Tuesday, May 24, 2022

International Symposium - The Great Resignation era: attracting and retaining research library talent

 How can research libraries can attract and retain highly-skilled and talented staff within a highly-competitive and fluid employment market?


On 14 June, IARLA (ARL, CARL, CAUL, LIBER, RLUK) will host an international, virtual symposium to explore how, in the era of the Great Resignation and rising employee expectations, research libraries can offer a compelling and attractive career track to highly-skilled professionals, and how we can incentivise and retain our existing expertise. This will include how research libraries can navigate rising employee and candidate expectations around flexible working and the ways of mitigating the ongoing Talent Crunch.



Research libraries sit within an international and highly competitive job market. Many of the skills we require are highly sought after in other sectors, including the information, technology, wider education, and commercial communities, which can pay a premium for skills and talent. The recent rise in employee and candidate expectations around flexible working arrangements presents an additional challenge to recruiting and retaining talent amongst research libraries, especially when other sectors are now offering highly-attractive flexible working packages in response to the Talent Crunch and skills shortages. As a consequence, research libraries can find it difficult to compete for, and then retain, highly specialist and expert staff.


This symposium will explore the experiences of research libraries in attracting and retaining talent. It will explore the impact and opportunities of the ‘Great Resignation’ across our community, and the subsequent ‘Great Restructure’ within our institutions. Central to its discussions will be a consideration of how research libraries can retain highly-skilled talent within such a competitive and shifting job market, and communicate a compelling and attractive career track that does not necessarily depend on ‘above market’ salaries.


This event is free to attend and open to all. Find out more and register here.


Its on June 1st - ALA IRRT Webinar: Perspectives on International Digital Scholarship Collaborations... (Two presentations)

 Join us for the upcoming webinar:

Perspectives on International Digital Scholarship Collaborations During a Global Pandemic (Two presentations)

Date: June 1, 2022

Time: 1 pm PT/MST, 2 pm MDT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET

Registration Link: https://ala-events.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-lNx00RgRtGt3GcxOUqnCA


1.  Title: Preserving International Relationships & Items in a Time of Covid

Description: In 2018, The Libraries became a partner with the Narrative Art & Visual Storytelling in Holocaust & Human Rights Education Project through new services offered through UVIC Libraries' "Grants Menu," which offers librarian and archivist expertise in digitizing, preserving, and making accessible project material. The Narrative Art Project pairs together Holocaust Survivors and graphic artists from across the world in order to co-create a graphic novel that provides witness to the Survivors' experiences. A close relationship formed between the artists and survivors as they talked, listened, and created together. In 2020, the close collaboration among the participants went online as a result of the COVID epidemic. This talk will address the promises and challenges of working on an international project, including issues of building capacity, digitization, working remotely, and training stakeholders in best practices for preservation and access. https://holocaustgraphicnovels.org/


Presenter:       Dr. J. Matthew Huculak is Head of Advanced Research Services & Digital Scholarship Librarian at the University of Victoria Libraries He holds a PhD in English Language & Literature and an MLIS with a concentration on archives and preservation. He is the founding Managing Editor of Modernism/modernity’s Print Plus platform, which won the Association of American Publishers 2019 PROSE Awards for “Innovation in Publishing.” His research focuses on libraries, 20th-century English literature, book history, and periodicals. He has served as Editorial Assistant for the James Joyce Quarterly, Project Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities funded Modernist Journals Project and is currently Director of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded Modernist Versions Project and Co-Director of BC Open Textbook-funded Open Modernisms. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2717-1112



2.      Title: International Collaboration in Interesting Times: Salzburg, Skype, and Stefan Zweig

Description: In January 2020, an agreement was made between the Zweig Digital project team from the Salzburg Literature Archive and the Special Collections & Archives Division of SUNY Fredonia’s Daniel A. Reed Library to collaborate on a massive 40-year update to the arrangement, description, and finding aid of Fredonia’s renowned Stefan Zweig Collection, along with its complete digitization.  With plans to begin traveling internationally and working together starting that March in place, arrangements were made for the creation of internships to assist with the process and work with the collection materials, a workflow was created, and we were ready to begin the process!  Clearly, none of this happened as planned, but with some major help from technology, the willingness to experiment, and a little creative innovation, we were able to shift our workflows (and timelines!) in order to continue the project virtually. 


