Global Literature in Libraries Initiative

Global Literature in Libraries InitiativeThe #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign isn’t just for school libraries or public libraries. Community college, college, and university libraries also need diverse books. When I attended the National Diversity in Libraries Conference, I attended a great lightning round program, Academic Libraries Spearheading Diversity and Cultural Initiatives on University Campuses. In that program, the University of Cincinnati Libraries discussed their Reading Around the World book club.

What is your community college or community college library doing to highlight materials from other parts of the world? Do you have a collection of translated works from your international students’ home countries? Do you have a book club focusing on books from around the globe? How do you learn about books from other countries?

The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI), newly founded by Rachel Hildebrandt, works to raise awareness of world literature:

…for adults and children at the local, national and international levels. We intend to do so by facilitating close and direct collaboration between translators, librarians, publishers, editors, and educators, because we believe that these groups in collaboration are uniquely positioned to help libraries provide support and events to engage readers of all ages in a library framework that explores and celebrates literature from around the world.

We want to increase the visibility of international works in English translation so that more readers can enjoy the amazing diversity in these books and the perspectives they present. And we would like to do this by increasing cooperation between literary translators, international literature advocates, and librarians, who are already experts at guiding readers to new titles. Whether you are a children’s librarian or a YA blogger, a rural library director or a teacher at a large urban school with a diverse student population, we would welcome your insights as we explore collaborative opportunities to encourage readers to explore beyond the boundaries of their own culture and language.

Goals & Projects:

  • Book lists and guides tied to major translation awards and library themes

  • Programming ideas for various library user groups: children, teens, college students, adults, English Language Learners, etc.

  • ALA conference involvement: workshops and sessions, networking through various ALA units and offices to explore the best ways to provide information and services to librarians

  • Joint webinars with various ALA offices

  • Publisher and journal lists organized by vendors/distributors to help librarians more easily acquire books in translation

  • Advocacy on behalf of small publishers to increase their visibility on the review platforms that librarians commonly use for their acquisitions decisions

  • General education efforts to help librarians understand more thoroughly the value of translated literature and of contemporary foreign-language literature

  • Pan-publisher catalogs crafted specifically for librarian users, as a form of “one-stop” shopping to learn about new works coming out in translation

  • Exploration of ways in which non-US publishers of English translations and non-US, non-English-language publishers can more easily promote their works among libraries (Global Literature in Libraries, “About,” 2016)

If you would like to get involved with GLLI, please contact Rachel Hildebrandt at rehildebrandt@gmail.com. GLLI also have a Facebook group, which you can find here.

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About Lindsay Davis

Instruction & Outreach Librarian. Latina. Kory. NPR. Coffee. Dogs. Walks. Yoga. #Instalibrariancloset.
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2 Responses to Global Literature in Libraries Initiative

  1. aj robinson says:

    I followed the pingback from the ACRLog post and just wanted to say thanks for doing this work and connecting people! I’m joining the GLLI group right now!

    Liked by 1 person

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