Sarah P’s comments: The ILN’s motto is ‘A Meeting Place for Librarians from Around the World’ and their stated goal is to help librarians development international connections. They do this by matching librarians based on information you submit when you join and they encourage open information exchange in the goal. You can join or express interest at any time but they accept matching requests only in rounds. Visit their site for more information about their vision and how the program works.
Last fall I participated in a round and it was somewhat useful. I think much depends on whom you are paired with. In my case, my partner was a tech librarian in a college library in Qatar. While we enjoyed sharing and learning about our respective situations, I don’t think either of us gained much beyond that because we were similar in culture (North Americans) and I, having worked in the Middle East for many years, already knew much about his location. That isn’t to say don’t try it! Life is about trying things…and this organization is trying to create worldwide liaisons.
Message from ILN:
We are getting ready for the next round of the ILN program, due to start in March 2015 and while we are always happy to receive applications for country coordinators, we are currently actively recruiting. Our country coordinators are volunteers like the rest of the ILN team, so they do come and go from the position as other commitments take priority.
Country coordinators act as liaison points for each country. If you are in the UK, for example, and you want to know more about the program, you could speak to the UK Coordinator. We expect that country coordinators will have a good understanding of the professional network in their country, and we ask them to use this network to recruit participants to the program. We would also expect that country coordinators would contribute to the website and online discussions.
If you are interested in becoming involved with us, first check if we already have a coordinator for your country, then find out a bit more about volunteering as a Country Coordinator, including an estimated time commitment and how to put in an expression of interest. After having a look at the information page, we would be happy to answer any specific questions you might have, just send us an email.