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Mortenson Center Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

March 29, 2005

Present:  Barbara J. Ford (Chair), Rajwant Chilana, David Griffiths, Cindy Ingold, Janice Pilch, Susan Schnuer, Dale Silver

Absent:  Michael Palencia-Roth, John Santas, Caroline Szylowicz

Barbara Ford welcomed the members to the meeting.  She asked that committee members whose terms are ending to let her know, if they are interested in renewing their term.

Information in the form of a handout was provided about the 15 th  Mortenson Distinguished Lecture to be held this year on October 26, in 126 GSLIS.  Susan Schnuer has met this year’s lecturer and has been to his library.  The lecturer, Dr. Jorge Orlando Melo Gonzalez, Director of the Department of Libraries and Fine Art at the Banco de la Republica and of the Luis Angel Arango Library, is a highly published writer. Barbara asked for assistance from Dale Silver, since the lecture is being held in GSLIS.  Mr. Melo will be here for a week.  He will also attend the Library History Conference at Allerton.

Ideas on how to better promote the lecture were offered: Dale Silver suggested that people from Latin American Studies be invited, and Susan suggested that it might be good to get publicity out into the community.

The 2006 Distinguished Lecturer has been selected; it is Alex Byrne, a University Librarian from Australia.  He will be president of IFLA at the time of the 16 th Distinguished Lecture.  He will be here for three days.

IFLA is working with the World Summit on the Information Society Conference in Tunis.  Not a lot of information is available at this time.  November 9, 10, 11 are the dates for the pre-conference, and the Summit is November 14 and 15.

IMLS Grant:  “Thinking Outside the Borders:  Library Leadership in a World Community.”

A grant from Carnegie for nearly $500,000 for the next three years has been received.

First Leadership Retreat will be held this fall in order to bring together Mortenson Center Fall Associates with U.S. Librarians and to work across cultures.  The schedule is still in draft stages.

Another module that is being explored is working on preservation with Tom Teper and with someone from OCLC, as well as working with vendors for licensing data bases. 

Two leadership assessment tools (from Costa Rica and the U.S) will be used:  Year one will include Illinois and international librarians, and year two will involve Nebraska, Arizona, Central America, Canada, Mexico.

African Grants:  Pictures that were taken during the visit to Nigeria in February were shown.  The small grant form MacArthur was used to look at four universities in Nigeria.  The universities are doing their best in a very challenging environment.  Susan and Barbara are now in the process of writing their report.  After this report has been completed, they plan to write a follow-up grant proposal.  At present, there are a lot of foundations working in Africa.

Susan and Barbara are returning in May with money from a Carnegie grant.  Part of the grant money will be used to bring people to the Mortenson Center.  All of the universities have major grants for revitalizing universities.  

In July, Barbara and Susan will go to South Africa and finish the Mellon grant with the South African Library Leadership Program. 

The Characteristics of Good University Libraries handout was well accepted during the recent trip to Nigeria.  Comments and suggestions on the handout are welcomed.  Barbara and Susan continue to work on things that can be put into people’s hands as they travel.  There is a fine line between being prescriptive and giving information which allows for more of a dialog.  Whatever is done has to be sustainable.  The primary goal of the handouts is that at the end, librarians are left with better skills and understanding.

It was suggested that the “Characteristics of Good University Libraries” handout be put on the Mortenson Center website.

Committee members were invited to come and speak (i.e., April 15, Reaching Forward Conference), and asked to talk about Mortenson Center and activities of the Center whenever appropriate. A suggested topic to talk about is the University Library and what a resource it is to have the Mortenson Center here. 

On May 5, nine IFLA-OCLC fellows will be here  The visitors will be at the Mortenson Center from 9:00 until 3:00, then they will visit GSLIS.

It was suggested that the newsletter should be numbered by issue. The newsletter is currently being sent to library and GSLIS list servs, and is put on the Mortenson Center website.   It was suggested that it be a pdf file, but this is not a good idea because pdf files are too slow for other countries.  It was also suggested that the logo be added to the newsletter.

Barbara and Susan are speaking at the April faculty meeting.  The topic of the discussion will be “Evolution of Mortenson Projects in Africa.”< /p>

Associates for Fall 2005 (so far) include two people from Vietnam, two from Japan, one from India, five from South Africa, and some from Colombia.

An outreach idea to let people know what the Mortenson Center is doing was that the Mortenson Center host an open house when the fall associates are here.


(prepared by Dixie L. Trinkle)