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.

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.”

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