Community Centered International Librarianship

17 10 2008

    My interest in international librarianship is simply and best put like this, in my experience working with the underprivileged, many are the children of recent immigrants.  It is my intent to work toward an equality of opportunity.  Since many who are among the population that does not share in the opportunities of majority culture are recent immigrants or the children of recent immigrants, a knowledge in international librarianship would help me prepare them, help me to give them the equality of opportunity the nonimmigrants in the same programs receive.  I guess my interest in international librarianship can be related to the localism bumper sticker that reads, “think globally, shop locally.”  My interest in international librarianship is to the extent that one who engages that knowledge can say, “I am interested in international librarianship to the extent that it can be used to improve the situations of those around me.”

  I guess I’d really like to go to a library and appeal to a librarian who specializes in the international stripe of librarianship.  Better yet go to an international type library and ask any of the workers.  If I was able to go to any of these places, I could also take the people I mentioned above with me and they could learn how to engage this type of librarian, collection or library. 

  I think I have found enough written by scholars in the field that supports my thoughts to feel that this is an acceptable way to think about and engage the ideas of international librarianship.  See the lecture by Peter Lor, What’s So International About International Librarianship?  and the book, International Librarianship: A Basic Guide to Global Knowledge Access, by Robert Stueart.  In the book, one of the points or areas Stueart lists as as important to the field and in need of work is,  “Identifying international philanthropic agencies, which can facilitate development of international information services.”  I think that could very easily mean an exchange in information between people like I desribe, people working with immigrant populations trying to get them the equal access of the nonimmigrnats in the same programs.  This could be a simple exchange of what works but could be much more developed and greatly expanded upon.

  Since I have not spent a lot of time in this specialized area, international librarianship, any and all comments, recommendations, etc are needed and welcomed. 

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