International and Area Studies New Service Model Team

Revised March 13, 2009

The International and Area Studies New Service Model Team recommends the creation of an entity called "International and Area Studies" in the University Library.  The existing units that should be included in this service point should be Africana, Asian, Global Studies, Latin American and Caribbean, Slavic including the Slavic Reference Service, and Modern Languages.  It is further suggested that the services related to the European Union Center should be included in this unit.  The team also came to the conclusion that the English Library, History Library, and American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies should not be included in this unit.   The proposed mission, vision and characteristics of the new entity are in Appendix l.

We estimate that the unit would include about 12 faculty members, 12 staff members, and 12 graduate assistants with variable appointments.  (See Appendix 4 for more detail)

The group strongly felt that the new International and Area Studies unit should have one unit head, with each special area of the unit retaining its own subject specialist. (Vote 9 in favor, 1 abstention.)  We suggest that each of the University of Illinois International Programs and Studies units should have their own liaison. The group was less certain about the motion that the distinct identity and historical continuities of the constituent parts of the International and Area Studies unit will be explicitly preserved within that unit.  (Vote 5 in favor, 2 against, 3 abstentions.)   

The new unit should provide service to our users, both physically, and virtually.  A web portal providing access to resources and information about each part of the new unit will provide another unifying factor for users and potential users.

The International and Area Studies unit should be located on the second floor in room 200, Slavic Library, and possibly the Advancement Office.  (Vote 7 for 2nd floor, 3 for 3rd floor, 1 abstention).  (See Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 for more detail).  There should be a visible physical space for core reference collections for each of the University of Illinois International Programs and Studies units.  (Vote 10 in favor, 1 abstention)

There should be a liaison from the new International and Area Studies unit to each of the University of Illinois International Program and Studies units.  (9 in favor)  We recommend that the unit cooperate, collaborate, and liaison with all library units that have international components.

We recommend that another, smaller group including some members from the original team should now take on the implementation of this proposal.  (9 in favor)  We recommend that when a unit head has been selected for the implementation, outside consultants may be needed to facilitate the process.  (9 in favor)

Addendum prepared by Al Kagan, Merle Bowen, and Andrew Orta on March 13, 2009 after the March 11 report was submitted.

Although at least one member of the group thought that the component names should be left to the proposed smaller implementation team, there was general agreement that the team recommend the following terminology. Each component would be named starting with its current area designation with the addition of the words "Library Collections and Services" (e.g., "Latin American and Caribbean Library Collections and Services").


Appendix 1.  Mission, Vision, Characteristics
Appendix 2.  Physical Location of International and Area Studies
Appendix 3.  Space Usage for International and Area Studies
Appendix 4.  Staffing of Units as Currently Constituted
Appendix 5.  Benefits of New Service Model for International and Area Studies
Appendix 6.  Challenges of New Service Model for International and Area Studies
Appendix 7.  Letter from Center Directors 
Appendix 8. Answers to Scott Walter's April 4th Questions
Appendix 9. Final Report and Recommendations of the Budget Plus Group
Appendix 10. Team Charge and Membership


Appendix 1.


International and Area Studies

The mission of the International and Area Studies unit is to facilitate the pursuit of knowledge through user-focused services and collections, and to support the international strategies and programs of the University of Illinois.


The vision of the unit is to be University's gateway to the world of information and scholarship about international, global, and area studies which are distinct and complementary scholarly projects. The gateway will connect the knowledge that is crucial to developing global competencies through the study of global concerns and transnational issues as well as the study of distinct nations and regions.

We envision this new service point as one that builds upon and develops the excellence of each of the component units, while enhancing opportunities for collaboration and coordination among the Library's area and international studies units, and providing a single physical service point and web presence for library users whose needs may draw upon various library collections and the distinct expertise of area and international studies librarians.
The success of the unit will depend upon a continuing commitment to strong collections and specialized staff.

