Category Archives: News

News: IRRT Int'l Leads June issue available

6.7.17 –
The June issue of IRRT’s International Leads (IL) newsletter is now available for viewing. This month’s ILincludes articles describing the current state of libraries in Cuba, working as a librarian in Ethiopia, the list of international programs taking place during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, and more!


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News: My New Book!

5.23.17 –
Sarah P’s comments: Well, I did it. I finally published my new book: Far Off-Girl. Thanks to all who have supported me in one way or another.  And, as always, comments, edits, reviews, and the sharing of your stories are appreciated…
Far Off-Girl: 5 Years of Uncharted Wandering (Teenage Traveler) by [Gibson, Sarah P.]Ethel is ecstatic when her father offers her an escape from a long, cold, dark, Maine winter. But the journey turns out to be a maze of country-hopping, desert-crossing, shisha-smoking, friend-making, skinny-dipping, island-kissing, revolution-escaping, boy-betraying, white-knuckled, hairpin turns. Growing up at home is perplexing, growing up overseas is mind-altering.
P.S. Her father is a librarian…
Author’s Essay:

All those who incorporate ideas and beliefs of people
from many different countries and cultural backgrounds.

‘Multicultural’ became a publishing buzz word in the late 80’s and a genre by the 90’s. As an international librarian I happily embraced this trend, excited to see stories which represented at least some of more of my students’ cultural heritages. In each of my positions I sought out books with global themes, and especially those which represented where I was currently located. At first there were only a smattering but eventually there grew to be a list which I would faithfully order for each new library.

Another welcome trend which emerged were novels about kids from other cultures trying to fit into mainstream American life. I added these to my list as they encouraged discussion and understanding of what it means to try and live in another culture. At the same time some books began to be published about American teens venturing overseas. These books were popular as well and thus I figured it was only a matter of time before stories appeared which would delve deeper into the final frontier: the experience of American teenagers living overseas.

But, to date, nothing has yet appeared which I find surprising because, at last count, there are at least 275,000 global nomads, or TCK’s (third-culture kids), kids who consider America (or another country) their home, but spend most of their lives growing up overseas and attending international schools as they follow their parents’ international careers. These are the students I taught and hung out with in my fourteen years of international living and, to me, they truly are ‘multicultural’ in that their definition of themselves is not based on where they live but how they live, and they are living proof that ‘multicultural’ is something you can become rather than something you must be born as.

Ethel’s story grew out of this understanding and my goal was to find an entertaining way to honestly share some of her experiences and to answer real-life questions such as: What’s it really like to wear a veil? Should I date a guy from a different faith? How do I deal with someone who hates Americans?
And, finally, there is another message woven into this story. It is for all teens who feel stuck, and it is that being multicultural is about acceptance. That if you travel beyond your borders, be it through a book, a plane, or Instagram, you are reaching out. And that, by seeking to understand others, you will find people anywhere and everywhere, who are like you in some way. Travel, as Ethel comes to realize, will not solve all your problems, but what it can bring is perspective, insight, understanding, and hope.
(Thanks also to Cricket Magazine who published an early version of Travel Post #1 as a short story.)

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Volunteer: 3 positions…

5.22. 17 –  Idealist
Sarah P’s comments:  While obtaining an international position may be your goal, one way of gaining experience is to volunteer.  Idealist currently has three positions of interest.  Idealist, a US nonprofit organization, began life in 1995 as Action Without Borders, with the goal of creating a global network of people and organizations working towards the goal of a world where all people can live free and dignified lives. Online and globally, connects 100,000 people with jobs and volunteer and action opportunities posted by 90,000 organizations around the world. The organization operates in English, Spanish and French. You can use this site to post information about yourself and/or search for both internship and volunteer opportunities.
I have noticed in recent years, many more jobs posted vs. internships and volunteering opps. There has also been an increasing number of US postings, however there are still international listings.  Unfortunately, there is no way to search for only ‘international’ and the best method is to enter ‘library’ or ‘librarian’ as a keyword and scroll through the listings.
For more about volunteering please read Chapter 9 of my book and/or visit the Resources page.

