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LITA IRC Minutes from the 2012 Midwinter Meeting

International Relations Committee

2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting January 21, 2012 Location: DC-220 Dallas Convention Center Time: 9:30 a.m.

Attendees: Jason Battles (Chair), Karen Starr (Board Liaison), Melissa Lament (SDSU), Cory Lampert (UNLV), Mark Dehmlow (Notre Dame), Evviva Weinraub (Oregon State), Daniel Londono (OCLC Research), Frank Cervone (Purdue-Callimet). Virtual: Zinthia Briceño-Rosales (WSU).

The meeting began with introductions from all present.

Evviva discussed her preparations for the IRC panel program at ALA Annual in Anaheim. She is still firming up the panelists, but hopes everything will be wrapped up very soon. Evviva identified areas in which she needed committee assistance. This included promoting the program and handling feedback forms on site in California. Cory and Zinthia volunteered to assist with promotion.  Jason will be on site and help with feedback forms along with other members present at ALA Annual. Evviva will schedule a brainstorming session with the panelists in March. Jason will join her. 

Jason introduced the idea of aggregating information on worldwide library technology projects, products, and trends and making them easily accessible to our colleagues in the hope that the shared information could be beneficial in providing broader perspectives of library technology and possibly providing collaborative or mentoring opportunities. This type of project had been previously discussed by the committee.

LITA Connect was suggested as a possible initial location to place this information. There were some concerns about accessibility for a wider audience. The LITA website was also mentioned. Past inquiries into placing similar information on the LITA site had not been successful. Partnership with IFLA and possible mentoring programs via that organization were also presented. The Web Coordinating Committee (IFLA?) was mentioned as a possible venue for promoting such a resource.

In the context of this discussion, the charge and past activity of the IRC was briefly discussed.  Jason will follow up with Evviva to get a better understanding of past committee activities. Going forward a concerted effort will be made to archive committee activity to ensure legacy information is readily available.

Questions arose about our connections to the International Relations Round Table. The committee’s previous outreach to IRTT was not very successful.  It was also suggested that we look to other organizations within ALA such as PLA to see if they have any international groups or committees. Karen suggested reaching out to IRTT again to try to get their involvement.

Jason mentioned the non-profit organization Maria’s Libraries that are working to provide library services to remote areas of Kenya. One of the co-founders, Ariel Schwartz met with Jason at ALA to discuss building connections within LITA to help them develop ideas for extending these services or find others that already have done similar work in other countries. Jason thought Ariel may be a possible backup panelist for the Annual Program Panel, but wanted to convene a committee meeting in the next few months so that Ariel could talk more about the organization and the specific assistance she is seeking. Karen mentioned looking into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries program.

Frank spoke about the IFLA meeting in Helsinki in August. He and Colleen Cuddy will be attending. Colleen also mentioned promoting IRC efforts at IFLA if we provided material. There is currently a call for papers. Frank also talked about the lack of a formal relationship between IFLA and ALA. He pointed out the need for guidance or advice on clarifying/formalizing this relationship. The IT Standing Committee in IFLA has 20 members, mostly European. 


LITA-IRC MidWinter Notes.doc26 KB