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Welcome to the Mortenson Center

Since the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs was founded in 1991, over 1,300 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.

Libraries for Peace

The Mortenson Center invites libraries and librarians around the world to take part in our International Peace Day initiative. Visit the Libraries for Peace webpage ( to learn about what   libraries are doing to promote peace,   how they can initiate their own efforts, and   where these actions are taking place to discuss and share ideas of libraries and peacebuilding and to serve as an information hub for an international library celebration and action day for peace. 

25th Anniversary Giving Opportunity

To make a matching gift to the Mortenson Center, and double its impact in celebration of its 25th anniversary, please click the link below:

         Make a gift

Thinking Outside the Borders

Library Leadership in the World Community


Download the book here.


book cover

What is Thinking Outside the Borders?

A three-year project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in partnership with Illinois State Library.  Institutes for International Library Leadership were held with speakers and participants from all over the world.  Feedback was collected at each institute and applied to the format and content of the program.  The end result is the new publication, a guide for libraries to develop their own leadership institutes with an international perspective.

What does the book include?

The entire book is available for download.  If you would like a printed copy, please contact the Mortenson Center at (217) 333-3085.

You can see more information about the book in our conference poster (PPT), presented at IFLA and ILA 2008. 

This guidebook gives you:

“...the impetus for other states, library organizations and countries to develop library leaders in a global community.”

– Paula Kaufman,

University Librarian and Dean of Libraries

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“…opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of the variety of perspectives to be found in our global library world.  We learned a lot.  We had fun.  We developed and practiced new skills. We saw the importance of adaptability, engagement, and dynamic cross-cultural discussions. We continue to think about the colleagues we met and the experiences we had together.  We hope that the materials presented here will allow others to develop their own international library leadership programs. “

– Barbara J. Ford & Susan Schnuer,

Mortenson Center for International Library Programs