Best Practices from World Libraries Photo Gallery

2020 Theme: Social Justice and Inclusion

2020 Best Practices from World Libraries Photo Gallery

The “Best Practices from World Libraries” photo gallery presents a selection of photographs from around the world, which feature library projects and programs that best demonstrate this year’s ALA theme: the Value of Libraries in Promoting Social Justice and Inclusion.

This collection of photographs has been curated by the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) International Connections Committee. The project idea comes from 2018 IRRT Emerging Leaders’ Project: Towards Increasing Engagement of International New Professional Leaders in ALA Activities, which identified “sharing innovative services and best practices” and “promoting the concept of a global community of libraries” as the highest priorities.

We believe the photographs selected best illustrate libraries’ innovative services and impact in building strong communities around the world. These images demonstrate ALA’s core values of librarianship in promoting democracy, diversity, social responsibility, lifelong learning and professionalism, and embrace what Dr. Michael Stephens called “the heart of librarianship” in pursuing “attentive, positive and purposeful change”.

Photo by Kahramanmaraş Karacaoğlan Public Library

"Syria Book Part": Library = Human

Kahramanmaraş Karacaoğlan Public Library, TURKEY

To support Syrian refugees, "Syria Book Part" project at the Karacaoğlan Public Library in Kahramanmaraş provides education in mother tongue and organizes cultural activities. There are approximately one hundred thousand Syrian people who live in Kahramanmaraş. The "Syria Book Part" Project was achieved in cooperation with the United Nations.


Project Contact: kutuphane46@kulturturizm.gov.tr


Photo by Regional Library Karvina

Together With Smile

Regional Library Karvina, Czech Republic

"Together with Smile" project informed children with specific needs. These children do not have a simple social life; they are often afraid of changes and getting to know a new environment or strangers. The library gives them a helping hand, shows them that they can also find their relaxation corner in the library, where they do not have to be afraid to come, and where books are waiting for them to be their friends. They find out that the library is not just about books, but an opportunity to use creative workshops and make not only something for themselves but also their loved ones. Another aim of the project is to improve access to cultural activities for blind and partially sighted citizens by projecting films with audio description in the library's cinema.


Project Contact: Regional Library Karvina; e-mail: knihovna@rkka.cz
Photo by Kahramanmaraş Karacaoğlan Public Library

Let’s Leave a Trail to the Library

Kahramanmaraş Karacaoğlan Public Library, KYGM, TURKEY

"Let's Leave a Trail to the Library" event organized specifically for children with Down Syndrome during the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day at the Karacaoğlan Public Library. The children with Down Syndrome had a lot of fun at the event called "Let's leave a trail to the library." Our goal with this event was to eliminate inequalities, to show that the right to use the library belongs to each individual. The event fosters a fun environment with all the children, and shows that we are more beautiful together. This population often considered disadvantaged in society can take part in all areas of life.


Project Contact: kutuphane46@kulturturizm.gov.tr
Photo by TOCC_Club (Esparreguera Ateneu Municipal Library_TOCC)

Reading Wellness

Esparreguera Ateneu Municipal Library, Barcelona, Spain

In 2017, the Esparreguera Ateneu Municipal Library, working with the Taller Ocupacional Can Comelles (TOCC), a professional workshop for adult people with a mental disability, created a reading club called TOCC Club. The club had 18 members and met monthly. The club meetings facilitated the reading of a variety of books from classic titles to new releases. The TOCC Club used materials illustrated with text in albums to accommodate the needs of participants with different reading levels. The read-out-loud activities promoted debates and opinion sharing, and members enjoyed being part of this inclusive community. What we learned from this project was extraordinary. Everyone loved books and the sharing moment. We highly recommend it!


Project Contact: Cecilia Reifs b.esparreguera@diba.cat
Photo by Max Cisneros

The Committee for Criminal Justice, Stamford's Everyday Democracy Facing Racism Community Conversations

Ferguson Library, Stamford, Connecticut, USA

The Ferguson Library launched a series of dialogues on race and equity in the fall of 2018. Though spearheaded by the library, this community-led initiative bought residents together for dialogue and action. The mission of this leadership group (Stamford’s Everyday Democracy) is to address the racial inequities in the city. We will achieve this through a series of dialogues to identify inequities and build relationships among neighbors. We will take actions that lead to shared power and resources that improve our community. The goal of our seven session dialogue series is to gather members of our diverse community to discuss our ethnic and racial identities, evaluate our community institutions through the lens of race and equity and create change through grassroots efforts. Three sets of dialogues have been held so far at various city locations. One of the most significant consequences of the series is the formation of action groups. Specifically, the criminal justice group who has embarked on a mission to understand and facilitate bail bond reform in order to dismantle the practice. This work group recently held a program for the community on bail bond reform with a panel presentation from legal experts.


