View of the library/classroom building at the Kokobe Primary School in Lesotho, Africa

The latest issue of Navigator: Colorado Libraries and the World has been published.  Check out to read the progress of the Laptops to Lesotho (L2L) project at the Kokobe Primary School in Lesotho.  Get an update on the activities of the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca in Nicaragua as the library responds to COVID-19 in San Juan del Sur and the surrounding areas.  Discover the Plaza program at the Denver Public Library as it was featured in an IFLA news release for World Refugee Day.  Finally, Save the Date for the ILCE-IG presentation “Show me the Money: the ILCE-IG Grant explained” at the CALCON 2020 Virtual conference on September 10, 2020. Click on this link:

Nancy Bolt and Despina Gerasimidou. World Refugee Day.

20 June is World Refugee Day, designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. This year’s theme is ‘Every Action Counts’.

Nancy Bolt and Despina Gerasimidou (Denver Public Library) provide an update on IFLA activities and the role of libraries in serving immigrants and refugees.

At the global level, the IFLA Section on Library services to people with Special Needs (LSN), for which Nancy is chair, is working on its International Guidelines for Library Services to Refugees, Immigrants, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers.

For more information read “IFLA celebrates World Refugee Day“.

Culture Fest 2019 – Report to CAL ILCE-IG Grant

Culture Fest 2019 – Report to CAL ILCE-IG Grant

submitted by Karen Kllanxhja, Mesa County Libraries

Culture Fest 2019 began on Friday evening, November 1 as part of Grand Junction’s First Friday ( a monthly event featuring new exhibits at the Art Center and downtown galleries). A reception honoring the participants in the Culture Fest Art Exhibition took place in the Central Library’s Community Rooms. Music was provided by Earth Studio’s Thea & Eric. Appetizers were provided along with a tasting of the Library Foundation’s signature wines, Well Read and Grape Gatsby.

Megan Bissonnette, Assistant Professor of Art History and Art Gallery Director at Colorado Mesa University, served as juror. Thirty works of art by twenty-two local artists were selected for the exhibition. Three received honoraria and two were recognized as honorable mention.

On Saturday, November 2, from 11 am – 3pm individuals from 17 different countries manned tables displaying artwork, food, and information throughout the library. Among the countries represented were Italy, Peru, Mexico, and Nepal.

Saturday’s entertainment included performances by Nueva Generacion, the Colorado West Celtic Dancers, Sultan’s Pride, Monumental Movement, Dancing Arts Ballet, and Nine Province Kung Fu.

Five crafting stations were set up in the Youth Services Center. Children and their parents made Japanese Fish Kites, Llama finger puppets (Peru) and Nesting Cats (Russia). Also in the Youth Services Center, children had their photos taken and made passports to mark their travels throughout the library.

Over 2,100 individuals attended the event and 39 volunteers assisted staff with hosting.

Funding from the CAL-ILCE IG grant was used for event supplies, marketing, and publicity.


Library Services to Refugees and Immigrant Populations

Thursday, September 19, 2019
2:30-3:30 p.m.

The inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Providing services to refugee and immigrant populations are both challenging and fulfilling, yet a vital part of the everyday services of libraries and librarians. Come listen to our distinguished panelists and discover what makes this population so unique and why providing this service is fulfilling. This presentation is sponsored by the International Library and Cultural Exchange Interest Group.


Marina Valenzuela is a Language Librarian for Arapahoe Libraries who works with diverse language communities in Arapahoe County to connect them with resources for language learning, continuing education, and social support. She is also part of the internal team at Arapahoe Libraries charged with supporting and crafting learning opportunities for staff around equity, diversity, and inclusivity.
Marina knows that it takes organizational patience and a familiar face to build bridges to communities and encourage everyone to take an interest in what the library can be for them. Marina holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Denver.


Daniyom Bekele is one of the Reference Librarians who works for the Schlessman Family Branch of the Denver Public Library. At the branch, Daniyom provides services to immigrants and refugees through the Plaza program. Daniyom is also part of DPL’s Services to Immigrants and Refugees (STIR) committee helping diversify programming throughout the system, creating welcoming events/space for customers, and providing assistance in designing culturally sensitive and appropriate staff training.


International Library & Cultural Exchange Reception

Please join us for an international libraries reception Thursday, September 19 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. location to be announced. We will be featuring international refreshments from around the world.

