IRRT Past Webinars

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(Links to recordings will be added as they become available.)

Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) libraries consortium: a pioneering journey in cooperative acquisitions and knowledge sharing

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 25, 2023

RECORDING available (188 MB)

Description: Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) are Central government-funded Business Schools under the Ministry of Education, Government of India. The first IIM was established in 1961 at Ahmedabad in Gujarat, followed by Calcutta in West Bengal. By 2000, there were about six in the different states of India. Currently, there are twenty-one IIMs in twenty-one states of India, and are autonomous under a 2017 Act of Parliament whch designates them as institutions of national importance. In 2001, the IIMs libraries formed a consortium through a memorandum of understanding, empowering them to review and coordinate collective resource acquisitions and subscriptions in Business and Management.

This webinar aims to discuss the growth of resources within the IIM libraries over time and the expansion of its activities beyond acquisitions. Over the last seven years, we have shared best practices and policies of collection development, developed a Union catalog of print holdings to facilitate interlibrary loans, crafted a uniform license agreement for the acquisition of digital content, introduced alumni services; and, developed procedures for compliance of financial audits and analysis of usage statistics of resources. At the 2023 annual meeting, we developed a roadmap to strengthen the consortium under the ”one nation, one subscription model” to further our mission in a larger conglomerate of consortia efforts at a national and a topical level undertaken by the University Grants Commission and Ministry of Higher education.

Speakers: K. Rama Patnaik is the Head Librarian at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Karnataka, India since 2008. She holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India. Her doctoral theses jointly adjudicated with the University of Michigan was commended as an excellent work. She received the Gold Medals for securing the top rank in both the Bachelor's and Master's Degree in LIS. Other awards she has received include the Emerals Research Fund (Indian LIS Category, 2012) and Best Business Librarian 2018 awarded by MANLIBNET, the Management Libraries Network. She has many publications to her credit and has presented at numerous professional events. Two major projects she has completed lately include renovating the interior of the iconic library building and developing the Union Catalogue project of IIM libraries holdings.

Secret International Library Networks No One Has Told You About

Date recorded: Thursday, June 8, 2023

Recording available (575 MB)

Description: You all know about IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations), and if you’re a school librarian, you may have heard of IASL (the International Association of School Librarianship), but what about the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI)? Or the various networks of international school librarians, living as expatriates and organizing professional development for each other, as well as promoting truly diverse literature in English and engaging with local libraries within their country of residence?

Speakers: Karen Van Drie ( is a USA expatriate all-school librarian in Yangon, Myanmar, having previously lived in Prague and Istanbul; Katie Day ( is an international school teacher-librarian who has been living overseas for almost 40 years, including the UK, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore.

Changes and Challenges in Libraries in Latin America

Recording Available (656MB)

Recorded on May 19, 2023

Description: Join us for a look at libraries in Latin America, with a special focus on South America. Three librarians will talk about trends, changes and challenges faced by libraries in Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela. From creating modern library spaces, to providing access to digital tools and MakerSpaces, libraries in Latin America are adapting U.S. library trends to their unique clientele and creating their own successful library models. This webinar is intended to give the participant a better understanding of libraries in Latin America, and there will be plenty of time to ask questions of the presenters.

Moderator: Carol Brey, Director, Quality of Life Department, City of Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA.


  • Francisco Javier Bolaños has more than 15 years of experience in management and planning in libraries and cultural institutions in the public and private sectors. Email:
  • Pedro Lutz, Director of Inter-institutional Projects and Libraries, Centro Colombo Americano, Bogota, Colombia. Email:
  • Jesús Amado, Cultural Director, Centro Venezolano Americano del Zulia (CEVAZ), "Luis Guillermo Pineda" Library, Maracaibo, Venezuela. Email:

Sister Libraries Chat

Recorded on February 17, 2023

Recording available (720 MB)

Description: Join librarians from around the world for an informal chat about Sister Libraries programming and partnerships. Participants will be able to share their own experiences, ask questions, and connect with other librarians.


Olga Casey, Technical Services Librarian at Troy University Library. Janet Lee, Dean Emerita, Regis University (Denver, CO); Deborah J. Margolis is Middle East Studies Librarian at Michigan State University Libraries (MSUL; Tamara Pianos is the head of information provision and access at the ZBW in Kiel; Jeffrey Rosenberg, currently with the Miami-Dade Public Library System.


Diana Price, Central Library Manager, Alexandria Library in Alexandria, Virginia; Cornelia Thoma, Secondary School Librarian,International School of Boston.

Engaging in LIS Practice: Impact of COVID-19 on Research, Teaching, and Mentorship

(Recorded on December 7, 2022)

Recording available (771 MB)

Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced libraries and institutions of higher education to adapt and shift to remote setups, mainly teaching and guiding students in their academic courses and research projects. These adjustments have not been easy for everyone, primarily because this global health crisis has caused tremendous stress, fear, and social exclusion to faculty and students. The webinar centers on the experiences of three LIS educators from different countries/locations as they deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their research, teaching, and mentorship. Despite the barriers and challenges of the pandemic, the panelists will share how they collaborated and maximized the situation in rethinking their approaches to support faculty members, students, and library practitioners in developing robust and relevant research plans and projects from different parts of the Philippines.

Presenters: Iyra Buenrostro-Cabbab, Associate Professor, UP School of Library & Information Studies, Philippines; Michael Olsson, Visiting Professor, UP School of Library & Information Studies, Philippines; Danilo M. Baylen (Professor, University of West Georgia, USA).

Use of reflective practice as a tool for storytelling and demonstrating impact through the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

(Recorded on October 12, 2022)

Recording available (590 MB)

Description: This webinar focuses on how reflective practice is used in evaluating Library services using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a global framework. The presentation reports on reflective practice as a core component of evidence-based practice in the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) Library. Examples of our use of reflective practice are discussed. This includes UniSQ Library’s approach to storytelling around the SDGs, an approach used to reflect on and highlight the impact libraries can have in their local communities within a global framework.

