By Elizabeth Ann Blake
On April 29, 2010, the International Relations Committee of DC/SLA celebrated International Special Librarians Day at Kiplinger’s where three distinguished speakers spoke about their careers as international special librarians and how they represent their home cultures abroad through librarianship. Victor Monti, the chair of the International Relations Committee and the evening’s moderator, introduced the speakers.
Nadia Pazoulis-Gabriel delivered an overview of the mission and purpose of the library at Alliance Française and discussed her job as the head librarian and her role in promoting French language and culture.
Next, Barbara Conaty spoke about how the State Department makes a piece of American culture available overseas through the American Corners program. Although the program is not as well funded as it could be, she makes the most of her resources as the administrator of the program, holding American movie nights and making welcoming, accessible American cultural centers available to library patrons.
Finally, the sponsor of the program, Mohammed Eliwa, took the podium. Eliwa, the founder of Arabia Inform, discussed how he started his company, the many challenges involved with collecting, obtaining, and indexing information in the Middle East, and his company as it is today.
Following the evening's presentations, attendees enjoyed the opportunity to network over the food and refreshments provided by the evening's sponsor, Arabia Inform.