A conference on international librarianship in Colorado? Don’t libraries just serve their local populations? Yes, Colorado has an international airport with flights to places like Frankfurt, Mexico City, and Toronto, but are Colorado libraries and for that matter Colorado librarians international? Two enterprising Colorado librarians put out a call to other Colorado librarians to find out and the result was the receipt of a grant from the International Library Cultural Exchange Interest Group of the Colorado Association of Libraries and a conference, “Colorado Librarians Touch the World: An International Librarianship Colloquium,” held at the Auraria Library on the Auraria campus on Friday, July 13.
Rita Puig, reference and instruction librarian and Regis University, and Jimena Breton, Assistant Professor and Social Science Librarian at Colorado State University Library, attended the REFORMA conference in San Diego in 2015, a joint conference with Seguimos Creando Enlances, a yearly conference that brings together librarians from the United States and Mexico to exchange ideas and to build ties. During the conference they had the privilege to meet Asunción Mendoza, dean of the library at La Salle University in Mexico City, and who at the time was president of AMBAC (Asociación Mexicana de Bibliotecarios, A. C.), the equivalent of the American Library Association in Mexico. Since that conference, Rita and Jimena have traveled to Mexico a total of three times to present and share their work. As this relationship strengthened, Rita and Jimena looked for ways to bring their Mexican colleagues to the US to further exchange ideas across international borders.
Last year, the duo applied for a grant from the International Library Cultural Exchange to fund a conference that would not only enable their colleagues to present but also for them to hear presentations from Colorado librarians with international interests and experiences. Through word of mouth and notices on listservs, they called out to fellow librarians seeking presenters and were pleased with the response, the resulting speakers who represent different continents, types of libraries, and literacy projects.
Three librarians, Rosa María Mata Peña, Juana Rodriguez Sepulveda, and Asunción Mendoza Becerra, from La Salle University in Mexico City had an opportunity to travel to Colorado and tour several libraries and meet with the library staffs at Regis University, Denver Public Library, and Colorado State University. They soon discovered that they had friends and colleagues in common and much to learn and share across the border. They spent two days in exploration and relationship building with possibilities of future presentations and collaboration. They joined their fellow presenters the day of the conference.
The organizers: Rita Puig, Research and Instruction Librarian, Regis University and Jimena Breton, Assistant Professor and Social Science Librarian, Colorado State University.
The presenters were: (Click on link to view presentation)
Laurie Bridges, Instruction and Outreach Librarian, Oregon State University. Virtual Presentation. Internationalizing: One Step at a Time.
Victor Zúñiga, Systems Administrator, Poudre River Public Library District. SJDS Sister Library: A Tale of Passion and Collaboration
Jane Mirandette, San Juan del Sur Biblioteca. Colorado Librarians Really do Touch the World
Lic. Rosa María Mata Peña, La Salle University, Mexico City. Un usuario autogestivo y ético
Mtra. Juana Rodriguez Sepulveda, La Salle University, Mexico City. Servicios de la biblioteca La Salle y su impacto en la creación de nuevo conocimiento
Mtra. Ma. Asunción Mendoza Becerra, La Salle University, Mexico City. Universidad La Salle:Las buenas prácticas de su biblioteca
Marta Prado, Bilingual Librarian, Elizabeth Middle School. Cultural Exchange with Hispano-America Bilingual Storytelling and Self Publishing
Michelle Marx, My Turkish Education.
Beth Crist, Youth and Family Services Consultant. Colorado State Library. Around the World with Library: A Global Vision.
Nancy Bolt, Nancy Bolt and Associates. Cooperation through International Partnerships
Janet Lee, Dean of the Library, Regis University. African Storybook Project (Asb): Workshops in Ethiopia