Presenters: Carmel O’Sullivan, University Librarian, University of Southern Queensland. Emilia Bell, Coordinator (Evidence Based Practice, at University of Southern Queensland Library.

Perspectives on International Digital Scholarship Collaborations During a Global Pandemic

(Recorded on June 1, 2022)

Recording available (518 MB)

PRESENTATION 1: Preserving International Relationships & Items in a Time of Covid

Dr. J. Matthew Huculak, Head of Advanced Research Services & Digital Scholarship, University of Victoria Libraries

The Narrative Art Project pairs together Holocaust Survivors and graphic artists from across the world in order to co-create a graphic novel that provides witness to the Survivors' experiences. Addressed the promises and challenges of working on this international project, including issues of building capacity, digitization, working remotely, and training stakeholders in best practices for preservation and access.

PRESENTATION 2: International Collaboration in Interesting Times: Salzburg, Skype, and Stefan Zweig, Amanda M. Shepp, MLS, Coordinator of Special Collections & Archives, Daniel A. Reed Library, The State University of New York at Fredonia

This presentation focused on the agreement between the Zweig Digital project team from the Salzburg Literature Archive and the Special Collections & Archives Division of SUNY Fredonia’s Daniel A. Reed Library to collaborate on a massive 40-year update to the arrangement, description, and finding aid of Fredonia’s renowned Stefan Zweig Collection, along with its complete digitization.

El Tirijala” - The Back and Forth of the Recovery in Puerto Rico: Challenges of the local perseverance and the federal collaboration for the preservation of the island’s cultural heritage. ("El Tirijala de la Recuperación en Puerto Rico: Retos en la perseverancia criolla y colaboración federal para salvaguardar el acervo cultural de la isla")

( Recorded on May 27, 2022)

RECORDING Available (376 MB)

Description: This webinar will present a frank picture of the status of the recovery in Puerto Rico, after almost 5 years after the passing of hurricane Maria and the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will learn about the challenges and delays that were experienced with the federal response. The presentation will reveal more about the local perseverance and achievements in recent years, as well as what future initiatives are in development. The discussion will take place amongst members that represent different aspects of the recovery: local heritage emergency responders, Puerto Rico’s libraries and archives, federal heritage response, and Puerto Rican preservation professionals living in the diaspora.

Speakers: Miriam Centeno, Preservation and Digitization Strategist, The Ohio State University Libraries; Soraya Serra Collazo, Presidenta, Junta de Directores (President, Board of Directors), Alianza Cultural para Emergencias de Puerto Rico; Hilda Teresa Ayala-González, Archivera General, Archivo General de Puerto Rico, Directora Interina, Biblioteca Nacional de Puerto Rico, Gretchen Ruiz Ramos, Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) Liaison, Environmental and Historic Preservation, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Moderated by: Laila Hussein Moustafa, Associate professor- University of Illinois at UC

Navigating International Conference Opportunities: advancing your career with tips, personal experiences, and global collaborations

(Recorded on Thursday, May 12, 2022)

RECORDING Available (1.81 GB)

Description: Do you want to learn about opportunities to advance your career by networking with international professionals? After a special introduction by Jim Neal, current IRRT Chair, Loida Garcia-Febo, Mark Mattson, and Gina de Alwis will share different paths to expand careers with international platforms. The presenters will share tips on finding and connecting with professionals outside your home country. Through the panelists personal experiences discover the benefits and opportunities in international conference attendance and collaborations.


Loida Garcia-Febo is a Puerto Rican American librarian and International Library Consultant with 24 years of experience expert in library services to diverse populations and human rights. President of the American Library Association 2018-2019.

Mark Mattson is Head of Global Engagement Initiatives and International Partnerships Librarian at the Penn State University Libraries.

Gina de Alwis Jayasuriya counts over four decades experience in academic and special libraries and was Head of the Singapore Institute of Management library for 27 years.

Moderator: Jim Neal is University Librarian Emeritus at Columbia University and currently serves as the Chair on ALA’s International Relations Round Table.

International Librarians Networking Program (ILNP) Inaugural Webinar

(Recorded on March 1, 2022)

Description: Organized by the IRRT’s International Librarians Networking Program (ILNP), this webinar for the participants of 2022 ILNP program will provide information about the program, a description of the final project, and introduce participants to the liaisons who will be working with them throughout the program.

Speakers: Muzhgan Nazarova and Erica Saito, ILNP subcommittee co-chairs; Mark Mattson; April Moyo,Yongming Wang, Jessica O’Neil, ILNP liaisons

RECORDING Available (393 MB)

Resources mentioned during webinar:

Gigabit Libraries International Workshop

(Recorded on January 19, 2022)

Description: A follow-up interactive, hands-on session to the “Gigabit Libraries and Beyond: Improving Broadband Access Worldwide” Webinar, held on October 19, 2021, for participants to virtually “workshop” possible approaches to localizing the toolkit for communities across the globe. Participants will engage in interactive activities including creating a network diagram, a demonstration of a WiFi stumbler, and break into groups to discuss strategies to localize the toolkit across the globe.

To prepare for the workshop, please watch the short explanatory video at, if you have not attended the October 19th webinar or watched the webinar recording.

Facilitators: Stephanie Stenberg, Director, Internet2 Community Anchor Program and Carson Block, Library Technology Consultant, Carson Block Consulting, Inc.

Sponsored by: International Sustainable Library Development (ISLD) Interest Group of the ALA International Relations Round Table, Mortenson Center of International Library Programs, and Gigabit Libraries.

