diverse cultures that make Toledo and Lucas County a wonderful place to visit and live. Or you may be interested in learning a new language. Let our staff connect you to information and resources. Email our New American Services Librarian or call 419.214.6132 to set up an appointment. You can also sign up for our quarterly New American Services newsletter.

The Library is a full-service passport acceptance agency. We can assist with forms, take your photo, and file the paperwork with the Department of State. Passport services are available by appointment only at Main Library and Sylvania Branch. Call 419.259.5201 to schedule an appointment at Main. Call 419.882.2089 to schedule an appointment at Sylvania.

The following research, materials, and self-paced learning tools are available for the international community and for those who speak languages other than English. Free with a Library card.

Mango Languages
Mango for Libraries uses native speakers, repetition, and voice comparison to help you quickly and easily learn a new language. Choose from more than 70 languages including 20 English as a Second Language options. It’s conversational-based learning.

Transparent Language
Learn more than 100 languages at your own pace with easy-to-use online lessons, vocabulary exercises, practice activities, and more.

The following community organizations provide in person English Language Learning (ELL) and assistance for those who speak languages other than English.

American Language Institute at the University of Toledo
The American Language Institute (ALI) at The University of Toledo provides students, scholars, and area residents of international origin with academic language skills and American cultural knowledge to foster meaningful engagement with the university and the community.

English Corner at the University of Toledo  

The University of Toledo’s Office of International Student Services offers free, informal, weekly tutoring for international community members and other residents of the greater Toledo area, seeking to improve conversational English skills.

Penta Career Center (Ohio Department of Higher Education Aspire Program)
Tuition-free English language learning and adult basic education services: creating pathways for citizenship, career readiness, and life success.

Owens College and Career Readiness Center (Ohio Department of Higher Education Aspire Program Aspire)
Tuition-free ESOL and adult basic education services.

Read for Literacy
Serving the literacy needs of adults, children, and families in northwest Ohio. The program assists speakers of other languages the opportunity to improve their English language speaking, reading, and writing skills.

US Together
Assists refugees and immigrants with employment, interpreter, linguistic, and victim support services.

Faith based women-only English school, preschool for immigrant children, evening school, after-school tutoring, and conversation partners program with local universities.

Advocating Opportunity (AO)
AO provides comprehensive, holistic, trauma-responsive legal and social services to people who have experienced sex and labor trafficking. AO attorneys address legal issues related to human trafficking, while client advocates work with the client on removing other barriers such as access to stable housing, employment, and support engaging in the community.

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE)
The Immigration Advocacy Project at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) provides quality legal services and legal information to immigrants and refugees in the 32-county service area of Northwest and West Central Ohio. ABLE provides critical information to community partners who serve these same communities. ABLE’s advocacy focuses on keeping families together, protecting victims of crime, and building a stronger community.

Social Services for the Arab Community (SSFAC)
SSFAC serves low income, limited English speaking, Arab immigrant, and refugee families in the Greater Toledo Area to achieve self-sufficiency and become contributing members of the community. Department of Justice (DOJ) authorized to assist in filing different applications with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

University of Toledo College of Law Immigrant Justice Clinic
Students in the Immigrant Justice Clinic represent local community members with critical legal needs working through the U.S. immigration system. Under the supervision of clinical faculty, students represent clients on family and humanitarian immigration cases, including people seeking family reunification and safety from domestic violence, persecution, torture, and human trafficking. Students also conduct community education on a variety of immigration law topics.

Center for International Studies and Programs at the University of Toledo (CISP)
CISP supports members of the UT community, domestic and international, in their pursuit of knowledge and cultural exchanges. CISP houses the American Language Institute, the Confucius Institute, international and multicultural student organizations, and youth programs.

Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO (FLOC)
FLOC fights to improve the working and living conditions and wages of all farmworkers and immigrant workers.

La Conexion
La Conexion is a membership-based organization in Wood County (additionally serving the following counties: Sandusky, Ottawa, Seneca, Hancock) providing leadership development, English as a Second Language (ESL), youth programs, small business assistance, and advocacy on community and immigration issues.

Email laconexionwc@gmail.com
Phone: (419) 308-2328

Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office Division of Victim/Witness Assistance
The Hispanic/Latino Outreach for Victim/Witness Assistance program is the first program in the state designed specifically to assist the Hispanic/Latino population. An advocate, fluent in Spanish assists with the following information: victim rights, court dates/continuances, court proceedings, compensation filing, short term crisis and employer intervention, and VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) referrals and registration.

Location: Sofia Quintero Center, 1222 Broadway Street, Toledo, OH 43609
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM through 4:30 PM
Phone: 419-241-6816
Fax: 419-241-1679

Penta Career Center (Ohio Department of Higher Education Aspire Program)
Tuition-free English language learning and adult basic education services: creating pathways for citizenship, career readiness, and life success.

