Especially for International Visitors at Annual Meetings

   "Thinking Outside the Borders" (2006 IRRT Pre-Conference)

Description: This International Relations Round Table (IRRT) pre-conference welcomed international librarians as well as librarians from the United States. Using modules provided by the Mortensen Center for International Library Programs, it sought to establish working relationships among librarians of different countries. This session explored strategies used in South Africa and in the U.S. for making our libraries, services, and workplaces more effective in a multicultural and global environment.

ALA 2006 Speakers:

1. Ujala Satgoor, Head of the Business Library at the University of Pretoria;
2.  Sandra Rios Balderrama, Consultant; Former President, REFORMA & Former Director, ALA Office for Diversity.

Hector Marino, chair of the Sister Libraries Committee of the IRRT, provided an overview of the Sister Libraries program. Heleni Pedersoli, from the University Libraries, University of Maryland, presented an inside look at the Sister Libraries program highlighting the nuts and bolts of getting involved and keeping a Sister Library relationship.


The IRRT Pre-Conference is held in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference.

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   International Visitors' Center

Description: The International Visitors' Center at ALA is a place where ALA volunteers are available to answer questions and provide assistance. There are computers with Internet access and one can arrange to meet with colleagues and new friends, or just relax and review the programs.

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International Librarian's Orientation

Description: An introduction to the ALA Conference for international librarians and other attendees from abroad. ALA members provided an overview of the conference, including recommended programs and social activities. Participants learned about conference transportation, the ALA's Exhibit Hall and the meanings of the ALA's many acronyms. Participants also met their mentors and representatives from ALA's many divisions and round tables who help international librarians get the most from the conference experience.

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International Paper Session "National Libraries"

Description: The International Papers Session is designed to encourage the exchange of ideas about library services and collections among librarians from different parts of the world. This year’s program focused on National Libraries. National Libraries have a unique mission in contemporary times as ‘custodians of the nation’s intellectual heritage’. Presenters described their national library, organization, and role within the library community in their respective country.

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International Poster Session

Description: This was a forum for librarians from around the world to highlight their libraries and to share their successful ideas with colleagues by presenting a research study, a practical problem-solving effort or an innovative library program.

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International Librarian's Reception

Place: Plimsoll Club atop the World Trade Center - Versailles Room

Open to all conference attendees, this reception offered a unique opportunity to network with hundreds of information professionals from around the world. There was a mixing of cultures and ideas, regional cuisine, hors d' oeuvres and open bar. Free to International Librarians outside the U.S.