Presenter:       Amanda M. Shepp, MLS currently serves as the Coordinator of Special Collections & Archives in the Special Collections & Archives Division of SUNY Fredonia’s Daniel A. Reed Library.  She presents and writes on topics related to digital humanities and historical subjects within the realms of Spiritualism, Victoriana, and the Occult, including “A Peek Beyond the Veil: ‘Spiritualist Shorts’ at Lily Dale” (2020).  She has previously served as Library Director for the Marion H. Skidmore Library in the Lily Dale Assembly Spiritualist community and received the WNYLRC Excellence in Library Service Award in 2017 for her role in completely revitalizing the library and bringing it up to modern academic standards. Amanda also serves as the Secretary of the Festivals Fredonia Executive Board of Directors and is co-chair of the Harvest Moon Festival & Cemetery Tours.

Gina de Alwis Jayasuriya, PhD
Co-chair, ALA IRRT Webinar Committee &
Independent Researcher, Singapore 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Introducing the IFLA North America Regional Division

 The IFLA North America Regional Division is a new division of IFLA, the global voice of libraries.  We are reaching out to national and regional Library Associations across the USA and Canada to build more powerful advocacy with policy makers and to ensure that the benefits of engaging with IFLA are well known across North America.


Our NA Regional Division members are seeking your assistance!


By working cooperatively with existing library associations, other IFLA Regional Divisions and IFLA Headquarters, the NA Regional Division is identifying priorities for the region and defining and delivering on action plans that respond to these priorities. It is our goal to extend IFLA’s membership and reach and to work closely with you and your members to strengthen the voice of libraries.

As a support to the launch of the regional divisions, IFLA conducted a survey of our colleagues across the USA and Canada which informed our choice of the following key initiatives for the 2021-2023 term:


·         Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
Ensure library workers in North America have the advocacy skills needed to demonstrate how libraries contribute to city, state and local governments efforts to achieve progress on the SDG’s. Our goal is to deliver webinars that will help libraries share stories about how we support the SDGs.


·         Enrich the IFLA Library Map of the World (LMW) with content from across NA
The LMW can be a powerful advocacy tool. It is intended to be a source of country-level library statistics, information about the library environment in each country and a unifying platform that provides access to Sustainable Development Goals stories. We will be adding the library descriptions and statistics for our countries so this can be a global resource about libraries in the USA and Canada.


·         Global Advocacy with a focus on Copyright

Raise awareness of library copyright issues among policy makers and governments. We will connect with library associations working in this area to learn what is needed for support and intend to collect copyright impact stories from the United States and Canada.


·         Regional Advocacy with a focus on Digital Inclusion
Perform a 360 degree review of North American initiatives, facilitate webinars, and develop recommendations of best practices.


·         Supporting Outreach – focus on expanding IFLA membership and build awareness across NA
Develop a white paper and deliver a webinar series to promote all the benefits of IFLA membership, encouraging library workers to join IFLA and participate in our global library community.


We are stronger together. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our NA Regional Division Members. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Michael Bailou Huang, MLS, MEd, MS, L.Ac.
SUNY Distinguished Librarian
Director, Global Library Initiatives
Stony Brook University
Health Sciences Library
Health Sciences Tower, Level 3, Rm 136
Stony Brook, NY 11794-8034
Phone: 631.444.3794

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

IRRT Pre-Conference

Global Libraries As Advocates For Information Policy Change

Friday, June 24, 2022
8:30am - 1:00pm

The pandemic has raised our awareness and understanding of the need for information
policies that support the ability of libraries to serve their communities. What are the persistent
and new policy issues that libraries around the world must focus on? How can we strengthen
our ability to influence legislative and legal change, and participate in the political process on
the local, national, and global levels?