RECORDING available (897 MB)

WEBINAR handouts:

Virtual International Connections: The Global Librarian Exchange Program

(Recorded on November 22, 2021)

Description: The Global Librarian Exchange Program, a Michigan State University Libraries microgrant initiative, is a virtual symposium which promotes professional exchange between academic librarians from abroad or from underrepresented communities and MSU librarians or staff. The goal of the GLEP is to enhance the exchange of ideas, expertise, and skills among librarians internationally and between communities, through mutual dialogue by a series of presentations and conversations.

Join us to learn about the benefits and challenges of the first iteration of the program, which was set to be in person, but had to be quickly redesigned to a virtual environment due to COVID-19 and was held from January-June 2021. This presentation will discuss the conceptualization of GLEP through the planning and implementation process, including recruitment and liaising with international colleagues, designing, and executing a speaker series with topics germane to global librarianship, while traversing international time zones and academic calendars, and will conclude with plans for future iterations of the program.

Presenters: Andrea McMillan, Chicanx and Latinx Studies Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries; Erik Ponder, African and US Ethnic Studies Librarian, Michigan State University.

RECORDING available (763 MB)

Gigabit Libraries and Beyond: Improving Broadband Access Worldwide

(Recorded on October 19, 2021)

RECORDING available (668 MB)

Description: Libraries worldwide are a key resource in supporting and providing broadband access to their communities, which continue to experience inequitable access to the internet and information and communication technologies (ICTs). The Toward Gigabit Libraries toolkit is a free, self-service guide created to help libraries understand and improve their IT capacities and broadband resources. Join this webinar that will first introduce internet access globally and the role of libraries in providing internet access, followed by an interactive discussion on IT and broadband challenges your libraries face and learn about how the toolkit can help libraries beyond the US, understand and address them. While the toolkit was originally created for United States libraries, this session will focus on areas that can be applied and adapted to an international audience. Participants are encouraged to describe their technology challenges and work with the facilitators and other attendees to seek solutions.

A follow-up interactive, hands-on session is scheduled on January 19, 2022; 8-10 am CT for participants to virtually “workshop” possible approaches to localizing the toolkit for communities across the globe.


Sponsored by: International Sustainable Library Development (ISLD) Interest Group of the ALA International Relations Round Table, Mortenson Center of International Library Programs, and Gigabit Libraries.

Truth and Reconciliation: Decolonizing Approaches Within Social Memory institutions

(Recorded on October 13, 2021)


Description: In this session, Ry Moran will discuss foundational principles of decolonization and how they relate to the broad work of Truth and Reconciliation underway across Canada and beyond. The presentation will take into consideration multiple pasts, presents and futures enmeshed in this work and will explore how human rights-based frameworks provide a path forward.

Speaker: Ry Moran is Canada’s inaugural Associate University Librarian – Reconciliation at the University of Victoria. Ry’s role within UVic Libraries’ focuses on building and sustaining relationships to introduce Indigenous approaches and knowledge into the daily work of the Libraries and more broadly across the campus community. In so doing, Ry plays an active role in advancing UVic’s strategic goal of being a globally recognized leader in areas of reconciliation. Ry is a member of the IFLA Advisory Committee on Cultural Heritage (2021-2023).

Webinar Series 3: Opening a digital door to our campus users and libraries’ community during global COVID-19 epidemiology outbreak.

(Recorded on August 6, 2021)

(two presentations)

Description: The sudden global epidemiology outbreak in early spring 2019 has challenged academic libraries’ Access and Resource Sharing (ARS) department and prevented staff from providing the types of essential services that our users expect and require. With the full closure of campuses and all courses moving to online within a week, ARS staff were put in the front lines of finding ways to continue providing patrons with access to library physical collections while library buildings were closed nationwide. Academic libraries around the world are facing difficult decisions regarding services to offer in order to continue to provide resource access to their communities during these challenging times.

This presentation will share with you how a large research university library’s Access and Resource Sharing department responded and adapted to these rapid changes, acted creatively, reinvented services, and opened a digital door to increase service capacity to support online teaching and learning. We found ways to maintain a high level of service while ensuring that the safety of library staff was always paramount.

This presentation will highlight initiatives we developed and implemented, including creating a virtual circulation desk through controlled digital lending (CDL) for print course reserves, an on-demand book digitization program, and a new door side pickup service. The presentation will discuss the emerging technology that were developed and have continued to evolve during the pandemic and demonstrate an in house developed cost free CDL platform, workflow and procedure. We remain our professional commitment to provide materials and high level of services.

Speaker: Xuan (Lily) Pang, University of Florida, Director of Access and Resource Sharing

2) Build Your Own Digital Collections

The University of South Florida Libraries curates a rich digital collection covering a large variety of content, in a wide range of formats. The collections enjoy topics on underrepresented minorities, environmental history, local history and more. The formats vary from the traditional text and image to the emerging 3D digital object. These collections also present copyright and intellectual property issues as they come from various sources. Collections created in partnership with researchers may have an Open Access license applied to them while digital materials created from Special Collections materials may be at a variety of rights statuses and have access stipulations in the original donation paperwork. With such an outstanding and varied collection, the library is eager to reach the widest audience by using the most effective data aggregators. To achieve that goal, the library is experimenting with linked data technology implementation. The experiments include attempts to insert Unique Resource identifiers to the existing metadata, create a scalable mechanism to crosswalk data from current metadata schema to RDF XML, and more. This presentation will share the practices and experiments the University of South Florida Libraries have taken to build and enrich their digital collections in terms of both content and technology. The authors will discuss the following topics: developing a metadata schema designed to fit more diverse cultural heritage collections; exploring intellectual property issues and addressing solutions; and experimenting with linked data technology implementation.

In view of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, this presentation aims to showcase how to build a digital library that bridging the cultural and technology gaps.