Project Contact:Elizabeth Joseph, ejoseph@fergusonlibrary.org



The image features Salumu Leon Musuyu and Kelly Linda Iradukunda, two graduates from the program. Photo by State Library of Queensland

Siganto Digital Learning Workshops

State Library of Queensland, Queensland, Australia

The Workshops equip recently arrived migrants communities with a personal computer, and the skills needed to use and maintain it. The glory of this project is that it has provided facilitators and participants with newfound friendships, connections and a sense of achievement. These sessions provide attendees with recycled Government computers, putting them into the hands of those who otherwise would not be able to afford them. The focus of the program is on digital literacy in its totality; from hardware through software and human interaction, including digital skills and online safety. The workshops teach participants how to dismantle, rebuild and troubleshoot their machines before using open-source software to create their own digital projects. Best of all, once the workshop is completed participants can keep the computers they have worked on for study or home use. The are philanthropically funded and delivered free-of-charge to newly arrived communities in Queensland.

Project Contact: Andrei Maberley, andrei.maberley@slq.qld.gov.au
Photo by Muğla Hoca Mustafa Efendi Publıc Lıbrary

The Freedom that Comes with Books

Muğla Hoca Mustafa Efendi Publıc Lıbrary, Muğla, TURKEY

The Muğla Hoca Mustafa Efendi Publıc Lıbrary is organizing activities for children whose mothers are prisoners in Muğla Type-E Closed Prison. These activities create opportunity for children to be with books, foster good reading habits, and raise awareness among mothers to encourage their children to read. The library used materials organized by pediatricians and created activities to capture children's attention to read books. The different techniques shared with kids were recorded. These activities are continuously being modified and improved.


Project Contact: M. Pınar DENGİZ, kutuphane48@ktb.gov.tr
Photo by City of Helsinki

Accessibility in Helsinki Central Library Oodi

Helsinki Central Library Oodi, Helsinki City Library, Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki Central Library Oodi paid special attention to accessibility when designing the library. We wanted to make sure that Oodi truly felt like a common living room for everyone. This picture highlights the effort to make the height of the bookshelf and the distance between bookshelves suitable for the wheelchairs. We also make sure that Oodi's accessibility is proudly shown in our communication and marketing - including the visual messages. We are committed to create a better daily life for the entire Helsinki community.


Project Contact: Marjo Haatainen, marjo.haatainen@hel.fi
Photo by West Vancouver Memorial Library

Shared Journeys: Winter Celebrations

West Vancouver Memorial Library, British Columbia, Canada

Shared Journeys is a program that embraces West Vancouver’s rich cultural diversity, bringing people together through stories, conversations, and activities. The Shared Journeys Program includes reading programs, book chats, lectures, film screenings, an educational exhibit, a panel discussion, and (pictured) a Winter Celebration. The Winter Celebration brought together many different traditions, from Christmas to Hanukkah, to Yalda, to Donghzi, and more. Participants created a holiday ornament to decorate a tree that showcased both the unique and shared ways we celebrate winter.


Photo by Adıyaman Public Library

Everywhere for Everyone

Adıyaman Public Library, TURKEY

Adıyaman Public Library's mobile library brings books, information, games, and entertainment together with our young volunteers to our readers who live in disadvantaged and remote areas (towns and villages). It is necessary to emphasize that every child has the right to read and have fun. The mobile library organizes various activities to entertain readers in about 15 village and town schools that cannot benefit from the social facilities of our residential public libraries. We have fun around the stove, cooking chestnuts, reading books, and playing traditional games together with the children. Learning and having fun is a right for everyone including children studying in village schools.


