2005 Annual Meeting, Minutes


International Relations Round Table (IRRT)

Executive Board Meeting Minutes

2005 Annual Conference
Sunday, June 26, 2005
, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center Room PDR

(Third draft, December 12, 2005 Draft)


Nancy Bolt, IRRT Chair, called to order and opened the meeting.

Ruby A. Bell-Gam, Chair of the Nomination Committee, reported the 2005 IRRT election results: Susan Schnuer was elected for IRRT Vice Chair/Chair-Elect; Sha Li Zhang was re-elected for IRRT Treasurer/Secretary, and   Mary Boone was elected for IRRT Member-at-Large.


1. Introductions

All who participated in the open EB meeting did an introduction of themselves. The following is the list of IRRT officers, members, and guests present at the meeting:


IRRT Executive Board members present:

Nancy Bolt, Chair

Jeannette Pierce, Chair-Elect

Judith Lin Hunt, Member-at-Large

Sha Li Zhang, Treasurer/Secretary


IRRT committee chairpersons and program liaisons present:

Ruby A. Bell-Gam, Nomination Committee Chair

Mary Boone, Publications Committee Chair

Michael Dowling, Director of the ALA International Relations Office

Laurel Jizba, Liaison to ALCTS-CCS

Johan Koren, International Exchanges Committee Chair

Hector Marino, Sisters’ Libraries Committee Chair

Heath Martin, International Leads Editor

Patricia Oyler, Orientation/Mentoring Committee Chair

Susan Schnuer, International Librarians’ Pre-conference Committee member

H. Lea Wells, Program Committee Chair


Guests present:

John Berry, IRC Chair

Martha Allen

Win Shih

Sarah Beasley

Donna McCool


  1. Executive Board (EB) 2005 Midwinter Meeting Minutes

The minutes for the EB meeting during the 2005 ALA Midwinter Meeting held on Sunday, January 16, 2005, in Boston, Massachusetts, was prepared and presented by Sha Li Zhang, IRRT Treasurer/Secretary. The draft of the minutes was also posted on the IRRT web site prior to the EB meeting at the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.


Motion:    To approve the minutes of the EB meeting held on January 16, 2005 in Boston as written.  Jeannette Pierce moved and Sha Li Zhang seconded. Motion passed.


3.      IRRT Chair’s report (Nancy Bolt)

Nancy Bolt stated that most of her activities since the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2005 were reported on the June issue of International Leads. Theses activities included:


a.       Revisions of the IRRT Officer’s Manual: The Officer’s Manual is a huge document that outlines every aspect of how IRRT works. During Bolt’s term as the IRRT Chair, she and other IRRT officers, namely, Karen Starr, immediate past-chair, and Jeannette Piece, Chair-Elect, spent a large amount of time going through each chapter and making revisions.   The document has not been revised for some years.   The information needed to be updated. The existing document did not provide clear guidelines for the IRRT’s ongoing activities. The revised officer’s manual will be mounted to the IRRT’s web site.  The format of the revised document will include the IRRT committee charges, key committee activities, the committee procedures and reporting process, the committee activity timelines, and the committee’s relations with the ALA’s International Relations Office. Some committees have submitted their revised documents and others have not done that yet. All documents should be submitted prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2006. The revisions of the document have progressed well.  


b.      IRC Strategic Plan for International Activities: This document is a part of the ALA’s newly written documents on ALA Ahead to 2010.   Bolt worked closely with IRC Chair to ensure that IRRT’s mission, goals, and activities were integrated into this long-range documents.


c.       Reports on International Leads (IL): As IRRT Chair, Bolt wrote a featured article and two reports that were published on IL in 2005.   These reports have kept IRRT membership informed on IRRT activities.


d.      Representative at the 2005 IFLA: Bolt will be participating in the 2005 IFLA Annual Conference in Oslo, Norway. She will report back to the IRRT Executive Board upon her return. 


e.       Bolt has retired as the Colorado State Librarian in spring 2005. She was congratulated fro her excellent work during her long-time library career.


