International librarianship as professional development

(19 July 2018, Chicago) Whether you’re a library professional with decades of experience or a recent graduate in your first position, career enrichment can mean so much more than simply watching a webinar, taking a class, or even attending a conference. There’s a different kind of professional development out there, one that involves travel, experiencing different cultures and new languages, and learning the kinds of interpersonal skills you can’t get sitting behind a desk. Volunteering in international libraries is not only feasible, it’s also the perfect prescription for recharging, renewing, and recommitting oneself to librarianship. In “Your Passport to International Librarianship,” published by ALA Editions, Cate Carlyle and Dee Winn draw from their experiences working with groups such as Librarians without Borders to offer a guide to these exciting opportunities, regardless of your career path or what kind of institution you serve. Easy to follow and packed with everything you need to get underway, this book includes:

  • an in-depth discussion of what international librarianship (IL) entails, and why its emphasis on collaboration and advocacy makes it such a nourishing form of professional development;
  • stories from librarians around the world about their own IL approaches, activities, and experiences;
  • straightforward guidance for getting started, from researching IL opportunities to making it work in the context of your job;
  • trip planning, fundraising, and cost saving tips for maximizing limited time and budgets;
  • advice on staying connected and maintaining momentum after the trip is over;
  • ways to bypass the need to travel by volunteering digitally and remotely; and
  • detailed information about IL organizations and additional resources.

Carlyle is the Curriculum Resource Centre coordinator at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is currently a special academic librarian and children’s book reviewer, and she formerly served as an elementary schoolteacher, school librarian, and public library assistant. She volunteers regularly for various causes, has volunteered in libraries in Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and has written articles and conference presentations on international volunteerism. Winn is the head of information services at Concordia University Library in Montreal, Quebec. She has worked as an academic librarian in Vancouver, British Columbia and Windsor, Ontario. She has visited libraries on five continents and volunteered in a school library in Guatemala. Before becoming an academic librarian, she was an elementary schoolteacher in Atlanta, Georgia.

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The press release is here.