ERIC Number: EJ1069745
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Think Globally, Act Locally: A Library Perspective
Clausen, Beth E.
portal: Libraries and the Academy, v15 n3 p389-392 Jul 2015
In this article, the author presents observations learned while "on loan" from Northwestern University (NU), Evanston, Illinois, to the campus library in Doha, Qatar, (NU-Q) Middle East. The author's ongoing experience is helping her see how important global exposure can be to a library professional's attaining a deeper and wider level of international awareness. Reflecting upon reports and other resources about the internationalization of US higher education, there was barely or rarely a mention of libraries, library services, or development of information-seeking skills. Yet, active participation allows librarians to become more aware of the contexts and operations of libraries serving students in other countries. In the relatively short time at NU-Q, conversations with new colleagues jarred her thinking about library issues, services, and operations in a different way--such as work in a "start-up" library, the feeling of remoteness, a smaller professional network, trying to increase library use given the different perception and experience of libraries by the clientele, and different perspectives about intellectual freedom and potential censorship. Not to be overlooked though were the benefits of working in a library outside the United States, broadening one's professional connections, gaining exposure to different issues related to publishing and distribution, and engaging with a clientele having dramatically different cultural experiences from one's own. Though six months into a two-year loan, the experience is showing benefits from broader global awareness both to the librarian and to those she serves.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Academic Libraries, Global Approach, Librarians, Library Services, Library Administration, Experience, Intellectual Freedom, Censorship, Cultural Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Qatar