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Area and International Studies Team


The Final Report of the Budget Group Plus recommended that an “Area and International Studies Library” be created in 321/325 Library:

The Area Studies represent a historic area of strength, both in collections and public service, for the University Library, and the Library’s area studies faculty and staff provide complementary services to campus units and across campus units. Access to many of those collections and services, however, is limited by the demands involved in operating multiple area studies units within the Main Library facility. Recognizing both the strengths and the limitations of the current model, the Budget Group Plus recommends establishing an “Area and International Studies Library” that will provide a robust service point focused on resources related to the study of defined regions of the world and allow for more effective integration of resources collected in vernacular languages into broader service programs. The Budget Group Plus recommends establishing this unit in the co-located space of 321 Library (to house the collections and services currently housed in the Slavic & East European Library and Africana Library Unit , as well as complementary collections and programs of the current Latin American & Caribbean Library ) and 325 Library (to remain the Asian Library ). Finally, pursuant to Proposal No. 10, the Budget Group Plus recommends that technical service operations in the area studies units consolidate with complementary Central Technical Services operations. See the report from the Technical Services Coordination & Consolidation Team .

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is “poised to become our nation’s pre-eminent global university,” according to William Brustein, Associate Provost for International Affairs.  As campus seeks to foster “globally competent” citizens with deep disciplinary expertise and the capacity to communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries, the University Library will be called upon to rise to the challenge of supporting new strategic initiatives promoting “intercultural scholarship and learning” < >. Other large research libraries (e.g., Berkeley, Oxford, the British Library) have begun reorienting themselves to better support research that crosses the borders which have traditionally defined library units focused on the study of discrete areas.  David Hickey (2006), an Asian Studies Bibliographer at University of Florida, has suggested research libraries must rethink compartmentalized collections and services in order  “to respond to the inter-area academic synergies increasing created between department/programs on campus…and  between local, state, national, or even international trans-regional/global shareholders”(Library Collections, Acquisitions & Technical Services 30: 77-84).



The Area and International Studies Team will:

  1. Identify how and where to most effectively provide Library services to all disciplines and all communities engaged in area, international, language and literary studies, taking into consideration the goals identified in the Library International Strategy (2003) <>and the recommendations of the forthcoming report form the Technical Services Coordination and Consolidation Team.  Submit an Interim Report outlining these ideas to the University Librarian by March 30, 2009.
  2. Plan the specific steps needed to implement the proposed service profile, provide a timeline for implementing these steps, define staffing needs and responsibilities and develop a plan for assessing the effectiveness of the new service profile.  Submit an Implementation Plan to the University Librarian by May 15, 2009.
  3. Begin phasing in new service profile during the Fall 2009, with a target completion date of December 15, 2009.
  4. Conduct a preliminary assessment of the new services, and make future recommendations based on this assessment to the University Librarian by May 15, 2010.


Submitted to the Executive Committee for consideration:   October 27, 2008

Approved by the Executive Committee.