2019 International Meetings and Programs Schedule

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Thank you for joining us at the ALA 2019 Annual Conference!

The ALA Annual Conference offers you an unparalleled opportunity to enhance your knowledge, share your ideas, and network with experts from around the globe as you participate in one of the largest and most exciting library events in the world! Around 2,200 scheduled events of which more than 500 are programs, discussions, sessions, and in-depth facilitated and informal conversations, and 800+ exhibitors.

Below is a list of meetings and events for the International Relations Committee (IRC), the International Relations Round Table (IRRT), and other ALA Offices hosting programs with an international focus.

  • ALA SCHEDULER - Create your own conference schedule! View all sessions, events, and speakers by browsing or searching. Terms you can use to filter your search include subject, library type, meeting type, ALA unit, date, and time.

Please click on the title of each meeting/program to view the latest information and list of speakers.



Transforming Community Relationships - IRRT Preconference
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 102B
Description: Libraries today continue to be attuned to meeting the needs of their communities. In the 21st century, libraries are encouraged to be the center of community life, to be community builders and places where people get involved. This pre-conference will focus on innovation in meeting these community needs. It will include representatives of different types of libraries around the world who will share their innovative practices and how they can be adapted in other libraries.


  • 8:00am - 8:30am Registration
  • 8:30am - 12:00pm Welcome, panel introductions, presentations, interactive group discussions, Q & A
  • 12:00pm 1:00pm Lunch

To register: https://2019.alaannual.org/
Cost: $90 Event Code: IRRT2 Fee includes materials, refreshments, and lunch

To register for any of the following events, you can include them with your initial registration, or add them later using the unique link in your email confirmation. If you don't have your registration confirmation handy, you can request a copy by emailing alaregistration@compusystems.com


International Relations Committee I
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Marriott Marquis, Magnolia


International Librarians Orientation
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Washington Convention Center, 146C
Description: For international and other attendees from abroad, this session is an introduction to the ALA Conference and the city of Washington, D.C. This session will provide an overview of the conference, including recommended programs and social activities. Learn about conference transportation, how to navigate the exhibit hall and how to get involved. You will also meet and network with other colleagues from ALA’s many divisions and round table who will help you to get the most from your conference experience.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

IRC/IRRT All Subcommittee Meeting
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM+*
Location: Renaissance, Grand Ballroom South

+8:30 - 9:00 am      IRRT Chairs Meeting
+9:00 - 10:00 am    IRRT Subcommittee Meetings
+10:00 - 10:30 am  IRRT Chairs report back to IRRT Executive Board

*8:30 – 11:00am    IRC Committee Meetings

Grassroots Library Initiatives in South America
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 143C
Description: A number of grassroots initiatives have created community libraries in South America, trying to make substantive differences in the quality education in underserved communities. Come hear about these projects, and how they have succeeded through variety of collaborations and partnerships. Also hear about the challenges they face to be sustainable- funding, training, cultivating volunteers, etc. We invite you to come and learn from a representative panel sharing their expertise and viewpoints, including how you can participate in grassroot efforts.

Serving communities: locally and globally - IRRT Chair's Program
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 144A
Description: As librarians and information professionals we assist our patrons to discover, create, transmit, and apply knowledge to address their needs and the needs of the communities they represent. The IRRT 2019 Chair’s program will address how different types of libraries develop innovative services and programs to meet the needs of the communities they serve: locally, nationally and globally. The panel presenters representing national, public and academic libraries will share their experiences of programming and outreach in their libraries which situate them as centers of innovation, learning, and partners in moving their communities forward.

Japan Libraries: Transforming Libraries with Innovative Ideas - How Japanese Public Librarians Engage in Building Better Communities
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 143C
Description: This program introduces how Japanese public libraries develop creative ideas and innovations to transform themselves. It consists of an overview and three cases. 1) A small-Japanese town librarian’s outreach to farmers connects people through books and events to become an information hub in the town. 2) A Japanese prefecture library faces a rapidly aging society and works out programs for senior citizens, collaborating with families of dementia patients as well as local government. 3) A Japanese city library provides hands-on support to would-be entrepreneurs in their business plans; and, to high-school students in realizing their dreams.

Will They Stay or Will They Go? ‘Sense of Belonging’ as a Foundation for Creating Inclusive Library Services for International Students
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 150B
Description: International students bring diverse perspectives that are essential to U.S. colleges and universities. However, they face more barriers than domestic students. In this program we will explore research on ‘sense of belonging’ as it relates to international students as a basis for creating inclusive library services. Theories of culture shock and student development in an international student services context will provide a perspective for attendees to develop inclusive services appropriate to their unique user populations.

Understanding research libraries in North Korea: A case study of Pyongyang University of Science & Technology (PUST) - ACRL International Perspectives Discussion
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM 
Location: Washington Hilton, Van Ness
Description: This presentation will cover the current state of research libraries in North Korea with a special focus on Pyongyang University of Science & Technology (PUST).  PUST is the only university in North Korea that is established and operated by a foreign entity, and it provides unique opportunities to understand the role of academic libraries in the higher education system in North Korea.  The presenter will discuss how international agencies have quietly assisted building a digital library at PUST and how faculty and students at PUST perceive library services.  The presenter will also offer some insights on partnership opportunities with libraries in North Korea.


