IRRT International Librarians' Pre-Conference Committee

Statement of Role, Purpose, and Function

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

Register today!

2019 IRRT Preconference - Transforming Community Relationships

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 using innovation to address the needs of different communities. Our presenters representing different types of academic institutions nationally and internationally will share their innovative practices and train you to adapt them in your libraries. Moderated by a seasoned internationally-renowned library professional , this preconference will provide you with all the necessary techniques to develop new types of services in your libraries.

Moderator: Donna Scheeder, IFLA Past-President
Presenters: Tolgonay Kozhokanova and Zhuzumkan Askhatbekova, American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan - The maker Movement in Kyrgyzstan’s Libraries: Bringing Elements of STEM Education to Underserved Youth Population; Dr. Katy B. Mathuews, Ohio University and Dr. Daniel Harper, Grover Center, USA - Academic Libraries: Bridging Innovation Across the Curriculum and Into the Community; Peggy Seiden, Swarthmore College, USA - Swarthmore College Partnership.


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

When: Friday, June 21, 2019
Time: 8:00am - 1:00pm
Location: Washington Convention Center, 102B

To register:
Cost: $90 Event Code: IRRT2 Fee includes materials, refreshments, and lunch

To register, you can add this preconference, using code IRR2, with your initial registration, or add it using the unique link in your email registration confirmation. If you don't have your registration confirmation handy, you can request a copy by emailing



2018 IRRT Preconference

“Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses: How libraries are serving immigrant and refugee populations”

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.

Speakers: Adriana Blancarte-Hayward, Outreach Manager, The New York Public Library; Anne Barckow, Bücherhallen Hamburg, Stabsstelle Interkulturelle Dienste / Zentralbibliothek; Britta Schmedemann, Expert on Target Audience, Bremen Public Library; Eva Raison, Coordinator of Immigrant Services, Brooklyn Public Library; Adan Griego, Curator Latin American Studies, Stanford University; Helen Chou, Senior Manager of International Services, Houston Public Library; Madeline Peña Feliz, Senior Librarian, Digital Content Team, Los Angeles Public Library; Natalia Taylor Bowdin, Library Collections Coordinator/Associate Professor/ Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Program Coordinator, University of South Carolina - Aiken; Nicanor Diaz, Immigrant Services Manager, Denver Public Library; Oralia Garza de Cortes, REFORMA Children in Crisis Task Force Co-Chair/ Independent Consultant, Latino Children's Access to Books and Libraries; Sonia Bautista, Senior Librarian, City of Commerce Public Library; Patrick Sullivan, Emeritus Librarian, San Diego State University, REFORMA Children in Crisis Task Force Co-Chair; Silke Taubert-Vikuk, German Library Association.



2017 IRRT Preconference

Supporting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals with International Open Access Initiatives:

Are you interested in supporting the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?  As librarians, we are already invested in education, social justice, and information access issues.  In this pre-conference we’ll be looking at the intersection between the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ways that Open Access (OA) efforts can be used to further those goals.  We’ll hear from experts in both fields about where the SDG and OA movements stand and engage with a panel who are already implementing OA plans in the name of greater accessibility for all.  There will also be time to exchange our own ideas and experiences related to OA and the SDGs.
Session attendees will leave with:
1.     A greater understanding of the SDGs and OA as they currently stand,
2.     Some examples of how OA is being implemented and leveraged around the globe,
3.     Hands-on experience designing or working on OA/SDG projects, and
4.     New resources, contacts, and possible collaborators for such a project in the future.

2016 Pre-conference

Internationalizing Your Library: Strategies for All Types of Librarians: Public/School/Academic/National/Government

Description: Calls for internationalizing libraries are increasing in the library world, and among all types of libraries—public, school, academic, and government-national.  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; it can mean increasing foreign partnership collections in a government/national library; and much, much more.  This preconferencel featured specialists from all 4 library types (public/school/academic/government-national), providing strategies for internationalizing.   Participants gathered in subgroups of the 4 library types to hear their own specialists, ensuring getting the most relevant (tailored) information.


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
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.


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?

Speakers: 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. Gloria Faith Creed-Dikeogu (Chair, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020) 
Ottawa University
1001 S Cedar St
Ottawa University, Myers Library
Ottawa, KS 66067-3399 
Work phone: (785) 248-2536
Email: gloria.creeddikeogu[@]

Dr. Barbara Marson ( Chair, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020)
East Carolina University
East Carolina University
Dept. Of Library Science, Mail Stop 172
Greenville, NC 2785

Work Phone: (252) 328-2347
Fax: (252) 328-4368

Email: marsonb[@]


Juan Guillermo Garcia (Member, July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019
University of North Texa Science & Technology Library
Denton, TX 76203-5190

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020) 
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801-3607

Elizabeth L. Soergel (Member, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019) 
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-0001
Margaret Spires(Member, July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019)
Utica College
Utica, NY 13502

Anaylvia Torres (Member, July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019
University of North Texa Science & Technology Library
Denton, TX 76203-5190 

Delin R. Guerra (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2020) - dguerra[@]
Work Phone: 312-280-3201
Fax: 312-280-4392
American Library Association
50 E Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611-2788 


Committee Roster (Full contact information requires log in).