At the PLA Conference I had the chance to attend a session called “Library Road Trips: Building Relationships with Libraries Abroad” and it was fun to hear the presenter talk about libraries in another countries (Cynthia spoke mostly about European countries). When I first started with ALSC it was exciting to learn that, in addition to our amazing members in the United States, we have a nice handful of international members! Most of our international members are from Canada, but we do have members in other parts of the world and I wanted to share some of these places here:
At this session during PLA, the presenter explained some fun facts about these other libraries she visited and how they’re similar and different to what we might be used to. For example, she stated that many are facing similar challenges we’re facing. England experienced library cuts in order for their government to cater to the senior citizen population, which has been on the rise in that region.
Cynthia also explained we are “fortunate to have ALA” because ALA and its many divisions are offering SO MANY resources to help librarians carry out their work and advocate for their libraries. Their version of ALA, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professional (CILIP), doesn’t focus as much on advocacy and networking as our libraries in the United States do. But, she did explain that these libraries place a strong emphasis on literary and cultural heritage, user experiences, and art. A library in Norwich (the busiest library in England) partners with Social Services to offer immigrant resources.
Cynthia brought up a great point that library visits and networking doesn’t always need to be expensive and it doesn’t always need to be international. We have conferences all over the United States! It made me think of our Twitter tag, #ALSCtour. ALSC leaders visit libraries all year round to talk with staff and learn how other libraries are catering to their populations. You can check out the Twitter tag and take a look at the fun pictures being shared!
Are you visiting other libraries when you go on vacation? What are you learning?
Are you an international member? How have you been using ALSC resources? I would really love to know!