When You Can't Go Home Again: Refugee and Exile Authors in the U.S.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 145B
Description: Facing censorship, threats and uncertainty, refugee and exile authors travel to the U.S., where they confront a new set of obstacles. “When You Can’t Go Home Again” will explore the challenges authors experience in countries around the world, and issues that they encounter after moving to the States. These issues range from locating an interested publisher and depending on a translator, to resisting self-censorship and being aware of the ever-watchful presence of their home country. After taking an eye-opening exploration into the realm of international writings and translations, attendees will gain insight into how they can welcome these authors on their shelves and in their libraries.

Knowledge is Global:  Expanding the Awareness and Impact of Research from the Global South
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 146C
Description: As we move toward a more openly accessible research environment, progress is often framed in terms of increasing access to original studies and associated data published in peer reviewed scholarly journals indexed in databases like Web of Science and Scopus. However, there is a growing awareness that a large body of high-quality research from the Global South (aka developing countries in Latin America, Africa, & much of Asia) is not part of that scholarly communications environment. Much of this research is already open access, but because major western databases don’t index most of those journals, it does not register in terms of traditional bibliometrics that use citation counts to measure the impact of authors, their articles and the journals they publish in. For example, just 4% of Latin American peer reviewed journals are included in Web of Science. What can libraries do to help increase the visibility and impact of this large and growing body of research from the Global South? This panel gathers researchers, librarians and policy experts to explore new and innovative ways to change the ways we both access and assess research outputs, and why that is important.


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Bringing Global to Local: The Horner Fellowship Arizona-Japan Librarian Exchange
(IRRT, Sister Libraries)
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 143C
Description: In this panel presentation, members of the Horner Fellowship Committee, together with an Arizona Horner Fellow and a representative of the JLA, will discuss the evolution of the Horner Fellowship. They will describe the criteria and process for selecting Horner Fellows, the benefits and challenges of this kind of exchange program, and the experiences of the Arizona and Japanese library professionals who have traveled with the support of Horner funds. There will be special focus on practical implications for the respective local and global communities, the impact of the Horner Fellowship on the fellows’ personal and professional lives, especially in forging new relationships, and the implementation of new acquired practices in their professional settings, such as new expertise in haiku poetry, puppet theater, manga books, school libraries, teaching literacy skills, culturally inclusive skills, teaching students with disabilities, and many other things. This session aligns with this year's topic for the IRRT: “Serving communities: globally and locally.”

Global Solutions - International Poster Session
9:30 am – 11:00 am
Description: Come to the Exhibit Floor and find out about innovative programs and transformative ideas that are shaping libraries all over the world.

Dialog and Exchange Transforms Russia and U.S. Libraries
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 144A
Description: International exchange has been shown to increase mutual understanding between cultures, which is increasingly important in times of global tension, as the outlooks, attitudes, and beliefs of Russian and American citizens with respect to the each other influence and shape in important ways the possibilities, and the limits, of the relationship between our two peoples. Come hear how recent dialog and exchanges between the U.S. librarians and the Russian librarians, including library school students, have had led to positive impacts in both countries. Numerous libraries across Russia have evolved to become community centers, locations for civic discussions on the future of their towns and cities, and much more. U.S. libraries are now learning to focus more on the impact they make to the societal issues that are tied to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

IRRT Executive Committee Meeting
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 153

Preparing for a Changing World: How Libraries Facilitate the Acquisition of New Skill Sets in Communities - IRRT Paper and Projects Session
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 143C
Description: Societies are constantly changing whether because of demography, socio-political climates or even new technology disruptions which require new ways of thinking and learning. All of these have an impact on communities, how they function, interact as well as a bearing on who gets ahead and who falls behind. Libraries have long sought to level the playing field, promoting equity and inclusivity while trying to keep up with change. In this session, speakers will share on international library projects, trends and issues relating to new skills sets that libraries facilitate in their community such as but not limited to health literacy for an aging population, new media initiatives and strategies that help families navigate a changing media landscape, critical evaluation skills to help members assess the information they consume online and other life skills like communication and negotiation that have grown in importance in a divisive world.

IFLA Update
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Marriott Marquis, Farragut North
Description: Want to learn more about the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)? Come and hear updates from IFLA's President and staff about the 2019 conference in Greece, the IFLA organization, committee information, and more!


International Relations Committee II
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Marriott Marquis, Supreme Court

Monday, June 24, 2019

Leaning International: Stories from the Field
(IRRT International Connections)
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 144A
Description: Are you an MLS student/recent graduate interested in working internationally, or a seasoned information professional looking for a new experience? Join the IRRT’s International Communications Committee as we host a panel discussion featuring experienced and diverse American librarians with international experience. In this discussion we will hear their experiences and stories, how they became involved in international work, and their best advice for getting involved with international librarianship. After their discussion, we will have a Q & A Opportunity.

