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

Conference: ALA 2016

5.5.16 –  ALA Annual Conference
June 23-28, 2016: Orlando, FL, USA

Sarah P’s comments: The ALA Conference is always an interesting event. For anyone with international interests, there are several IRRT (International Relations Round Table) and internationally-related programs planned. ALA can be expensive however if you are a member, there are several registration choices including: One Day ($165), Exhibits Only ($65), and Single Session. (To find out specific session costs you will need to go through the registration process). FYI: some of the IRRT sessions are missing which I reported to an IRRT member who has asked for the problem to be corrected. If you have problems you will need to contact

In a following post I am going to talk about the Leading International session which I have been involved in helping organize (Jennifer Nardine is the Coordinator).

Here is the list of internationally focused sessions:

6/24:  8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Internationalizing Your Library: Strategies for All Types of Librarians: Public/School/Academic/National/Government-IRRT Preconference
Mary Givins – Pima County Public Library; John Hickok – California State University Fullerton; Joan Weeks – Library of Congress; Elizabeth Cramer – Appalachian State University

6/24: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
International Perspectives on Academic and Research Libraries Discussion Group

6/24: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
International Librarians Orientation

6/25: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Borderless Libraries: Pushing Boundaries for Innovation and Leadership-IRRT International Paper Session & Projects

6/25: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Leaning International: Stories from the Field-IRRT International Connections
Elana Grayson – Korea International School, Jeju Campus; Meggan Houlihan – New York University Abu Dhabi ; Joan Petit – Portland State University; Raymond Pun – California State University, Fresno

6/27: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Collaborating for Sustainable Libraries: Examples from International Developing Economies (ISLD program)
Connie Champlin – Cultural Adventures and Peace Corps/Korea; Pat A. Wand – American University and Peace Corps / Colombia; Janet Lee – Regis University and Peace Corps/Ethiopia; Jane Mirandette – Hester J. Hodgdon Libraries for All Program and San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Movil, Nicaragua/Nicaragua

6/27: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Best Practices of Internationalizing Libraries: Public, School, & Academic-IRRT Chair’s Program

6/27: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
International Librarians Reception


Conference: IFLA Annual

5.4.16 –  The IFLA 82nd World Library and Information Congress
Columbus, Ohio, USA

It’s almost here!  Join the world library community in Columbus this August 13-19, 2016!

Don’t miss out on the chance to attend the premier international library event  so close to home [if you are North American].

“Connections. Collaboration. Community” – Network with librarians from over 110 countries.

Full program information is now available.

Early registration deadline is May 17!  ALA members and members of ALA Chapters and Affiliates
can register at the discounted IFLA member rate using ALA’s IFLA membership code US-0002.



Program: IFLA Congress

4.11.16 – Recently, Library Journal interviewed Pat Losinski and Carol Diedrichs, Co-Chairs of U.S. National Organizing Committee for the 2016 IFLA Congress, at

Numerous IRRT (ALA) members received the IFLA Fellowships through a very competitive selection process.

“We’re really excited to tell you—and largely this is through the Herculean efforts and tremendous success of the fundraising effort led by Jim Neal—that we’re close to having raised $450,000, more than double the original goal. So we will have a special event on Saturday evening at the main library, and it will be for the scholars who have their travel underwritten and then all of the sponsoring organizations—a combination of public libraries, some associations, some vendors, and I would say the bulk of that funding has come from our academic institutions. We’re really excited about having been able to help fund the international cooperation, support, and ultimately discussion that we think we’ll have with all of these members. There were 3,300 applicants for that opportunity.”

More information about 2016 IFLA Congress is at

The early registration deadline is prior or on May 17, 2016, at

Webinar: All about the IFLA Conference 2016

3.23.16 – Reminder about the upcoming webinar tomorrow…

Intro to IFLA 2016: International Congress Comes to Columbus- Webinar, March 24 , 3:00pm Eastern  (2:00 Central, 1:00 Mountain, Noon Pacific)

Are you interested in attending an international library conference at home?

This year’s International Federation of Library Association and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress offers you the chance to interact with global library community in Columbus, OH, August 1319.

This free webinar will provide you with an introduction to IFLA, details about the Congress, and all that wonderful opportunities that colleagues in Columbus have put in place for you and the other 3,500 delegates from 120 countries.

To Register for the free webinar, click the blue register link in Event Status at:

The webinar will be recorded if you can’t attend in person.  Those who register will be sent the link to the recording automatically.

Michael Dowling
International and Chapter Relations Offices
American Library Association
50 E Huron St
Chicago, IL, USA
p +1 800-545-2433 ext 3200
+1 312-280-4392

Program: Panelists needed for International Program

2.23.16 –  Speakers Needed for ALA IRRT Program
Sarah P’s comments: If anyone is planning on attending ALA’s annual conference in June (Orlando, FL), has international experience and would like to be a panelist please let me know!  This was a program they began last year and proved very popular so they would like to repeat it this year.  So far, Ray Pun and I are going to be sharing however the more the better…
IRRT Connections sponsors a now-annual session called “leaning international: lessons from the field.”
The event description from last year, which may well be reusable this year,  said,” For MLS students through seasoned information professionals interested in working internationally, this annual program hosted by IRRT’s International Connections Committee features American librarians discussing their own unique international experiences.  Discussions are split between prepared topics and audience Q&A time.  These interactive sessions have included such diverse topics as leveraging networks to find work abroad, pre-departure language and etiquette training, adapting to regional librarianship as well as cultural standards, the practicalities of life overseas, and more! This annual program hosted by IRRT’s International Connections Committee features American librarians speaking about their own unique international experiences. 

Past speakers include: Rebecca L. Miller, Senior Research Officer at Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit; Catherine Shreve, Librarian for Public Policy & Political Science, Perkins Library, Duke University; Elly Shodell, Oral Historian Director of Local History Center, Port Washington Public Library, Ray Pun, ALA Emerging Leader 2014, Reference and Research Services Librarian, New York University Shanghai Library, Jim Agee, University Librarian, American University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

If interested please contact me via this blog and/or contact:


Ms. Jennifer T. Nardine, Assistant Professor
Learning Liaison Librarian for Performing Arts, Foreign Languages, English, and Religion & Culture
University Libraries, Virginia Tech, 560 Drillfield Dr, Blacksburg, VA  24061



Conferences: International Opportunities Program

12/4/15 –  For anyone who might be in the Florida, USA area in February and for librarians attending the annual Florida Library Conference, I have been invited to speak about international library opportunities.  This session is focusing on potential retirees but I will give an overview of all as well.

March 2, 2016Florida Library Conference


Plaza Resort and Spa
600 N. Atlantic Way
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
United States