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News: British artist visits 16 lost libraries…

5.16.17 – British artist visits 16 lost libraries along the Silk Road in epic motorbike trip
by Sarah Lazarus, Post Magazine, May 12, 2017

Abigail Reynolds’ ‘Ruins of Time’ exhibition is the result of a five-month journey through 2,000 years and half the globe.

Sarah P’s comments:  Great article…but if you are interested in learning about which 5 libraries she visited, you will need to scroll through the first half.


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Comments: from Sarah P…

5.8.17 –
Note: I have been traveling and working more this year (so far) but this is not the reason I have been posting less.  It has simply been because there are fewer jobs to post.  The world economy, along with oil, has been depressed the last few years.  However, don’t lose heart as this business is cyclical and overall, in the twenty plus years I have been watching this market, the number of international librarian jobs overall has grown significantly.
What can you do?  Wait it out, decide to volunteer in order to gain some experience (short-term or long), go and get your school media certification or archivist credential, work for a NGO, arrange for an exchange…these are some examples and more choices are listed in my book. Gaining international experience takes dedication, planning, and yes, some luck. Any expat will tell you, it’s a strange combination of events that usually lands you the position.
On a positive note, I just received an e-mail from someone saying that they located a job via this blog…a circumstance which helps make the effort worthwhile.
Safe travels, Sarah P.

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Hiring Fair: ISS Virtual iFair

5.4.17 –  ISS (International School Services) iFair / Virtual Hiring Fair
Sarah P’s comments:  For anyone interested in the international school librarian market ISS is hosting another hiring fair, this one after the height of the hiring season has concluded.  This is an opportunity to gain a break-in position for those without the ‘A list’ attributes, namely international experience, school media certification on top of an MLIS (but you should be able to show you are working to obtain it), and/or being single or part of a teaching team. You must be a registered ISS candidate to attend so if you are interested you need to contact ISS ASAP because establishing a file can take time due to credentials and recommendations needing to be verified.
Please be aware that, while ISS is a recruiting agency they also now run their own schools as well, which are, unfortunately, not always top tier.  So, be sure to join ISR, International Schools Review, and carefully read the reviews of any schools you might be interested in.

May 17, 2017

 What is an iFair®?
International Schools Services is proud to be the first to offer this type of event for schools and candidates worldwide! It’s the best part of an IRC from the comfort of your home/office. Connect with schools early in the season and set up interviews. No taking time away from school – just you, your laptop (phone or tablet) and ISS recruiting schools connecting online. Everyone will be online at the same time, so you can instantly schedule your interviews.
With the use of technology, finding a position has never been easier or more convenient.
Schools will create a virtual booth, which candidates will enter when the event is live. Each school can customize its booth with information such as: logo and website; information about the school and country; salary and benefits packages; and open positions. Recruiters will be online and waiting to talk to candidates. Candidates can enter as many booths as they like, queue and communicate with recruiters.
Initial communication will be done via instant messaging, but Skype is now fully integrated, so you can move directly to a follow-up Skype interview.


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News: Call for Papers

5.1.17 –  Call for Papers: IFLA Journal special issue on Privacy
Submission Deadline: 15 September 2017
IFLA Journal and IFLA’s Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) Advisory Committee are pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue focused on Privacy.  In the Digital Age, information is both more plentiful and more easily accessible than ever, a fact that has had profound implications for individuals’ ability to exercise control over their own personal information.  Many Library and Information Science institutions, associations, and professionals have long established privacy as a pillar of the profession’s ethical codes, but as the nature of the creation and dissemination of information, as well as its content, has changed in recent decades, so too have the questions institutions, associations, and professionals face about how to define and uphold privacy.
IFLA Journal invites papers for a special issue focused on privacy, libraries, and information professions across all continents. The issue will be published in the summer of 2018 as Volume 44:2. In particular, the main goal of the special issue is to gather the latest theory, research, and practices from libraries and information professions to further the professional discourse on the definition and provision of privacy in the 21st century.
Guest Editors:
Dr. Louise Cooke
Reader in Information & Knowledge Management
Head of Information Management Discipline Group
School of Business & Economics
Loughborough University
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • The development and role of professional ethics in creating privacy norms within libraries and information organizations
  • Legislative rights and constraints on privacy in libraries and information organizations
  • Internet technologies and privacy
  • Privacy standards and norms in new information professions
  • Public perceptions and behaviors regarding privacy, information access, and communications
  • Education programs to inform public of issues regarding privacy and information access
  • Privacy policies and practices of specific organizations
  • Library interactions with public policy on privacy
  • Collection, preservation, and safeguarding of digital data
  • Confidentiality of services and usage information

