IRRT Chair's Program Committee


Jeremiah Paschke-Wood (Co-Chair, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019)
Ms. Christina Riehman-Murphy (Co-Chair, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020)
Mr. Ignacio Matias Albarracin (Member, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019)
Leah K. Howd (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019)
Ms. Laurie Kutner (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020)
Ms. Mary Kathryn Oberlies (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020)
Ms. Christina Rodriques (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020)
John C. Sandstrom (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020)
Delin Guerra (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2020)

Displaying active committee roster as of 06/25/2019. Last retrieved on 06/25/2019. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

Chair's Program information


Theme:  "International Relations Round Table Chair's Program: Serving communities: Locally and Globally"

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.



Theme:  "Libraries Saving Lives: Serving immigrants and refugees."

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.



Description:  In 2015, 150 world leaders, with support from the United Nations Development Programme, adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to fight against injustice, poverty, inequality, and climate change. This program will address how we, as librarians and libraries, can take action to better the lives of all people and protect our planet. Presenters will be part of a panel that will describe and discuss topics such as 1.   How individuals, libraries, or library associations are providing programming and education to advance peace and justice, alleviate poverty and hunger, reduce inequality, increase women’s rights and political participation, or protect the environment, 2. How individuals, libraries, or library associations are working with their governments, communities, and/or partners to advance peace and justice, alleviate poverty and hunger, reduce inequality, increase women’s rights and political participation, or protect the environment.


Best Practices of Internationalizing Libraries: Public, School, & Academic 

Description: Calls for internationalizing libraries are increasing in the library world, and among all types of libraries—public, school, and academic.  But what does it mean to “internationalize?”  It can take many forms.  It can mean providing other-language materials or ESL/citizenship classes in a public library; it can mean adding literature from other lands in a school library; it can mean offering outreach and instruction to international students in an academic library; and much, much more.  This program will feature a showcase of “best practices” examples—in school, public, and academic libraries—of internationalizing efforts.Best Practices of Internationalizing Libraries: Public, School, & Academic


Library Leadership Initiatives: Stories from the World

The Chair’s Program shared the following:

1.      how individuals, country associations, or international library organizations present, plan, and train for library leadership roles and/or succession planning, or

2.      how international conferences or associations promote individual leadership skills of increasing internationalization.



Expanding the School Library: connecting students with students, across international boundaries, using modern technology - IRRT Chair's Program

Description: Speakers will address what school libraries are doing or can do to reach students from other countries with the use of modern technology.


With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Description: Asi Burak, Co-President Games for Change, addressed the Annual Conference on Monday, July 1st.  Sponsored by the IRRT, his talk focused on the power of video games as a maturing medium and a largely untapped tool "for good".  Asi  made an impassioned case for using games for social impact and learning, with an overview of the latest
trends and core challenges.  He  shared some case studies and success stories including his unique entry to the
field, leading the team behind the award-winning game "PeaceMaker" around the Middle-East Conflict. 

Attendees learned about the field at large and how Games for Change is leading the future of this movement, including showcasing games in public spaces, museums and libraries.  On February 17, 2013 the New York Times published an article about Games for Change's latest game "Half the Sky Movement: The Game," available on Facebook and inspired by the book and PBS television program.


Mātauranga Māori in New Zealand Libraries: A presentation and workshop on Maori knowledge in New Zealand libraries-

Description: Treaty of Waitangi settlements are enabling iwi/hapu (tribal) entities to build repositories to house their own taonga (treasures) and mātauranga (knowledge) which can affect mainstream libraries throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand) , as iwi contemplate repatriation of their iwi/hapu taonga. Te Ropu Whakahau (Māori in Libraries and Information Management) has developed a one-day workshop, Mātauranga Māori in New Zealand Libraries. This workshop provides a professional development opportunity for non-Māori librarians, on how to work with iwi/hapu through true partnership, by acknowledging the importance of Matauranga Māori values and practices.



Theme: Resources: Funding, Gathering, and Digitizing and Providing Access to Cultural Heritage

Description: Gathering and digitizing cultural heritage easily accessible, with emphasis on materials and about developing countries.


Professional Development Around the World: Meeting the Challenge of Rapid Change in the Digital Environment

Description:An international panel addressed challenges and successes in providing professional development to librarians as they transition through the profession from the beginning to the middle and later in their careers, with an emphasis on technology.



Theme: International Library Partnerships: Walking Side by Side

Description:This session focused on strategies for developing successful and sustainable international partnerships. Partnerships can be wonderful vehicles to develop joint activities with other institutions, they also require a lot of work to establish and maintain. Michele Pierre-Louis, executive director of the Foundation Connaissance et Liberte (FOKAL) in Haiti, talked about her organization’s experience with international partnerships. U.S. speakers discussed their partnerships with libraries in Bulgaria, China, and South Africa.



Get Involved

The IRRT Chair-Elect will be appointing members in to IRRT committees listed below. All IRRT members are encouraged to apply. If you are interested in volunteering to serve on a committee please go to the Committee Volunteer Form (you will need your ALA login). For membership questions or having problems login in, please call the ALA Customer Service Office 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5) for more information.

Staff Liaison

Delin Guerra, Program Officer, International Relations Office, inside U.S inside U.S. (800) 545-2433, ext. 3201, outside U.S. 312-280-3201, Fax: (312) 280-4392,