You might not think of Ohio as an immigration hub, but our state is home to more than 500,000 immigrants from all over the world.

In addition to immigrants, Ohio has accepted more than 25,000 refugees since 2002, with Franklin County taking half of this population.

We live in a diverse community of neighbors and friends who have come here from other countries and, as immigration becomes a larger social and political topic, it can be difficult to make sense of everything it entails. An upcoming Worthington Libraries program will help you learn more about the immigrants and refugees in our community. Join us from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., for "Immigration and Refugees in Central Ohio," a timely discussion about these people and their lives in central Ohio.

The panel discussion will feature three experts: Romin Iqbal, legal director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- Columbus; Sudarshan Pyakurel, former refugee and executive director of the Bhutanese Nepali Community Center; and Amanda Pritt, education and RSSP coordinator at US Together. The panelists bring different perspectives of the immigrant and refugee communities they serve and all will answer questions at the program's end.

The program is free and no registration is required. Don't miss this informative session at which you can learn more about our immigrant and refugee neighbors, the people who help them and the experiences they bring to our central Ohio home.

Coleman Mahler is an adult-services librarian for Worthington Libraries.