Voice of Exchange

richard e. sapon-white

Richard E. Sapon-White

Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Fulbright in the Czech Republic

In 2005, while on a Fulbright, I spent six months teaching library science courses at Charles University in Prague. Professionally, this was an extremely rich and rewarding experience for me. I had the opportunity to teach about subject analysis, a topic I love, with my lectures informed by 15 years of experience as a cataloger. At the same time, this course allowed me to revisit the theoretical fundamentals of the subject. I had a significant impact on the Czech students who took my course, exposing them to ideas that they would not have heard of (or heard of in such depth) in their regular coursework. One told me that she was hoping to influence her library to choose to reclassify their collection using the Library of Congress Classification System! I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in Czech culture, picked up some of the language, and would gladly return at the drop of a hat. I would encourage all librarians to apply for Fulbrights and other exchange programs - living and working abroad will have such a profound impact on your view of librarianship and the world.