Volunteers in Colombia unload a Libraries Without Borders mobile Ideas Box. Photo: Libraries Without Borders

International Innovators

July 17, 2019

The Presidential Citations began as an initiative of former ALA President Loriene Roy (2007–2008). Presented by the International Relations Round Table (IRRT), the awards recognize exemplary services and projects that draw attention to the potential for library services to create positive change, demonstrate sustainability, and provide a model for others. The four winning libraries for … Continue reading International Innovators


Loida Garcia-Febo

Moving the Needle

June 3, 2019

During this time, I treasured the opportunity of being the first Puerto Rican American and second-youngest ALA president in the organization’s 143-year history. I have loved representing ALA nationally and internationally and collaborating with a talented Executive Board. Over the past year, ALA has helped secure funding for libraries to keep them open, equipped, and … Continue reading Moving the Needle



The first African Leadership Academy graduating class, from left: Bakary Sanyang, director of bibliographic services, The Gambia National Library Service Authority; Beatrice Ampadu, senior librarian, Ghana Library Authority, Lartebiokorshie branch; Guy Ebenezer Amarteifio, regional librarian, Greater Accra, Ghana Library Authority; Victoria Isaacks, librarian, Namibia Library and Archives Service; Miriam Wangari Mureithi, principal librarian, Kenya National Library Services, Thika; Gertrude Kayaga Mulindwa, former director, National Library of Uganda; Nkem Osuigwe, human capacity development and training director, AfLIA; Barbra Apolot, librarian, National Library of Uganda; Jacinta Were, former deputy director, University of Nairobi Library, Kenya; Katrina Ndeshipanda Shikuni, senior librarian, Outapi Community Library, Namibia; Pranisha Parag, principal librarian, Msunduzi Municipal Library, South Africa; Adonia Katungisa, director, National Library of Uganda.

PLA Debuts African Leadership Academy

April 3, 2019

Since 2013, 140 US public librarians have participated in the PLA Leadership Academy, which was developed in collaboration with Adam Goodman, director of the Center for Leadership at Northwestern University. With funding and support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries program, PLA partnered with the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions … Continue reading PLA Debuts African Leadership Academy


Students at a teacher’s college in Parwan Province, Afghanistan, learn about the Darakht-e Danesh Library.

2018 Presidential Citations

July 18, 2018

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Canada La Biblioteca Móvil, Guatemala Suzhou Library, China Inner Mongolia Library, China The recipients were selected by a team of IRRT members in consultation with then–ALA President Jim Neal, who recognized them at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans during the IRRT International Librarians Reception … Continue reading 2018 Presidential Citations


John Hickok (center) interacts with students at a school in Kandal Province, Cambodia.

Building Bridges to the East

July 18, 2018

Hickok is international outreach librarian at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). His initial role at the library was providing outreach and instruction to CSUF’s international student population. That led to an “aha” moment. “I realized for me to truly understand international students’ library experiences, I needed to see the libraries in their countries,” he says. … Continue reading Building Bridges to the East


Community Colleges of Spokane (Wash.) librarians Melinda Martin (left) and Heather Morgan at an Assessment in Action RoadShow delivered to community college librarians in Washington state.

On the Road Again

July 18, 2018

The program offers daylong, immersive workshops in a variety of disciplines that can be brought to institutions around the world upon request. Led by experts in the field, these traveling workshops help academic librarians learn new skills and strengthen existing competencies to tackle the greatest issues facing the profession today. The program reaches hundreds of … Continue reading On the Road Again


Cindy Thornley, director of the Horry County (S.C.) Memorial Library, talked about library road trips at the Public Library Association (PLA) Conference in Philadelphia on March 22.

Find Your Sister Library

March 23, 2018

The book in question was on heart health, and it helped a patron reclaim his life—so much so that he wanted to make a sizable donation to the Alexandria Library that would establish a travel fund for librarians. “I did not think it would happen,” said Thornley, who previously worked at Alexandria Library. “We didn’t … Continue reading Find Your Sister Library


Attendees at the New Directions for Libraries, Scholars, and Partnerships symposium in Frankfurt, Germany, October 13. Photo: Judy Alspach

Frankfurt: New Directions for Libraries, Scholars, and Partnerships

October 25, 2017

The day-long event coincided with the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 8–15), which this year honored France and literature in French. Symposium discussions focused on the future of foreign language collections, libraries, and services, along with new and recurring trends in scholarship and the library profession. Library and scholarly communication professionals shared challenges and opportunities for … Continue reading Frankfurt: New Directions for Libraries, Scholars, and Partnerships


UNESCO logo

UNESCO Withdrawal Will Slow Progress on Global Library Initiatives

October 18, 2017

Currently the US provides 22% of UNESCO’s budget; our withdrawal will have a profound impact on the organization’s ability to provide invaluable information resources worldwide and training and programs on human rights issues such as gender equality. The American Library Association (ALA) values the promotion and advancement of education and libraries around the world. ALA … Continue reading UNESCO Withdrawal Will Slow Progress on Global Library Initiatives



Welcome to Wrocław

September 22, 2017

“It is time for you, at this conference, to engage and explore,” said Donna Scheeder, president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), to the crowd gathered for the Opening Session of the 2017 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) on August 20. “I’m sure among this group is a future IFLA president somewhere.” Speakers seemed … Continue reading Welcome to Wrocław