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 (librariesforpeace.org) 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.
Barbara, Susan, and Paula Kaufman visited a number of potential federal funding agencies in Washington, D.C. in March.
Susan is working with Bill Mischo and Beth Sandore Namachchivaya from the University Library to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a future partnership with the Center Library of the National Institute of Technology in Silchar, India. The goal is to have the MOU signed by the end of the summer.
Arabella Advisors, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has completed an evaluation of the past 5 years of Mortenson Center activities. In March, Arabella visited the Mortenson Center for an evaluation tools working session as we plan for how to evaluate Center activities in the future. Jen-chien Yu, Joanne Kaczmarek, and Lynn Wiley from the University Library will assist with future Center evaluation activities. The results of the evaluation are quite positive and the findings are available on the Center website.
“There are other international trainings on libraries, but this is the premier one on librarianship.” - Mortenson Center Partner
National Institute of Technology, Silchar, India
We expect 32 librarians from China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Serbia, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe for the 2014 Mortenson Associates program. The program, “Imagine, Question, Connect: A Professional Development Program for Library Innovators and Decision-Makers,” will take place in Urbana from May 29-June 14, 2014. Participants will engage with other library professionals in a variety of workshops and library tours, and will attend the Next Library 2014 Conference in Chicago. http://www.nextlibrary.net/
Eight READ Global staff from India, Nepal, and Bhutan will participate in the Mortenson Associates program. They will have some special programming as well as participate in the Small Public Library Management Institute that the Illinois State Library holds for rural librarians. During their stay they will also be engaged in a train-the-trainer program. They will return to their home countries to deliver training to librarians in READ Centers in all three countries. Mortenson Center staff will participate in the regional training sessions. http://readglobal.org/
An IREX project with public libraries in Namibia seeks to involve the Mortenson Center in future activities. An assessment visit for July is under discussion. Susan would visit to explore the possibility of a long-term partnership with the National Library and Archives Services.
The university’s International Programs and Studies department has a new Illinois International Training program. Through this program, the Mortenson Center has met with librarians from India and Singapore and is exploring future training projects with them. They have also connected the Center with a library in Oman that is seeking training for staff.
Collaboration with the Beyond Access initiative continues. Beyond Access supports the involvement of public libraries in individual and community development efforts. Susan recently participated in a four-day training design hack-a-thon in Bucharest, Romania. http://beyondaccess.net/.
Mortenson Center staff will be presenting a poster at IFLA 2014 in Lyon, France, entitled “Evaluating Professional Development Training Programs for Librarians: Lessons Learned.”
Barbara will be leaving the University at the end of May 2014 primarily due to changes in the State Universities Retirement System.
She said, “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to be the Director and Distinguished Professor for the C. Walter and Gerda B. Mortenson Center for International Library Programs since 2003. I have greatly enjoyed working with colleagues at the University of Illinois and around the world as we implemented programs to promote international peace and understanding through developing librarians worldwide. I look forward to continuing to support the Mortenson Center, Library, and University as an emeritus faculty member. I expect to continue working on projects involving libraries and international issues and look forward to staying in touch with friends and colleagues.”
Paula Kaufman, former Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, will join the Mortenson Center in August as interim director while a search is underway for the next Mortenson Center Director and Distinguished Professor.
Barbara and Susan in Nepal