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Library Professor Organizes/Moderates Satellite Pre-Conference on ‘Transcending Boundaries to Increase Cultural Understanding Between Countries’

Many satellite pre-conference participants enjoyed a boating excursion through the Lake Saimaa canal that took them to the Aalto Library in Vyborg, Russia.

City Tech Ursula C. Schwerin Library Associate Professor Tess Tobin, who is actively involved in International Librarianship and an advocate for equity of access to information and library services for all members of the global community, was elected chair of Library Services to Multicultural Populations, a section of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), in fall 2011. Her work this year involved organizing and moderating a satellite pre-conference, “Transcending Boundaries to Increase Cultural Understanding Between Countries,” held August 7-9, 2012, in Lappeenranta, Finland.

The satellite pre-conference featured presentations on different projects with a multicultural library perspective, activities between libraries from different parts of the world, indigenous matters as a means to cooperate with other peoples of the globe, and recruitment of multicultural staff in libraries and elsewhere as a means of reducing obstacles and increasing cooperation in local communities.

“Raising awareness on the need for, development and continued expansion of multilingual and multicultural information and library services is at the heart of my work,” says Professor Tobin. “Next summer, IFLA will be holding its annual meeting in Singapore and the section I chair will be organizing a post-conference meeting in Australia in conjunction with the IFLA Special Interest Group on Indigenous Matters.”

For more on the August 2012 conference and program, visit: and


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