Magazine article American Libraries

How to Go Global

Magazine article American Libraries

How to Go Global

Article excerpt

The new era of globalization demands that we reexamine our professional roles, responsibilities, and values. As librarians, we bring skills and expertise that can help our communities and communities around the world deal with new political, social, and economic realities.

Here are 10 areas where libraries can lead our communities in "going global."

* Celebrate America's diversity. Reach out to community or campus groups reflecting other cultures and countries and celebrate that diversity with speakers, exhibits, films, and special performances. Plan programs, slide shows, displays, and fairs around international holidays, United Nations, and world commemorative days. Invite returned Peace Corps volunteers, Library Fellows, Fulbright Scholars, or others with international expertise to speak.

* Expand and diversify your library's collection of multicultural and multilingual materials. Add U.N. materials and publications to your collection. Include materials on language learning. Host reading groups with an international focus.

* Get connected. The Internet provides opportunities to connect to other cultures. Check out recommended international sites on the ALA Web page. Provide Web sites of international libraries, U.N. agencies, and other bodies that promote learning about other countries, cultures, international travel, and global cooperation.

* Persuade policymakers that libraries are an investment in a more literate, productive, and globally competitive nation. Invite them to your library to see how students and people of all ages are getting help with their jobs and studies. Encourage trustees and Friends to participate in state and national library legislative days.

* Promote public awareness of global resources at your library during National Library Week - or any week. Contact the ALA Public Information Office for a free National Library Week tip sheet.Watch for handsome new posters, T-shirts, and other promotional items in the fall ALA Graphics Catalog. Also watch the ALA Web page for monthly suggestions of multicultural celebrations and programs.

* Learn more about global information issues, such as copyright, and how they affect your library and libraries around the world. …

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