4     Chair-Elect’s report (Jeannette Pierce)

Jeannette Pierce reported the following activities since the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston in January 2005:

a.       Most IRRT committees were appointed. A list of committee appointments was posted on the IRRT web site.


b.    Appointments of liaisons to IRCs of other divisions and round tables will be made in July 2005. Pierce will be contacting other IRC chairs to discuss the appointments.


c.     An Ad Hoc Committee will be formed to continue revising the IRRT Officer’s Manual.   Nancy Bolt will lead the Ad Hoc Committee to complete the project.   The final version of the document will be a web-based and will be updated more frequently than it was.


d. Pierce attended the ALA’s Round Table Assembly meeting held on Friday, June 26th.   The ALS's Membership Services is able to provide membership data for round tables. The data will be very helpful to understand the IRRT membership profiles.


e.       Pierce will be on the 2007's Conference Coordinating Team.   The Round Table Assembly sends two representatives on the ALA Conference Coordinating Committee Team each year.


f.        Pierce thanked Nancy Bolt, out-going chair, and Karen Starr, immediate past chair, for their outstanding work on the IRRT activities.


5.                          IRRT Treasurer’s Report (Sha Li Zhang)

a.             Sha Li Zhang distributed the IRRT budgetary report to the EB members, committee chairs, and liaisons at the meeting. The current balance through the end of April 2005 is $11,976.55, including incomes from the membership dues of $5,560.00. As of April 8, 2005, Karen Starr and Nancy Bolt raised $7,750 for the 2005 International Librarians’ Reception.   Some traditional vendors dropped their supports to the event due to their tight financial situations.


b.      Zhang reported that the current IRRT membership dues are $15.   Therefore, we may expect a slightly increased income from the membership dues this year.


c.       It appears that it was expensive to provide unlimited drinks (i.e., wine) at the annual reception.   John Barry, IRC Chair, suggested to limiting to one drink. Bolt suggested the limit be least two drinks for each attendee in order to provide a pleasant event.   Further, Bolt said that we should look at the audience of the event. International librarians came to the event at no cost.  The reception may be the only one or few free ALA events for them.   For other U.S. librarians, in many cases, their tickets were paid by their institutions. Further discussions on this topic will follow after the meeting. 


6.     IRC Chair report (John Barry)

a.             A new IRC Chair was appointed to Professor Ismail Abdullahi from a LIS program at the North Carolina Central University.


b.       Gary Strong from UCLA and Jim Neal from the Columbia University are working with IFLA on fundraising strategies that will help IFLA with its tight financial situation. Al Kagan, member of Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Committee (FAIFE of IFLA), reported that the IFLA office has been in a serious financial situation.   The office needs to address its operational funding issues.


c.       The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) will be held in Tunis, Tunisia, November 13-15, 2005. Prior to that meeting, IFLA will hold a pre-conference summit at the Biblioteca Alexandrina on November 10 through 11, 2005. The theme for the pre-conference is “Libraries: The Information Society in Action.”


d.            Bob Martin, Director of IMLS, completed his four-year term and stepped down.   Martin will go back to his teaching position at a LIS program of the Texas Women’s University.   The IMLS Director position will be rotated to a person from the museum field.   Barry hopes that a similar library advocate as Martin can be appointed.  Barry is working on a resolution to pay tribute to Bob Martin for his work in serving the library community.


e.       The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression was held in Paris in May 2005.   Barry stated that protecting and promoting cultural diversity and cultural expression are very complex issues. At the convention, these issues were centered around the intellectual property and trade issues. U.S. delegations from IMLS participated in the convention. They worked very hard to ensure that freedom of access and free expression issues were included in the convention, with some success.


f.              Five U.S. library associations, ALA, AALL, ARL, MLA, and SLA have incorporated the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA).   They have applied to the WIPO for permanent national non-government status in order to be able to submit comments on any WIPO action.  The application will be reviewed in September 2005.  Winston Tabb from the Johns Hopkins University is on the intellectual committee on this action.   However, ALA needs somebody to be in Europe and works on ground to monitor WIPO’s action. Johns Hopkins University is not able to provide on-going support (i.e., travel funds) for Tabb’s long-term presence in Europe.


g.       Barry praised Nancy Bolt for her input and efforts on the ALA 2010 International Strategic Plan. Bolt thanked Barry for his leadership on IRC in the past several years.


