This Library was developed to centralize research and information about immigrants and refugees in Alberta specifically. It includes academic publications as well as research and information produced at the community level, such as program evaluation reports. The library is designed for use-ability by community members, service providers, students, evaluation consultants, and academics – all of whom are also invited to contribute.
In 2020, a MITACS/CCIS partnership conducted an analysis of newcomer research in Alberta. The project interviewed 12 leaders in the immigrant serving and ethnocultural sector in Calgary, and 5 academics that are recognized for their research with immigrant and refugee communities in Alberta. The research identified several key relationship challenges which this Library helps to address. These are listed below:
Some barriers to access include paywalls, time to read full documents, academic jargon, and lack of centralized information
SPO’s are treated as access points and not partners. Findings are not shared back to the organization in a timely or useful manner, if at all
Community members and SPO’s are often not involved early in the research design
Research and outcomes produced at the community level or by SPO's is not given the same weight or status as academic research. Often this evidence is more timely and grounded in practice and experience than academic research, and therefore may have more value to frontline decision making.
Lack of meta-view on communities and topics that are over researched