Title

At home in the world: International library staff exchange program highlights

ORCiD

0000-0002-4201-8335

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Journal

ISSN

0340-0352

Volume

41

Issue

4

DOI

10.1177/0340035215596348

First Page

326

Last Page

335

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Abstract

Since 2011, the academic libraries at Linnaeus University, Sweden and University of Colorado Denver, USA have collaboratively created a programmatic approach for staff exchanges and associated projects. This initiative occurred within the larger framework of university internationalization goals and cultural competency requirements. In addition, both libraries were experiencing significant workplace changes, including newly designed facilities, programs, and services, which required that staff members learn to see their organizations and understand their roles in new ways. As the exchange program evolved, formal comparison studies complemented informal exchange observations about similarities and differences between the two library organizations. Resulting insights altered traditional worldviews and professional assumptions of both host and exchange participants. In addition, cultural competencies were further exercised through collaborative projects that benefit the increasingly diverse faculty and student constituencies at both home institutions. Concluding reflections suggest considerations for organizations considering international exchanges for staff members "at home in the world."