International Library and Cultural Exchange Annual Report


International Library and Cultural Exchange Annual Report

Submitted by Nancy Bolt


ILCE awarded grants for two International Library Projects

The purpose of the grants is two-fold:

  • Support individual and library partnerships and activities that enhance cultural understanding
  • Support cultural programming and activities that celebrate ethnic and immigrant cultures in Colorado

The two projects are:

$1500 to Janet Lee, Dean of the Library at Regis University. While in Ethiopia as a Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Lee will facilitate workshops on publishing children’s books in local Ethiopian Languages in cooperation with the African Storybook Project.  She will also conduct children’s book publishing training with an emphasis on open access and first language materials.

“Putting attractive, well-written books in local languages in the hands of young children is a reward in itself,” she said.  The work has long been a part of her passion. She previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer and helped create a small school library in Ethiopia from 1974-76.

$1500.00 to Jimena Sagas, Liaison Librarian, CSU-Fort Collins and Rita Puig, Reference Librarian Regis University to host presentations by Asuncion, a librarian from Mexico, to help foster the exchange of ideas and comradery among Colorado librarians and Mexican librarians.

The projects will begin this September, 2017.

International Activities

Janet Lee, Regis University Dean of the Dayton Memorial Library Janet Lee has been named a Fulbright Scholar, a prestigious honor that will enable her to focus on open access publishing in Ethiopia. Lee traveled to Ethiopia in September for two semesters where she will partner with the University of Aksum. She will explore avenues of scholarly publishing in Ethiopia that will give voice to the unheard, sharing their knowledge, perspectives and values.

As a side project, she will be working with the Ethiopian Community Development Council/Axumite Heritage Foundation in setting up a community library in a new building replacing the existing community library that is outgrown its space.  The new library will include a children’s corner, great reading room, auditorium, exhibit space, and three classrooms.

With her vast knowledge of library skills, Lee will provide training to the university and the community library.  As mentioned above, under Grants, she is also providing workshops on publishing books, with illustrations, translated into the local Ethiopian languages and the English.  While in Africa, Lee is posting regularly on the ILCE website and Facebook page.

Nancy Bolt attended the annual IFLA conference in Wroclaw, Poland and moderated a program on accessibility at library conferences.  Bolt also was the co-editor of Guidelines on Library Service to People Experiencing Homelessness. She also represents IFLA on a United Nations Committee on services to people with disabilities in the UN’s 2030 Strategic Development Goals.  Bolt recently conducted an international survey on this topic with the results available in January.

Bolt was also honored to receive the Scroll of Achievement Award from the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) at their 2017 annual conference in Wroclaw, Poland.  Bolt won the award for her work over the years with Government Libraries and library service to people with special needs.  Presenting the award was IFLA President, Donna Scheeder, and IFLA Secretary General, Gerard Lightner.

With Dr. Shimelis Assefa, Professor at the Morgridge College of Education Library and Information Science Program at the University of Denver, Janet Lee collaborated on a paper “Public Libraries as a Place to Advance Tolerance,” which surveyed libraries in Colorado and across the nation on programs and practices that promote tolerance.  Dr. Assefa also presented on “Data and Information Literacy.” Lee also partnered with newly Returned Peace Corps Ethiopia Volunteer, Ben Rearick, a student in the University of Michigan’s Library and Information Science Program, on a poster “A Hyena’s Tale: Introducing Children to the Power of Reading in Ethiopia.”  In addition, Dr. Assefa presented a poster “The Well-being of Nations and what Libraries can do to Help:  The Case for Africa.”  A version of the Lee/Rearick poster was presented at International Poster Session at the American Library Association conference in Chicago in June.

Barb Thorne is the Technical Advisor to public libraries in Nicaragua that have been established by Jane Mirandette.   She was appointed following the Executive Librarian tour in November 2015. Since early 2016 Barb has worked closely with Victor Zuniga of the Poudre Public Library District on technical support, reports on the automated system and has cataloged over 2500 books to be distributed to the SJDS Main library, the Mobile project and seven Satellites. She reviewed and revised the system, crated and applied call tags to all the books in the children’s area, over 1500.  She participated in the 16th anniversary had discussions with over 30 librarian/teachers who were sharing in a craft and coffee morning and reviewed procedures and trained staff while in Nicaragua.

Annual Conference

ILCE had a very successful CAL conference.  Barbara Thorne prepared a Lightning Round presentation about ILCE’s activities, focusing on our Sister City activities and our grants.

ILCE held its annual International Reception to welcome and talk with people who have an interest in international librarianship.  We had a lively discussion about ILCE and work with libraries overseas.

Nancy Wood featured ILCE in two presentations she made at the conference and discussed her own international library project.  She writes:

”When humanitarians step in to a foreign culture with a pure intention of helping those less fortunate, many experience shock and confusion, discouraged with disappointment.  Within the 13 year International non-profit partnership of James Kumahn of Liberia, Africa and Nancy Wood of Colorado, USA, co-founders of Hope for Children of Africa, lays a devoted purpose, many disappointments, enlightening experiences, and joyful lessons that have resulted in a constant awakening of ideas. Our approach varies; each situation provides a step that expands our evolution and our ability to better serve humanity.

For More Information about ILCE or like us on Facebook:  International Library and Cultural Exchange Interest Group


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