IRRT Chair's Program Committee

Statement of Role, Purpose, and Function

Develops and hosts program at annual conference for IRRT members and librarians interested in international librarianship.


Call for Proposals (CFP) for Presentation at the ALA IRRT Chair's Program

The American Library Association (ALA) International Relations Round Table (IRRT) Chair's Program Committee invites proposals for participation in a panel presentation that will take place at the annual ALA conference in Washington, DC. The panel presentation will be featured in the IRRT Chair's Program session.

Each year, the IRRT Chair's Program features speakers presenting on a specific theme related to international relations and the library. This year, the theme for the IRRT Chair's Program is: Serving communities: Locally and Globally

As librarians and information professionals we assist our patrons with the discovery, creation, transmission, and application of 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.

The Chair's Program Committee seeks proposals from speakers who will be part of a panel that will describe and share the following:

Panelist's presentations will be connected by the outreach and innovative programs which meet the unique needs of their community, be it local, national, or global.

Examples of topics (presentations are NOT limited to these topics; creativity is welcomed and encouraged):

  • Providing programming or services promoting gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls
  • Providing programming or services that encourage political participation from historically underrepresented groups
  • Providing programming or services that support a better quality of life for immigrants, migrants and refugees
  • Fighting poverty and hunger, allowing all to live with dignity
  • Promoting policies or practices that support sustainable long-term management of natural resources on land or water
  • Creating partnerships, programming or services that promote education, literacy, basic human rights and quality of life
  • Providing programming and services, or promoting policies and practices, to those within the justice system. For example, promoting government transparency and accountability, including the reduction of corruption, violence in society, and the
  • enforcement of laws.
  • International librarians, library administrators, and library partners are especially encouraged to submit proposals.

Presentation Format:
Each panel presentation will be between 15-20 minutes. Applicants are encouraged to consider creative and effective presentations to connect attendees with the topic.

All proposals must be submitted by January 18, 2019, for priority consideration. Send submissions via email to Jeremiah Paschke-Wood and Christina Riehman-Murphy, Chairs.

Submission Guidelines
Proposals should include:

  1. Title of the presentation
  2. A 150- to 250-word biography of the presenters/panelists
  3. Name, title, institutional affiliation, and full contact information of the presenters/panelists
  4. An abstract of 300-500 words, describing the focus of the presentation, on a separate sheet that does not include the name and affiliation of the presenter or presenters




 "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.



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.





International Program Form (PDF)
Please complete this form if you are planning any international programs at an upcoming annual conference.


Jeremiah Paschke-Wood (Co-Chair, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019) 
University of Arizona Libraries
1510 E University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85721 
Email:  jeremiahpaschkewood[@]
Christina Riehman-Murphy (Chair, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020) 
Work Phone: (215) 881-7911
Penn State University
1600 Woodland Rd
Penn State Abington Library
Abington, PA 19001-3918
Email: cer20[@]


Mr. Ignacio Matias Albarracin (Member, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019) 
San Antonio Public Library
San Antonio, TX 78205 

Leah K. Howd (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV 89119 

Laurie Kutner  (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020)
University of Vermont Information and Instruction Services Department
Burlington, VT 05405-1739 

Mary Kathryn Oberlies (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020) 
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403

Christina Rodriques (Member, July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020
Dublin, OH

John C. Sandstrom (Member, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020)
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8006

Delin R. Guerra (Staff Liaison) - 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).




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