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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 ...

25th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture Will be Live-Streamed

2015 Lecture Card

Join us online or in person on Tuesday, October 27th at 4:00PM CDT for the 25th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture, "Right to Accessible Information for Global Citizenship: UNESCO's programme for persons with disabilities."

Dr. Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg will give a presentation on her work with UNESCO to ensure that the right to accessible information for persons with disabilities is respected around the world and to contribute to the full empowerment of persons with disabilities.

Read more about the Lecture and how to view it online.

Susan Schnuer Awarded IFLA Scroll of Appreciation

IFLA Award

Mortenson Center Associate Director Susan Schnuer has been recognized with IFLA's 'Scroll of Appreciation' at this year's WLIC Conference, "for her distinguished service to the international library community especially for inspiring and developing the next generation of library leaders." Congratulations to Susan!

Read about the Award

Mortenson Center Announces New Professional Development Programs for 2016

May 28 Group

The Mortenson Center, in partnership with the Uhniversity of Illinois International Area Studies library, will host a new development program in October 2016. Global Connections will be designed for managerial professionals in a library setting. More information about this new program is available on our Global Connections page.

Applications for the 2016 Associates program are now available for download. Be among the next group of international librarians to learn effective management and librarianship skills in addition to attending workshops on best practices, advocacy, emerging trends, and user experience. Find more information on the Associates program page.

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Update on 2014 Associates Graciela Quesada Fernandez and Ramon Masis Rojas


PosterTwo colleagues from the University of Costa Rica, Graciela Quesada Fernandez and Ramon Masis Rojas, attended the 2014 Associates program, which included a tour of the Champaign Urbana Fab Lab. Fernandez and Rojas are now leading the way toward building a fabrication laboratory at their university library. They hope to implement a partnership between the University of Costa Rica and the Mortenson Center for future collaboration.

Poster about the Mortenson Center by Fernandez and Rojas

SILL Project: Namibia

Namibia TrainingThe Mortenson Center has begun work on its 3-year project, Strengthening Innovative Library Leaders, funded by a grant from the Gates Foundation. The first pilot training program was held in Namibia this past May.

Mortenson Center Welcomes New Director

Clara Chu

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs will welcome Clara M. Chu as its new director and Mortenson Distinguished Professor on June 1, 2015. She brings more than two decades of professional knowledge and experiences to advance the mission of the Mortenson Center in this dual role.

Dr. Chu is excited to build upon the Mortenson Center’s vision of “developing librarians worldwide.” She says, “[I see] a horizon of opportunities to train librarians who can develop libraries (personnel, services, and spaces) to foster meaningful intellectual and human connections that imbue cross-cultural and transnational understanding.”

Read more about the new director, Clara M. Chu. 

Mortenson Center Awarded Grant

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been awarded a $521,014 three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which will help make leadership training accessible to librarians around the world.

With the funding, the Center will work toward strengthening library training providers’ ability to deliver high-quality leadership training to public librarians in order to help them position their libraries to meet critical community needs and to offer access to information and knowledge.

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