2021 Regional Conference
July 29, 2021
Citizenship Inspired (CI) is the name of a series of virtual citizenship classes designed to help registrants prepare for the naturalization interview, emphasizing the N-400, Application for Naturalization form, the Civics exam covering American History and Government, and basic vocabulary for proficient reading and writing in English. Beginning last March, the pandemic changed how libraries provided service while employees worked from home. Starting on 5 May 2020, CI classes were taught as online Zoom events. In the past 10 months, 154 CI classes were offered with 1857 attendees. We approximate a total attendance of 2228 for the year. In comparison, 132 classes were offered during 2019 with 1486 attendees. Online programming is safe, equitable, inviting, innovative, and convenient. CI registrants can participate from their homes. They do not have to find a babysitter or drive to the library; it’s much easier to accommodate varying work schedules, and it eliminates the social pressure of face-to-face interaction in a traditional class. It also provides greater access to a USCIS Community Relations Officer who can present important information as a co-host.
Kathryn Thorp is currently the Assistant Manager of the South Trail Branch of the Orange County Library System. She recently graduated from Florida State University with her Master of Science in Information. She and her husband Kyle live in Orlando with their three cats Duke, Elfird (named after the former Magic basketball player), and Atticus (named after Atticus Finch). In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys reading, yoga, video games, beach days, and vegan cooking.