The Global Librarian
Librarians around the world have designed and implemented creative ways to serve the information needs of their patrons – wherever they may be. The Global Librarian shares the experiences of these innovative professionals.
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From Theory to Practice: Global Librarians in Action
This section of The Global Librarian highlights programs and activities of librarians whose work has demonstrated practical applications of librarianship in a global context. In “Takin’ it to the Streets: myMETRO Researchers Bring Library Science Skills and Expertise to NYC Communities” Metropolitan New York Library Council’s Tom Nielsen recounts how the myMETRO Researchers Project created an opportunity for New York City reference librarians to get out from behind the desk and into their service communities.
Through a variety of initiatives and programs, librarians have demonstrated their practical application, using their library expertise to support both film enthusiasts and aspiring writers. These efforts not only enriched the global context of librarianship, but also provided opportunities for people to explore their passion for film and develop their skills in creating in-depth film reviews. By offering valuable resources, organizing workshops, and facilitating collaboration, librarians have successfully brought the art of movie review writing to the fore, collaborating with the movie review writing help service.
Kenneth Schlesinger of Lehman College, City University of New York recounts his experience in the Eastern Cape and Johannesburg, South Africa as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in “Cape Crusade: Building the Steve Biko Centre’s Library and Archive in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.”
In “Promoting Information Literacy through Engagement with Wikipedia”, Ben Turner of St. John’s University offers some practical tips on how to use a Wikipedia critique assignment to promote information literacy. Among other things, students were asked to evaluate Wikipedia articles for effective use of a specific entry’s references and to do a comparison with traditional scholarly resources. While the focus here is on a freshman-level college course, both the assignment and the lessons learned may be applicable in a myriad of other settings.
The chapter “Disseminating Moving Image Websites with a Web 2.0 Centralized Hub” by Dorothea J. Coiffe from Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York includes a study on how one librarian at City University of New York’s largest community college met her college’s need for moving image websites through the establishment of a Moving Image/Media Hub.
Writing from Cornell University, Xin Li’s “International Partnerships: Cases and Working Experience” offers an overview of four partnerships with libraries in China and Taiwan, including lessons learned, the challenges of U.S. research libraries, and the necessary skills to be a “global librarian.”
Julie Wang and Bern Mulligan’s “A ‘Global’ Book Exchange: Creating Partnerships across the Sea” outlines the development of a pilot book exchange between Binghamton University Libraries (SUNY) and Beijing Normal University Library – a project that began in 2008 and was completed in 2011. This chapter offers a rare glimpse into some of the behind-the-scenes efforts on the part of both institutions to ensure the success of the project as well as a hint of potential future collaborations with other libraries in China.
“Implementing the Learning Commons in a Middle Eastern University Library: The Case of Zayed University” explores the introduction of the learning commons model at Zayed University in the Middle East and its impact on students’ understanding of the library’s importance for their successful completion of their research needs. This chapter was written by Judith Mavodza, Mary Sengati-Zimba, and Leslie M. Haas.
Constantia Constantinou, SUNY Maritime College, describes the work of a Fulbright Scholar in the field of library science in Cyprus through the development of bi-communal programs for the Cypriot library communities in “Transcending Ethnic, Racial and Political Conflict to Achieve Understanding between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot Library Communities.”
When Global Becomes Local: Serving Diverse Populations
In this section, we hear from librarians who have first-hand experience serving diverse populations, and how they identified and addressed a new point-of-service need. For example, the librarians at Denver Public Library (DPL) – Matt Bolen, Will Chan, Amanda Romero, Anne Kemmerling, and Edmund Ye Kiang – offer some insights into providing quality service to immigrant populations in “Escucha Mi Voz: Engaging Local People in Global Communities” by describing the development of dedicated Learning and Language programs at the six branches of DPL. While they highlight several of their “non-linear” programs, of particular note is Plaza, which provides both a space and a forum for patrons of all ages and backgrounds to come together to exchange ideas, information and resources.
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Writing from Adelphi University, Amrita Madray’s “Non-western Students in Western Universities: Bridging the Plagiarism Divide” reminds us that differences in culture, customs language and religion, coupled with western expectations regarding research and academic writing, may present challenges for non-western students.
Beth Russell and Annette Smith, New York University, discuss the challenge of maintaining quality academic technology support to students, faculty and staff located on New York University’s branch campuses, as part of their Global Network University, in “Supporting NYU’s Worldwide Users: Academic Technology Services for the Global Network University.”
Around the Globe Librarians on the International Scene
In “Cultures of Access: Differences in Rhetoric around Open Access Repositories in Africa and the United States and their Implications for the Open Access Movement” Natalia Taylor Bowdoin, University of South Carolina Aiken, reviews the definitions and variant approaches to open access (OA), and what they might mean as a mechanism for correcting the inequities in information flow between industrialized and non-industrialized nations. Her study examines the rhetoric used to present the OA institutional repositories in the United States and Africa, and speculates on what this rhetoric might tell us about different “cultures of OA.”
D. Aram Donabedian and John Carey, the authors of “Critical Information Literacy and the Technology of Control: The Case of Armenia” and colleagues at Hunter College Libraries, discuss why critical information literacy and critical pedagogy are particularly important in the Armenian context with its historical, cultural and geopolitical concerns. They argue that an open online culture with local self-determination and the basic right to share and produce information.
“A College Library in African Culture: A Case Study of Global Librarianship in Kampala, Uganda” looks at Rachel I. Wightman’s experiences as librarian in Kampala, Uganda, and her attempts to fully engage in and understand library service needs in a new cultural context.