IRRT International Librarians' Pre-Conference Committee

Statement of Role, Purpose, and Function

Develops and hosts an annual pre-conference for international attendees.

2015 Pre-conference

Leading from Any Position:  Libraries which are Leaders in their Communities and Librarians who Lead.
The American Library Association IRRT Preconference Committee invited proposals for presentations at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco on June 26, 2015.  The IRRT Preconference provided a forum for librarians interested in international librarianship to discuss the current and future state of librarianship.
The library profession is constantly adjusting to new technical developments, standards and innovative new services.  These changes may occur without additional funding, or in an environment where the relevance of library services may not be widely known, or may be questioned as larger institutions (governmental, educational or corporate) face rethinking of structures.  To survive and thrive libraries need to have strong leadership from within. Libraries need to be leaders in their communities in order to ensure they are full participants in the future of those communities.
This year the IRRT Pre-conference invitied proposals from around the world addressing how to lead and how to nurture leadership of both individuals and libraries.  This year there was time set aside for breakout sessions, during which each presenter will facilitate discussion related to his or her topic at a table. 

2014 Pre-conference

Training the Trainer: keeping up and staying ahead of new trends, standards, services and technologies

The American Library Association IRRT Pre-conference was held at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas on June 27, 2014. The IRRT Pre-conference provides a forum for librarians interested in international librarianship to discuss the current and future state of librarianship.

The library profession is constantly adjusting to new technical developments, standards and innovative new services. Yet the current fiscal climate can make it difficult for librarians and libraries to invest in continuing training and professional development.

This year the IRRT Pre-conference addressed professional development and continuing education initiatives and strategies conducted by librarians for their coworkers, organizations or the profession at large. Of particular interest for this year’s pre-conference were case studies of institutional/organizational support and/or staff buy-in, overcoming budgetary constraints, and other successes or educational failures. The following topics were covered.

·       RDA: training cataloging and technical service department

·       E-book: workshops, support and training for Librarians

·       Initiating mobile services (Roving reference, etc.)

·       New Librarianship

·       Open Access Initiatives/Digital Repository

·       Education of future librarians/changes in library school programs

·       Marketing

·       Fund Raising

·       Introducing new standards/services/programs

·       International librarian exchanges programs

·       Mentor programs

2013 Pre-conference

Innovative Library Services and Programs in Digital Era – An International Perspective- IRRT Pre-conference
8:00 am- 1:00 pm
McCormick Place Convention Center - S401bc

Description: IRRT Pre-conference addressed important issues, trends, and strategies that contribute to the understanding of the transformation of 21st century libraries along with the emerging technology. This year’s pre-conference program featured case studies related to digital library development and the preservation of local culture and historical heritages.  The panel presentations highlighted the interrelationships among digital preservation, digital resource development and management, as well as their presentation and dissemination to the global community.  


  • Nancy E. Gwinn & Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Libraries. Creating the Global Biodiversity Heritage Library;
  • Anton duPlessis, Texas A&M University; Kent Norsworthy, University of Texas at Austin. Los Primeros Libros: Digital Collaboration to Facilitate New World Patrimony;
  • Constantia Constantinou, SUNY Maritime College. Representing Cultural Knowledge and Heritage to the World;
  • Leslie McCartney, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Gates of the Arctic National Park Project Jukebox and Gates of the Arctic Research Portal: Case studies of UAF’s Approach to Preservation and Access to Local Culture and Oral History;
  • Valerie Hill, Texas Woman’s University. 3D Virtual Museums and Library Exhibits Promote International Information Literacy; Seangill
  • Peter Bae, Columbia University. Resource Sharing Starts from Information Sharing; Use of ShareILL Wiki for International Interlibrary Loan.

2011 Pre-Conference

Theme: Outreach through New Partnership: Strategies and Successes

The IRRT Preconference was held in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference (June 23 - 28 2011) in New Orleans, LA. It was a half-day program from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm with presentations and discussion among participants and presenters. Based on this year’s theme, Outreach through New Partnership: Strategies and Successes, the presentations emphasized one or more of the following areas: practical case study, application of unique outreach models, successful implementation of creative programs, and summaries of library strategies and approaches to developing sustainable partnerships with local organizations.

