Category Archives: News

News: Away for a week…

9.12.17 –  Dear Readers,

Due to the recent hurricane, I need to go to Florida to check on my boat and house. Considering the level of destruction, caused elsewhere by the recent hurricanes, I consider myself really fortunate to have only minor damage reported. However, as I am facing no electricity for an unknown time, I won’t be able to post!

Back next week…Safe travels, Sarah P. 


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News: Celebrate Libraries for Peace Day

Celebrate Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day:  9/21/17

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs invites the library and information community to celebrate Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day as the world community observes International Day of Peace on September 21, 2017. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The Day’s theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” which is based on the TOGETHER global campaign that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life.

Celebration ideas are found below and more at

Act locally, Connect Globally.  Join the LIbraries for Peace (L4P) initiative by celebrating L4P Day on September 21st and adding your event at  Here, you can also pledge an action to advance peace, share your library’s story of building peace, and tour the L4P map to view ways that  libraries and librarians around the world are advancing peace.  Visit for more information on projects and resources, and to add/map, view and/or search activities. Join the movement to build a peaceful and sustainable world!

Please also share on social media using #librariesforpeace  #peaceday.

3 ways librarians and friends recommend celebrating:

3 ways the UN recommends celebrating:

  • A minute of silence at 12 noon on 9/21 (all timezones)

  • Welcome and help refugees and migrants in your community

  • Global student videoconference on September 15, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, at United Nations Headquarters


Pledge your action(s) to advance peace.  Consider the following 3 actions:

Share Stories

Libraries and friends are making a difference in their local communities and contributing to a peaceful and sustainable world. Your story can be anything, including the following 3 activities:


Libraries and friends are joining Libraries for Peace around the globe. You can view the global impact of your fellow colleagues celebrations, pledges, and stories on the L4P map:

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Job: Systems Librarian

4.21.17 –  Systems Librarian (Assistant Librarian I/II)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Sarah P’s comments:  This position is a re-listing, originally posted on 4.21.17.

Closing date: July 21, 2017

CUHK Library seeks a Systems Librarian to join our Library IT & Systems (LITS) team at an exciting time as we implement a cloud-based, next generation Integrated Library System (ILS) shared with the local higher education libraries consortium. The successful applicant is expected to provide the best possible experience for library users and staff as they seek, access, and maintain the information in our library systems.

Applicants should (i) have a good Master’s degree or above in Library and Information Science (MLS or equivalent), plus a strong educational background in computer science, computer engineering or a related discipline; (ii) at least three years’ post-qualification relevant experience (for Assistant Librarian II) OR at least six years’ post-qualification relevant experience, three years of which are at supervisory level (for Assistant Librarian I); (iii) have proven knowledge and experience in the management of library services platforms, technical support for electronic resources, various industry standards and protocols such as XML, SAML, SQL and SIP2; (iv)  have effective communication, interpersonal, organizational and analytical skills, with an ability to work with a widely diverse group of stakeholders; and (v) demonstrate proven ability in learning new technologies independently and adapting quickly to changing technologies. Project management experience and certification, web and mobile applications design and familiarity in handling East Asian languages (Chinese/Japanese/Korean) will be an added advantage.

Reporting to the Head of LITS and working closely with other library managers and a team of computer specialists, the successful applicant will be responsible for (a) providing technical expertise, day-to-day administration, and front line support for the ILS, discovery and reading list platforms, as well as other library specific software such as the archives management system. The Systems Librarian is the primary liaison with vendors for problem resolution; (b) providing technical support to the Library’s electronic resources including administration of the remote access service; (c) managing a wide range of RFID-enabled self-check kiosks, self-return book drops and sorter bins; (d) programming and software development based on various APIs and scripting languages such as Perl and PHP; (e) maintaining knowledge of emerging trends and issues in library systems and user behavior that have potential for enhancing access to resources and services. Evaluating potential new services and technologies and suggesting policy and procedural changes that improve access or efficiency; (f) assisting in other IT projects; (g) deputizing for the Head of LITS; and (h) other duties as assigned. Occasional evening and weekend duties may be required.

Appointment will initially be made on contract basis for two years, renewable subject to mutual agreement.

