Since April, The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs has hosted five unique groups of international librarians. Each one focused on different aspects of librarianship and enlisted the help and knowledge of university colleagues and various library systems throughout the Midwest.
Four academic librarians from Rhodes University, SEALS, University of Fort Hare, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa visited the Urbana-Champaign campus in April to learn how the university uses technology in the library.
The IFLA/OCLC Fellows from Ghana, Kenya, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nigeria always spend at least a day at the Mortenson Center during their time in the U.S. This is part of an ongoing partnership with OCLC.
As a result of the Center’s work with public libraries in Romania, an opportunity developed to host a program for leaders of the Romanian Library Association. The Romanian delegation split their time between Chicago and Urbana-Champaign, and attended the Illinois Library Association’s Reaching Forward program on how to adjust to the changing world by discovering new opportunities.
The 2012 Summer Associates Program drew librarians and Information Technology professionals from Barbados, Bulgaria, Egypt, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Nigeria, and South Africa. They participated in programs at the Mortenson Center from May to June 2012. The Associates visited OCLC, the ALA headquarters in Chicago, and the Illinois State Library’s Digitization Institute.
In June, the final delegation of public librarians from China visited UIUC as part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. The Mortenson Center planned a program for the last visit of the grant, which formally ended with a ceremony and reception at the International & Area Studies library.
Thanks to the many Illinois colleagues who assisted in these programs:
Atoma Batoma, Susan Braxton, Paula Carns, Adriana Cuervo, Meg Edwards, Jenny Emanuel, Katherine Eriksen, Jim Hahn, Megan Hayes, Merinda Hensley, Cheryl Hinkle, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Quing Jin, Angela Jordan, Paula Kaufman, Liz Kent, Betsy Kruger, Joe Lenkart, Jamie Luedtke, Gretchen Madsen, Lori Mestre, Rae-Anne Montague, Setsuko Noguchi, Lesley Purnell, Lynne Rudasill, Beth Sandore, Sue Searing, Sarah Shreeves, Marek Sroka, Jason Strutz, Hal Southern, Tom Teper, Mara Thacker, Vicki Trimble, Kathie Veach, Steve Witt, and Beth Woodard.
Others who hosted or presented to visiting Mortenson Center Librarians include: John Berry, Alice Calabrese Berry, Bob Burger, Jan Ison, Rebecca Teasdale, Shirley Stelbrink, David Dorman, Michael Dowling, Barb Macikas and Marci Merola from the American Library Association, Michael Peters and Mark Andersen at Chicago Public Library, Bonnie Koenig of Going International, Shirley Stelbrink of Learning Alliances, Bob Doyle of Illinois Library Association, Marsha Grove of Champaign Public Library, Lynn Schmit of Mahomet Public Library, Alice Cisna of Arthur Public Library, Don Barlow of Westerville Public Library, Nancy Lensenmayer and George Needham of OCLC, Wes Boomgaarden and Nancy Courtney of Ohio State University, Alyce Scott of the Illinois State Library, Allan Lanham and staff of Eastern Illinois University, Debra Lissak and staff of Urbana Free Library, Dee Brennan and staff at Oak Park Public Library, James Simon of Center for Research Libraries, Katherine Litwin of Poetry Foundation Library, Nicholas Ammerman of Donors Forum Library, Susan Singleton of CARLI, Barry Pittendrigh and staff of Scientific Animations Without Borders ( SAWBO).
Lindy Wheatley from the Mortenson Center staff oversaw all the logistical details of the programs for the visiting librarians. Jamie Luedtke worked as program coordinator for the Mortenson Associates and arranged an informative program much appreciated by the participants.
Susan Schnuer spent time in July at Nazarbayev University Library in Astana, Kazakhstan presenting workshops. She also participated in a Gates Foundation meeting in Rome on small grant projects.
Mortenson Center staff presented a workshop at ACURIL (Association of Caribbean University, Research, and Institutional Libraries) in Haiti and at the preconference for international librarians at the American Library Association. Barbara Ford was the keynote speaker at the "New Generation School Library" international conference in Vilnius, Lithuania on August 6, 2012.
Susan and Barbara will attend the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) meeting in Helsinki, Finland in August.
Work on Gates Foundation-funded projects with public libraries will continue into the fall with final visits to Romania in September and Latvia in October.
Following our spring visit to Russia, we will initiate new programs with Russian libraries and travel there again in October.