Project Contact: maslan_02@hotmail.com, v.bozan21@gmail.com




Photo by Lubuto Library Partners

Including the Most Excluded with Digital Skills

Lubuto Library Partners, Zambia

Lubuto Library Partners is preventing early marriage and transforming the life possibilities of vulnerable out-of-school girls through a suite of programs centered around the shared community resource of the Mumuni Lubuto Library, in the rural village of Nabukuyu, Zambia. The programs include a Makerspace that offers a range of technology and skills-training activities aimed at providing sustainable and scalable economic empowerment for girls and women. In 2019, a week-long residential Coding Camp at the Makerspace served 28 girls who arrived with little to no experience using computers, and left as amateur programmers who had created games in Scratch and Python, programmed robotic vehicles, and assembled their own computers. Over half the participants were out-of-school, one-third were orphaned and included girls retrieved from early marriages. Girls expressed newfound confidence in their ability to use technology in creative contexts, establishing themselves as technology leaders in their communities and expanding their sense of what is possible for their futures. The project promotes an understanding of computational logic, developing problem-solving, and creative technical thinking skills. Also, the program built life skills such as leadership, teamwork, and illustrates how public libraries can improve the lives of the most vulnerable out-of-school girls with digital skills training and mentoring.


Project Contact: Jane Kinney Meyers, mayazi@verizon.net

Photo by BWB GmbH

Reshelving Service

Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin, Germany

In 2017, the Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek (America Memorial Library), one of the sites of the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin (Central and Regional Library Berlin), established the cooperation with the Berliner Werkstätten für Menschen mit Behinderung GmbH (Berlin Workshops for Persons with Disabilities) and hired 24 people with disabilities who are working in the reshelving service at the library. The collaboration promotes diversity and inclusion. Performing the routine work of shelving returned items offers job satisfaction to the persons with disabilities, while simultaneously freeing up resources of the regular library staff for other tasks.


Project Contact: Gabriele Leschke gabriele.leschke@zlb.de
Photo by Children and Books, Jiří Mahen Library, Eva Vojtíšková, 9. 6. 2018

Library at Multi-genre Street Festival

The Jiří Mahen Library in Brno, Czech Republic

The Jiří Mahen Library regularly prepares events in public spaces aimed at promoting reading and community life. The photo is a snapshot of the multi-genre festival Ghettofest taking place in a socially excluded city location. Within the chill-out zone, people can “stay for a while”, read an interesting book or magazine, learn about library services, etc. This motto also reflects the spot “I'll be a while“ (first place in the A corto di libri 2017 contest). The library at the festival also offers free books for children. Local children secretly take the books to another part of the festival where they sell them for a symbolic price. There are more in photography - children's innovation, the awareness that books and reading are important, the need to make money, and the optimistic vision that these children will eventually become successful booksellers. The determination in the eyes of the oldest girl and the admiration and fear in the eyes of her friends, along with the title of the book “Don't Give Up”, complete a strong story full of emotions and power to overcome adversity.


Project Contact: Eva Vojtíšková, project manager of the Jiří Mahen Library, projekty@kjm.cz, eva.vojtiskova@yahoo.com




Panelists as seen in the photo (left to right): Professor Wallace Ford, moderator, Dr. Don Dayson, Professor Gregorio Mayers, Richard Hurley, Esq., and Jennifer Jones Austin. Photo by Professor Yelena Novitskaya, Archivist/Photographer

Civil Rights Book Collection and Panel Discussion

Charles Evans Inniss Memorial Library at Medgar Evers College, The City University of New York (CUNY), Brooklyn, New York, USA

The Civil Rights Book Collection and Panel Discussion was a collaborative event between the Library and the Department of Public Administration in celebration of Black History Month 2020. It featured a permanent book display, a reading list devoted to Civil Rights, and a panel discussion focused on issues that affect our communities such as health care, housing, criminal justice, and economic development. The Department of Public Administration developed a Civil Rights Reading List inspired by a Thurgood Marshall Constitution Day lecture. The list was created to encourage students to learn about significant contributions that Blacks made to this country. Many of the books on the list were in our non-circulating collections. We decided to purchase new books for the project with a METRO CCDA grant. We set out to create a display on the main floor of the library to make these books more visible and accessible to our students. Now, these books can circulate to all City University of New York students, faculty, and staff. The Civil Rights Reading List is accessible from the library website.


Project Contact: Professor Judith Schwartz, Interim Chief Librarian, jschwartz@mec.cuny.edu
Photo by City of Fremantle

Community Shelf

Fremantle Library, City of Fremantle, Fremantle, Western Australia

The community shelf pantry at Fremantle Library provides help for our community members that might be experiencing hardship or homelessness. Donations are welcome from staff and community members who can give. The items on the shelf are for the entire community. Community members can include a parent who forgot sunscreen for their little one, to the people having a tight week, or for the backpackers that are passing through. Everyone deserves a helping hand.


