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.
Nine South Africa librarians from three universities will be at the Mortenson Center from February 20 to March 11, 2009 for a program to set the context for learning about library research support. This is part of a project of these universities funded by the Carnegie Corporation to assist the university libraries in better supporting faculty research. After their time at the Mortenson Center the librarians will spend one month at research libraries in the US. The first group was at the Mortenson Center last spring and Susan and Barbara visited the libraries when they were in South Africa in November and saw the impressive new research commons that have been set up and the work that the librarians are doing.
A long time partnership with the Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow is being revitalized with a project in March in Russia. Barbara and Susan will travel to Moscow and Perm to participate in a school library institute and a tolerance institute.
Teresa Hackett, Manager at eIFL-IP (Electronic Information for Libraries - Intellectual
Property) was the 2008 Mortenson Distinguished Lecturer. Her lecture, "Libraries Advocating
for Access to Knowledge: our role in the global A2K movement," was well received by the
audience. The full text of the lecture, presentation slides, and audio of the lecture are
available on the Mortenson website at
In 2009 the Distinguished Lecturer will be Ellen Tise from South Africa who will be the President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions from 2009-2011. The lecture will be held during the week of October 19-23.
The Mortenson Center welcomed 18 librarians from Bahrain, Colombia, Ghana, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Palestine, South Korea, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. The librarians were here September 2 to October 31. One of the Japanese, a library educator, is here for one year. The schedule of seminars, tours, workshops, and conferences included trips to the Illinois Library Association conference in Chicago where they presented a session; to OCLC in Dublin, Ohio; to the American Library Association and several libraries in Chicago, and to the Illinois State Library in Springfield. The Mortenson Associates pilot tested a course that eIFL is developing on copyright for librarians and participated in a Community Informatics Seminar developed by GSLIS. Speakers from JStor made presentations and there was a special program on managing bandwidth by an expert from Aptivate in the United Kingdom.
The success of the program would not have been possible without the assistance of many colleagues. Those involved included: Mary Beth Allen, John Andrick, Susan Avery, Chip Bruce, William Brustein, Bob Burger, Paula Carns, David Dorman, Fang Gao, Marsha Grove, Frances Harris, Jan Ison, Al Kagan, Linda Katehi, Paula Kaufman, Cindy Kelly, Betsy Kruger, Deb Likkak, Brian McMurray, Rae Ann Montague, Miranda Remnek, Fred Schlipf, Joe Sciacca, Sue Searing, Claudia Serbanuta, Sarah Shreeves, Jennifer Hain Teper, Kristin Vogel, Scott Walter, Anna Maria Watkin, Robert Wedgeworth, Karen Wei, Lynn Wiley .
Our sincere gratitude to Janice Pilch for her invaluable assistance in coordinating with eIFL for the pilot copyright course. A special thank you for colleagues who were "friends" to the Mortenson Associates: Mohammad al-Faruque, Atoma Batoma, Paula Carns, Szu-Yu Chao, Adriana Cuervo, Jennifer Emanuel, Myung-Ja Han, Paul Healey, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Shu Yong Jiang, Qiang Jin, Al Kagan, Jo Kibbee, Mily Love, Mary Mallory, Setsuko Noguchi, Lynne Rudasill, Scott Schwartz, Robert Slater, Yoo-Seong Song, Peggy Steele, Allison Sutton, Karen Wei, Kathleen Weibel, and Joyce Wright. Thanks to Lee Galaway from information technology who assisted in obtaining computers from the equipment pool and to Cinda Pippenger from central circulation who provided guest library cards. Muzhgan Nazarova, Coral Daube, and Sara Thompson provided leadership in the Mortenson Center. We could not do this program without the assistance of all library staff who make our visitors feel very welcome. Thank you!
Ten librarians from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda were at the Mortenson Center from
September 20 to October 21 funded by Center grants. Their program focused on technology
and library automation issues. They attended the Illinois Library Association and Library
Information and Technology conference in Cincinnati, spent time at the library at Eastern Illinois
University where Allan Lanham and his staff organized an excellent program for them, participated
in a very useful digitization seminar at the Illinois State Library, participated in the Community
Informatics Seminar at GSLIS, visited the Lincoln Trail Libraries System, and visited OCLC and
libraries in Ohio. Special presentation topics included JStor, bandwidth management, library
automation issues, and open source software.
In early September Susan went to the VTLS user group meeting in Slovakia with librarians who are implementing VTLS in their libraries with the support of Carnegie and MacArthur. In the spring Mortenson Center staff will be traveling to work on site with the academic libraries in these four countries as they continue to move forward on automating their libraries. Susan has received grants to continue this work through 2011.
A project to meet the needs of students, faculty and researchers at four academic institutions
in Nigeria by providing more efficient, reliable, and easy access to research and scholarly
information has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The four institutions have begun to
automate their libraries and with this second grant the Mortenson Center will work with the
librarians to implement the cataloging, online catalog, circulation, and website functions for the
new library management system, to assist the university libraries in providing greater access to
their electronic resources, and to further develop a network of libraries in Nigeria focused on
cooperation, and the sharing of resources and expertise. Susan was awarded $201,000 for this
A project to continue working with universities in East and West Africa was funded by the Carnegie Corporation. The libraries are at different stages in terms of automation and related project. The university libraries in East Africa have almost completed implementation of a library management system and those in West Africa are still focused on becoming automated. The goals are for the grantees from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda to fully implement an automated library management system, which will better serve the research and learning needs of the users. All institutions will develop a team of librarians trained and able to manage automation and automation-related projects in their libraries. Susan was awarded $380,000 for this project.
The grant with the Illinois State Library was completed at the end of November 2008. The
final publication, "Thinking Outside the Borders: Library Leadership in a World Community: A Manual
for Professional Development," is available from the Mortenson Center. The full text will
soon be available on the Mortenson Center website as well.
In November, the University of Pretoria Library in South Africa offered a successful leadership institute based on "Thinking Outside the Borders." Susan and Barbara both spoke at the institute. Another institute is planned by the same institution later this year.
UIUC libraries have received a $500,000 grant funded by IMLS to facilitate collaboration, exchange of information, professional development of librarians from the U.S. and China, and developing a web portal of resources in support of U.S. libraries serving Chinese speaking users. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) with partial funding provided by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. Shuyong Jiang is the project head and Mortenson Center is involved in the grant as well. In July the first group of Chinese public librarians will spend two weeks at the Mortenson Center and then go to ALA and visit libraries. Members of CALA will participate in delegations that will offer educational exchange sessions in China. You can learn more about the project at www.library.uiuc.edu/China/ .
Please contact Barbara J. Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Susan Schnuer (email@example.com) for additional information.