Submission Deadline:
Articles for the special issue should be submitted to IFLA Journal for peer review before 15 September 2017.
How to Submit a Manuscript:
IFLA Journal is hosted on ScholarOne™ Manuscripts, a web based online submission and peer review system SAGE Track. Please read the Manuscript Submission guidelines, and then simply visit the IFLA Journal Manuscript submission webpage to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is possible that you will have had an account created.
All papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, please contact Steven Witt, Editor of IFLA Journal:
For instructions on formatting your manuscript please consult the submission guidelines.
About IFLA Journal:
IFLA Journal is an international journal publishing peer reviewed articles on library and information services and the social, political and economic issues that impact access to information through libraries. The Journal publishes research, case studies and essays that reflect the broad spectrum of the profession internationally. All articles are subject to peer review. Articles are published in English. Abstracts will be translated by IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) into the other working languages of IFLA—Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian or Spanish—for publication.
IFLA Journal is published by Sage Publications and is the official journal of IFLA, and has an international readership consisting of academic institutions, professional organizations, and IFLA members who all receive a free subscription to the journal.
Each issue of IFLA Journal is made available Open Access upon publication on IFLA’s website.  Authors are also encouraged to make the accepted version of their manuscripts available in their personal or institutional repositories.

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Webinar: Cuba Library Exchange Program

5.1.17 –
The ACRL International Perspectives Discussion Group will be hosting another webinar before the ALA Annual. Here’s the program and info:
Title: The ALA Cuba Library Exchange Program
Date/Time: 5/15, Monday, 9 am PST / 12 pm EST

Summary: Interested in hearing about Cuba and its library services? Join us for this presentation to hear from a few librarians who went to Cuba recently to participate in ALA’s Exchange program and visited national, public and school libraries and Cuba’s International Book Fair in February 2017! If you are planning to go to Cuba in the future, you may find this webinar to be helpful! Webinar will also be recorded.

Speakers: Nancy Coradin, Coordinator, Multi-language Collections and Services
Westchester Library System; Diana Lennon, Librarian II, Spanish Speaking, Greenburgh Public Library

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Comments: For anyone with experience with Qatar National Library…

4.6.17 –
Dear Readers: I have received an information request from someone who is considering working for the Qatar National Library. I have, in the past, corresponded with a few folks with experience there.  If you are willing to privately share information and advice, please comment on the blog and/or contact me confidentially.
Thanks, Sarah P.

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Webinar: Taking your MLIS Abroad

4.3.17 –  Taking your MLIS Abroad
Sarah P’s comments: In case you missed this US-based webinar, the recording is now available on YouTube (click above link).  Thank you Librarian Ray Pun for coordinating and sharing!

The ACRL International Perspectives Discussion Group invites you to join Kate Holvoet and Lara Phillips for an informative webinar based on their recent publication, “Taking Your MLIS Abroad.”
The presenters will outline different opportunities for librarians who are interested in pursuing international librarianship, while also guiding you through the process of moving and living abroad. This is the perfect opportunity to get answers to all of your questions about international librarianship.
Speakers: Kate Holvoet and Lara Phillips

Date/Time: 3/29, Wednesday at 10 am PST, 12 pm CST and 1 pm EST

We hope you can join us! Webinar will be recorded and shared. If you have any questions, please email us!

All best,
Raymond Pun & Meggan Houlihan
Co-Conveners of ACRL International Perspectives

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