LWB’s Co-Executive Director Melanie Sellar recently authored “Strategies for Engaging in International Librarianship: Misconceptions and Opportunities” in the San Jose State University Student Research Journal. Download this contribution here.
The invited essay looks at the ways that we currently “do” international librarianship and identifies strategies for making that work more robust, reciprocal, action-oriented, and long-lasting in its impact.
Abstract: Higher education institutions are increasingly formalizing internationalization priorities into their strategic plans. As a result library and information science (LIS) programs and academic libraries are beginning to encourage the inclusion of more international perspectives in student experiences. One means of doing so is by drawing upon international librarianship (IL), an LIS field of study since the 1950s. However, IL is a relatively small field that is not understood well. In order for IL to be studied, practiced, and funded in ways that are appropriate to its potential, this essay revisits the concept of IL, discusses some of its misconceptions, and advocates for more intentional, reciprocal, and reflective applications. It is also argued that IL praxis should be coupled with critical theorist (or critical librarian) values, in order to achieve the most balanced relationships.