2018 International Meetings and Programs Schedule

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Thank you for joining us at the ALA 2018 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.



“Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses: How libraries are serving immigrant and refugee populations”-- IRRT Preconference
8:00am - 1:00pm
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 221
Description:  This workshop will focus on practical and real-life examples of services and outreach to immigrants and refugees. Librarians who have successfully implemented programs and services to this targeted population in the USA and internationally will share their experiences and advice. Pre-conference workshop attendees will be able to leave with concrete ideas of programs to implement at their home institutions including, for example, how to reach out to immigrants and refugees, how to develop programs featuring social, economic, health, literacy, and technology areas, and how to work out with decision makers to secure support for these programs.
Cost: $90 USD
Registration includes: Materials, refreshments and lunch.
Register today! Event code: IRR1
International Relations Committee I (IRC)
1:00pm - 2:30 pm
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 203


International Librarians Orientation
2:30pm - 4:00pm
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 260-262
Description: An introduction to the ALA Conference and the city of New Orleans, for international and other attendees from abroad. ALA members 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.



IRC*/IRRT+ All Subcommittee Meeting
8:30am - 11:00am
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 271-273

+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

Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders in Africa
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 284
Description: Librarians in Africa have a crucial role in national, regional, and global development. With 57 countries and 1.3 billion people Africa is a vast continent with opportunities and challenges. Libraries can be key to success, but to help transform libraries on the continent a new generation of library leaders, from all types of libraries, needs to be developed. Thanks to support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Initiative efforts are underway. The creation of the Centre for African Leadership, the training of academic librarians from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, and the new collaborative project between the Public Library Association and The African Library and Information Associations and Institutions are initiatives that will be showcased.
Central American Connections
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 285
Description: Want to better understand the situation in Central America and its libraries?  Interested in connecting with others working in the region?  A panel of experts working in the region will provide an overview of the current situation and the challenges being faced. They will be highlighting opportunities for helping libraries in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  The Library of Dreams in El Salvador will be discussed by the founder, author and library activist, Jorge Argueta.  We will also have  representatives from the Riecken Foundation in Guatemala and Honduras,  the REFORMA Children in Crisis project and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).  Please plan on attending and showing your support for the region.
IFLA Global Vision Discussion
Location: Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 271-273
Libraries Saving Lives: Serving Immigrants and Refugees - IRRT Chair's Program
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 391
Description: Global mobility and recent worldwide crises have led to an increase in immigrants and refugees seeking to improve their lives in sometimes unfamiliar countries and cultures. Libraries around the globe are responding to and welcoming the newcomers of all ages, languages, and nationalities into their communities. By developing services, programs, collections and spaces, they are assisting these particularly vulnerable populations with logistical and cultural adjustment through such programs as innovative language learning meet-ups, job-seeking guidance, and homework assistance. During this program, you’ll hear about how librarians in Malmö, Sweden; Cologne, Germany; and Kentucky, U.S., are using ground-breaking models and creating dynamic spaces to engage immigrants and refugees. Panelists will make suggestions on how you can adapt these ideas to transform your own libraries into socially inclusive spaces.


Support for Services to Immigrant and Refugees through Sister Libraries
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 283
Description: The Sister Libraries partnership program managed through IRRT is often perceived as a means for foreign libraries – especially those in developing countries - to improve their professional quality, by learning from American libraries. While this is one of the benefits for those libraries, there are also benefits for American libraries. Partnerships are two-way streets, and when handled well both sides can learn a lot from each other. A particularly timely lesson that partnerships can help American libraries learn is how to support people in their communities who are immigrants and refugees, or even simply exchange students – people who are far from home and looking to become comfortable in their new environment. Public libraries are often called upon to participate in the package of support provided to these individuals, but so are school and academic libraries. Unfortunately, however, these libraries are often not provided support of their own, and are left to figure out for themselves how to serve these populations.


Equality, diversity and inclusion in Southeast/East Asia & Pacific Libraries
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 290
Description: Libraries are considered inclusive institutions, where all users expect to receive the same level of service regardless of personal characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation or social class. Librarians from Southeast/East Asia & Pacific region will be sharing experiences from different countries on (1) development of inclusive services/programs/activities; (2) challenges faced; and (3) future opportunities.



Libraries supporting social inclusion for refugees and immigrants - IRRT's Paper and Projects Session
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 285
Description: A panel of international speakers will discuss how libraries throughout the world, on their own or in collaboration with community organizations, are providing social services and support for refugees and immigrants. UNESCO emphasizes the importance of social inclusion for international migrants and encourages cities and local governments to "ensure social rights for migrants to adequate housing, education, health and social care, welfare and decent standard of living according to basic needs such as food, energy and water.” This program will examine ways that libraries are doing that.
International Poster Session
9:30am - 11:00am
Exhibit floor - View list of poster session (Scroll down to Sunday, June 25)
Description: Come to the Exhibit floor and find out about innovative programs and transformative ideas that are shaping libraries all over the world.
IRRT Executive Committee Meeting
11:30 am - 1:00pm
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 212
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 211
Project Welcome Recommendations and Action Plan: Implications for Libraries Serving Refugees
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room  343
Description: Project Welcome (https://publish.illinois.edu/projectwelcome/), an IMLS-funded planning grant, has completed its work to learn and articulate ways libraries can address the information needs of refugees and asylum seekers in their resettlement and integration process. The session will present the recommendations, action plan and guide, developed by the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs in partnership with ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, and the International Relations Office, followed by a discussion on how libraries can adopt ways to support the successful resettlement and integration of refugees into their communities, and partner with refugee resettlement agencies and others in this endeavor.