This pre-conference will provide opportunities for learning and sharing, on the impact of the
pandemic on information policy, a detailed look at several key policy areas, and how library
professionals can be effective advocates in the legislative and legal arenas.

Welcome Remarks
Jim Neal, IRRT Chair, Columbia University

Equity of Internet Access
Nicole Umayam, Arizona State Library

Impact of Pandemic on Information Policy
Joe Thompson, Carroll County Public Library

Copyright and Licensing
Sara Benson, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom 

Library Professionals as Effective Advocates
Alan S. Inouye, ALA's PPA Office

To register:, please visit ALA's Annual registration page: 2022.alaannual.org
(EVENT CODE: IRR1). Fee includes registration, materials, and lunch.

Jim Neal
University Librarian Emeritus
Columbia University
ALA President 2017-18
ALA Honorary Member

ALA Member International Conference Participation Survey - Interest, Needs, and Barriers

Dear Colleagues,

You are invited to take the ALA Member International Conference Participation Survey - Interest, Needs, and Barriers. The Survey is initiated and developed by the ALA International Relations Round Table (IRRT) 2022 Emerging Leader Group. Your contribution will help inform IRRT's future initiatives and programs to empower ALA members' engagement in international conferences. 

Your participation is anonymous, voluntary, and will take about 15 minutes. 

The study has been approved by the West Chester University Institutional Review Board (IRB). If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Grace Liu at yliu@wcupa.edu.

Click this link to take the Survey.

The survey will be closed on May 31, 2022.

Thank you for your support and participation.

ALA IRRT Emerging Leader 2022
Elizabeth Dawson
Shoshana Frank
Tim Furgal
Olanike Olaniyi

IRRT Emerging Leader Member Guide
Grace Liu
√Črica Saito

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Navigating International Conference Opportunities: advancing your career with tips, personal experiences, and global collaborations

Navigating International Conference Opportunities: advancing your career with tips, personal experiences, and global collaborations

Registration link: https://ala-events.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Bm9FiTJnTeiW_80lxobyRg

Description: Do you want to learn about opportunities to advance your career by networking with international professionals? After a special introduction by Jim Neal, current IRRT Chair, Loida Garcia-Febo, Mark Mattson, and Gina de Alwis will share different paths to expand careers with international platforms. The presenters will share tips on finding and connecting with professionals outside your home country. Through the panelists personal experiences discover the benefits and opportunities in international conference attendance and collaborations.


Gina de Alwis Jayasuriya counts over four decades experience in academic and special libraries and was Head of the Singapore Institute of Management library for 27 years. Gina holds a PhD in Information Studies from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and researched on Information Seeking Behaviour of Managers in a Digital Environment for her thesis. She has travelled widely and visited libraries both in the West and the East to keep current with new trends and technological advancements in the field. She has presented papers at numerous conferences and has many publications to her credit.

During her travels in the Asian region, Gina had the opportunity to gain valuable insights on the training gaps faced by LIS professionals which led her to initiate a research project on “Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for LIS Professionals in selected Asian Countries” in 2019. The initial study was conducted in the Maldives and findings published/presented in Journal of Education in Library & Information Science (JELIS) and IFLA Journal;  IKC conference 2021 and ALA21 Virtual. The IFLA CPDWL Newsletter, Jan 2022 (p. 16) includes the latest updates on the project. Gina continues her collaboration with the Maldives to address gaps in CPD opportunities. The research study has since been extended to two further countries in Southeast Asia.    

Gina was a founding member of the Asia Pacific Business School Librarians’ Group (APBSLG) inaugurated in 2002 and served as its chair from 2008-2012 and 2018. During this period, she also had the opportunity to connect with counterpart groups Academic Business Library Directors (ABLD) & European Business School Librarians’ Group (EBSLG). She currently serves as a committee member of the IFLA LIS Education in Developing Countries SIG and co-chair of the ALA IRRT Webinar Committee. She is an Associate Member of the Sri Lanka Library Association and a member of the Library Association of Singapore.   