Project Contact: Chantelle McLeod: chantellem@fremantle.wa.gov.au



Photo by OU Law School student Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher with Amos T. Hall, Thurgood Marshall, and Dr. H. W. Williamston. 1948. The University of Oklahoma Libraries Western History Collections.

OU Libraries Join Project STAND

University of Oklahoma Libraries, Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Project STAND is a nationwide consortium of more than 40 colleges and universities that are creating an online hub to heighten access to digital and analog archival and historical collections documenting student activism. Participating in Project STAND gives us the tools we need to present an inclusive and diverse record of the student experience at OU, while also adding the OU experience to a national narrative. Images catalogued so far document student activism from the 1940s to the present and include photographs documenting Ada Sipuel Fisher's challenge to racial discrimination in OU law school admissions in 1946, poet and civil rights activist Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) on campus in 1977, and contemporary student activist responses to recent racist videos, including the #BetterTogether march of January 2019. Student activism has served and continues to serve as a critical component to the development of a truly democratic society. Activism on all sides, across a spectrum of interests, is part of this national conversation and libraries are uniquely suited to documenting and these efforts and making these conversations accessible as a component of our historical narrative.


Project Contact: Bridget Burke, Associate Dean for Special Collections :bridget.burke@ou.edu


Photo by ZÜBEYDE HANIM PROVINCIAL PUBLIC LIBRARY

Babies Growing up With Books

ZÜBEYDE HANIM PROVINCIAL PUBLIC LIBRARY & GENERAL DIRECTORATE OF LIBRARIES PUBLICATION, KARABÜK, TURKEY

The "baby library" was opened in cooperation with the provincial public Library of Karabük Zübeyde Hanım and the Child Development Department of Karabük University to offer baby a rich and stimulating environment. Research reveals that brain development between the age of newborn to 3 years is faster than other periods. In infancy, babies learn about their environments, recognize differences and similarities, and understand the relations between the objects through senses and interactions. The "baby library" aims to introduce books and help babies develop. Reading books regularly with babies promotes early literacy skills. The reading culture created by the library is highly appreciated by parents.


Project Contact: kutuphane78@ktb.gov.tr; kygmdisiliskiler2@ktb.gov.tr



Photo by Rovira i Virgili University

InserLab Project

Learning and Research Centre (CRAI), Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain

Rovira i Virgili University and CRAI have collaborated to create the InserLab Project to serve those who are cognitively diverse. The Project targets young adults between the ages of 18 to 30 qualifying as having an intellectual disability of 33% greater and offers career guidance to help them discover personal interests, skills and employment opportunities. The ultimate goal of this training program is to incorporate participants into the labor market as fully self-sufficient individuals. Although participants face additional challenges when they enter the labor market, InserLab offers support and competency-focused training to help them overcome challenges. Five of the students in the first year of the course are working at the Learning and Research Resource Center (CRAI) at Rovira i Virgili University, the first job opportunity they have in an ordinary environment. This project promotes quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and reduction of inequalities.


Project Contact: Josepa Rius, josepa.rius@urv.cat



Photo by Washtenaw Technical Middle College

Collaboration between Seed Library and WTMC Hoop House

Bailey Library, Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Washtenaw Technical Middle College (WTMC) is a high school located inside Washtenaw Community College that affords students the opportunity to earn up to 90 college credits as they complete their high school diploma. One of the many features that sets this school apart is its focus on sustainability. The librarians at the Bailey Library organize a seed library that allows all people in the community to "borrow" seeds for their home gardens (and allows us to borrow seeds for the on-campus garden). The existence of this seed library has helped WTMC further its mission to explore sustainable practices in our hoop house and has allowed many in the community to start their own gardens. Providing all people in the academic and larger community the education and materials necessary to grow a portion of one's food is the essence of inclusion and social justice.


Project Contact: Eli Zemper, ezemper@wccnet.edu
Photo by IZBW / Sven Wied

Travelling Exhibition Open UP! How Digitization Changes Science

ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

With an effort to actively promote Open Science, ZBW celebrates its centenary with an exhibition showcasing what open science is and the role that academic libraries play in promoting open science. The open science is celebrated with the recognition that every member of society should be able to participate in science education and science appreciation. Businesses should be able to access and share scientific results. At the Travelling Exhibition, people from different domains met and had informal talks. Visitors were invited to imagine a world where everybody has open, barrier-free access to knowledge.


