Monday, September 19, 2022


IRRT Papers & Projects Session


at ALA Annual 2023

The American Library Association's International Relations Round Table (IRRT) Papers and Projects Committee invites proposals for a presentation at the 2023 American Library Association Annual Conference, scheduled to take place in Chicago, IL from June 22-27, 2023.

The International Papers and Projects Session provides librarians with an opportunity to exchange information about library services, collections and projects throughout the world. The program also serves to stimulate the interest of U.S. librarians in international library matters. The 2023 International Papers and Projects theme is Finding a New Normal: Library Policies and Practices.

The world continues to navigate the changing landscape shaped by three years of living with the pandemic, political upheaval, and environmental crisis. Organizations must find balance among traditional, pre-pandemic policies and practices, pandemic-related policies and practices that changed how and where libraries provide service, and the “new normal” of returning to more traditional policies and practices while the pandemic continues. At the same time, organizations must take special care in how they support and validate their employees as well as take strides in leading inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility efforts in their communities.

The aim of this session is to explore the role of library policies and practices that balance the needs of the organization, the needs of the employee, and the need of the patrons. The balance between policy and practice may also be a delicate framework of expectations and understanding new to the landscape of leadership as libraries seek a new normal. This session hopes to showcase the considerations of developing policies to

1.    sustain collections and services,

2.    provide for employees, and

3.    lead inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility practices

as well as

4.    methods of implementation,

5.    successes and failures, and

6.    revisions after implementation.

This session seeks stories of challenges, successes, and failures of getting buy-in and communicating change to library employees and patrons. We are looking for speakers to share on international and U.S. library projects and issues relating to how they have managed this process and what they have learned from it.

Possible questions related to this theme may include, but are not limited to:

1.    How have “post-Covid” policies and practices affected librarians psychologically and physically?

2.    How can we most effectively support librarians in their workplaces, as library policies and practices adapt so that they can continue to provide services to the community?

3.    How are library administrations creating new policies to transition libraries into a post-Covid era? What practices do employees take to implement them?

4.    What obstacles are libraries facing in creating policies and practices to keep buildings open during times of labor shortages, demands for improved EDI focuses, and calls for greater social justice efforts in their organizations?

5.    How have your library’s policies impacted the kind of back-to-work model that your institution has adopted in the post-pandemic era? (in-person, hybrid, fully remote work). What factors influenced these decisions?

We encourage submissions that reflect the diverse approaches of the public sector, the academic environment, special libraries, or other types of information organizations. International library schools may also share how they are preparing their students to think about policy and practice. International submissions will be given priority, but submissions from the U.S. will be considered as well, especially if they may be of interest to the international community. To ensure representation from around the world, the IRRT Papers and Projects Committee aims to accept one presentation per country though exceptions may apply.


This call for proposals has been released in advance of program acceptance by ALA in hopes that interested international applicants will have more time to seek funding and visa approvals for conference travel. ALA accepts programs between December and January. If ALA denies the IRRT Paper and Projects Session program, the Committee will organize a webinar with selected speakers.


Considering the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its impacts on international travel, we want to ensure the inclusivity of diverse experiences and wide-ranging perspectives on the challenges of policy and practices that our international community continues to face. Thus, we are also welcoming proposals for short 5-minute interview-style videos, in addition to the traditional conference presentations. These videos will be played at the beginning of the conference session prior to the full-length presentations.


Proposals and presentations must be written and delivered in English, which is the working language of the program. By submitting a proposal, the presenters acknowledge that the policy and practice information can be shared widely in a public setting and the speakers are comfortable and able to address aspects of the policy and practice. There are two submission types for this conference:

Proposals for In-Person Conference Sessions

Proposals for in-person conference sessions should include:

1.    Title of the presentation

2.    Abstract (500-800 words)

A good abstract will

§  describe the library, its community, the policy and practices, and the situation requiring policy and practice change,

§  describe how the policy and practice relates to one or more of the suggested possible questions or the vision of the session,

§  describe how the policy was drafted, what stakeholders were involved, how it was implemented, and what practices resulted from it,

§  describe how the library addressed the situation through leadership or advocacy in relation to the policy and practice

§  discuss the impact of the policy and practice on the library, employees, community, and its effect on the situation, and

§  address overall if the policy and practice was successful in relation to the situation or if the policy or practice will be adapted or changed in the future.

3.    Presenter’s name, title, institutional affiliation, and full contact information (including a valid e-mail address)

4.    A short biographical profile of each presenter (100 words each. If the program is accepted, biographies will be used in program advertising).

Proposals should be submitted electronically (as a single Microsoft Word or PDF attachment) to the International Relations Office via email at with copies to, and

Proposals for Introduction Video Clips

If you are interested in sending a video clip, please include:

1.    Type of policy change

2.    A statement (250-500 words)

A good statement of interest will  

§  include a summary of the policy and practice, and

§  describe how the policy and practice relates to the suggested possible questions or vision of the program.