Characteristics of the International and Area Studies unit

  • Focus on outreach activities, including a liaison librarian for each of the University's international programs
  • A designated subject expert for each component of the new unit
  • Strong instructional programs that support global competencies and research in international and area studies
  • Collections that meet the needs of faculty, scholars, and students
  • Use of technology to support and maintain a strong virtual library and to provide access to unique language-related software


Appendix 2.

Physical Location of International and Area Studies

The Team discussed two location options: 1) the current Asian Library combined with the current English Library space on the third floor and 2) the current Slavic and East European Library possibly combined with the Library Advancement Office space and some part of room 200 (Documents/General Reference) on the second floor. The advantages for the use of one space are generally the disadvantages for using the other.

Second Floor Advantages Third Floor Disadvantages
Convenient for undergraduates Harder to find for undergraduates
Service point in a grand space Service point in an average space
Better visibility Worse visibility
A unified space The corridor breaks up the space
Proximity to Central Reference Far from Central Reference
Proximity to stacks entrance Far from stacks entrance
Proximity to History, Phil., News. Lib. Far from History, Phil., News. Lib.
Already has conference/classroom Lack of conference/classroom
Open space easily configured Walls are preset; space is harder to configure
Space will be ready very soon
English Library might take a longer time to move
Easy access for people with disabilities Disadvantages people with disabilities
Third Floor Advantages Second Floor Disadvantages
Asian Library is connected to its stacks Asian Library loses connection to its stacks
Quiet space and more comfortable Noisy space and less comfortable
English has nice private spaces Lack of private spaces if excludes Advancement Office
Fewer people to move
More people to move


The vote was 7 for the second floor, 3 for the third floor and 1 abstention.

The Team also noted that the Asian technical services librarians and staff might have to continue to be located in the current Asian Library space, to facilitate their access to the Asian collections and because there may not be enough space on the second floor to accommodate everyone.


Appendix 3.

Space Usage for International and Area Studies Services

  1. Reference Desk:  One service point for the entire unit; referrals will be made to subject experts if needed (tiered model).
  2. Consultation space for small groups: Librarians and staff need spaces where they can meet with users in small groups (3-4) to provided targeted instruction sessions.
  3. Instructional classroom: Location where library staff and faculty can meet with a larger group of students (about 25 people).
  4. Instructional Computer Lab: Specialized lab that would allow for translation, multi-media work, and access to foreign databases and websites.  This lab should be able to accommodate up to 25 users and could be reserved by faculty and teaching assistants on campus.
  5. Public workstations with special software: The new unit will need up to 10 public workstations located in the public reference area for walk-in users and for one-on-one instruction.
  6. Space for international visitors: There are many international visiting scholars on campus and we would like to create a space in the public reference area where we could provide information about the campus and community and also maintain a list of current visiting scholars.
  7. Exhibits: Exhibits cases would be placed in the hallways surrounding the new unit to allow for displays.
  8. Seating for users should be comfortable and sufficient.
  9. Scanners and Printers are needed for print and microform materials in both in public service area and in the office area.
  10. CD-ROM Stations are needed for some Africana materials.
  11. Reference Collections: Small core reference collections from each unit will be located in the new public area and the rest of the reference collections will be transferred to the retrospective reference area in the stacks.
  12. Meeting rooms: If the offices in the new unit are not enclosed, then faculty and staff will need access to small private rooms for consultations and private discussions.  We are assuming that 2-3 consultations rooms will be needed.
  13. Periodicals: space for current periodicals
  14. Grant-funded projects: office space for staff hired on grant funds


Appendix 4.

Staffing of Units as Currently Constituted

Below is a listing of faculty and staff related to each department as best as we can determine at this point.