Amed Demirhan, MLIS., MADR, Director, University of Kurdistan Hawler Library -Training Library Staff in Kurdistan, Iraq  (ppt)

Jane Kinney Meyers, President - The Lubuto Library Project  (ppt)

Binh P. Le, The Pennsylvania State University Abington College- Village Library Collection Development Project (ppt)

Jo Bell, Whitlatch  Evergreen Education Foundation - Rural Library Initiatives in China (ppt)

Cristina Vaileanu, IREX Romania, Peter Pearson, Library Strategies, Toni Garvey, Phoenix Public Library - Advocacy in Transylvania  (ppt)

Laurie Kutner, I:nformation and Instruction Services Librarian/ Library Associate Professor, University of Vermont 
Cindy Dykes, Project Associate, Monteverde Institute Digital Library Project,
Stefanie Havelka, Electronic Resources-Web Services Librarian/ Assistant Professor, Lehman College/ CUNY
Creating Collections Through Collaboration: An Innovative Digital Library Project in Monteverde, Costa Rica (ppt)


2010 Pre-Conference

Web 2.0 Tools and Mobile Technology - Building Global Connections

Librarians around the world explored how libraries employ Web 2.0, social networking, and mobile technologies to enhance their services, expose their resources, expand their outreach, and enrich the life of diverse customers in the digital environment.

This year, a diverse group of speakers showcased innovative approaches to employing new technologies within their services and products.

Brandon Badger, Product Manager of Google Books, discussed Google’s efforts in digitizing print materials to create digital books that are searchable, social, and mobile.

Christopher Carlson, Supervisor of the Web Services Division at the Library of Congress, talked about LC’s web, mobile, and social networking strategies.

Carrie Gits, Assistant Director of Reference, Nova Southeastern University, shared her library’s experiences in developing a simple mobile-friendly library web portal.

Milena Dobreva, Senior Researcher, Centre for Digital Library Research, University of Strathclyde, discussed a usability study aimied at enhancing the digital library site, Europeana, with Web 2.0 and other features.

Tao Yang, East Asian Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries, described how the website FOREASt (Free Open Resources for East Asian Studies) utilizes blogs, Google Apps, social bookmarking, tag cloud, and twitter to promote open access in the context of international and area studies.

Attendees were encouraged to participate in dialogue and discussion as these practices are described.  What model might work well for your library?  What are your success stories?  How can we encourage more libraries and librarians to integrate these tools in their service?  How can we keep up with the changes of technology?

An additional component of the Pre-Conference was an overview of ALA’s new 2015 International Strategic Plan by Beverly Lynch, Chair of ALA International Relations Committee.

The 2010 IRRT Pre-Conference will be held in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (plan to stay until 3pm), June 25, 2010 in the Renaissance Washington - Congressional Hall A.  The $75 registration includes light refreshments and lunch. 


2009 Pre-Conference

Digitization in Developing Countries

Description: Digitization of scholarly information, research materials and cultural heritage achieved a global scale, or did it? Aiming to preserve, document, and provide access to legacy collections; digitization efforts require significant fiscal outlay for infrastructure and technology, as well as human resources. A lot has been written about digitization projects in industrial nations but do we know how (and if) developing countries grapple with the challenges of implementing digitization projects? How are potential partners/funding agencies being identified? What are considerations in selecting material for digitization?


John Van Oudenaren,
Sr. Advisor for the World Digital Library at the Library of Congress presented the World Digital Library Project (PowerPoint)

Huang Chen, Director of the Digital Library R & D Center, Zhejiang University Libraries, China, presented the Collection and Service of the CADAL Project (PowerPoint)

Bukky O. Omotayo, Deputy University Librarian, K.O. Jagboro, Systems Librarian, Wahab A. Aboyade, Digitization Librarian, Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library, Ile-Ife, Nigeria presented Digitization of Library Collections in Developing Countires: the Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library's Experience (PowerPoint)

Chunzhi, Xie, Vice Director/Assoicate Researcher, Wuhan University Library, China, presented Digitization in China's Academic Libraries: taking the Yangtze River Repository as an Example (PowerPoint)

Krystyna K. Matusiak, Digital Collections Librarian, University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMyagmar Munkhmandakh, Director, Press Institute of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, presented Undertaking a Newspaper Digitization Project in Mongolia (PowerPoint)

Bogdan Trifunovic, Information Manager, Digitization Center, Public Library Cacak, Serbia, presented Digitization Projects among Public Libraries in Serbia: Problems, Obstacles and Success Stories (PowerPoint)


Dr. ShuYong Jiang (Co-Chair, July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016)
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Main Library, Urbana, IL 61801-3607

Work Phone: (217) 244-3669
Fax: (217) 333-2214
Email: shyjiang[

Dr. Muzhgan Israfil Nazarova (Co-Chair, July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016) -

Work Phone: (217) 721-0608


Camille L. Callison (Member, July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016) - Work Phone: (204) 480-1054
University of ManitobaElizabeth Dafoe Library,Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 CANADA


Committee Roster (Full contact information requires log in).