Application Procedure
The University only accepts and considers applications submitted online for the post above. For more information and to apply online, please visit

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News: Travelin’…

6.20.17 –

Dear Readers,

I will be away traveling (travelling) over the next few weeks so will be posting sporadically in batches…

Safe travels, Sarah P.

P.S. I am away to downeast Maine and Campobello, sadly without my boat which is in Florida, but glad to be here nonetheless.

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News: book review request…

6.7.17 – For anyone who missed the publication announcement of my new book and the free Kindle days, if you would be willing to give me an Amazon review, I will send you a free copy.  Please send me an e-mail via the blog.
Thanks, Sarah P.

Far Off-Girl: 5 Years of Uncharted Wandering (Teenage Traveler) by [Gibson, Sarah P.]Ethel is ecstatic when her father offers her an escape from a long, cold, dark, Maine winter. But the journey turns out to be a maze of country-hopping, desert-crossing, shisha-smoking, friend-making, skinny-dipping, island-kissing, revolution-escaping, boy-betraying, white-knuckled, hairpin turns. Growing up at home is perplexing, growing up overseas is mind-altering.

P.S. Her father is a librarian…

Also, now available in paperback:


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News: IRRT Int’l Leads June issue available

6.7.17 –

The June issue of IRRT’s International Leads (IL) newsletter is now available for viewing. This month’s ILincludes articles describing the current state of libraries in Cuba, working as a librarian in Ethiopia, the list of international programs taking place during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, and more!


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News: My New Book!

5.23.17 –
Sarah P’s comments: Well, I did it. I finally published my new book: Far Off-Girl. Thanks to all who have supported me in one way or another.  And, as always, comments, edits, reviews, and the sharing of your stories are appreciated…
Far Off-Girl: 5 Years of Uncharted Wandering (Teenage Traveler) by [Gibson, Sarah P.]Ethel is ecstatic when her father offers her an escape from a long, cold, dark, Maine winter. But the journey turns out to be a maze of country-hopping, desert-crossing, shisha-smoking, friend-making, skinny-dipping, island-kissing, revolution-escaping, boy-betraying, white-knuckled, hairpin turns. Growing up at home is perplexing, growing up overseas is mind-altering.

P.S. Her father is a librarian…


Author’s Essay:

All those who incorporate ideas and beliefs of people
from many different countries and cultural backgrounds.

‘Multicultural’ became a publishing buzz word in the late 80’s and a genre by the 90’s. As an international librarian I happily embraced this trend, excited to see stories which represented at least some of more of my students’ cultural heritages. In each of my positions I sought out books with global themes, and especially those which represented where I was currently located. At first there were only a smattering but eventually there grew to be a list which I would faithfully order for each new library.

Another welcome trend which emerged were novels about kids from other cultures trying to fit into mainstream American life. I added these to my list as they encouraged discussion and understanding of what it means to try and live in another culture. At the same time some books began to be published about American teens venturing overseas. These books were popular as well and thus I figured it was only a matter of time before stories appeared which would delve deeper into the final frontier: the experience of American teenagers living overseas.

But, to date, nothing has yet appeared which I find surprising because, at last count, there are at least 275,000 global nomads, or TCK’s (third-culture kids), kids who consider America (or another country) their home, but spend most of their lives growing up overseas and attending international schools as they follow their parents’ international careers. These are the students I taught and hung out with in my fourteen years of international living and, to me, they truly are ‘multicultural’ in that their definition of themselves is not based on where they live but how they live, and they are living proof that ‘multicultural’ is something you can become rather than something you must be born as.

Ethel’s story grew out of this understanding and my goal was to find an entertaining way to honestly share some of her experiences and to answer real-life questions such as: What’s it really like to wear a veil? Should I date a guy from a different faith? How do I deal with someone who hates Americans?

And, finally, there is another message woven into this story. It is for all teens who feel stuck, and it is that being multicultural is about acceptance. That if you travel beyond your borders, be it through a book, a plane, or Instagram, you are reaching out. And that, by seeking to understand others, you will find people anywhere and everywhere, who are like you in some way. Travel, as Ethel comes to realize, will not solve all your problems, but what it can bring is perspective, insight, understanding, and hope.

(Thanks also to Cricket Magazine who published an early version of Travel Post #1 as a short story.)

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