1 full time librarian
1 staff member
1 graduate student (TitleVI)

5 full time librarians (one vacancy listed for Korean Studies)
3.25 FTE staff ( two are split between circulation and other duties; the other three are primarily cataloging but perform other duties as well)
4 graduate students

Latin American and Caribbean 
1/2 time librarian
1 staff member (primarily acquisitions and LABO, but also does cataloging)

Slavic and East European 
part time acting head
2.5 full time librarians
1 full time staff (office manager for SRS)
1 full time staff (split between SRS reference and cataloging)
2 academic professionals (visiting research assistants)
Note: There are several other members of this unit, both faculty and staff, but our understanding is that they will be moving to either cataloging or acquisitions.)
3 graduate assistants  (Title VIII)

Global Studies
1/2 time librarian
1 graduate assistant (Title VI funded, assigned to work on specific project w/SRS)

European Union Studies
duties assumed by 1/2 time librarian as part of political science
1 graduate assistant (Title VI funded, spends most of time working in EUC with occasional projects for library)

Modern Languages 
Acting head
1 full-time librarian (Kolb-Proust Archive half time)
2 - 1/2 time librarians
1 full-time staff
2 graduate assistants


Appendix 5.

Benefits of New Service Model for International and Area Studies

  1. One service point
  2. Better physical access to students
  3. Better access to reference collections for patrons
  4. Latin American and Caribbean Library will now be near its reference materials
  5. Close to Central Reference, Main Stacks, History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library and libraries on first floor
  6. After hours, librarians in Central Reference and patrons will have access to reference collection
  7. Librarians with subject expertise in international studies
  8. Uniqueness of collections and services, such as Slavic Reference
  9. Variety of reference options: face-to-face, through email, by phone, via Chat and IM
  10. Vibrant online presence that bring together the current homepages of the Area Studies and Modern Languages Library
  11. Physical proximity of librarians and staff involved in Area and International librarianship
  12. Instructional Space/ Conference Room/ meeting room
  13. Will provide a place for international students and faculty to meet
  14. Will bring together librarians with expertise in European studies
  15. Better communication between librarians engaged in international studies
  16. Will foster great exchange of ideas
  17. Streamlined functions, such as periodical check-in (I assume we will be retaining our periodicals), ordering
  18. More efficient use of staff and possibly fewer staff needed
  19. Staff will have greater opportunities for expanding their skills and interests
  20. Possibly longer opening hours


Appendix 6.

Challenges of New Service Model for International and Area Studies

Viewing challenges as opportunities to improve services, we identify the following areas as ones that the new service model needs to confront:

  1. The biggest challenge is not only to bring the units physically together, but also to integrate services within the new unit in order to do more for users than each individual current unit can offer. We need to work collaboratively within and without the units.
  2. With the merger of the different units and the combined reference service, we have subject specialists to cover Area Studies as well as Global Studies; however, their expertise will mostly be confined to a specific geographic and subject and language area. How to provide cross-training to acquire basic international reference competencies and eventually to bring the reference service to a higher level as demonstrated by the Slavic Reference Service will be crucial to the success of the new service model. 
  3. We might face some challenges in finding space for all the things we want for the new services and in keeping  the good things we already have in terms of physical configuration of the new service model. For example, some Area Studies libraries display their current periodicals to bring the latest serial publications to the attention of faculty and graduate students, as many publications acquired by Area Studies subject specialists are not available online. 
  4. The new service model should be able not only to maintain the collections budget for non-English materials that the various Area Studies subject specialists manage in order to preserve the autonomy of each collection, but also to have funds for the acquisition of English language materials in their area. 

Appendix 7.  

Letter from Center Directors

Paula Kaufman
Dean of the Library

Champaign, March 4, 2009

Dear Paula,

We have been trying to keep ourselves informed about the specific proposals that the International and Area Studies Implementation Team (IAST) chaired by Barbara Ford is developing for the future of our libraries. While we appreciate the importance of new library services models in this environment of economic uncertainty and rapid technological change, we and most of the faculty members working in our areas continue to have grave concerns about the outcome of this process. The continuing institutional existence of the area studies collections within the larger library structure is absolutely crucial not only for continued federal funding of our programs, but also for our campus and international missions.

