Conference Program: Leaning International

5.7.16 – Leaning International: Stories from the Field-IRRT International Connections
ALA Conference 2016, Orlando, FL, USA

Sarah P’s comments:  Last year I was asked to be a panelist for a similar program however I was traveling.  I heard that it was so popular that they decided to offer it this year in Orlando.  Again, I was asked but due to work commitments couldn’t commit to going until recently.  However, Jennifer Nardine, the program coordinator, has lined up some other great panelists.  I have been in on this discussion and so many experienced folks have come forward that we decided to create a list of who is attending to help facilitate  conversations before and after the program. Jennifer also had the great idea of having me spotlight these librarians, which I am glad to do as one of the goals of this blog is to help create liaisons and conversations about international librarianship.  So, if you are an international librarian, or have had an international experience you are willing to share, and are attending ALA this year, please let me know!

Here is a program description:

Are you an MLS student/recent graduate interested in working internationally, or a seasoned information professional looking for a new experience? This annual program hosted by IRRT’s International Connections Committee features American librarians speaking about their own unique international experiences.

Presentations and extensive Q&A sessions have included such diverse topics as:

  • Where to start looking—good resources for finding international job opportunities, long and short term
  • Leveraging networks—how people in the US can help you find work abroad
  • Pre-departure preparation—language and etiquette training, evaluating the political landscape and how it will affect you
  • Working abroad –the practicalities of taxes, job benefits, retirement and more, marketing your skill sets for promotion
  • Cultural awareness—adapting your new surroundings instead of expecting them to adapt to you, including regional library standards, daily life sometimes means soup for breakfast
  • Experiences – stories shared by and for librarians working in an international setting
  • Returning home—adjusting to life back in the USA


Elana Grayson
Middle School Library Media Specialist
Korea International School, Jeju Campus

Meggan Houlihan
First-Year Experience and Instruction Librarian
New York University Abu Dhabi , United Arab Emirates

Joan Petit
Communications and Outreach Librarian
Portland State University, STATES

Raymond Pun (my Spotlight blogpost about Ray)
First-Year Student Success Librarian
California State University, Fresno
Fresno, California

2 thoughts on “Conference Program: Leaning International

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. As a session attendee last year, I am looking forward to being a panelist this year. However, my name is misspelled in your post. Would you please correct the spelling of my name? It should be Elana Grayson. Thanks!


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