Speaker: Xiying Mi, Bonita Pollock, LeEtta Schmidt, University of South Florida Libraries.

Webinar Series 2: Insta-Library: Connecting to Youth Through Instagram during COVID Times

(Recorded on July 26, 2021)

Description: In March 2020, New York City became the nation’s epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis and shut down to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The 88 neighborhood branches and 4 research centers of the New York Public Library (NYPL) were some of the many places to physically close.

Prior to the pandemic, connecting with our young patrons beyond our physical spaces was integral to our work but it became apparent how vital these digital channels were when they became the sole way to connect with our community. As NYPL staff quickly transitioned to working from home, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL) Teen Center team had the opportunity to create content for the @nyplteens Instagram page. As the targeted audiences are NYC teens and educators, the team established a more casual tone to separate us from the flagship account.

Over the past year, the Young Adult staff created posts highlighting NYPL service updates, critical city-wide COVID-19 information, community resources addressing food insecurity, and digital resources to assist with online learning. In response to the stress caused by social distancing, we created short-form content on “Adulting'' and coping and fostered connection by going Live with community-based organizations. To encourage youth to get involved, we disseminated information on civic opportunities and voting to support first-time youth voters. Recognizing that today’s young people consider themselves more socially aware, we responded directly to the hyper-focus on racial inequalities and supported social justice by posting content that amplified Black authors and Black history.

With a full team behind the social media account, there was a marked growth in engagement and audience. Attendees to this presentation will learn user-friendly tools for content creation, methods for collaborative content, organizational techniques for schedule-keeping, and best practices for both reactionary and proactive responses.

Donna Scheeder, Moderator

Speakers: The New York Public Library - Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, Teen Center; Genee Bright, Senior Librarian, Susen Shi, Senior Librarian, Ricci Yuhico, Managing Librarian –

Young Adult Education Programming; Caitlyn Colman-McGaw, Manager, Young Adult Programs.

RECORDING available (331 MB)

Webinar series 1. Libraries Adapting to the COVID World: The Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Library Practice

(Recorded on July 22, 2021)


1) Libraries Adapting to the COVID World: The Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Library Practice

Description: The Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Library provides fire and emergency library and information assistance and services to the Institute's instructional staff, students, Illinois fire departments and firefighters, and other fire/emergency-related users in the successful and effective performance of their jobs. In response to the COVID pandemic, the IFSI Librarians have developed new services and resources to continue to serve patrons, including assisting patrons with information and research requests, creating new e-resources (online subject guides, useful links), and updating Library social media account and webpage with library service and resources.The library held online academic activities via Zoom for a variety of workshops, lectures, and discussions to ensure that the visiting scholars at IFSI are able to receive enough resources to continue their study and research, with topics including research data services, scholarly writing, rare books, and manuscripts, etc. By the end of October, all visiting scholars returned to China safely. The scholars who returned to China also participated in online activities actively with other scholars.

Speakers: Lian Ruan, Head Librarian, Illinois Fire Service Institute Library; David Ehrenhart, Assistant Director for Library Operations, Illinois Fire Service Institute Library; Diane Richardson, Reference and User Training Librarian, Illinois Fire Service Institute Library; Shuyi Liu, International Outreach Services Librarian, Illinois Fire Service Institute Library.

2) Thriving or Just Surviving?: A Multifaceted Look into Libraries during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Description: More than a year later, the COVID-19 pandemic continuously brought havoc to organizations worldwide. Though the pandemic is a highly pressing health concern, it undoubtedly disrupted all aspects of the human population, particularly the education sector. In fact, it was reported that over 160 countries have closed schools which affected 87% of the student population globally (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 2021). The global closure of schools highly correlates to the suspension of library operations. Crisis response and varying forms of measures have been implemented by libraries to unceasingly serve their communities.

The purpose of this paper is to explore how libraries are holding up during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically the new normal protocols that they have carried out. This research is the second installment of the study by Flores and Tansiongco This research is the second installment of the study by Flores and Tansiongco (2021) of which they highlighted the academic and special libraries in the Philippines and some parts of the world. In this paper, school and public libraries in the Philippines are accentuated along with the salient findings of the previous research to come up with a multifaceted vista as to how all libraries are generally doing to either survive or thrive the debilitating effects of the pandemic. This research will be beneficial to the library and information science community worldwide as they will be able to get a grasp of new insights and possible measures which they can adapt to their respective library settings.

Speakers: Kevin Conrad Tansiongco, Electronic Information Solutions Inc., Makati, Philippines; Roana Marie Flores, De La Salle University Libraries, Manila, Philippines.

RECORDING available (348 MB)

Webinar 3: Linked Data and Discovery: An Online Discussion

Date/Time: June 18, 2021

Description: This series of 3 webinars from ALA International Relations Round Table (IRRT) Webinar Committee and the Mission Enhancement Project support Croatian Library Association’s interests in linked data projects and work. This presentation will focus on linked data and discovery.

Recording available (401 MB)

Speakers: Huda Khan works in software development at Cornell University; Astrid Usong, User Experience Designer, Digital Library Systems and Services at Stanford Libraries.

ALA Task Force on United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: libraries contributing to meet the SDGs

Date and Time: June 17, 2021

Description: Join us for a webinar featuring the work of the ALA Task Force on the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals which is an initiative from ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. Task Force members will bring examples about how academic, public, and school libraries can help communities move closer to development with information and actions. The event features many examples of how libraries are already doing this and other creative activities for all types of libraries!


-ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

-ALA Task Force on the UN 2030 SDGs, Chair Loida Garcia-Febo

-ALA Task Force on the UN 2030 SDGs, Member Robin Kear

-ALA Task Force on the UN 2030 SDGs, Member Daniela Skokovic

-IFLA Manager, Policy and Advocacy, Stephen Wyber

Recording now available - (482 MB)

Webinar 2: Linked Data and Ethics: An Online Discussion

Date/Time: June 17

Description: This series of 3 webinars from ALA International Relations Round Table (IRRT) Webinar Committee and the Mission Enhancement Project support Croatian Library Association’s interests in linked data projects and work. This webinar will focus on linked data and ethics.

Recording available (727 MB)

Speakers: Brian (Bri) Watson (@brimwats), PhD. student at the iSchool at the University of British Columbia and the Director of; Devon Murphy (they/them), metadata and digital collections professional, TARO Metadata Analyst at the University of Texas at Austin.

Webinar 1: Linked Data and Rare Materials: An Online Discussion

Date/Time: June 10

Description: This series of 3 webinars from ALA International Relations Round Table (IRRT) Webinar Committee and the Mission Enhancement Project support Croatian Library Association’s interests in linked data projects and work. This webinar will focus on linked data and rare materials and special collections.

Speakers: Paloma Graciani-Picardo, Metadata Librarian, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; Tim Thompson, Librarian for Applied Metadata Research at Yale University Library;

RECORDING available.


  • Linked Data and Rare Materials: An Online Discussion - Paloma Graciani Picardo (PDF format)
  • Making Rare Easier to Find? Linked Data for Special Collections - Timothy A. Thompson, Librarian for Applied Metadata Research

Out of the Ashes, Beyond Buildings and Books: Rebuilding of the Reading Room at the Lubuto Model Library in Lusaka, Zambia

Date: May 27, 2021

Description: A fire on April 11th, destroyed the Reading Room, which houses the book collection at Lubuto Library Partners’ Model Library in Lusaka, Zambia. Despite the library closure because of the pandemic, the Reading Room remained a beacon of hope for children who visited to access an extensive collection of books and programs. Therefore, the children and the community the library serves are devastated by the loss, a tangible and touching sign of the important role that the library plays in their lives. Many of Lubuto’s supporters have asked how they can help.

Join us to learn more about the assistance the library is receiving to rebuild and expand the physical infrastructure, and the organization’s ongoing need for support to strengthen the human resources that will revive and sustain the library services that are so sorely missed by the children – beyond the buildings and books.

Recording available (379 MB)

Librarians supporting universal broadband to continue providing essential services to communities everywhere

14 December 2020

IFLA has championed the UN's Sustainable Development Goals for a long time. The Internet Governance Forum has called attention to the Internet as a vehicle for human resilience and solidarity. They have stated that inclusion achieved by access to the Internet is a key contributor towards a stronger economy and enhanced economic development through shared wealth, shared employment, and equal opportunity for all, and is an enabler towards the fulfillment of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNESCO has indicated that broadband is "the missing link" in global access to education. COVID-19 propelled a massive shift to digital which made evident the reality of inequality of access to the Internet which also plays into the mission and operation of libraries. As per the ALA, broadband in libraries is needed by patrons to access devices, collections and information, and a myriad of services. It is also used by librarians to create and develop content accessed by patrons and provide access to transformative resources to better the education and lifelong learning of communities deeply impacted by COVID-19 in all regions of the world.

Moderator: Loida Garcia-Febo, CPDWL Consultant, International Library Consultant

Speakers: Dr. Jesus Lau, Co-Chair UNESCO Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL); Catharina Isberg, Library Director Helsingborg City Libraries, IFLA Governing Board Member; Sanjay Kumar Bihani, Library and Information Officer, Ministry of External Affairs, Patiala House Annexe, Tilak Marg, New Delhi, India, IFLA Governing Board Member.


Introduction (10:59, 89MB)

Presentations (1:02, 467MB)

International Work and Projects During COVID-19

Date/Time: Monday, November 23, 8:00 am PT/11:00 am ET (North America) | 5:00 pm CET | 8:00 pm Abu Dhabi, UAE

Summary: What’s it like working abroad right now during the pandemic? What about international projects? Join us for an informal webinar discussion on what IRRT members are doing in managing global projects and hear what their experiences are working abroad too. This session is open to all interested in international library work during the pandemic.


  • Dr. Rebecca L. Miller, Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany
  • Dr. Reysa Alenzuela, Central Philippine University, Philippines
  • Amani Magid. NYU Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Moderator: Ray Pun, Alder Graduate School of Education, USA

Recording available:

Reaching national impact in Kenya and Namibia: EIFL’s strategy for public library development

Date and Time: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Join us for a webinar session to learn about EIFL’s (Electronic Information for Libraries) capacity building initiatives for public librarians in Kenya and Namibia. Using a combination of key partnerships, an extensive capacity-building programme, and a network of public libraries, EIFL and its national partners – The Kenya National Library Service (knls) and the Namibia Library and Archives Service (NLAS) developed a sustainable in-house continuous professional development program for public librarians. Already over 650 librarians have received training from expert local trainers. EIFL is looking to expand and adapt this program to other EIFL partner countries in Africa, where public libraries have been or are being equipped with public access computers and the internet. In the session we will review EIFL’s approach and plans for the future, and you will hear from local librarians about the impact of the program. Strengthening continuous professional development of public libraries in Kenya and Namibia is part of EIFL’s broader capacity building initiative for public librarians in Africa. Read more!


  • Susan Schnuer, EIFL- Public Library Innovation Programme (PLIP) Capacity Building Manager, USA (former IRRT Chair)
  • Caroline Ngacaku, Principal Librarian, knls/Muranga Public Library, Kenya
  • Kaltuma Sama, Head Librarian, knls/BuruBuru Public Library, Kenya
  • Yusuf Ganyana, ICT Officer, knls/Kibera Public Library, Kenya
  • Aletta Dunn, Chief Librarian/ Public Libraries, Namibia Library and Archives Service (NLAS), Namibia

Moderator: Dr. Ugne Lipeikaite, EIFL, PLIP Impact Manager, Santiago, Chile.