Project Contact: Dr Doreen Siegfried, d.siegfried@zbw.eu
Photo by Carlos Montero, communication department of the Verín Town Hall.

Cultural Volunteering Verín Library: Living with languages

Municipal Public Library of the Concello de Verín, Verín, Ourense, Galicia, Spain.

"Voluntariado Cultural para el Fomento de la Lectura" (Cultural Volunteers for the Promotion of Reading) has been running for 11 years in Library of Verín. Children from 9 to 17 years old and some adults lend their time to making crafts and telling stories in the library. This image also shows a collaboration with the neighboring town of Chaves (Portugal). Children from both countries participated, demonstrating that culture and libraries are universal. The event brought children from Spain and Portugal together enjoying crafts and listening to stories in different languages. What could be a better way to show inclusion? Best of all, this wasn't an isolated event, as the relationship has continued over time. For this joint activity the European Parliament recognized the Verín Library with an award for breaking down borders and bringing cultures closer.


Project Contact: Vicente Rodríguez Justo, biblioteca@verin.gal


Photo by Scientific Library of the Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU)

Tactile Books

Scientific Library of the Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU), Republic of Belarus

The Tactile Books project, is a new approach to promoting contemporary literature. Modern children's books not only contribute to the socialization of the child in society but also raise serious, philosophical themes in a simple and understandable format for children. The book as a source and means of gaining experience and strengthening communication has a great potential as a tool of inclusion. We create tactile versions of modern children's books, seven copies of each title. Books sowed from fabric and illustrations made with different-texture materials using the applique technique. The text is in braille and attached to a fabric book. With the help of tactile books, we conduct inclusive classes in which all children, including children with special needs, read the same story together.


Project Contact: Koroliova Viktoryia homichvika@gmail.com
Photo by UVic

The Transgender Archives @ UVic Libraries

University of Victoria Libraries, Victoria, BC, Canada

The overwhelming reality for trans people during most of the 20th century has been profound isolation, silence, secrecy, and shame. However, knowing one’s history is essential to one’s identity. It has the potential to foster pride and dignity. Learning the history of one’s people can be done in many ways, not the least of which is through the examination of material records of the past. While trans, non-binary, or Two-Spirit people need to know their past as it intertwines with the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer people, they also need to know their past as a distinct and independent community. The Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria Libraries is the largest trans archives in the world. Since 2007, we have been actively acquiring documents, rare publications, and memorabilia of persons and community organizations associated with activism by and for trans, non-binary, and Two-Spirit people. Our records span over 160 meters or 530 linear feet (1.5 football fields long), go back over 120 years, and are in 15 languages from 23 countries on six continents. (Depicted in Photo: Dr. Aaron Devor, UVic's Chair in Transgender Studies, Founder & Academic Director, Transgender Archives)


Project Contact: Michael Radmacher, transarc@uvic.ca
Photo by Dada Photos

Renovation with Social Inclusion

Federal College of Education, Zaria, Nigeria

The college library's mission is to promote unity among various ethnic groups across the state. The Federal College of Education, Zaria, located in the Kaduna State was established as a teaching college for students studying for the National Certificate of Education (NCE). College librarian, Dr. Talatu Mohammed, created the social inclusion area, which changed the sitting arrangements from separating male and female students based on Islamic religion, to an inclusive space of sitting together at the same table. The librarian's goal of promoting diversity came to light with the library's renovation to encourage social inclusion from various ethnic groups irrespective of religion, tribe, and class.


Project Contact: Dada Kayode Sunday John: kayodescholar@gmail.com



Photo CC BY-SA Tabakalera

An Experience Book: Expressing Everyday Life through the Plastic Arts

Ubik, Tabakalera’s Creation Library , Donostia/San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

"An experience book: expressing everyday life through the plastic arts", is a plastic arts project that has been developed in the library for adults with intellectual disabilities. The book and the tools are used by the group for eight (8) sessions of art events in order to help them create an object that would serve as a means of communication and expression. Inspired by different contemporary plastic artists, we employed various techniques to highlight the abilities of the participants, empowering them through their own creativity. We have collaborated through visual culture, trust, collage, expression, image, teamwork and memory. The culmination of the project includes a final presentation of works and the different pieces developed while surrounded by family and friends. You can find more through the video: https://vimeo.com/275674579


