Engaging with global at the local: Developing equity, diversity and inclusion through international education experiences

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Association for Library and Information Science Education: ALISE 2021 Conference Proceedings


This is being submitted for the International Library Education SIG. Content: This panel will center on curricula and learning experiences, and will discuss the profession’s need for more resilient and future-thinking information professionals who are prepared to navigate the ever-changing cultural, political, social, economic landscapes. Ellen Engseth and Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran will do this through considering international educational experiences. A framework of global competency as an international expansion of equity, diversity and inclusion will be presented, along with a specific educational program as a model. This highly-interactive, audience-centered panel will engage all of us in further conversation on engaging with the global, including learning at the local level. Ellen Engseth will present a framework for considering the topic, and provide an operational definition of global competency. She will also invite a critical librarianship lens to the framework, ensuring that she and the session attendees interrogate Whiteness within this framework. Her comments will encourage LIS education to engage with internationally-oriented education, in part because it internationalizes equity, diversity and inclusion efforts in library and information science. Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran will offer examples on how San José State University School of Information has implemented constructs of global competency including through their LIS curriculum which include international components, through internships which offer a global perspective, and through the international experience requirement emphasizing that graduates should be leaders that are aware of the international community environments and changes within these spaces. Through a variety of ways, our graduates demonstrate and flex these global perspectives including through coursework, internships, language classes, study abroad, and participation in international conferences. Through these, there is a significant emphasis on learning about international practices within LIS, and appreciation of the rich diverse cultures with which graduates may engage with during their educational journey and in their workplaces. Opportunities such as those provided at SJSU build up the resilience of our graduates to be more prepared as employers continue to seek graduates with knowledge of diverse perspectives, international understanding, and cultural competence. The topic of globally engaged education is timely due to a number of factors, including that equity work is of increasing concern in the LIS field, certainly within the U.S., yet also around the world in its infinite variety. Employers are seeking culturally competent graduates, and ones who can use these skills to contribute to resilience in their workplaces. It has yet to be seen how this current global pandemic will intersect with internationally-oriented education, or the LIS field more generally; the presenters will encourage the audience to consider these intersections and together locate the opportunities that the pandemic presents. Both panelists have researched and published on cultural and global competency; both teach international experiences in different ways, in order to build globally-oriented students, faculty, and practitioners. Logistics: Both panelists will provide a short presentation on the topic; this will be followed by a conversation between panelists framed by questions. These questions will include topics of resilience and the future of LIS. Engseth and Villagran will also invite audience members to ask us and each other questions. If this is in-person, panelists will invite attendees to move around the room during discussion in order to meet and learn from those in a different category of attendees (i.e. student, faculty, practitioner). Engseth and Villagran will close by summarizing the collective discussion. This innovative panel format will work whether virtual or in-person. The goals for this session are for the audience to share in this timely conversation and envision action steps to bring into their work life; to exchange information on this work as it is already happening; to generate next or new ideas on this topic; and to consider how we might develop an action plan for the LIS field at large. Depending on the amount of time, and if in-person or virtual, the following tools/resources may be utilized: flip boards, group work, or “think pair share” for in-person, and polling (to gauge interests of audience), chat, padlet or Jamboard to co-create content and knowledge with the audience.


equity, diversity, inclusion, international experiences, global perspective