The American Library Association (ALA) International Relations Round Table (IRRT) Chair's Program Committee invites proposals for participation in a panel presentation that will take place at the annual ALA conference in Chicago, Illinois. The panel presentation will be featured in the IRRT Chair's Program session. Each year, the IRRT Chair's Program features speakers presenting on a specific theme related to international relations and the library. This year, the theme for the IRRT Chair's Program is: Libraries as Social Change Engines
Changes in social structures, behaviors, values and organizations are inevitable and libraries are not immune to those changes. Embedded in their unique communities, libraries are social change engines. At times, they are driving the change, and at others, they reflect and respond to the social changes affecting their communities. The IRRT 2020 Chair’s program will be a panel of library innovators who identified a problem within their community and responded through outreach, services, programming, or other actions and are able to talk about the impact of the response. The panelists, representing national, public and academic libraries around the world, will share their experiences leading social change or cultivating sensitivity to marginalized groups in their communities.
The Chair's Program Committee seeks proposals from speakers to be part of a panel that will describe and share the following:
Panelist presentations will discuss their individual library’s role in leading and responding to social change and the impact this work has had on their city/region/country. The best proposals will speak to specific actions taken by their libraries.
Examples of topics (presentations are NOT limited to these topics; creativity is encouraged):
● Providing programming or services promoting gender equality and empowerment. For example, reproductive education programs, or training to develop entrepreneurial skills.
● Providing programming or services that cultivate sensitivity and understanding to marginalized groups. For example, a Human Library that creates safe spaces for dialogue and understanding.
● Providing programming or services that support access to information for immigrants, migrants and refugees. For example, establishing mobile libraries within marginalized spaces, and creating an inclusive and equitable space.
● Creating partnerships, programming, or services that contribute to a culture of welcoming for migrants, refugees and other marginalized groups. For example, serving as a meeting and activity point for welcoming initiatives.
● Fighting poverty and hunger, allowing all to live with dignity, by supporting community needs. For example, developing a community garden or helping to develop skills.
IFLA’s Library Map of the World Sustainable Development Goals Stories provides additional examples of topics of interest for presentations.
Each panel presentation will be between 10-15 minutes. Applicants are encouraged to consider creative and effective presentations to connect attendees with the topic and to share information that will let attendees know how they could implement similar solutions/programs for their library communities.
All proposals must be submitted by January 31, 2020 for consideration. Applicants will be notified by early March if their submission has been accepted for presentation at the conference.
Send submissions via email to Christina Riehman-Murphy, Chair, at email@example.com.
Proposals should include two separate documents.
1. The first document should include:
○ Title of the presentation
○ A 150- to 250-word biography of the presenters/panelists (If program is accepted, biographies will be used in program advertising.)
○ Name, title, institutional affiliation, and full contact information of the presenters/panelists
2. The second document should not have any identifying information. This document should be an abstract of 300-500 words which addresses all of the following:
○ describe the library and its community
○ Identify the social problem or issue and its background
○ describe how the library addressed the problem
○ discuss the impact on the library’s city/region/country/community
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