As you know, most of us welcome the creation of a "hub," "center" or "commons" for International and Area Studies Libraries, and any efficiencies it might bring in the delivery of core services will be welcome. At the same time, we would like to reiterate that we consider three principles to be absolutely essential for the success of our libraries:

  1. Each world area must have a qualified responsible librarian and adequate technical staff with the appropriate linguistic skills. Without this, area library services at the University of Illinois lose their standing and viability among major research libraries.
  2. Each international or area studies library must maintain its identity visible to users inside and outside of the university. This does not add any costs, nor does it block the centralization and coordination of certain services. It merely signifies the continuation of "brand names" that generations of librarians and scholars at the University of Illinois have worked so hard to build up. This is an important part of the respect our area studies programs have earned nationally and internationally for the University of Illinois over the past four decades.
  3. In the new common space to be created the reference collections of the distinct area studies libraries must remain visible as such. This need not mean more than clearly demarcated reference areas for the different world regions.

We very much hope that the Area Centers' input will inform the implementation committee's decisions. We look forward to continue working with you and the implementation committee on the creation of a new delivery model for international and area studies library services that builds on the strength we have all worked so hard to achieve for this university.


Merle Bowen, Director, Center for African Studies
Hadi Esfahani, Director, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Poshek Fu, Director, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies
Nils Jacobsen, Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Richard Tempest, Director, Russian, East European and Eurasian Center


Appendix 8.

Answers to Scott Walter's  March 4th Questions

1. does the group envision the "Linguistics" aspect of ML&L being part of the new service program?
Theoretical linguistics should be part of ESSL and linguistics which is part of language studies and dictionaries should be included in the new unit.

2. does the group have any vision for the integration of aligned service programs whose primary home will remain in other units, e.g., International Documents, EU Documents?
We do not recommend integration at this time but recommend strong liaison and cooperative relations.

3. what is meant by use of the phrase "special area of the unit," i.e., are you referring to a program area that should continue to retain the services of an identified subject specialist, or are you referring to a physical space that is designated within the IAL as being focused on individual program areas (Africana, Slavic, etc.)?
"Special area of the unit" is each of the University of Illinois International Programs and Studies units (program area).

4. Are European Union Studies currently supported solely in an "embedded" mode similar to Global Studies, or is there a physical unit (e.g., ESSL) that should be alerted to this proposal before it becomes part of the open discussion?
Work is shared between the law library and ESSL.

5. How does this plan for the future of International and Area Studies public service align with the recommendations already accepted and under way in terms of consolidating and coordinating technical services programs in the current Area Studies units?
One of our initial assumptions was that the technical services recommendations would be implemented.

6. How do the recommendations regarding staffing for the new unit reflect both the changes related to technical services and the opportunity to identify potential re-allocations of staff positions? Surely, there are economies of scale to be found in a single unit coming together from multiple current units. While we share your commitment to subject specialists to provide professional expertise related to the use of international materials, as well as your commitment to sustaining the Slavic Reference Service as a highlight of the IAS program, we assume that there are opportunities to achieve savings in areas such as student wage budgets and staff positions (that may be re-deployed to other critical Library needs, in whole or in part).
We do not feel able to answer this question at this point.  The current levels of staffing do not reflect the needs, i.e. lack of Latin American and Caribbean, European, and Korean specialists. Unit heads and others will need to be consulted before this question can be answered.

7. Does the team have any suggestions for timeline or staging? Can this move be staged in any way, or is the sense of the group that the entire move must be completed at once? I can imagine, for example, a relatively painless "closure" of LACL in May, and the transfer of the locus for LAC support to Modern Languages until the new space is ready for the new unit (esp. as there is no collection to move). Staging will definitely be part of the Action Plan, so we urge you to give some thought to this question.
When the administration decides on the space that will be available and appoints a unit head this can move forward.

Regarding others specifics in your recommendations, we offer the following:

Regarding the proposal to incorporate the Modern Languages & Linguistics Library into the new unit, we note that there is an overarching direction toward looking anew at the stewardship of special collections across the Library, and there is an opportunity here to bring Kolb-Proust together with like special collections units as part of this new service model. 

We agree that Kolb-Proust should be part of special collections and understand the conversation has already begun.

