China Bound

January 17, 2006

At the October 2005 ALAO Board Meeting, I reported that I received an invitation this past summer from The People to People Ambassador Programs to join the College and Research Librarians Professional Delegation to the People’s Republic of China. The leader of the delegation is Dr. Camila Alire, President of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Many of us will remember Dr. Alire as the featured speaker from the recent ALAO 2005 Annual Conference.

I was honored by the invitation, and stunned when my library and university thought it was a good idea to send me and agreed to provide the funds. I couldn’t believe it. I almost thought they were trying to get rid of me. 😉 I owe this experience to a few remarkable folks at The University of Akron, University Libraries. Without their support and encouragement, this never would have been possible.

Thank you, David, Roger and Phyllis!!

I’m a fairly seasoned traveler using the “Jack” method of traveling (i.e. Jack London and Jack Kerouac). There are only a few continental states that I missed tramping through with a backpack or duffle, but I have never strayed beyond our borders. Fortunately, the travel details and professional meetings are being arranged by the The People to People Ambassador Programs. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the program which was initiated and established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 as “an organization to promote world peace and understanding.”

At the October 2005 ALAO Board Meeting, it was suggested that I blog my adventure (assuming that the ALAO blog would be up and running by then) to update ALAO members on my travels and contacts with Chinese academic librarians. So now that the blog is on the scene I see no reason to keep this adventure all to myself. I’ll have my handy little Sony Cybershot to snatch some photos to post along with my comments, observations and rambles (Kerouac called it “spontaneous bop prosody”). I’ll keep everyone up to date as I prepare for this trek.

Please feel free to leave any comments, tips, pointers or criticisms to my posts. I am particularly interested in international travel tips and things to do/see in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai not listed in the China travel books.

Shalom 🙂