7.            IRO Staff Report (Michael Dowling)

Michael Dowling, Director of ALA’s International Relations Office (IRO), shared the following activities:

a.             450 international librarians from 60 countries registered for the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. IRO put together international programs and events presented from all ALA divisions and round tables for these international librarians.


b.      The five U.S. library associations, ALA, AALL, ARL, MLA, and SLA, set up the Library Relief Fund in supporting rebuilding the libraries damaged by Tsunami last year.   Currently the five associations have raised $14,000. IRO coordinated the activity and is working with IFLA on how to distribute the funds.


c.       Library book fairs: The Guadalajara Book Fair will be in its ninth year in late November 2005.   150 slots will be reserved for U.S. librarians. IRO is representing ALA to coordinate this event with other supporting partners. The Hong Kong Book Fair is in July 2005.   IRO selected 12 U.S. librarians to attend.   IRO will also be doing programs at the event.


d.      $125,000 was received to support South Caucuses (including Georgia, Azerbajan, and Armenia).   Funds also were provided by some vendors to help purchase books and databases for academic libraries in the region.


e.       U.S. is back on UNESCO.   The U.S. UNESCO Commission was created.  Michael Dowling represented a public sector on the commission. James H. Billington, LC Librarian, represented a digital library section. IRO is working with the commission to re-try to have ALA on the commission as non-governmental representative.


f.        Peter Lor from South Africa is the new IFLA Executive Director and Alex Byrne is the new President.   More than 2,500 librarians will gather at the 2005 IFLA Annual Conference to be held in August 2005 in Oslo.   More than 350 U.S. librarians registered for the conference. Barbara Ford was elected to the IFLA Governing Board as an at-large member.


g.       Mary Boone from the State Department arranged American Corner programs for academic and public libraries in the South Caucuses region.


h.       Dowling thanked for Michael Keith Fiels, ALA Executive Director, for good job and support to IRO. 


i.         Peace Corps provided overheads to cover projects of building libraries in developing countries two years ago.   So far, 50 such libraries have been built. 


8.                          Old business

a.    Process to approve student international chapters:

A group of students at the LIS program of Simmons College would like to be recognized for its affiliation with a professional organization such as ALA and IRRT. The group’s activities are centered around international librarianship and have provided exposure to LIS students to become involved in the international librarianship during their LIS education process.   The group developed its web site and is in the process in developing other policy and procedures to sustain the group’s purpose and activities. In order for the group to be qualified for support and benefits which are provided to other student’s organizations at Simmons College, this LIS student group asks assistance from IRRT to help achieve its immediate goal of becoming an official student organization that focuses on international librarianship at Simmons College.


Sha Li Zhang, Chair of the IRRT Membership Committee, was asked to bring recommendations to the EB meeting. The committee recommended that IRRT recognize the subgroups of the ALA student chapters that are interested in international librarianship as affiliates of ALA’s International Relations Round Table. The student chapter must be officially affiliated with ALA. Procedures for recognizing the student sub-groups will be developed.


Motion: To accept the IRRT Membership’s recommendation. Jeannette Pierce moved the motion.   Sha Li Zhang seconded.  The recommendation was passed.  The IRRT Chair will write a letter informing the student chapters about this opportunity.


b.                  Presence of poster sessions at the International Visitor’s Center (IVC):

It was suggested that some poster sessions be displayed at the IVC during the entire annual conference. The poster session chair will be involved in the further discussions on the matter.


c.   Status of IRRT and IRC Awards:

Fred Lynden from the IRRT’s Program Committee will be serving on the IRC’s Awards Committee to coordinate the presentations of the awards at the ALA annual conferences. The award presentations were moved from the venue of the International Librarians’ Receptions to the IRRT Chair’s programs.


d.   ALA/IRC Long Range Plan report:

Nancy Bolt went through several revisions of the ALA/IRC Long Range Plan and asked EB to endorse it in principle. 