Librarians and U.S. State Department Study Abroad Scholarships
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 143C
Description: Help connect high-school students and their parents in your school or community with US Government exchange program scholarships that provide the opportunity for over a thousand students to study overseas each year. Learn how students can increase their leadership skills and prepare for the globalized workforce by spending up to an academic year in countries such as China, Russia, Morocco, and many others. State Department staff will explain these exciting programs, help demystify the application process, and how you can promote and assist at your library.

Libraries Advancing Peace with Local Initiatives: Learn Globally, Act Locally -
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 146C
Description: Libraries abroad are becoming leaders in promoting peace globally by taking action in their local communities. In this presentation, we will learn about an Iberbibliotecas-funded Community-Library Inter-Action (CLIA) project entitled “Interact with your community from the public library: Learning and advancing peace from the contexts of Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru.” Each presenter will illustrate how the project was implemented at his or her location and will speak about outcomes that have been observed thus far. There will be time for questions and a resource sheet will be available.

An Excursion into Africana Collections Around the World
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 143B
Description: Interest in Africa continues to grow in all facets, from education to development, human rights, engineering, politics, commerce, and health among others. Information – the common denominator among these topics – has become a highly sought-after commodity. This program will highlight both distinguished and little-known (yet essential) Africana collections from different parts of the world. The speakers will discuss the scope of their collections and how these collections may be made available and accessible to users beyond their primary clientele. It is anticipated that these conversations will lead to new institutional partnerships and collaborations on access, acquisition, digitization, and lending practices, while simultaneously opening up new research possibilities for information seekers of all kinds.

From Alexandria to Aarhus: What Three Americans Learned Exploring International Libraries
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 145B
Description: Libraries exist all over the world in diverse communities, and while each has unique objectives and needs, many goals, experiences, and challenges are shared among libraries across the globe, making learning from colleagues in different countries inspiring and eye-opening. Through a generous donation to fund an international travel fellowship, Alexandria (VA) Library staff have traveled to Scotland, England, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark to explore libraries, learn about international librarianship, and bring best practices back to Alexandria. Discover the unique initiatives taking place in European libraries, how to build your own connections with international libraries, and how to cultivate donor support for uncommon initiatives.

An International Leaders Forum: Leading a Vision for a Global Community of Libraries
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 143C
Description: Libraries around the world share a deep commitment to support the enduring values necessary for the continued progress of humanity including justice, freedom, equality and peace. These values are universal and borderless. Responding to a call by international members of ALA, the IRRT International Connections Committee invited international library leaders to help us understand the concept of a global community of libraries and why it matters. They will share their vision of a global community of libraries, discuss opportunities and challenges we face and how we can work together to make it happen.

An International Leaders Forum
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Washington Convention Center, 143C
Description: Following up on the steps of "An International Leaders Forum: Leading a Vision for a Global Community of Libraries," this session will be moderated by ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo in conversation with global library leaders about best practices and recommendations to foster international collaborations by libraries and library workers.


International Librarians Reception
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, Great Hall
Description: Your chance to meet and mingle with librarians from more than 80 countries! This is a great chance to enjoy a mix of culture and ideas, awards presentations, regional cuisine, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. ALA President, Loida Garcia-Febo, will announce the recipients of the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Projects. Winners of the Bogle Pratt Award and the Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award for International Librarianship will be announced. Free to international librarians registered for the full conference. NOTE: Tickets are required for entry to all events. Your ticket to the International Librarians Reception is your ticket to all three events. Tickets will not be sold at the Library of Congress.

  • Before the reception begins, the Library of Congress invites you to an Open House of the African and Middle Eastern, Asian, European, Hispanic and Rare Books & Special Collections Reading Rooms. Open House will be from 6:00 pm-7:00 pm, First and Second Floors of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Please see flyer for detailed information. 
  • Round Table Discussion: Library of Congress International Collections on Social Media – What, Who, Why, How?
    5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
    Location: Whittall Pavilion, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE, Washington, DC 20540 (Metro stop: Capitol South on the Blue/Orange/Silver Lines)
    Speakers: Library of Congress Area Studies Specialists
    Background: The program is preceding the International Librarians Reception in the Great Hall (7-9pm) and a tour of the LC area studies divisions (6-7pm).  The Library of Congress four area studies divisions – African and Middle Eastern, Asian, European and Hispanic - will hold an one-hour roundtable discussion to highlight the Library’s international collections on social media and to focus on the challenges and opportunities in social media works.  As library patrons become more diverse, librarians have more opportunities to interact with multilingual speakers or users of diverse cultural and language backgrounds.  This session has the following goals: 1) to discuss how the Library introduces its international collections and expands the use of these collections on social media; 2) to share experience in and expand ideas on how to successfully turn foreign language materials into social media posts for English and non-English audiences; and 3) through sharing behind-the-scene experience, to exchange professional knowledge and enhance public interest in the Library’s international collections.


+++Exhibit Hours+++

Friday, June 21 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 22 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, June 23 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Monday, June 24 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

(Note: All panels, programs, and events are conducted in English only.)




Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001



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