Dear colleagues: I would like to invite you to my IRRT Chair’s Program during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. This program features models of libraries and library workers serving immigrants and refugees. Library and information workers are providing programs and services that build community while enriching and saving lives of immigrants and refugees. At the American Library Associations' International Relations Round Table, we want to be part of these efforts. Hope to see you there! Loida Garcio-Febo, IRRT Chair









IRRT Chair's Program: Libraries Saving Lives: Serving immigrants and refugees

Saturday, June 23, 1 p.m.

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.


Dr. Hannelore Vogt

Dr. Hannelore Vogt, Director of the Cologne Public Library, Germany


Torbjorn Nilsson

Torbjörn Nilsson, Library Director Malmö City Library, Sweden


Sophie Maier

Sophie Maier, Immigrant Services Librarian at the Iroquois Branch, Louisville Free Public Library, Kentucky

I am looking forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

Loida Garcia-Febo

ALA International Relations Round Table Chair

ALA President-Elect


The 2017 recipients of the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects are:

  • Rural Internet Hotspot Lending Programme Welington County Library Canada,
  • Project FryskLab, Europe’s First Mobile Library Leeuwarden, Netherlands, Augustana
  • Human Library, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Loriene Roy, ALA President in 2007-2008, created the ALA Presidential Citation for International Library Projects to promote the most innovative of these projects.