Sunday, March 13, 2016

Make a donation to the IRRT Endowment – A March 2016 message

Greetings IRRT members and friends!

We have made great progress on the IRRT Global Leaders Campaign to establish the IRRT Endowment Fund.  Since December 2015, more than $3,300 was raised, with a total of over $39,000 raised since 2009, towards a goal of $50,000 for the endowed account in June 2016. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following IRRT members for their continuing contributions since December 2015:

Nancy Bolt

Clara Chu
Amed Demirhan

Michael Dowling
David Easterbrook

Barbara  Ford
Julia M.  Gelfand

John Hickok
Robin Kear

Carol R. Kem
Paulette Kerr

Nancy Kranich
Hwa-Wei Lee

Judith Lin Hunt
Athena Michael

Kitty Osborne
Patricia Oyler

Laverne Page
Jeannette Pierce

Teresa Rheiheimer
Edward Rock

Christopher Shaffer
Wendy Simmons

Patricia Wand
Joan Weeks

Shali Zhang

IRRT is launching a “Matching Donation challenge.”  Members of the Endowment Committee and Executive Board have already donated funds, and are challenging the rest of IRRT to donate as well!  Even small donations of $5 or $10—up to larger donations of $50, $100, or more—will help.  The challenge is for IRRT’s combined donation amount to match, or even exceed, what the Committee and Board has started.

The Endowment fund will support IRRT’s international activities and initiatives which contribute to ALA’s important role in international librarianship. The funding support through the Endowment will be able to provide support for international speakers and programs; promote a global dialogue about librarianship; increase visibility of international opportunities for U.S. and international librarians, and encourage international collaboration in librarianship.

For information on how to contribute, please visit:  When you log in to the ALA Giving web site, please follow the instruction to:  ALA Round Tables - International Relations Round Table-IRRT – and choose IRRT 60TH Anniversary Endowment Campaign, or you can simply send a check to the address below with a notation that it is for the Endowment Fund:

c/o International Relations Office
American Library Association
50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2795

Thank you for making a difference!

IRRT Global Leaders Campaign Ad-Hoc Committee members:
Shali Zhang, Chair
Jeannette Pierce
Nancy Bolt
Barbara Ford
Carol R. Kem

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Library of Congress Literacy Awards - Applications Due By March 31, 2016

The Library of Congress is currently sponsoring its annual “Literacy Awards,” which honor libraries or organizations making contributions to increasing literacy in the U.S. or abroad.  

Three awards are offered: the Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) for the most outstanding effort overall; the American Prize ($50,000) for a U.S.-based library or organization; the International Prize ($50,000) for a foreign-based library or organization.  The third award is of particular relevance to IRRT members working abroad.  

The application process is not difficult; details and the application are available here: 

Submitted by Loriene Roy, former ALA President and IRRT Chair

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Webinar: Opportunities for LIS Professionals in the Fulbright Program

IRRT will be co-sponsoring a webinar this month on opportunities for LIS professionals in the Fulbright program, including: the application process, getting your workplace on-board with your candidacy and grant, experiences living/working/teaching abroad, and how a Fulbright can enhance your career and studies. This webinar is informal and is not an official webinar sponsored or endorsed by Fulbright, CIES, IIE, or the US State Department.

Co-sponsors of this webinar are the Society of American Archivists’ Students and New Archives Professionals Roundtable and the International Archival Affairs Roundtable.

The speakers will include: (1) Natalie Baur, US Student Researcher; (2) Chris Prom, US Scholar; (3) Richard Sapon-White, US Scholar; (4) Andrea Malone, Fulbright Specialist.

This webinar will be held March 14, 2016 at 2:00pm CST. To join the meeting:

The Mzuzu University (“Mzuni”) Library Initiative

In the early morning hours of Friday, December 18, 2015, the Mzuzu University library in Northern Malawi was completely destroyed by fire. This was a terrible loss to the University, the principal institution of higher education in the least developed region of one of Africa’s poorest countries.
The library was the main place on campus for students to study, read, and use computers. Few students can afford to purchase books, so the library was their only access to these resources. Faculty members also have few books by rich country standards, but reading and reference materials were available to them in the library. The university’s information technology department and network servers were also housed in the library. All of these resources were destroyed.
Many books will be required to support the students and faculty in the University’s various departments. The specific titles that are urgently needed have been identified by faculty and librarians at Mzuzu University and can be purchased on MyRegistry (search for “Mzuni” under the organization/NGO category).
Books can also be donated by following the guidance provided on the Mzuni Library Initiative’s website. In addition to books, Mzuzu University requires new computers and tablets to support the reading/viewing of digital media.
Please consider supporting this important initiative in any way you can. If you have any questions, please contact Hayden Boyd (President of the Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation, ( who is leading the US response with support from Virginia Tech. His report on the fire can be read here.

IRRT at Midwinter in Boston

IRRT Midwinter Boston 2016