Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

TinyCat’s February Library of the Month: The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative

To read more about TinyCat’s Library of the Month feature, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

This month we feature The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, an organization doing great work to promote diversity in reading worldwide.

Director Rachel Reynolds was kind enough to field my questions this month:

First, what is your library, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative strives to raise the visibility of world literature for adults and children at the local, national and international levels. We do so by facilitating close and direct collaboration between translators, librarians, publishers, editors, and educators, because we believe that these groups in collaboration are uniquely positioned to help libraries provide support and events to engage readers of all ages in a library framework that explores and celebrates literature from around the world.

Some of our various goals and projects include:

  • book lists and guides tied to major translation awards and library themes
  • programming ideas for various library user groups: children, teens, college students, adults, English Language Learners, etc.
  • ALA conference involvement: workshops and sessions, networking through various ALA units and offices to explore the best ways to provide information and services to librarians
  • publisher and journal lists organized by vendors/distributors to help librarians more easily acquire books in translation
  • advocacy on behalf of small publishers to increase their visibility on the review platforms that librarians commonly use for their acquisitions decisions
  • general education efforts to help librarians understand more thoroughly the value of translated literature and of contemporary foreign-language literature
  • pan-publisher catalogs crafted specifically for librarian users, as a form of “one-stop” shopping to learn about new works coming out in translation
  • exploration of ways in which non-US publishers of English translations and non-US, non-English-language publishers can more easily promote their works among libraries.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

We provide support to librarians of all kinds seeking to fully diversify and globalize their collections and programs. This support is provided through our blog, social media platforms, the GLLI Translated YA Book Prize, and our booth at ALA’s annual conference. Translations compose a minuscule part of the Anglophone publishing market, and often these works are challenged in terms of visibility in the review and marketing platforms. We want to try to make it easier for librarians to find the international works that will create interest and empathy in their communities.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

Although we don’t have a physical collection, we are especially proud of our YA prize, which is unique in the awards world. We are also building up our reference catalog here on TinyCat (image left), and we see great potential in this tool, which will help us connect librarians more effectively with the books most relevant to their diverse user groups.

What’s a particular challenge you experience, as a small library?

Our greatest challenge is building visibility for our organization in the US publishing and library frameworks.

What’s your favorite thing about TinyCat? Anything you’d love to add?

We love the ease with which we can build and tag titles out of the Amazon database, which includes English translations from literally around the world. There aren’t any particular improvements we can think of at this time.

Want to learn more about The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, visit their website at glli-us.org, or check them out on TinyCat.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Calling all TinyCat libraries: become TinyCat’s next Library of the Month—just send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat


Leave a Reply