Project Contact: Oihana Aristondo Cartagena, oaristondo@tabakalera.eu
Photo by Marina Poyarkova

Library Supports Women and Gender Equality

Nazarbayev University Library, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

The Nazarbayev University (NU) Library celebrates the Week of Women (WOW) annually with support from the university community. As libraries promote the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda, its participation in issues that relate to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) became an essential part of the library programs. Last year, the United Nations commemorated with a series of activities along the theme of "Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030," highlighting how women accelerate the 2030 Agenda. The activities built momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting SDG 5 – to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. More often, academic libraries are only associated with research, and public libraries discuss social issues. However, it takes a concerted effort of all libraries to advance the 17 SDGs and transform the knowledge society. We organized in 2018: a Panel Discussion with Mother Scholars, Book Display and Book Talk, A Tale of Women, Paint-Her-a-Picture, and Rubik's Cube Competition. The event attracted more than 100 participants and guests.


Project Contact: Marina Poyarkova: marina.poyarkova@nu.edu.kz



Photo by Salma Abumeeiz

The Community Collections: Travel Literature

Powell Library, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

Designed to reflect the diversity of UCLA's student population, the Powell Library's Community Collections seek to support student wellness, curiosity, and creativity. As one of these dynamic Community Collections, the Travel Literature Collection intends to accomplish several goals. In addition to helping travelers prepare for their trips, the Collection highlights the experience of travel from multiple perspectives, and seeks to inspire dialogue on local and global languages, cultures, and travel. It consists of language-learning and study abroad resources, travel narratives, and guidebooks. Curated in collaboration with both UCLA students and campus partners, including the UCLA International Education Office, the Travel Literature Collection demonstrates the potential for promoting intercultural dialogue and inclusivity through community-driven curation. This photo showcases a portion of this unique collection, featuring titles that highlight travel excursions in Los Angeles, Rajasthan, and China. Language-learning resources in German and Italian, and guides to United States biking and hiking trails, are also pictured.


Project Contact: Salma Abumeeiz, salmabumeeiz@library.ucla.edu



Photo by Roberto Arribas

Purple Corner in IE Library

IE Library, IE University - IE Business School, Madrid & Segovia, Spain

The Purple Corner is an area available in the IE University Library Segovia Campus, created in collaboration with the Vice-Rectorate of Students and the Junta de Castilla y León in Spain. IEPurpleCorner, is a friendly space for all IE community members. It provides resources about gender equality, such as bibliography on gender studies, monthly suggested readings, brochures with practical information and our Purple Guest Book. An artistic installation created by the Segovian artist, Fernando Magaz, was dedicated at the inauguration of the Purple Corner which also commemorated the celebration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This is one more step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals, which include gender equality, as well as promoting social justice and inclusion through libraries. IE University will also launch a contest to initiate the creation of “purple points” in other Segovia colleges and institutes with the intent to establish a network committed to equality at the service of all students.


Project Contact: Noelia Romero, noeliaromero@ie.edu




Photo by E. Gail Reese

Voices A Century Apart

Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA

This project at Kelvin Smith Library represents the century separating (and uniting) two men fighting for civil and human rights as outlined in both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. This modernized conversation between Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr., portrayed by actors, serves to deliver historical impact through their speeches examining the city’s racial issues. Both men were great orators, respectively stressing similar arguments during the Abolitionist and Civil Rights Movements. Each made numerous visits to Cleveland, Ohio leaving an undeniable impact upon the city. The diverse audience of University staff, students, and high school students from surrounding neighborhoods and community guests listened to selected speeches. Douglass was the first black person to speak at Western Reserve College (now Case Western Reserve University), where he presented an address during the 1854 commencement week. Likewise, in 1967, Dr. King delivered a speech at Glenville High School, a school in close proximity to the University, following the Hough riots. In addition to the program, social justice and inclusion issues were highlighted by a new LibGuide which lists library resources and exhibits of both men. The program revealed stories about social justice through various illustrations and a forum where the audience discussed experiences demonstrating how social inequality continues to impact their lives.