Recording available! (1:05 min, 610 MB).

ALA-CLA Global Projects and Collaborations: New Opportunities

Date/Time: Friday, October 9, 2020

Description: The Croatian Library Association (CLA) has invited ALA IRRT members to speak about current and potential projects. In this session, speakers will discuss their collaborative projects in international library work. The opening remarks will be provided by Alexandra Houzouri Humphreys, 2020-2021 Chair of the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) to share highlights and current activities of IRRT.

The first set of speakers Dr. Philip Schreur and Dr. Raymond Pun will briefly cover international linked data projects and how ALA will partner with CLA in organizing professional learning on linked data for the upcoming year. The second set of speakers, librarians Mark Mattson and Margita Mirčeta Zakarija will discuss their sister library partnership and the benefits and opportunities in forming sister library partnerships. Participants will learn more about global collaborative projects and how to be more involved.

Speakers: Alexandra Houzouri Humphreys, IRRT Chair; Raymond Pun, Alder Graduate School of Education; Philip Schreur, Stanford University; Mark Mattson, IRRT Member at Large; Margita Mirčeta Zakarija, University of Split.

RECORDING available.

Transcending Borders: From Librarians Collaborating Abroad To Reconsidering Opportunities in a Virtual World-IRRT Webinar

Description: Three professional librarians, who have worked outside the United States, will share their international experiences. In this time of social distancing and travel limitations, participants will discuss means and opportunities for international virtual engagement. A resource list will be made available to registered participants.

Moderator: Dr. Clara M. Chu, Director and Distinguished Professor at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs.

Speakers: Dallas Long, Dean of Milner Library and Professor, Illinois State University; Janet Lee, Dean Emerita, Regis University in Denver; Debbie Chavez; High School Librarian, Austin, Texas

Date: September 21, 2020

Recording Available (1:04, 1.77 Gb)

Libraries as Social Change Agents - A three part series

The International Round Table (IRRT) Pre-Conference originally scheduled for June 26, 2020 was canceled due COVID-19. However, we are excited to announce that the three speakers originally selected for the pre-conference have agreed to present virtually. Committee co-chairs Drs. Gloria Creed-Dikeogu and Barbara Marson are hosting three webinars this summer as a series with the theme of Libraries as Social Change Agents.

Each webinar will last approximately 1 ½ hours – one hour for the speaker and 30 minutes for Q and A.

Webinar schedule:

Part 1: The Role of Libraries in Addressing Terrorism through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): the Case of Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Date and time: July 14, 2020

Listen to recording - (1:24, 2.9 Gb)

Presenters: Dr. Dorothy Njiraine, Chairperson & Senior Lecturer, Department of Library and Information Science, University of Nairobi, Kenya; Eugene Che, Student Librarian, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Moderator: Donna Scheeder, President at Library Strategies International, Past President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

Abstract: In recent years, the East African sub-region and Kenya in particular has been grappling with rising insecurity and the threat of terrorist attacks, most of which have been blamed on Somali-based Al-Shabaab. This proposal seeks to examine the role of libraries in addressing terrorism, in addition to establishing a relationship between SDGs and terrorism, with the view of determining the role of librarians in tackling terrorism and fundamentalism. It will also examine how provision of information services contribute towards fighting against terrorism and suggest strategies that academic libraries could deploy to address terrorism and radicalization. Complete Abstract. (PDF file)

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Part 2: Including the Most Excluded with Digital Skills

Date and time: August 4, 2020

Listen to recording - (1:33)

Presenter: Jane Kinney Meyers, President, Lubuto Library Partners

Moderator: Katie Spires, Librarian and Coordinator of Library Services for Distance Education, Utica College, Utica, New York, USA.

Abstract: Lubuto Library Partners (LLP) is an innovative development organization that builds the capacity of public libraries to create opportunities for equitable education and poverty reduction, starting in Zambia to develop a regional model for library services to children and youth. This presentation explores the vital role that public libraries can play in reaching the most vulnerable out-of-school girls with impactful digital skills training by sharing experiences from a 2019 Makerspace Coding Camp focused on promoting understanding of computational logic, development of problem-solving and creative technical thinking skills, and the building of life skills such as leadership and teamwork through an immersive, hands-on week of technology training.

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Part 3: Creating Social Change through Library Education

Date and time: August 13, 2020, 10:00 am Pacific | 12:00 pm Central Time | 1:00 pm Eastern Time

Listen to recording (1:27, 1.46 Gb)

Presenter: Julie Ann Winkelstein, PhD, MLIS, Lecturer, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.

Moderator: Clara Chu, Director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Abstract: This presentation will focus on an annual library school class taught at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville: “The Role of Libraries in Addressing Homelessness and Poverty.” The primary emphasis will be on the major class project, the Action Plan. For this project, students research their community and work with potential partners and library staff to create an Action Plan that will address a relevant aspect of homelessness. In several cases, the Action Plans have been the beginning of meaningful change and direct actions in libraries. This presentation will cover examples of assignments, readings, and student Action Plans. (See registration page for full webinar description)

Webinar Series Title: Libraries Reopening: A Perspective of Best Practices* from Around the World in the Time of COVID-19

Webinar Abstract

ALA International Relations Round Table (IRRT) Webinar Committee will run a series of free webinars focusing on perspectives from libraries around the world dealing with COVID-19. Presenters will address the following questions.

  • What risks are libraries expecting to be associated with the reopening?
  • What is the library strategy to protect their users, the library staff, the building, and the materials?
  • What are the safety measures that libraries are putting in place?
  • What is the training the staff need?
  • What communications channels are you using or plan to use to communicate the staff safety?

