Last week, the American Library Association Washington Office hosted librarians from Thailand who are visiting the United States to learn about library practices and futures. Our visitors, Supawan Ardkhla and Nusila Yumaso, are participants in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Through short-term visits to the U.S., foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience our country firsthand and cultivate professional relationships. They were accompanied by interpreter Montanee Anusas-amornkul.
The visitors’ agenda was wide-ranging. Topics included ebooks, digital literacy, libraries as place, employment and entrepreneurship and much more. After Washington, the Thai librarians visited libraries in several other U.S. cities.
ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff and I represented ALA. Hosting visitors from abroad is a regular responsibility of the Office, and we have met with librarians from many other countries around the world, from Lebanon to Columbia.