Social Services for the Arab Community (SSFAC)
SSFAC serves low income, limited English speaking Arab immigrant and refugee families in the Greater Toledo Area to achieve self-sufficiency and become contributing members of the community. Department of Justice (DOJ) authorized to assist in filing different applications with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

United Way 211
A 24-hour-a-day information and referral service line serving Lucas, Wood and Ottawa counties. Access to the Community Resource Database – to search local resources and assistance and find opportunities to volunteer and support local needs.

US Together
Assists refugees and immigrants with employment, interpreter, linguistic, and victim support services.

Faith based women-only English school, preschool for immigrant children, evening school, after-school tutoring, and conversation partners program with local universities.

Welcome TLC, housed at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, is a cross-sector network of community partners, including the Lucas County Board of Commissioners, and the Human Relations Commission of Toledo. Welcome TLC’s mission is to build a more welcoming and inclusive community for immigrants, refugees and people of diverse cultures that supports a vibrant civic, economic, and social fabric for all.

Let our staff connect you to information and resources. Email our New American Services Librarian or call 419.214.6132 to set up an appointment. You can also sign up for our quarterly Welcome TLC newsletter.

Data Report

The Toledo-Lucas County data report summarizes the demographic and economic contributions of immigrants and refugees in Toledo-Lucas County. Toledo-Lucas County, through the Gateways for Growth Challenge Grant, was one of 14 communities nationally to receive a competitive opportunity for direct technical assistance and tailored research from New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America.

Hiring Guide

The Welcome TLC Hiring Guide for Immigrants is an employer-facing document highlighting the business case for hiring international talent in our community. It additionally provides an overview of the most common visa types for employers, including H1-B’s for skilled immigrants and Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for international students.

Certified Welcoming

Certified Welcoming is a national independent audit program of Welcoming America, which demonstrates a region’s commitment to welcoming all community members, including immigrants and refugees. Lucas County achieved the designation in 2019 and the City of Toledo in 2022, making Toledo and Lucas County the first city and county, nationally, to be certified together.

Immigrant Heritage Month Storytelling Series

Immigrant Heritage Month gives people across the United States an opportunity to annually explore our country’s heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of America.

The Welcome TLC story telling series, brings to life first-hand accounts from our immigrant, refugee, and diverse community members who call Toledo and Lucas County, home. We celebrate their contributions, especially during Immigrant Heritage Month in June; an annual celebration of our nation’s shared immigrant heritage and cultural diversity.

2022

Ting Li, Instructor and Curriculum Coordinator

Franco Vitella, Librarian and Manager

Najwa Badawi, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Coordinator

2021

Terwase Ngur, Librarian and Manager

Houng Dhar, Small Business Owner

Andrea De la Roca, Coordinator of Intercultural Ministries

Paula Hicks Hudson, Ohio House District 44 Representative

2020

Karla Mendoza, Healthcare Shero

Dr. Richard Paat, Healthcare Hero

2019

Heide Allan, Local Business Owner

Xinren Yu, University of Toledo’s Confucius Institute

Fernando Camargo, Local Business Owner

Inma Zanoguera, University of Toledo Student

In the News

Toledo, Lucas County earns welcoming designation from nonprofit — 13 ABC, September 2, 2022

Resettlement to Revitalization: Welcoming Immigrants in Toledo’s Post-industrial Era — Midstory, November 3, 2021

Lucas County designated as ‘welcoming’ for immigrants – Toledo Blade, August 4, 2020

Report: Increasing immigrant population in Toledo contributes to local economy — WTOL, August 21, 2019

The Big Idea: 2019 with Mechelle Zarou and Reem Subei — Toledo City Paper, January 17, 2019

Toledo-Lucas County immigrant initiative gets award, research help — Toledo Blade, January 9, 2019

Fighting an Uncertain Future: Toledo organizations strive to reassure immigrant community after travel ban – Toledo City Paper, February 28, 2017

City council bans therapy type, backs inclusivity – Toledo Blade, February 8, 2017

International flair: Toledo film festival marks 3rd year — Toledo Blade, February 2, 2017

In Toledo, Syrian Refugees Are Welcomed Amid A Difficult Immigration Climate – NPR, January 4, 2017

How an Ohio Town Became a Model City for Resettling Syrian Refugees – Vice News, July 19, 2016

Immigrants are backbone of community – Toledo Blade, June 18, 2016

Study touts benefits of immigration – Toledo Blade, December 8, 2015

Among The Lucky Few: Syrian Family Rebuilds In America’s Heartland – NPR, October 20, 2015

ONLINE LEARNING

The following research, materials, and self-paced learning tools are available for the international community and for those who speak languages other than English.

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Mango Languages

Mango for Libraries uses native speakers, repetition and voice comparison to learn a new language or English as a second language. To use the app you will first need to create a Mango profile online through the library, then use that profile to activate the App.

App Store | Google Play

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Transparent Language

Focused on high school level students to learn foreign languages including English as a second language using online lessons, vocabulary exercises, and practice activities.