In late 2019, the world started to hear about a novel coronavirus and was soon announced as a global pandemic creating many challenges, including Libraries. Libraries had to act fast in addressing global pandemic preparedness and planning to reopen. Reopening during a global pandemic requires preparation that includes safe reopening policies and practices that best protect library workers and its patrons. This webinar series will help us to learn from libraries in Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, Qatar, Netherlands, Sweden and Australia on how they addressed and are currently addressing the reopening of libraries during the challenging time of COVID-19.

June 4, 2020 - Two Sessions

  • UIN Sunan Kalijaga Library, Indonesia | Latin America and the Caribbean Section of IFLA.

    Dr. Juan Miguel Palma Peña, Latin American and Caribbean section, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico,

    Labibah Zain, Head of the College Library State Islamic University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia,

    Listen to recording - (1:01)

June 5, 2020 - One Session

  • Qatar National Library and IFLA | Perspectives on sanitization from the Arab Region, and on re-opening strategies at the Global Level

    Stephane Ipert, Preservation Manager at Qatar National Library, Doha-Qatar

    Stephen Wyber, Manager, Policy and Advocacy at IFLA, Netherlands

    Listen to recording - (1:01)

June 11 - One Session

  • Helsingborg City Libraries and Mjölby Public Library, Sweden

    Catharina Isberg, Director of Helsinborg City Libraries, Helsingborg, Sweden

    Miss Anya Feltreuter, Library Director, Mjolby Public Library, Mjolby, Sweden

    Listen to recording - (1:00)

June 16 - One Session

  • Leipzig University Library, Germany

    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Johannes Schneider, Director, Leipzig University Library, Germany

    Ms. Caroline Bergter, Public Relations Officer, Leipzig University, Germany

    Listen to recording - (59:18)

June 17 - One Session

IFLA Library Re-Opening Strategies Around the World: An Overview of Current Proposals (6 June 2020)

*The best practices of libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic presented in these videos may differ from those in your country, state, or library. IRRT does not specifically endorse any of these practices.

From Refugee to Librarian: In our own words

Date: June 18, 2020

Webinar Recording available.

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and the American Library Association (ALA) invite libraries to commemorate World Refugee Day 2020.

Abstract: As librarians we have worked to create welcoming spaces and services for refugees. We have learned about them in order to support their resettlement and integration. The refugee stories we read about come from the communities we serve. How about the refugee stories that come from our own professional and academic community? In this webinar, we give voice to refugees who have become librarians or library educators. They will share their journey from persecution to resettlement to professional career, giving the listener a glimpse into their experiences of struggle, resilience, hope and belonging.

Moderator: Clara M. Chu, Director, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library

Panelists: Constantia Constantinou, H. Carton Rogers III Vice Provost and Director, Penn Libraries, Touger Vang, Director, Montgomery Community College Library.

Co-sponsors: Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, ALA Office for Diversity, Literary and Outreach Services, ALA International Relations Office, ALA Services to Refugees, Immigrants, and Displaced Persons (SRIDP) Sub-Committee, and ALA International Relations Round Table.

Libraries Contributing to Meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals: a call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere

Date: June 9, 2020


Join our first webinar highlighting inspiring stories from libraries in Australia, France and Germany presented by leaders of library associations in those countries. We will discuss how libraries are helping communities meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the websites they have created to share these stories. We hope the webinar encourages US libraries to connect the dots between their existing services and the way they are already meeting the SDGs.

Recording: Listen to recording.

Libraries as Social Change Engines: Working Together with NGOs in Asia and Africa - A Two-Part Series

IRRT Webinar Committee would like to announce an upcoming two-part webinar series in November highlighting international library partnerships and projects between libraries and non-governmental organizations in Asia and Africa. In this series, we will present the Asia Foundation/Myanmar Library Association partnership and the Lubuto Library Partners in Zambia. Both are international development organizations that aim to address social, political and economic issues to enrich lives and build a thriving community through libraries.

PART 1 - Recording Available

Date and time: November 13, 2019 - The Asia Foundation & Myanmar Library Association


Mi Ki Kyaw Myint | Manager of the Special Projects Unit at The Asia Foundation

MyatSann Nyein | Librarian, Vice President of Myanmar Library Association & Local Coordinator Librarian of the eLibrary Myanmar Project


PART 2 - Recording available

Date and time: November 21, 2019 – Lubuto Library Partners in Zambia, Africa


Jane Kinney Meyers | Founder & President of Lubuto Library Partners, Washington D.C., USA

Elizabeth Giles | Director of Library Services, Lusaka, Zambia

Given Besa | Library Manager, Lubuto Model Library, Lusaka, Zambia

"Hosting International Visiting Librarians in US Academic Libraries: The Korea Foundation Librarian Intern Program"

Friday, June 14, 2019

IRRT Webinar Ad Hoc Committee is excited to present the second of two webinars aimed to promote interests, programs, and activities on international librarianship. In this webinar, we will highlight a unique international library internship partnership between the Korea Foundation, a South Korean based organization with several global offices, and two participating host university libraries in the United States in the form of the Korea Foundation Library Internship Program.

Our speakers, Minjeong Kim, Director of the Korea Foundation Global Office in Washington, D.C., Yunah Sung, Korean Studies Librarian/Head of Technical Services at the University of Michigan-Asia Library, and Ellie Kim, Korean Studies Librarian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa will talk about the library internship program and their partnership. We will also have the pleasure of hearing from the two Korea Foundation Library Interns from these host university libraries as they share their experience interning abroad.

