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Mortenson Center Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Mortenson Center Advisory Committee Minutes

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

3:00 pm

142 Undergraduate Library


In attendance: Barbara Ford (chair), Alistair Black, Paula Carns, Harriet Green, Lynne Rudasill, Susan Schnuer, Scott Schwartz, Richard Tempest, Karen Wei

The meeting began with introductions. Barbara mentioned that the visiting South African librarians would join the committee later in the meeting.

The Center is in its fifth and next to the last year of the Carnegie and MacArthur grants working with specific university libraries within Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Susan just returned from Nigeria and Ghana and the projects there are proceeding very well. A new policy means that university librarians can only serve five years and thus there are a number of new directors. Librarians from several of the libraries will be at the Center for a training program later this year.

Karen reported on the IMLS China Grant, which has been extended into next year.  There will be a group from China in the U.S. in June focusing on library education who will spend time at the Mortenson Center, in Chicago meeting with library organizations, and at the ALA Annual Meeting. A group of U.S. librarians will travel to China in May to deliver continuing education sessions. Progress is being made on the web portal which will focus on two sites that will be made available in the U.S. The Center works with the Asian Library and the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) on this project.

Work on the Gates contract focusing on sustainability and leadership for Gates public libraries grantees in Latvia and Romania is moving forward. In March and April the Center will host 15 librarians mostly from county and regional libraries in Romania. The Latvian librarians who have been at the Center last fall are implementing projects developed here, including providing laptops, cameras and other technology to their communities. Susan and Barbara will visit the Gates Foundation in March to review progress on the projects. 

The nine South African university librarians who are at the Mortenson Center funded by the Carnegie Corporation then joined the meeting and introduced themselves. This is the third group the Center has hosted as part of this project, which is focused on librarians providing faculty with research assistance. They will be going to Association of Research Libraries (ARL) libraries around the U.S. following their time at the Center. A final group is expected at the Center next spring.

The IFLA/OCLC International Fellows groups will visit the center on April 19 for a day of programming. The group of 6 will include librarians from Botswana, Nepal, Philippines, Malawi, China, and Serbia.

The Mortenson Center's signature Associates program has been restructured to become a shorter, more discipline focused training program and will be offered in May/June. This is an open enrollment program and we expect about 18 library and information science professionals from a wide variety of countries. The title of the 2011 program is "Librarians of Tomorrow: Communication and Leadership," and will run from May 30 through June 20, 2011. The participants will then have the opportunity to attend ALA in New Orleans at the conclusion of their training at the Mortenson Center.

The newest project for the Center is a grant secured by Paula Kaufman from the Elsevier Foundation to investigate possible training opportunities in Asia. Paula, Barbara, and Susan traveled to South Korea and Taiwan in December and are now following up to develop several continuing education projects.

Scott asked about archival and special collections programs for the Center.  Staff responded that we would welcome such programs if funds are available to support them.

The Mortenson Distinguished lecture for 2011 will be April 6 at 4:00.  Our guest speaker will be Elizabeth Pierre-Louis of Haiti. She is a graduate of the UIUC GSLIS program, recipient of the University of Illinois Young Humanitarian Award, and the Program Director for FOKAL which supports a number of community libraries.

There were no other topics so the meeting was adjourned.