By Raymond Pun and Hiromi Kubo
This November 13-17, International Education Week (IEW) will be recognized throughout the world. It is an opportunity for students and educators to celebrate the benefits of international education and global exchanges. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Departments of State and Education, IEW promotes the importance of global education at schools, colleges, universities, and libraries.
If you are an academic librarian, you have probably noticed a growing number of international students studying at your university, or interest by your students in studying abroad. Today, many students come to the United States from India, China, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. Have you thought about ways to foster engagement with these student groups? You can promote IEW through a number of activities to encourage your students to think about these global opportunities.
Host a Poster Session or International Coffee Hour
At Fresno State, our library will host a poster session presented by international students, students who have participated in study abroad programs, and faculty conducting research abroad. In addition, we will have an exhibit showcasing various resources and objects covering international education. Our campus partners will also organize a series of talks by international students and an international film screening for the community.
One of the most popular events that the library co-promotes is the “International Coffee Hour” series where international students share their background and country’s information in a public talk. This occurs every Tuesday from 2 to 3 pm, and the library partners with this weekly program by providing the space and refreshments. Opened to the community, the program has invited students from Oman to Malaysia to Spain to present their cultural experiences. Some classes encourage students to attend these presentations to learn more about countries abroad. The library also sets up a table to promote various information resources such as books, maps, movies, and reference materials on the country.
You may want to promote IEW through a number of these collaborative activities. You can also consider offering open research workshops using Credo as a supplement. For example, you can demonstrate various reference sources on specific countries Credo offers. From Japan to Brazil, Credo provides useful content such as maps, data, and background information for those interested in visiting these countries. In addition, you can have students look up the biographical information of important leaders and activists who promote international education such as Malala Yousafzai or Ban Ki-Moon. Credo also offers updated information on study abroad and international education trends.
These efforts strengthen the library’s commitment to foster diversity, inclusivity and global awareness in the campus community. As IEW is an annual celebration during the month of November, start considering your programming for the next year, and seeking collaboration with student groups and academic departments to bring a welcoming global environment for all.
Hiromi Kubo is a Business and Economics Librarian at California State University, Fresno. She received her master's degree in Library Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia. She served as a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Arkansas State University from 2004 until 2008. She offered an information literacy course and workshops in the areas of company and industry research, marketing, consumer behavior, market research, and economic data both at Arkansas State and Fresno State. Kubo is a member of the American Library Association (ALA) Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) and the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Business and Finance Division. She was recognized with the SLA Achievement in Academic Business Librarianship Award in 2016.