Motion: To endorse the ALA/IRC Long Range Plan in principle. Sha Li Zhang moved and Jeannette Pierce seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Susan Schnuer commented that a matrix should be developed to implement the long range plan.


e. Membership brochure update:

Sha Li Zhang, Chair of the IRRT Membership Committee, has acted as a contact person to collect input on revising the IRRT brochure and communicate with IRO staff about printing. The latest revision incorporated changes on committee names, membership dues, free membership for international librarians, and reduced student membership rate. Delin Guerra of IRO will make copies of the latest version for the International Librarians’ Reception in Chicago and for the 2005 IFLA Conference in Oslo in August 2005.


f.    Committee name changes:

The changes of some IRRT committee names will reflect the actual functions and responsibilities of these committees.   Nancy Bolt presented a list of the committee names that were suggested for changes.   The new committee names are: International Librarians’ Pre-Conference, International Librarians’ Orientation/Mentoring, International Poster Session, IRRT Chair’s Program Committee, International Librarians Reception, and International Sister Libraries.


Motion: To approve the name changes of the above committees. Jeannette Pierce moved and Sha Li Zhang seconded. The motion passed unanimously. The name changes will be made on all IRRT publications, including International Leads, web site, IRRT brochure, etc.


9.  IRRT Officer’s Manual

Nancy Bolt reported the current status of updating the IRRT Officer’s Manual. The work will continue toward its completion.   Bolt is leading an Ad Hoc Committee on this project.


10.             New business

a.           Should International Leads (IL) be on the IRRT web site for free?

The discussion on this issue concluded that IL should remain freely available on the web site.


b.          Should committee members and their e-mail addresses be public?

Because ALA maintains a master file of membership information, it is much easier to make changes in the master file that will appear on all committee rosters. ALA membership’s full roster is password-protected by ALA.   After lengthy discussions on the issue of making IRRT contact information available to its membership, the following motions were made:



For the committee members, name and institution will be available on the IRRT web site;

For the committee chairs, full contact information will be available on the IRRT web site;

For Executive Board members, full contact information will be available on the IRRT web site.

Jeannette Pierce moved and Judith Lin Hunter seconded.   The motion passed unanimously.


c.     ALAWorld listserv:

The listserv is not monitored.   All members are not on the listserv. Sometimes there is nothing but politically biased message on the listserv. The Executive Board asked the Publications Committee to work on the purpose and management of the ALAWorld listserv and report back to the board at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2006.


10. Committee and Liaisons’ reports

International Librarians’ Pre-conference (Kurt Cumiskey)

The International Librarians Pre-conference, “State of American Librarianship: Advocacy and Other Issues,” was held on Friday, June 24, 2005 at the university of Illinois Chicago.    30 librarians attended the pre-conference. This half-day conference provided international librarians with current status of American librarianship on such an issue as advocacy and other related topics. The session was with streaming video to a site in Brazil. Carol Brey-Casiano, ALA President, presented with opening remarks at the pre-conference. Susan Schnuer proposed a joint collaboration between IRRT and the Mortenson Center at UIUC for the next year’s pre-conference.


International Exchanges (Johan Koren)

The committee created a database on International Opportunities and Funding Sources for Librarians.   The committee is also working with a new professional group in IFLA to facilitate the exchanges between the U.S. librarians and librarians abroad.


International Papers (Sarah Elman)

This year, the session recruited a group of excellent speakers from various countries. The topic of the program is “Shaping Our Future: Library Services for Youth.”


International Poster Session (Natalia Taylor)

The International Poster Session will be held at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, June 26, 2005.   The committee chair proposed a change of the location for the poster session next year.   International Visitors Center may be an ideal location so that all international posters can be displayed longer time than they are in other conference site.   However, the issue of equipment, security for the posters, and space in the center are to be resolved if the poster session is to be held in the center.


