ALA Unit/Subunit: ALA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
The Sister Libraries partnership program managed through IRRT is often perceived as a means for foreign libraries – especially those in developing countries - to improve their professional quality, by learning from American libraries. While this is one of the benefits for those libraries, there are also benefits for American libraries. Partnerships are two-way streets, and when handled well both sides can learn a lot from each other. A particularly timely lesson that partnerships can help American libraries learn is how to support people in their communities who are immigrants and refugees, or even simply exchange students – people who are far from home and looking to become comfortable in their new environment. Public libraries are often called upon to participate in the package of support provided to these individuals, but so are school and academic libraries. Unfortunately, however, these libraries are often not provided support of their own, and are left to figure out for themselves how to serve these populations.
The Sister Libraries partnership program can help with this need. A partnership between an American library and a library from a country represented in the immigrant or refugee population of the community, the bridge formed provides opportunities for cultural awareness and understanding on both sides.
A panel of speakers will introduce the Sister Libraries partnership and explain the benefits of partnering for American libraries.
Whether you have thought about forming a Sister Libraries partnership or have never heard of it, you are invited to participate in an informative and engaging session.
(The program is sponsored by Loida Garcia-Febo, IRRT Chair, and Muzghan Nazarova, IRRT Chair-Elect.)