Think Globally, Act Globally China-US Librarian Collaboration

U.S. Host Program for Librarians from China

(See Full Information in Word Document.)

Application Packet
Due: February 13, 2009 

We hope that you will consider participating in this host program. The Chinese library directors are pleased to have this opportunity to visit public libraries in the US and we are sure that you will also find it to be a fruitful experience.

Download the Application Form here.


The purpose of this packet is to give you more information about the Host Program. This program is organized jointly by the Asian Library and the Mortenson Center for International Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA).  The program is funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

The goal of the Host program is two-fold.  First, we want to give our international colleagues the opportunity to observe first-hand the day-to-day operations of public libraries in the U.S. Second, our international colleagues are eager to share their stories about libraries in their countries, and this experience will give them a chance to do so.


The plan is to place ten Chinese library directors in pairs(2 by 2) at public libraries around the United States in July 2009.  Their stay will be hosted by CALA members who work in the five host libraries.

Logistics and Timelines

Interested CALA members should fill out the host application and submit the application to Dr. Shuyong Jiang at by February 13, 2009.  CALA members who are selected as hosts will be hosting 1-2 public library directors from China for 5 days, from Tuesday, July 14 until Saturday, July 18.  The directors will depart on Sunday, July 19. The Chinese Library Directors will attend the ALA conference in Chicago from July 9 until July 14.  After the conference they will travel directly from Chicago to the host site.

The CALA host will be responsible for arranging the host visit schedule, making housing and meal arrangements, and handling local transportation.  The IMLS grant will cover expenses up to  $1,350 per individual Chinese Library Director. 

Suggestions for activities

The library directors are here to learn about U.S. libraries and are very curious about many aspects of librarianship.  We are sure that you have many excellent ideas for their stay at your library, but here are a few additional suggestions:

  • Ask the international librarian to give a brown-bag talk to your staff about libraries in his/her country;
  • Ask your library director to schedule time with the visitor to discuss his/her role and responsibilities
  • Review your library budget with the visitor and discuss any fundraising strategies that you use in your library;
  • Have the librarian job-shadow your department managers, spending a couple of hours in each department;
  • Share with the visitor your library’s policies and procedures for your library;
  • Have the librarian spend some time with your IT staff.  Discuss the use of the internet in your library;
  • Discuss any recent problems you have had in your library and your strategies for resolving the problems (issues such as: building problems, challenged books, security incidents, difficult patrons, etc.);
  • Have the librarian visit the community (tour the city).  Make sure that they understand whom you are serving;
  • Have the librarian meet local government officials and library trustees to discuss the role of the library in your community.
  • Invite the librarian to attend any staff meetings;
  • Do not feel that you have to schedule an activity for each hour of the day.  Let the librarian roam the library, look at the collection and databases, and observe patron behavior.

Contact with the Media

We have observed that hosting international visitors can generate good press for the library.  We suggest that you contact your local media to let them know that the international librarian is coming.  They may be willing to send a photographer during the visit.

Contact Information

For more information about the program, logistics, contact Shuyong Jiang at the University of Illinois

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