Project Contact: E. Gail Reese, egr@case.edu


Photo by Biblioteca Fort Pienc

Language Exchange

Biblioteca Fort Pienc, Biblioteques de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

The Fort Pienc Library is located in a Barcelona neighbourhood with a high proportion of Chinese residents. The library offers and coordinates conversation programs between Chinese people who want to improve their level of Catalan and/or Spanish with other locals who have knowledge of some Chinese language and wish to practice for cultural exchange. This free activity is held in one of the Library's work rooms on different days and times, depending on participant availability. Most importantly, as participants improve oral expression and knowledge of new languages, neighbors build deeper and more enriched relationships. This form of community building serves to increase knowledge, appreciation and empathy for diverse, multilingual and multicultural backgrounds.


Project Contact: Mont Sureda, b.barcelona.fp@diba.cat
Photo by Cornell University Library

Cornell Portal

Cornell University Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

In the form of a gold-painted shipping container equipped with immersive audiovisual technology, the Cornell Portal located outside of Olin Library on the Arts Quad virtually connected the campus and Ithaca community to people in other portals around the world, from Afghanistan to Germany. It was part of the Portals project (created by Shared Studios), a global public art initiative bringing people face-to-face with others from different continents and life circumstances. The Cornell Portal was coordinated by the Cornell University Library and sponsored by the Office of Engagement Initiatives and the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs. The Center for Teaching Innovation and the Office of Engagement Initiatives also collaborated with faculty in using the Cornell Portal to enhance course-based instruction, from exploring ethical issues in health and medicine to gaining insights about the connections between language and culture. The Cornell Portal was open from August to November 2018.


Project Contact: Xin Li, xl49@cornell.edu
Photo by Doina Gabriela Vanca

English Conversation Club for Grandparents

American Corner Tîrgu-Mureș, Mureș County Library, Mureș County, România

English Conversation Club for Grandparents is a club for adults aged 55-84 years old who want to learn and practice their English skills. Our simple English Conversation Club is the perfect opportunity for seniors to find more than just information at the library. They gain knowledge, but also a beautiful friendship between volunteer teachers, librarians, and all seniors attending the Club.


Project Contact: Doina Gabriela Vanca, americancornertgm@gmail.com
Photo by Ángeles García Díaz, Can Sant Joan Library staff

Custom-made Storytellers

Can Sant Joan Library, Montcada i Reixac, Montcada i Reixac, Barcelona, Spain

In 2019, Can Sant Joan Library started the “Custom-made Storytellers” activity for children who were eager to listen to tales. This new initiative resulted from a collaboration between library, family care entity, and Mentrestant Social workers. We chose tales about traditions in Catalonia, such as roasting chestnuts, festivals around the world such as Carnival or Christmas.


Project Contact: Almudena Cordero Segués, corderosa@diba.cat

Photo by Emelie Otterbeck

Language Development Group

Eskilstuna City Library, Eskilstuna, Sweden

The Eskilstuna City Library offer services and resources to new immigrants to learn the Swedish language and culture. The Library provides access to language development resources and organizes activities that encourage language practice and inclusion. The Library has several women groups led by our Arabic-speaking librarian. The aim is to welcome and support newly arrived immigrants with varied nationalities, who never had the opportunity to attend a Swedish school. Here, they get help to be a part of Swedish society. The service is an essential platform for communication, inclusion, and language practice.


Project Contact: Louise Marchione, louise.marchione@eskilstuna.se
Photo by Xarxa de Biblioteques Públiques de Terrassa

Stories Garden: a Vegetable Garden in the Library

Biblioteca districte 2, Ajuntament de Terrassa - Diputació de Barcelona, Terrassa, Catalonia

This shelf was made by young carpentry students of the Training and Insertion Program of the city council of Terrassa and we use it to display garden related books and inform the activities around the vegetable garden of the library.


Project Contact: Montse Pujol , bd2@terrassa.cat
Photo by Biblioteca El Castell de Vacarisses

Rook and Pawns: Chess Workshop in Library

Biblioteca El Castell de Vacarisses, Diputació de Barcelona, Vacarisses, Catalonia, Spain

In our library, we take very seriously the transversality of the activities that we schedule throughout the year. In our free proposal Chess Workshop, we host two groups of players: beginners and initiated. Everyone is welcomed, no matter how old they are. Our volunteer chess teachers transmit their knowledge according to the student's skills. In the Chess Workshop, you will find a space where children and adults can play together: elder ones sharing their chess experience and the younger ones discovering an alternative to mass leisure, that brings them serenity and wisdom that can extrapolate to other areas of their lives.


Project Contact: Laura Kotnik , kotnikml@diba.cat