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Welcome to the Mortenson Center

Since the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs was founded in 1991, over 1200 library professionals from 90 countries have participated in the Center's innovative programs. We also work with our librarian colleagues in countries around the world.
Find out more on our "About Us" page.

Mortenson Center for International Library Programs

... developing librarians worldwide ...

Arabella Advisors Release Mortenson Center Evaluation

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Arabella Advisors, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, worked with the Mortenson Center's staff to articulate the impact it seeks to achieve for librarians, libraries, and their communities in the short term, interim, and long term, and to assess that impact over the past five years. Read more




Barbara FordBarbara J. Ford to Retire 

Barbara J. Ford, director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and Mortenson Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library since 2003, is retiring from the University at the end of May 2014.

The Mortenson Center has worked with more than 90 countries over two decades to strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians for the promotion of international education, understanding, and peace primarily through professional development programs.

Ford has led the Mortenson Center as it expanded its activities in developing library professionals worldwide. She has also worked with library and campus colleagues at Illinois, as well as librarians around the state of Illinois and the world, to showcase the work that is done in libraries and to provide opportunities to learn from and share with librarians globally.

Read the Press Release


Our April Newsletter is available!

Read the April 2014 Newsletter









2014 Associates Program

Imagine, Question, Connect: A Professional Development Program for Library Leaders and Innovators

May 28 - June 24, 2014

We're in the planning stages of our 2014 program. Librarians and information science professionals from 20 countries applied to participate in the Mortenson Center's signature program. In addition to workshops and library tours, this year's Associates will attend the  Next Library 2014 conference in Chicago, IL.

For more information about past and future programs, please visit our  Associates Program page.

View the 2013 Associates Program schedule


Barbara and Susan Visit Romania

Future Libraries MeetingBarbara and Susan at the Future Communities - Future Libraries meeting in Bucharest, Romania, organized by Biblionet Irex.












2013 Mortenson Center Distinguished Lecture

Lecture Attendees

Community Libraries as Platforms for Sustainable Development

This year's lecture was a great success. READ Global’s Nepal Country Director Sanjana Shrestha discussed the role and the scope of rural libraries as they have evolved to meet the changing needs of rural communities and how the libraries address the critical issue of sustainability. 

Read the Lecture Text

Listen to the Audio

READ Global Website