Library Building Design in Germany: An overview
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 290
Description: In 2014, ALA signed an MOU establishing collaboration and partnership with BID (Bibliothek & Information Deutschland), the umbrella organization of German library associations, from 2016 through 2019. In 2016, American librarians traveled to Leipzig for the German Library Congress to present talks and papers, and to build personal and professional relationships with our German colleagues. This session will highlight the state of library building and design throughout Germany. Two German library design experts, will focus on trends, issues, and interesting designs and how these all relate to library design in the United States. The speakers will discuss public libraries and university libraries as well as state and national and some specialized. Previous collaborative programs during this partnership included an overview of libraries in Germany, services to refugees, management trends in academic libraries and research support.

How Libraries Abroad Address the Worldwide Refugee Crisis -  (ISLD program)
9:00am - 10:00am
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 288
Description: In 2018 the world continues to contend with the worse humanitarian crisis since WWII, with over 68 million displaced by conflict, the majority of whom are minors. Recognizing the profound crises of forced migration, the International Sustainable Library Development (ISLD) interest group has organized a panel on "How are libraries and information centers helping build capacity for refugees?" This is especially acute because refugees often do not have experience with libraries and would not consider them as a key resource in their resettlement and integration. Panelists share approaches for working with displaced people, and resources to support capacity building.

International Librarians Reception
6:00pm - 8:00pm
BB King's Blues Club
1104 Decatur Street
Description: Please join the ALA International Relations Round Table (IRRT) in welcoming and celebrating with librarians from more than 70 countries at the ALA Annual Conference. Open to all conference attendees, this reception offers a unique opportunity to network with hundreds of information professionals from around the world. Join us for a mixing of culture and ideas, regional cuisine, hors d’oeuvres and open bar. ALA President, Jim Neal, 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. Advance registration is required. International librarians registered for the full conference will receive one complimentary ticket. A ticket must be purchased for additional guests. Tickets will be sold in the convention center. *No tickets will be sold at the reception site.*        REGISTER today!       



Listed below are programs, discussion groups, and events with an international focus. Some events require advance registration and payment. Please see conference site for more details.


SATURDAY, June 23, 2018

BCALA Recruitment & Professional Development Committee, BCALA International Relations Committee
9:00 am - 10: 00am
Location: Sheraton New Orleans - Rex


Modern Language Association International Bibliography in Academic Libraries Discussion Group
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Location: Sheraton New Orleans - Napoleon C2


Using Innovative, Music-Based Outreach Programs to Reach Vulnerable Populations of All Ages
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 345
Description: Research shows that music positively affects people. Nursery rhyme recitation boosts children’s vocabulary and language skills, important factors in preparing them for success in school and reducing rates of adult incarceration. Singing together creates community among people of all abilities; outreach to people with disabilities is facilitated by music. And, songs from earlier years are often easier for older adults with memory loss to retain; the ability to sing rhymes together lasts long after other ways of communicating have been lost. Music-based outreach programming can benefit everyone.



SUNDAY, June 24, 2018

How can a widespread international partnership between the United States and Nigeria benefit both nations?: Engaging library school students, new and established professionals in vitally-needed discussions
8:00 AM - 8:45 AM
Meeting Type: Conversation Starter
Description: Nigeria is the seventh largest nation in the world by population. It has one of the world's largest economies and has been identified as an emerging global power. The country, however, is also less than two decades removed from a forty year military dictatorship, which decimated native culture and promoted poverty, oppression, and organized crime. An emerging information infrastructure and LIS education are in need of support and the development of professional networks with established programs internationally. This session will bring together LIS professionals and students around the globe in discussion of forming mutually-beneficially professional partnerships.


Arab American Literature- A Librarian’s Guide
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Morial Convention Center, Rm 279-280
Description: Over recent years, Middle Eastern literature has been making great strides in the international book market, with many authors and works receiving widespread attention and praise. The implementation of awards such as the Arab American Book Awards has also done much to raise the profile of Arabic literature and to facilitate a wider readership. In this session, panelists will highlight Arab American literature, including children’s books featuring Arab American characters to poetry and fiction written by Arab Americans and nonfiction in the field of Arab American studies, along with the award program. In addition, panelists will discuss their experiences and strategies for developing Arabic collections for academic and public libraries. This session is presented in collaboration with the Near East and South Asia Committee of the International Relations Committee. 


Academic Library Services to International Students Interest Group
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Location:  Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Room 394



MONDAY, June 25, 2018

TOKYOPOP presents: International Women of Manga
11:30 am - 12:20 pm
Location:  Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) - Exhibit Hall - Graphic Novel/Gaming State






+++Exhibit Hours+++

Friday, June 22 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 23 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, June 24 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Monday, June 25 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

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


Ernest M. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70130




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