Loida Garcia-Febo is a Puerto Rican American librarian and International Library Consultant with 24 years of experience as an expert in library services to diverse populations and human rights. President of the American Library Association 2018-2019. Garcia-Febo is worldwide known for her passion about diversity, communities, sustainability, innovation and digital transformation, library workers, library advocacy, wellness for library workers, and new librarians about which she has taught in 38 countries. In her job, she helps libraries, companies and organizations strategize programs, services and strategies in areas related to these topics and many others. Garcia-Febo has a bachelor's in Business Education, master's in Library and Information Sciences, and is pursuing a PhD in Library and Information Sciences with a focus on library services to Spanish speaking library patrons in the USA.

She has a long history of service at library associations. Highlights include- At IFLA: Governing Board 2013-2017, Co-Founder of IFLA New Professionals, two-term Member/Expert resource person of the Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Committee of IFLA (FAIFE), two-term member of the Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section of IFLA (CPDWL). Currently: CPDWL Advisor, Information Coordinator of the Management of Library Associations Section. Currently at ALA: Chair, Status of Women in Librarianship and just completed a term leading the groundbreaking ALA’s United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Task Force to develop a multi-year strategic plan for ALA. Born, raised, and educated in Puerto Rico Garcia-Febo she has an unprecedented librarian presence in social media raising awareness about libraries and librarians. She has advocated for libraries at the United Nations, the European Union Parliament, U.S. Congress, NY State Senate, NY City Hall, and on sidewalks and streets in various states.

Mark Mattson is Head of Global Engagement Initiatives and International Partnerships Librarian at the Penn State University Libraries. Mark works to build bridges between libraries at Penn State and international partner institutions as well as support the overall internationalization and global engagement efforts of the university. His areas of research interest include international sister-library partnerships, comparative and international librarianship, the contribution of academic libraries to campus internationalization, global citizenship programming, libraries and intercultural dialogue, international student services, and librarianship in service of global priorities and goals. Mark is a member of the American Library Association's International Relations Round Table and is also a personal affiliate of the International Federation of Library Associations. Mark enjoys visiting international libraries both within and outside Penn State’s Global Engagement Network and fostering connections between librarians around the world.

Moderator: Jim Neal is University Librarian Emeritus at Columbia University and currently serves as the Chair on ALA’s International Relations Round Table and is the Treasurer of the Freedom to Read Foundation. In Jim’s illustrious career, he has served as Presidents, Chairs, and on Boards of organizations and universities that have shaped and served libraries for the last twenty-five years. Jim has traveled in 92 countries and has spoken at over 80 international conferences, including keynote addresses in 22 countries, to promote the work librarians do all over the world.  In recognition of his outstanding contribution, The American Library Association (ALA) Council elected Jim to honorary membership in the association, the ALA's highest honor, during the virtual 2022 Library Learning Experience.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Invitation to symposium: Contested Collections: Grappling With History and Forging Pathways for Repatriation

 Dear all, 

I am inviting you to this four-part symposium that I’m coordinating. We often think of repatriation as a museum issue, but it applies to libraries and archives as well. We have an excellent lineup of international speakers. Please visit our symposium site to learn more about the programs and speakers. And do register (it’s free!) if you plan on attending. Please share widely and excuse cross-posting. 

Join us for Contested Collections: Grappling with History and Forging Pathways for Repatriation, an online symposium hosted by UCLA Library and co-sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies from May 17 to 19, 2022. This four-part series featuring international experts explores the complicated histories of cultural heritage collections, the expropriation of artifacts through colonialism and looting, the politics and ethics of ownership and restitution, and decolonization in libraries, archives, and museums.  


For more information about the programs and speakers, please go to the symposium site. Registration is required, so do RSVP. 




Jade Alburo 

Librarian/Curator for Southeast Asian Studies & Pacific Islands Studies 

Outreach Coordinator for International & Area Studies 

International & Area Studies | Charles E. Young Research Library 

Pronouns: she/siya