For immediate release | June 13, 2012

EMIERT celebrates 35 years of promoting ethnic diversity in libraries and the profession

CHICAGO — The ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) will mark 35 years of service as the Association’s source of information on recommended ethnic collections, services and programs with three sessions during ALA’s 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

The celebration will begin with “Community Voices: Preserving the History and Culture of our Communities,” from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 23 in room 201A of the Anaheim Convention Center (ACC). During this session, subtitled “Step Back Into the Future – New Technology Brings History to Your Smartphone,” panelists will discuss “GeoStoryteller,” a mobile app developed for the Goethe Institut’s “German Traces” program by the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science. This innovative app guides users as they go on a smartphone-guided tour of New York City, recapturing the early days of immigration to America’s largest city using podcasts, slideshows, and augmented reality.

From 1:30 - 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, June 24 in room ACC205A, “Cultural Programming: How to Achieve Meaningful Dialogue at Your Library,” will explore ways to enhance library cultural programming and feature an expert-led discussion on engaging patrons in fruitful cultural exchanges beneficial to the library and the community. Immediately following the session at 2:45, present and past EMIERT members are invited to attend a tribute to founder David Cohen along with sharing past stories about EMIERT. Those interested in participating in the tribute are asked to contact Linda Teel at

The third program, “Virtual Faiths: Cooperative Digitization Projects” will be held from 8 - 10 a.m. on Monday, June 25 in room ACC207A. This session will highlight several examples of cooperative digitization and digital library projects drawn from interdisciplinary and historical records related to a particular denomination or faith that help researchers delve into contemporary questions of church and state boundaries, as well as the history of the development of local communities, regions and nations. This program will feature several projects underway related to Methodism, Judaism and Catholicism, and is sponsored by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), the American Theological Library Association (ATLA),the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), Catholic Library Association (CLA) and EMIERT's Jewish Information Committee.

All three programs are free to all Annual Conference attendees. To learn more, please visit

The Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) serves as a source of information on recommended ethnic collections, services, and programs. It organizes task forces, institutes, and workshops, and develops forums and symposia programs for ALA Annual Conferences that deal with the key issues of ethnicity and librarianship. EMIERT cooperates with other ALA units, including the ethnic caucuses, in joint projects for the betterment of outreach services.


John Amundsen

Communications Specialist

Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS)

800-545-2433 ext.2140