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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


African librarians at a leadership training event in Mahé, Seychelles. Photo: Darren Hoerner.

PLA in Africa

September 22, 2017

PLA recognizes that a connected library field is a strong library field. By sharing effective practices and working together to address common issues, libraries can leverage their resources for exponential impact. PLA provides training for leaders to make these connections through the academy and other networking opportunities. All leadership activities are based on a leadership … Continue reading PLA in Africa


Joan Petit’s first-year information science graduate students at Jimma University in Ethiopia. Photo: Joan Petit.

An American Librarian Abroad

September 22, 2017

Over the past year, while on sabbatical from my position at Portland (Oreg.) State University Library, I had the privilege of serving as a Fulbright Scholar in the department of information science at Jimma University in Jimma, Ethiopia. I had contacted a few different Ethiopian universities hoping to garner an invitation to join their faculty, … Continue reading An American Librarian Abroad


Denice Adkins (left) and Elizabeth Jean Brumfield (far right) at an LIS curriculum committee meeting at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Changing Perspectives through Exchange

September 22, 2017

A mentor and mentee case study IFLA IMLS fellow Elizabeth Jean Brumfield, distance services librarian at Prairie View (Tex.) A&M University (PVAMU), has been mentored by Denice Adkins, associate professor at University of Missouri’s School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. Through their interactions, they were able to view librarianship from each other’s perspective. Adkins’s … Continue reading Changing Perspectives through Exchange


ALA Presidential Citations

September 22, 2017

The winners are: University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus Library and the city of Camrose, Alberta, Canada Bibliotheekservice Fryslân in the Netherlands Wellington County Library in Ontario, Canada The recipients were selected by a team of IRRT members in consultation with then–ALA President Julie B. Todaro, who recognized them at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference and … Continue reading ALA Presidential Citations


A scrimmage day featuring the Special Olympics Burlington team—and open to people of all abilities—was held in May. Photo: Special Olympics Burlington.

Acceptance and Inclusion

September 22, 2017

After the 2016 US presidential election, BPL heard from teens who were frightened, shaken, and without the agency to act. For many who were from a diverse culture or ethnicity, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, or simply had inclusive worldviews, this change in leadership created a deep sense of fear for themselves and those … Continue reading Acceptance and Inclusion


The 11 cascading levels of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Visiting Egypt’s Libraries

September 19, 2017

The new Biblioteca Alexandrina The Bibliotheca Alexandrina complex comprises not just a library building but also a planetarium and conference center. A large fence with guard stations about every 25 meters runs along the corniche. This was once where you could enter the grounds, but due to security precautions prompted by political turmoil, the entrance … Continue reading Visiting Egypt’s Libraries




Children read in the Soissons Library in Aisne, France, after World War I. Photo: ALA Archives

The French Connection

February 16, 2017

Anne Tracy Morgan, daughter of financier John Pierpont (J. P.) Morgan, was the mind and money behind the volunteer mobilization. Morgan was a frequent visitor to France. When war broke out, she threw herself into relief work for the Allied cause. In 1917, she created the American Committee for Devastated France, better known as CARD … Continue reading The French Connection


Sari Feldman

Connecting with Cuba

May 2, 2016

In February, I led the first official delegation of American librarians and library supporters to Cuba for the Havana International Book Fair. I learned that the country had a longstanding commitment to literacy, and I began my visit with a meeting of renowned Cuban library leaders, including the remarkable Marta Terry González, and our own … Continue reading Connecting with Cuba