Düsseldorf May 2021: The International English library is excited to announce its new sister library relationship with the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma, having signed an MoU on the 5th May 2021 to work together.
The two libraries teamed up from across the globe to strengthen cultural understanding between Germany and the US and cross-promote virtual programming and online events that bring the institutions’ two audiences together.
Now celebrating its 75th year, the International English Library is the only English language library in North Rhine-Westphalia. It’s also an important center for community gathering and cultural events. An international team of volunteers runs every aspect of the non-profit organisation, from purchasing books to programming events and marketing services to the public.
Jynon Hibbard, a 16-year volunteer with the International English Library and member of the library’s managing board, spearheaded the partnership as a result of the library’s participation in the American Week initiated by the U.S. Consulate General Düsseldorf in November 2020. Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Hibbard relocated to Germany 25 years ago.
The Metropolitan Library System is a large public library system serving Oklahoma County residents and includes 19 library branch locations. MLS circulates over 6 million materials each year and hosts a myriad of innovative events and online activities that are sure to appeal to those based in Germany.
“It’s a real privilege for me to partner with the very library that helped nurture my love for books 55- plus years ago,” Hibbard said. “And now here I am working with the Metro Library from 8,000 miles away. I feel like I’ve come full circle.”
Heather Zeoli, Metro Library’s director of development and volunteer services, helped solidify the partnership and said the relationship with the International English Library furthers MLS's mission of enriching and educating.
“It also gives us an opportunity to engage with citizens and library services staff members in another country who have different views, practices, things they embrace, and because they’re an English- speaking library, we’re able to maximise our impact for our customers and their customers and share resources without the need for translation services.”
"We are thrilled to see this wonderful outcome of the November 2020 American Week, which puts a spotlight on the German-American Friendship and citizen involvement in strengthening the transatlantic partnership." said U.S. Consul General, Fiona S. Evans.