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Naturalization Ceremonies at Central Library Signify New Beginnings for New U.S. Citizens

By: Marcey Wright

A fresh sense of American pride will echo through the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 as newly-naturalized citizens pledge allegiance to the 50 stars and 13 stripes for the very first time.

The Memphis Public Library and Information Center, in partnership with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (Memphis field office), will host two Naturalization Ceremonies on January 22. The first one will begin at 11 am and will feature keynote speaker Beverly Robertson, director of the National Civil Rights Museum. The second ceremony is scheduled for 1 pm, and Director of Libraries Keenon McCloy will be the keynote speaker. (Both services will take place in meeting rooms A – C of the Central Library.)

More than 140 naturalized citizens are slated to attend each event, which is open to the media but closed to the general public.

“Hosting a naturalization ceremony is very special and meaningful to me, since I am a naturalized citizen,” said Library Adult Services Coordinator and event organizer Wang-Ying Glasgow. “Candidates are coming from all corners of the world, and this will be one of the most important days of their lives – one they have dreamed of for a long time and a moment that signifies new beginnings in their lives!”

Glasgow described the naturalization process as a rigorous one and said she expects excitement to fill the room of new citizens and their families. “It’s sort of like a graduation ceremony, marking a milestone that you have reached,” she explained. “It shows that applicants’ hard work has paid off and their dreams of becoming U.S. citizens are fulfilled.”

Two more naturalization ceremonies at Central Library are planned for July 3, 2014. These two services will be open to the public. For more information about the naturalization ceremonies at the Library, call (901) 415-2709.