Category Archives: ALA

Ethics & Diversity, Services to Spanish Speakers @ 2016 ALA Annual Conference

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I would like to share information about a program where I will be speaking during the 2016 ALA Annual Conference which takes place in Orlando, Florida, this week:

No Room at the Library: The Ethics of Diversity

Sunday, June 26
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Orange County Convention Center, Room W105B
In support of ALA’s multiyear campaign of Libraries Transform, we want to foster dialog about inclusion and ethics in libraries. Key speaker, Loida Garcia-Febo, and a panel of thoughtful leaders, Anastasia Chiu, Jeffrey Souder and Sara Ahmed will facilitate audience discussion after the Ethics committee performs three different skits. In the tradition of “What Would You Do?”, we will strive to shed light on ethical dilemmas involving religious, cultural and LGBTQ issues. Reflecting on the recent resolution to ALA council, one skit will address potential Islamophobia and the ethical responsibilities of librarians to promote libraries transforming to a global and inclusive space.
Another program I would like to highlight:

Services to Spanish Speakers: Best Practices and Models from Latin America

Sunday, June 26
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Orange County Convention Center, Room W103B
Guest speakers from the popular online space Infotecarios, an online forum by and for Latino American librarians serving thousands of colleagues, will share innovative best practices and models to serve Spanish speakers in that region. Join us and learn how you can adapt these to serve your communities. Remarks by Miguel Garcia-Colón, Chair of the IRC Americas Subcommittee, and Loida Garcia-Febo, ALA Executive Board Member. Speakers: Myrna Lee Torres-Perez, Saul Martinez-Equihua and Santiago Villegas-Ceballos. 


I would like to encourage everyone to check the list of Diversity Related Events at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando, here.




2016 ALA Annual Conference: Call for International Papers and Projects Program-Deadline: Dec 19

AC16_LOGO_RGB300x300-e1447615851132The American Library Association, International Papers and Projects Committee invites proposals for presentations to be made at the next ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, USA.  Presentations will be delivered at the International Papers Session scheduled for June 2016.  The International Papers and Projects Program provides librarians with an opportunity to exchange information about library services, collections and projects throughout the world.  The program also serves to stimulate the interest of U.S. librarians in international library matters. Through its International Papers Committee, ALA’s International Relations Round Table (IRRT) invites librarians to submit a presentation proposal.

The 2016 International Papers and Projects Program theme is:

Borderless Libraries: Pushing Boundaries for Innovation and Leadership

Learning and research today are increasingly global and interdisciplinary. To meet the challenges and needs of our interconnected world, libraries are reaching outside of their institutional and geographical borders to cooperate with institutions and agencies of all types. With increased awareness of shared missions and common challenges, libraries are forming learning networks to gain insights and achieve solutions to respond to community needs.

This program will feature presentations on projects and collaborations that cross traditional boundaries, both geographical and institutional, in order to innovate and lead. Presenters are encouraged to consider the theme from diverse angles. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Collaborating with libraries or other organizations, especially to bring in new global perspectives
  • Working with cross-border partners to use technology in innovative ways to provide services to users
  • Sharing resources and skills with libraries across institutional or geographical borders to support innovation or find solutions that address common issues and challenges

Proposals, presentations, and papers must be written and delivered in English, which is the working language of the program.

Proposals should include:
1.    Title of the presentation
2.    Name, title, institutional affiliation, and full contact information (including a valid e-mail address) for each  presenter
3.    Abstract (300-500 words)
4.    A short biographical profile of each presenter

Proposals should be submitted electronically (as a single Microsoft Word or PDF attachment) to the International Relations Office via email at with a copy to and

Deadline for submitting proposals is December 19, 2015.

Three official and three alternate proposals will be selected. Alternate proposals will be ranked and considered in place of official ones in case substitutions are necessary. Proponents will be notified of the selection results by January 15, 2016.

The International Papers and Projects Program is 1.5 hours total.  Presentations should run about 20 minutes each, followed by a question-and-answer session.  Presenters are encouraged to prepare a dynamic and interactive presentation, incorporating visual prompts, technologies, games, questions for the audience, etc. PowerPoints are common, but speakers who want to read a paper or refer to it are welcome to do so.  Optionally, presenters may submit a formal paper (5,000-10,000 words), to be published on the International Papers Committee website.

We would like to invite you to view previous presentations listed on IRRT’s International Papers and Projects Session Committee website,

Thank you! for the 2015 Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award

I am honored to have received the 2015 Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award from REFORMA. I would like to share my acceptance speech which I delivered on June 26, 2015 during the REFORMA Gala at the 2015 American Library Conference Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Buenas noches. Thank you. Gracias to the REFORMA Awards Committee, the nominators, and to Salvador Avila- thank you so much! John Ayala, Ninfa Trejo, Jose Aponte. Much love and appreciation.

Tonight, I stand on the shoulders of trailblazers like Elizabeth Martinez, our first Latina ALA Executive Director. Camila Alire, our first Latina ALA President. I am grateful to many others who paved the way for me to be able to accomplish everything mentioned on the award citation. Thank you. I recognize you tonight.  There are many names but I will mention,

Ben Ocon, a REFORMA Past President, he gave me my first leadership opportunity in REFORMA. Sandra Rios Balderrama was an immense joy to work with during my Presidency. My Northeast Chapter which supported my concept of a mini conference with all the ethnic caucus and we just had our eleventh annual conference! I truly value working in partnerships and as a team member.