International  Visitors  Center  (Liz Cooper)

This year, more people visited the center and used facility at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago than before. Copper reported that over 530 people visited the center during the conference. Cooper coordinated staffing the center.   39 volunteers helped cover the hours when the center was open. Delin Guerra from IRC helped organize the center, choosing the location and setting up facilities and equipment. Cooper thanked everybody who assisted in the center’s activities.  


IRRT Chair’s Program (Lea Wells)

The IRRT Chair’s program will be on Monday, June 26, 2005, in Chicago.   The title of the program is “Becoming a Global Librarian: Making Connections and Developing Travel Plans.” The program speakers include Mara Saule, University of Vermont, Robin Kear, Nova Southeastern University, Mary Boone, U.S. Department of State, Jonathan Miller, University of Pittsburg, and Claudia Morner, University of New Hampshire. The committee is starting to plan the 2006 program.   The theme of the program is “Cross-cultural perspectives on intellectual freedom.”  The committee is looking for co-sponsorship with the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee.   The 2007 program will concentrate on public library oriented issues, such as how do they offer library services.


Membership (Sha Li Zhang)

Sha Li Zhang reported the following activities since the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2005 in Boston:

  • A “Welcome-Letter” from the chair was sent to about 90 new IRRT members since the ALA Mid-Winter Meeting in January 2005 in Boston.
  • Three new committee members were appointed by Jeannette Pierce, IRRT Chair-Elect.
  • Prepared a proposal to for IRRT to recognize student groups or chapters which are interested in international librarianship.
  • Discussed process in revising the section of Membership Committee on Officer’s Manual.
  • Assisted in revising new IRRT brochure for the ALA Annual Conference in June 2005.   additional revisions will be made after the annual conference to reflect the changed committee names.
  • A column of “Fast Facts” on IRRT membership was contributed to International Leads, March 2005 which outlined the geographic distributions of   the IRRT members from mid-west, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest, and abroad. 


Publications (Mary Boone)

International Leads: Two issues were published by the new editor, Heath Martin.   It was suggested that more photos and charts be added to the publication.   Mailing of the publication can be with or without envelope. The electronic version of the publication will be on both PDF and HTML versions.  The submissions are adequate for the coverage.  There should be a rotation of messages from the IRRT chair and IRC chair. Joan Weaks, new web editor, is expanding and developing the IRRT web sites with Content Management software.


Reception (Deborah Mazzolini)

This year, more than 650 conference goers registered for the International Librarians Reception. Tickets will be also sold at the door.    Carol Brey-Casiano, ALA President, will address to the audience and welcome librarians from the U.S. and from abroad.   The reception location is at the Chicago Public Library. Award presentations will be moved to the IRRT Chair’s Program on Monday.  The IRRT Chair and Chair-Elect will greet the audience at the door.


International Sustained Development Interest Group (Joan Weeks)

The group’s 2005 program will be on Sunday afternoon.   The 2006 program will be in New Orleans with a theme on Rewanda. The group is revising its web site, adding more contents, transferring its manual to an online version, and providing training guides on cultural sensitivity.


Liaisons’ report

Laurel Jizba, an IRRT liaison to ALCTS/CCS/CC:DA, reported the proposed changes from ALA JSC on the next version of the cataloging rules. One of the changes on the rules of cataloging will be from AACR to RDA (Resource Description and Access). Other proposed changes include clearer instruction for data recording to be incorporated; the rules will be more compatible for use with metadata rules in other communities; the structure of the rules will be aligned directly with IFLA’s FRBR. Cooper will be attending the committee’s meeting on Monday which will hear a report from Jennifer Bowen on RDA as to levels of description, authority control, etc.


Nancy Bolt, an IRRT liaison to ALA BARC, reported that ALA has experienced financial difficulties, due to high costs of conference expenses, namely, technology equipment for power point presentations, hotel rooms, etc.  



The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.