Meet a trained librarian in person or online using Zoom for a one-on-one mock citizenship interview similar to the one given to become a U.S. citizen.
A trained librarian will act as an immigration officer and conduct mock interviews with participants. Interviews simulate the naturalization interview that takes place at a USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) office and includes the following: English Speaking test using the N-400, Reading Test, Writing Test, Civics Test.
The goal of this program is to further support community members with their journey to citizenship.
Planning started after attending a presentation by the local immigration office representative. A one-on-one meeting took place with the librarian and the representative where the librarian was taken through the mock interview. At that meeting, the immigration officer went over the N-400 form with the librarian and explained what type of questions to ask and explained what the immigration officers were looking for during the real interview. The immigration office representative continues to be available via email to answer questions as they arise from program participants.
The biggest challenge was becoming comfortable offering the interview. After helping a handful of people it starts to become very routine.
You will need to get a copy of the N-400, reading and writing vocabulary, and civics questions and answers from the uscis.gov website. 
We market this program through postings on the library’s event website, flyers in the library, emails to the local adult education schools, and to partner organizations that offer immigration services. We also make announcements at established library citizenship programs and classes.
Word of mouth at the reference desk is also useful if the program may be of interest to a patron. Google grabbed the library’s event page so this event comes up when you Google search "mock citizenship interview." It is also listed on our library meetup.com page.
This program comes at no cost.
If this will be hosted virtually, you need a computer with a camera, microphone and a private room. If you do this in person, you just need a private room. If in-person, you may want to also have an iPad with a pen for attendees to write on and practice signing their names on. You only need one staff member that is trained.
This program has been ongoing for the last three years and is by appointment only. It is a one-on-one program, and attendees may join virtually or in person.
We have helped over 200 people and continue to schedule interviews almost every day, if not twice a week. It is scheduled to happen every day all day since it is by appointment only.
Attendees are extremely grateful, and a large percentage have emailed after their real interview that they have passed to share that they are now U.S. citizens. This program is a great addition to our current citizenship classes as it supports attendees who have been preparing for their interviews over the course of six to nine months.
The collaboration with the immigration representative continues to be a great working partnership. We presented this program at the Public Library Association (PLA) Conference in March 2022 with the USCIS representative because of the success we have had in helping people successfully complete their citizenship journey.
Get in touch with your local immigration representative. Ask them to give you a presentation on the basics of becoming a U.S. citizen. Ask them to do a mock citizenship interview with you so you know what that experience is like. To find your local office and representative, send an email to public.engagement (@) uscis.dhs.gov
About This Library
San José Public Library (SJPL), located in Silicon Valley, is the largest public library system between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Serving a culturally diverse population of over 1 million in the country's 10th largest city, SJPL is one of the busiest library systems nationwide with an annual checkout rate of nearly 14 million items.
Award-winning staff strive to ensure library services reflect the city’s rich diversity and that every library customer’s experience is exceptional.
SJPL is recognized for its innovation and leadership. It was named the 2004 Thomson Gale/Library Journal Library of the Year and received the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for a library.