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Mortenson Center Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Mortenson Center Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, May 9, 2006, 2:00 p.m.

Present:  Barbara J. Ford (chair), Dawn Cassady, Rajwant Chilana, David Griffiths, Janice Pilch, John Santas, Susan Schnuer, Dale Silver, Charles Stewart

Absent:  Atoma Batoma

The meeting began with introductions.

The 2006 Mortenson Distinguished Lecture will be held Monday, October 16, 2006.  Alex Byrne, University of Technology at Sydney, Australia, and President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), will be the speaker.  This is the 16 th annual lecture.  Barbara indicated that the Center welcomes ideas and suggestions for speakers for future years.

The primary goal for the project is to help automate libraries.  Ten universities are involved.  A group of Carnegie and MacArthur grantees, chosen from the institutions, are currently at the Mortenson Center for the April-May Technology Training Program.  The group has visited both University of Illinois campuses at Springfield and Chicago, All-Staff Institute Day at the Chicago Public Library, OCLC in Ohio, Ohio State University, and the Illinois State Library in Springfield.  Training and advocacy are important components of the program.  The program is building in momentum and receiving a lot of positive publicity.  It was stressed that the success of the Mortenson Center is a group effort which includes support from the University Library, GSLIS, campus, and libraries around the state.  

A three-year grant that was written with the Illinois State Library was received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).   The main goal is to develop leadership, education and training modules that will work across cultural lines for librarians.  The first program was held at the Illinois State Library; the next program will be at Allerton Park with emphasis on Mexico and Latin America, and in the third year, institutes will be held in Arizona and Nebraska.  The IMLS grant presents a unique concept that brings US librarians together as equals with librarians from other countries.  What both groups expect to gain from the experience differs.

Simmons College received a grant to provide Masters degrees in library science to people from Vietnam.  So far, the grant has provided an education for 25 people, and they’re hoping to educate an additional 25.  One semester is spent at Simmons College, and then the group returns to Vietnam for classes.  The current group will visit the Mortenson Center following their time at Simmons.  They are due to arrive at the Center near the end of May and will be here for approximately eight weeks.  Structured courses for their stay at the Center are being developed for this exciting new collaboration.

The fall program is the Mortenson Center’s “signature piece.”  It is an open enrollment  program that brings people from around the world.  There is concern about housing for next year because the housing units at Orchard Downs will be taken down.   Housing is crucial to the program and is not a unique problem on this campus.

Poster sessions at the ALA and IFLA meetings are a means to continue to let people know the Mortenson Center exists.  The next poster sessions will focus on projects in Africa.

There is the possibility of a school library project in Uzbekistan.

The Graduate Library School at the University of Puerto Rico has written a proposal and is hoping to bring public librarians to the Mortenson Center.

Mortenson Center staff met with visitors from Pakistan who are quite interested in the Mortenson Center.  It is planned that a librarian from Pakistan will visit the Mortenson Center, and the Mortenson Center Team will travel to Pakistan in 2007.  Charles Stewart suggested that it would be advantageous to bring people together on campus who are interested in Pakistan.

The focus of the current program is different than past Mortenson Center programs, leaning more toward technology and cataloging.   

Friends/mentors were not assigned to the current group.  There is concern of overburdening those who volunteer.  The fall group of visitors will be matched with friends and make host visits around the state.

The Vietnamese librarians are requesting job shadowing.  It was suggested that 3 hours and a lunch should be set aside for this activity. 

Receptions and talks do not seem to be an effective way of introducing the participants of the program to the library staff.

After Barbara explained the purpose of the Advisory Committee to the associates, introductions between the Advisory Committee members and the associates were made, and the associates spoke a little about their institutions.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30.

(Prepared by Dixie L. Trinkle)