Global Connections

Our library has really been encouraging staffers to step up and out and program. The fun part about this is that staffers from all departments and all position levels have been able to pursue program dreams that add a richness and excitement to our offerings.

The Children's Department benefitted this weekend from the good ideas of a colleague in the Circulation Dept. She had the idea to involve international students from our university in sharing information about their countries and cultures at a two hour fair.

The advisors for the students were enthusiastic. Although we had booked our basement auditorium, we made the decision to locate the students right in the Children's area and the program room. We thought this would make this more lively for the students and less intimidating for the kids who came. With a few extra tables and chairs, we were ready.
We had students from China, Hungary, Japan, Vietnam, India and Laos.  They brought games, toys, posters, maps and dressed in or brought along traditional clothes from their respective countries.  The Chinese students shared a dance and the Vietnamese students shared a bamboo stick dance.

It was clear that these students missed being around young kids. They were delighted to play with them and spend time with the kids who came. By holding the event for two hours, it gave kids plenty of time to go from station to station and discover what each student group had to share.

As staffers, we took photos, helped introduce families to the layout and enjoyed ourselves. Plans are in the works to do this program again in fall. Next time, we'll provide more book displays, a "passport" listing the station countries to visit and stampers for the students to stamp the passports.

This is the kind of fortunate partnership - both with a colleague from another department in the library and with a local group  - that really enhances the caliber of our programs. We feel lucky to have this kind of support in our library and community!

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