10 Useful Library Resources for Newcomers

New immigrants face a number of short-term and long-term challenges on their settlement journey. Some of the immediate post-arrival needs include finding affordable housing, employment, and learning English. More permanently, newcomers seek a stable career, further learning opportunities and community connections. Many of these needs are supported by the resources found at Markham Public Library. A public library can help newcomers improve their language skills, prepare for employment, as well as provide lifelong learning opportunities. Here are ten digital library resources that newcomers can use to help their settlement journey:

  1. Mango Languages is an online language-learning application with a focus on teaching conversation skills. From beginner to advanced levels, English learners can use the application for daily lessons to improve their comprehension and speaking skills. A great bonus of Mango Languages is its ability to translate lesson instruction into one's first language.  
  2. Brainfuse JobNow provides instant digital access to job-searching support. This resource takes into account the entirety of a job-seekers journey, including finding a suitable career path, creating a resume, and preparing for the interview. In addition to career-building tools, Brainfuse JobNow offers daily access to a professional job coach from 2:00-11:00 PM. Users can get advice on career prospects and upload their resume to receive detailed feedback.
  3. Udemy is an online platform that offers thousands of self-paced courses on a variety of subjects. Some of the popular categories include Cloud Computing, Data Science, Development, IT Operations, Leadership & Management, Marketing, Personal Development, and Project Management. Course length can ranges based on the subject matter and courses consist of video instruction, assignments, and accompanying articles. Users who successfully complete a course will receive a certificate which can be added to their resume or their LinkedIn profile.
  4.  Learning Express Library offers specialized practice tests and skill-building courses on a variety of subjects. Newcomers can benefit from the Canadian Citizenship, TOEIC, TOEFL, and IELT practice tests. Additional courses are available on mastering Microsoft Office and operating systems.
  5. Libby provides digital access to thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines. Reading and listening to books is a great way to improve language comprehension skills. Find out more about how reading books can help you learn English. 
  6. CISCO Networking Academy is an eLearning platform that offers self-paced global IT and cybersecurity courses. CISCO offers users access to the Talent Bridge Matching Engine, allowing users to find job opportunities based on their education and certifications. Users can also find dozens of webinars to further their career and network with professionals in the field. 
  7. PressReader provides online access to over 5000 of magazines and newspapers from around the globe. Publications are available from over 100 countries and in over 60 languages. Newcomers can read publications in their first language. 
  8. Brainfuse HelpNow offers free online tutoring for children grades K-12. Newcomer children who are English language learners can get homework assistance from live one-on-one tutors and receive study aids customized to their needs. Tutors are available every day from 2:00-11:00 PM.
  9. G1.ca provides G1 practice tests based directly on the MTO Driver's Handbook. Many of the questions are identical to those in the official test and results are scored according to the MTO scoring system.
  10. Niche Academy provides "how to use" tutorials on all of the great library resources mentioned above. Whether you need help setting up your Udemy account or accessing Mango Languages, Niche Academy provides step-by-step visual instructions that you can follow along. 

Ready to get started? Visit one of our branches to register for a library card and access all of the above resources for free.