KF Library Internship Overview:



Presenters: Minjeong Kim - Director of Korea Foundation Washington D.C. Office, University of Michigan, Asia Library; Yunah Sung - Korean Studies Librarian / Head, Technical Services; Yujin Choi - Korea Foundation Library Intern, University of Hawaii, Manoa; Ellie Kim, Korean Studies Librarian, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Boeon Hwang - Korea Foundation Library Intern

Libraries Without Borders


Monday April, 8 2019

Speakers: Joi Jackson, Reference Librarian; Karen Garcia, MLIS student; Allinston Saulsberry, Assistant Archivist at Arizona State University.

Resources: Librarians Without Borders site.

The Library Map of the World and the Art of Storytelling

RECORDING AVAILABLE: (56:27, 20632.1 KB)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Did you know that every library can participate in IFLA's Library Map of the World? This digital map shares a variety of statistics and stories, and can be a powerful tool that libraries can adapt in their work. Storytelling in itself can also a powerful art to convey one's message for advocacy. This free webinar will feature speakers who will talk more about IFLA's Library Map of the World and the act of storytelling to advocate for libraries relating to the Sustainable Development Goals or in local needs and contexts. ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo will provide opening remarks on these topic and how you can get involved online or in-person at ALA Midwinter Conference 2019 in Seattle!

Speakers: Loida Garcia-Febo, ALA President and International Library Consultant; Kristine Paberza, IFLA Member Engagement Officer; Nicole Cooke, Associate Professor and MS/LIS Program Director at the Graduate School of Library/Information Science at UIUC.

Sustainable Development Goals in American Libraries Today: Why Should You Care?

July 19, 2018


Libraries are creating and cultivating new relationships with international communities and supporting these efforts. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were established on 2016 by the United Nations (UN) to guide developed and developing countries alike in their development efforts. Libraries and librarians are essential to development and to help each one of the communities where we are. This free webinar will feature speakers who will share different perspectives on the SDGs and its role in American libraries in supporting their communities from sustainable practices to user engagement approaches. ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo will provide opening remarks on SDGs in the library profession.

Speakers: Loida Garcia-Febo*, ALA President and International Library Consultant; Maria Violeta Bertolini, IFLA Advocacy Communications Officer; Gerald Beasley, University Librarian from Cornell University Libraries; Maria McCauley, Director of Cambridge Public Libraries; Gary Shaffer, Director of Library and Information Management from USC Marshall School of Business

*This free online event is part of President Garcia-Febo’s effort in the area of International Relations.

Libraries in Germany serving immigrants and refugees (as part of the ALA partnership with the German Library Association)

May 24, 2018

RECORDING AVAILABLE: (1:01 min, 30288.5 KB)

Join us for a webinar featuring best library practices, models, and recommendations to serve immigrants and refugees from libraries in Germany. Library and information workers are increasingly providing programs and services that build community, worldwide, 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. This online event is part of the ALA partnership with the German Library Association.

Speakers: Anne Barckow, Department of Intercultural Services, Hamburg Central Library; Philipp Merth, Intercultural Services, Central Library, Stuttgart Public Library, Britta Schmedemann, Expert on Target Audience, Services for Adults, member of the Commission on Intercultural Library Work at the German Library Association

Making Connections and Making Changes: The Sister Libraries Program of ALA's International Relations Round Table - - IRRT Chair's Webinar

April 4, 2018


This webinar will discuss the details of ALA's Sister Libraries program. Are you interested in partnering your library with a library in another country? Find out some of the best methods for seeking a partner library, the steps in planning your partnership, and suggested activities. Know what to expect so that you can more easily involve others at your library. We will walk you through the partnering process and the resources on our website. Plus, we will share highlights and recommendations from the evaluation of the Sister Libraries program, recently completed by a group of Emerging Leaders: What's next for Sister Libraries?

Speakers: Melissa West, public librarian in southern Maine; Dr. Rebecca L. Miller, founder and principal consultant of BiblioDev, LLC.; J. Angela (Angie) Wiehagen, Shoreline Community College.

Advocacy Resources to Serve Immigrants and Refugees - IRRT Chair's Webinar

March 6, 2018

RECORDING AVAILABLE: (1:03 min, 22242.3 KB)

Join us and learn about advocacy resources library workers can use to help them advocate for library services for immigrants and refugees. Our speakers will share information and examples useful to advocate at federal, national, regional, state, and city level. 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.

Speakers: Kathi Kromer, Associate Executive Director of the Washington Office for the American Library Association; Marci Merola, Director of the Office for Library Advocacy for the American Library Association; Dora Ho, President of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA); Nicanor Diaz, Immigrant Services Manager at the Denver Public Library

Libraries in the USA serving immigrants and refugees - IRRT Chair's Webinar

January 25, 2018


Join us and learn about how different-sized libraries in the USA are serving immigrants and refugees. Our speakers coordinate services for young adults, English Language Learners, partner with community organizations, and coordinate library services in Sanctuary cities. 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.

Speakers: Ed Garcia, Director, Cranston Public Library, Rhode Island; Maria McCauley, Director of Libraries, City of Cambridge, Massachusetts Maria has served as Director of Libraries for the City of Cambridge, a Sanctuary City, since August 2016.; Teona Shainidze Krebs, Adult Education Division Head, Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Resources to serve immigrants and refugees - IRRT Chair's Webinar

December 5, 2017


In this webinar, you can learn about resources to help you serve immigrants and refugees such as Libraries Respond, Project Welcome, and Refugee Libraries. Librarians and information workers are providing programs and services that build community while enriching and saving the lives of immigrants and refugees. The International Relations Round Table (IRRT) wants to be part of and support these efforts.

Speakers: Kristin Lahurd, Literacy Officer in the American Library Association’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS); Clara Chu, Director and Mortenson Distinguished Professor, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs; Christian Zabriskie, Administrator, Yonkers Public Library System and Executive Director, Urban Librarians Unite.

For questions about any of this webinars or if you are interested in presenting a webinar, please contact the IRRT Webinar Committee.

Back to IRRT Webinars page.