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Library Representatives Named for Sister City Exchange

June 27, 2012

Library Sister City RepresentativesThree representatives from The Indianapolis Public Library will share their knowledge of the American library profession and acquire an understanding of practices in other countries when they visit Hangzhou, China and Cologne, Germany later this year as part of an Indianapolis Sister City exchange project with both cities.

Ann Ricciardelli, a 22-year veteran of The Indianapolis Public Library who currently serves as an Adult Librarian at Central Library, will join Sailan Liang, a Public Service Librarian at the Glendale Branch Library who has served the Indy Library for 18 years, in visiting Hangzhou for three weeks this fall. Their time in the capital of Zhejiang Province in southeastern China, established in 2008 as the fifth of eight international Sister Cities for the City of Indianapolis, will be spent learning about the delivery of library services at the Hangzhou Public Library, making presentations about their own American professional experiences, and visiting historical and cultural sites.

As part of the Sister City exchange, The Indianapolis Public Library will host two staff members for two weeks in the fall from the Hangzhou Library who will gain insight into local library practices and American culture.

A similar library staff exchange will take place between Indianapolis and Cologne, Germany. This fall, the Manager of the College Avenue Branch, Nicole James, will share her 17-year experience at The Indianapolis Public Library with German colleagues. Her three-week itinerary will consist of a one-on-one shadowing with a Cologne Library staff member who in turn will visit Indianapolis in 2013.

The exchanges will allow for sharing best practices, conversations about shared problems, a comparison of library policies, and presentations on various library topics.

"These staff exchanges offer us the opportunity to become imbedded in a different culture and understand what libraries mean to others, obtain real insights into other approaches to organizing, funding and providing services, and to deepen our appreciation for diversity," stated Jackie Nytes, CEO of The Indianapolis Public Library.

"We promote these active cultural and educational exchanges because it is important to our success as a city," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "In today's world economy, it is more critical than ever for Indianapolis to be a city that is globally recognized as a great place to live, work and raise a family, and these relationships go a long way to promoting our appeal as a destination that embraces diversity."

When The Indianapolis Public Library representatives return from their visits, they will be available to recount their experiences with community organizations, the media and fellow staff.

The Library kicked off its part of the Indianapolis-Hangzhou Sister City relationship in May with a public reception featuring Chinese cultural performances as well as special book exhibit at Central Library entitled, "Reflections of West Lake: Hangzhou Public Library Book Exhibition," which continues through July 28.

To learn more about the Library's Sister City relationships, visit www.imcpl.org.