3.    Presenter’s name, title, institutional affiliation, and full contact information (including a valid e-mail address)

4.    A short biographical profile of each presenter (100 words each)

Proposals should be submitted electronically (as a single Microsoft Word or PDF attachment) to the International Relations Office via email at with copies to, and

The deadline for submitting proposals is February 28, 2023.


Proposals and presentations/interviews must be written and delivered in English, which is the working language of the program. There are two submission types for this conference:

Format for In-Person Conference Session
Each panel presentation is 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.  Slides will be edited and vented by the IRRT Paper and Project Committee. Since ALA has announced Annual 2023 is going to be an in-person conference, we are looking for proposals and panelists who are comfortable traveling to Chicago, IL to present.

Format for Introduction Video Clips

If selected the IRRT Papers and Projects Committee will send the presenters a list of questions and schedule an interview over Zoom. This interview will be recorded, edited, and combined with other interviews to create an introduction video to be played at the beginning of the conference session. The IRRT Paper and Project Committee will post the video for public viewing on its platforms.


Up to four in-person proposals will be selected to present at the ALA Annual in June 2023. The IRRT Paper and Project Committee will aim to use as many interview clips in the video as they are able. The video will not exceed 10 minutes of content. Notification of acceptance for proposals and videos will be emailed in March 2023.

We would like to invite you to view previous presentation titles listed on IRRT's International Papers and Projects Session Committee website.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Call for Nominations for IRRT Executive Board

 Dear IRRT member:

The ALA International Relations Round Table Nominations Committee is looking for members who are passionate about international librarianship and are willing to serve as Executive Board members.IRRT is pleased to solicit nominations (and self-nominations) for the positions of:

● Vice Chair/Chair Elect -- Chair-elect (2023-2024), becomes Chair (2024-2025) and

serves as immediate Past-Chair (2025-2026)

● Member-at-Large -- serves a two-year term (2023-2025)

● Secretary/Treasurer -- serves a two-year term (2023-2025)

According to IRRT bylaws, the position of Chair-elect is a three-year commitment in which one serves as chair-elect, chair and past chair. In the first year, one learns about the work of the Executive Board under the tutelage of the Chair and the past-Chair. The Member-at-Large and Secretary-Treasurer positions are two-year commitments and these positions are responsible for contributing informationand wider perspectives from the field.

For a full description of responsibilities of these office holders, please visit IRRT website. Executive Board of the IRRT meets monthly through virtual meetings to discuss IRRT-related issues, which include those that arise through the various committees and the ones related to international aspects of ALA work as a whole, and to work on solutions. Face-to-face meetings take place whenever the ALA Annual conference is held in person, and the vice chair/chair elect is expected to attend these meetings.


1. Candidates must be current ALA and IRRT members.

2. Candidates need to provide their CV and a short statement of interest (approx. 100

words) by October 14, 2022.

Nominate yourself or someone you know by sending an email to the Nominating Committee Chair, Sandy Hirsh, at

Preference is given to candidates with prior committee experience within IRRT and a track record of contributing to the IRRT mission.

Thank you for your consideration.

The Nominating Committee

Thursday, September 8, 2022

9th Annual Sharjah International Library Conference

 9th Annual Sharjah International Library Conference


The American Library Association, in collaboration with the Sharjah International Book Fair, is pleased to announce that  registration is now open for this

year’s Sharjah International Library Conference which will take place November 8-10 during the Sharjah International Book Fair. 


Sign up now and save on on-site registration costs!  Pay now or pay onsite after registering in advance. 


This year’s conference includes two preconference workshops on November 8, and a fully packed two-day conference, November 9-10.


This year participants can propose to present a Poster.  Deadline for proposals is September 18.


Main 2-Day Conference, Nov 9-10, programs include:


American Library Association President Lessa Pelayo-Lozada will keynote. Program topics this year include:

  • Finding Joy: Library as Space for Playful Learning and Creativity
  • Gamification and Game-Based Learning: Benefits and Tools for Libraries
  • Libraries Key Role in Infodemic Management
  • Raising Readers for Life and Services Supporting Seniors: Programing for Patron Stages of Life
  • Student-Created Media: Designing Research, Learning, and Skill-Building Experiences
  • Academic Libraries and Student Workers as Success Agents
  • Engaging Hard to Reach Teenagers

For Book BuyersThe Sharjah International Book Fair offers reimbursement for your hotel nights if you purchase $10,000 at the Fair, and if you purchase $20,000 reimbursement for economy airfare and hotel nights.  


Please contact us at, if you have any questions or to request an invitation letter.




Michael Dowling

Director,Intl and Chapter Relations Offices

American Library Association

225 N Michigan Ave, Suite 1300

Chicago, IL 60601

p +1 800-545-2433 ext 3200