I’ve been blessed with a prolific career. I started as a school librarian while in library school and went to be the chief of a library at the University of Puerto Rico after I received my degree. I have worked at great school, public and academic libraries and treasure my experiences.

My international community, I love you so much. I truly enjoy developing new opportunities for new professionals globally as I have done by co-founding IFLA’s New Profesionals in 2004!, and advocating at the United Nations for access to information. Coordinating global online continuing education in English, Spanish and Portuguese. It is an honor to be trusted enough to have been elected to a second term on the Governing Board of IFLA. Big appreciation to my mentor, Barbara Ford.

I must recognize my mother, Doña Febo, a librarian, who taught me the importance of intellectual freedom and the right of everyone to access information. She would let me read anything I wanted. My father, Don Garcia, showed me to be fearless, daring, atrevida, and shared his passion for communities with me.

Tonight, I also stand on the shoulders of my ancestors. My Greek family, my Taina Grandmother, my Spaniard great grandfathers, My AfroCaribbean great grandmother. I AM THEM. I am so proud of my heritage!

I am Loida, Global, Advocate, Passionate, Love mi Gente, Hija del Caribe, Del Sol Febo, de Atrevidos Garcia.

Thank you. Gracias. 

Events by groups serving multicultural populations at the 2015 American Library Association Annual Conference

AC15_SanFran_logo_RGB_300If you are attending the Annual Conference of the American Library Association in San Francisco June 25-June30, consider attending events by various associations and groups serving multicultural and multiethnic populations:

Friday, June 26

6:30-10:30 p.m. REFORMA 4th Annual Denim & Diamond Gala and Awards

Location: Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Saturday, June 27

1:00-2:30 p.m. Developing and Strengthening Culturally Relevant Materials in African Libraries by ALA IRC/ Africa Subcommittee

1:00-2:30 p.m. Librarians of Color: The Challenges of “Movin’ On Up” by EMIERT, APALA, BCALA, GLBT RT, and REFORMA

1:00-2:30 p.m. Connecting Communities: Documenting and Sharing Asian American Heritage by APALA and the History Section of RUSA

1:00-2:30 p.m. REFORMA President’s Program—Books for Unaccompanied Minors: REFORMA Response to the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

1:00-2:30 p.m. Alcatraz Occupation: Self-Determination and Tribal Information Needs by AILA

1:00-2:30 p.m. Librarians Without Borders: International Outreach by ALCTS

3:00-4:00 p.m. IRC’s Chair Program—Libraries Creating Positive Change: championing access to information globally. Speakers: Deborah Jacobs, Director of Global Libraries, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Tina Sciabica, Executive Director of READ Global.

3:00-4:00 p.m. APALA Program— Create Possibilities for Refugee, Immigrant and Low Income Students

3:00-4:00 p.m.  Honoring our Elders: AILA Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony

3:00-5:00 p.m. ALA Diversity and Outreach Fair 

4:30-5:30 p.m. Access to Government Information: the case of US and China

4:30-5:30 p.m. Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy (APALA President’s Program co-sponsored by VTR)

6:00-8:30 p.m. The 17th Annual Latino Book Awards

6:30-9:30 p.m. APALA Literature Awards

8:00-10:00 p.m. Noche de Cuentos – REFORMA

Sunday, June 28

7:00-9:30 a.m. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast

10:30-11:30 a.m. An Opportunity to Serve: American Librarians in Eurasia

10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. International Poster Session. Exhibit Floor.

1:00-2:00 p.m. Learning International Recipes from the Field by the IRRT

1:00-3:00 p.m. 2015 Pura Belpre Award Celebration – REFORMA and ALSC

1:00-2:30 p.m. Librarians at the Forefront of Grassroots Community Endeavors by BCALA

1:00-2:30 p.m. CALA Annual Program— Partnerships Beyond CALA: Training Leaders of Color

2:30-4:00 p.m. An Open Conversation with the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Planning for Orlando and Beyond

3:00-4:00 p.m. Current Practices and Trends in East/Southeast/Pacific Asian Libraries by IRC/EAP Subcommittee

4:30-5:30 p.m. Strategic Collaborations: Sister Libraries in Sister Cities by the IRRT

7:00-10:00 p.m. BCALA 45th Anniversary and Literary Awards

Monday, June 29

8:30-10:00 a.m. Building Sustainable Libraries in Asia: Success Stories, by the IRRT and ISLD Program

8:30-10:00 a.m. Jean Coleman Memorial Outreach Lecture

10:30-11:30 a.m. Culture under siege and our response: scholars and librarians in action by the IRC/ Near East and South Asia Subcommittee

1:00-2:30 p.m. IRRT Chair’s Program—Library Leadership Initiatives: Stories from a Global Perspective

1:00-2:30 p.m. The E-Book Landscape in Europe by the IRC/ Europe Subcommittee

1:00-2:30 p.m. Diverse Books Need Us by IFC

7:00-9:00 p.m. International Librarians Reception

More international meetings and programs.

2015 Pura Belpre Award Winners

I am happy to share the list of the 2015 Pura Belpre Award Winners!

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

ALA International Mentoring Pilot Program

The International Relations Committee (IRC) and the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) of the American Library Association are sponsoring a pilot program to provide librarians with resources to help them understand international librarianship;  provide mentoring related for career development in international librarianship, library services in different regions of the  world, and sister libraries among many others.

Read more about it, here.

As Chair of the ALA International Relations Committee, I am proud to announce this initiative. I am glad to work with the Chair of the ALA IRRT, Robin Kear, and members of the IRC Committees to make this happen.