Support the ILCE-IG through International Jewelry Purchases

Stop by Nancy Bolt’s booth in the exhibit area. A percent of all sales is donated to the ILCE-IG to be used for grants and programs.

For more information contact:

Nancy Bolt,
Jen Yadav,
Janet Lee,
Barb Thorne,
Jane Mirandette,
Kathy Plath,
Sue Keefer,
Shannon Brennan,



Librarians without Borders: Guatemala

Kathy Plath and Sue Keefer raised funds for book purchases

Kathy Plath and Sue Keefer raised funds for book purchases

Two ILCE-IG members, Kathy Plath and Sue Keefer, recently journeyed to Guatemala with Librarians Without Borders to work in a school library in Quetzaltenango.


Ten years ago, Librarians Without Borders, a group from Canada, partnered with Miguel Angel Asturias Academy to start a library. Each year, the group goes back to take new books, do cataloging, do library programming, and other activities, depending on the school’s needs.


Kathy and Sue were chosen to attend with seven other librarians and library students from Canada and the U.S. Two Canadian librarians went along as LWB leaders.


The group arrived in Guatemala City April 26. The next day, they traveled to a book publisher outside of the city, where they purchased books for the school. Both Kathy and Sue had hosted Facebook fundraisers, and most of the books purchased were due to their efforts.

The group spent four days at the school, which is a K-12 private school. The first two days, after a tour of the school, some began cataloging the purchased books, while others worked on finishing up programming for the students.


Primary students with their masks

The last two days were spent working with the students. Before coming into the library, everyone must take off their shoes (adults, too!). Some of the activities included a using a flannel board with a desert habitat, singing animal songs, and making animal masks (for the younger students) and origami, a word search, and “name the animal” for the older students.

After the programming on the last day, the LWB group was surprised with a special event. Several age groups did traditional dances, and then each LWB librarian was presented with a letter handcrafted by the students. Then, the parents fixed lunch for the librarians.


That afternoon, the younger ones of the LWB group engaged in a soccer match with the students. In the evening, the teachers fixed dinner for the group, followed by dancing.


In the spare time, the group toured Xela and traveled to a glass-blowing factory and a textile co-op. The group also spent an afternoon and evening in Panajachel, located on Lake Atitlan, and a day in La Antigua.


International Library and Cultural Exchange Funds Three Grants

The International Library & Cultural Exchange Interest Group of CAL is pleased to announce that three grants will be awarded to international and cultural projects this year.

ILCE-IG’s grant committee has awarded $1,500 to Mesa County Libraries’ Culture Fest; $1,500 to Hester J. Hodgdon Libraries for All Foundation; and $100 to the Nederland Community Library District.

The funds granted to the Mesa County Libraries’ Culture Fest will be used for event supplies, marketing and publicity. The Culture Fest is an annual event created to enrich the community and reflect the diversity and cultural heritage of its residents. The event uses visual, performance, culinary and musical art forms as a stimulus for creating cultural awareness and celebrating diversity. The event, co-sponsored by the City of Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture and the Friends of Mesa County Libraries, will be held on the first weekend in November.


The funds granted to the Hester J. Hodgdon Libraries for All Foundation will be used for a workshop for staff from government libraries on the Pacific side of Nicaragua as well as staff from all non-government organization libraries. Program events will include a give-and-take table with supplies donated by programmers and attendees; early childhood programming; a craft session; a book cleaning and repair session; and an internet safety session.

The $100 to the Nederland Community Library District will be used for hospitality gifts for Cuban Library peers as part of the 2020 Cuba for Book Lovers Tour, co-sponsored by the Nederland Community Library Foundation and Viva Cuba Tours.

ILCE-IG offers grants to support individual and library partnerships and activities that enhance cultural understanding and to support cultural programming and activities that celebrate ethnic and immigrant cultures in Colorado.

Although two grants for up to $1,500 each were available, the grant committee felt that all three projects merited funding.




Navigator: Colorado Libraries and the World

The 9th issue of Navigator: Colorado Libraries and the World has been published.

Check it out to see the awardees for the ILCE-IG grant, a report from Kathy Plath and Sue Keefer about their travels to Guatemala with Librarians Without Borders, and what to expect during CALCON 2019 including Nancy Bolt’s extraordinary jewelry sales, a save the date for the International reception, and the ILCE-IG sponsored program Library Services to Refugee and Immigrant Populations.

Click link:

or download

Navigator Issue 9, September 2019