News Release - November 17, 2008

For Immediate Release: November 17, 2008

Contact: Michelle Jeffers (415) 557-4282

mjeffers@sfpl.org

New Online U.S. Citizenship Toolkit Available from S.F. Public Library

Resources to help library users prepare for

revamped naturalization exam

What is the economic system in the U.S.? Name one of the writers of the Federalist Papers. Describe one of the four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. These are among the 100 new questions that may be asked in the recently redesigned naturalization exam from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To help prepare for the new exam, San Francisco Public Library has launched an online U.S. Citizenship Toolkit at sfpl.org/citizenship.

The online resources are available in five languages: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Russian and include a guide to naturalization and detailed practice materials for the new citizenship exam. The new test was created with open-ended questions designed to get citizenship applicants to think more about how the U.S. government works and the relevance of historic events. Questions on the test cover American history from the colonial period to the 1800s to the recent past, rights and responsibilities of citizens, principals of American democracy and the U.S. system of government.

The Citizenship Toolkit, prepared in partnership with Seattle Public Library, provides information about the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen, naturalization requirements, the process of naturalization, as well as information about whether and when to seek legal help during the process. Visitors to the Web site can watch a short video in each language that describes the available information and offers basic tips on how to start the citizenship exam process. From the toolkit, users also can find direct, electronic access to immigration forms and to scheduling an appointment with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS.

"We are proud to be a frontline resource for those with questions about the U.S. naturalization process. We hope many library users will find this online information helpful as they navigate the path to becoming U.S. citizens. Our library patrons are always welcome to also seek assistance from library staff about the citizenship process," said City Librarian Luis Herrera. The library collection includes DVDs and print materials related to immigration, available at the Main and branch libraries.

The library's Citizenship Toolkit includes a list of local organizations that can provide additional help to people with U.S. citizenship questions, an introduction to English as a Second Language (ESL) information, including community support agencies that can help English language learners and information on local agencies that offer legal aid to immigrants.

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