Regarding the proposal to locate the IAL on the 2nd floor, we note that the space currently occupied by Library Advancement cannot be moved until suitable alternative space is found on either the 1st or 2nd floor of the Library. It is imperative that we maintain an appropriate and accessible space for this critical Library function. This may require us to "phase into" the full vision for the new unit and its programs.

Regarding the description of service programs and needs, we note that the Main Library already houses a brand-new instructional facility in 314 Library. It is highly unlikely that we would look to re-invent that resource in a unit within the Main Library. In general, it would be helpful to see how IAL programs would integrate or take advantage of centrally-supported resources, as opposed to focusing on supporting all service program needs within the boundaries of the new unit.

In regard to the question of "vision" noted above, we would again challenge the group to articulate a bold vision for the future of Library services related to international and area studies materials and programs that sets a new course for the future, rather than being limited to articulating how the current service programs might move into new physical (and virtual) spaces. How would this nexus of expertise in the use of international materials complement subject expertise in other units that also support the study of the world outside U.S. borders, and how would it complement broader Library service programs that demonstrate the Illinois commitment to global competence and international engagement, e.g., the Mortenson Center, outreach programs aimed at international students?

See Appendix I for Vision and Mission.  Recommend cooperation, collaboration, and liaison with all library units that have international components.  For example, the Mortenson Center might continue as the library's liaison to International Engagement and Protocol, a role they currently fill, and work closely with the new unit on these activities.

As we are recommending to all units considered for integration, we would like to see the unit that would come from following this recommendation to be a true International and Area Studies Library that challenges us to re-commit to this area of Library excellence for the 21st century, rather than one that simply brings forward the vision of international and area studies librarianship from the 20th. Based on our experiences with NSM programs to date, we see this as a critical starting point for truly re-envisioning Library service programs in units evolving to encompass a greater scope, and we see this as something that definitely needs to be pursued should any/all of the proposals contained in your document be implemented.

Please share this feedback with your team members. In order to maintain momentum toward the completion of the initial draft of the Action Plan, we ask that you provide any response to the above questions to me by March 12, 2009. The recommendations that go into the initial Action Plan related to International and Area Studies programs will be the subject of a Library Forum later this month; we look forward to your participation.


Appendix 9. 

(Taken from Library website)

Final Report and Recommendations of the Budget Plus Group - April 21, 2008

16. Create a "Languages and Linguistics Library" to be located in 225 Library

The English Library and the Modern Languages and Linguistics Library provide complementary collections and expertise in areas related to the study of world languages, literatures, and linguistics. Likewise complementary are certain collections and services of the Latin American & Caribbean Library, which, like Modern Languages & Linguistics, collects materials published in languages such as Spanish and Portuguese. The Budget Group Plus recommends combining the complementary collection and service programs of the English Library, the Modern Languages & Linguistics Library, and the Latin American & Caribbean Library to create a "Languages and Linguistics Library" that will provide a robust service point focused on resources related to the study of languages, literatures, and cultures, and that will build on pre-existing collaborations between the faculty currently housed in the English, Modern Languages & Linguistics, and Latin American & Caribbean libraries.

17. Create an "Area and International Studies Library" to be located in 321/325 Library

The Area Studies represent a historic area of strength, both in collections and public service, for the University Library, and the Library's area studies faculty and staff provide complementary services to campus units and across campus units. Access to many of those collections and services, however, is limited by the demands involved in operating multiple area studies units within the Main Library facility. Recognizing both the strengths and the limitations of the current model, the Budget Group Plus recommends establishing an "Area and International Studies Library" that will provide a robust service point focused on resources related to the study of defined regions of the world and allow for more effective integration of resources collected in vernacular languages into broader service programs. The Budget Group Plus recommends establishing this unit in the co-located space of 321 Library (to house the collections and services currently housed in the Slavic & East European Library and Africana Library Unit, as well as complementary collections and programs of the current Latin American & Caribbean Library) and 325 Library (to remain the Asian Library). Finally, pursuant to Proposal No. 10, the Budget Group Plus recommends that technical service operations in the area studies units consolidate with complementary Central Technical Services operations.


Appendix 10. 

Team Charge and Membership (December 2008)

The International and Area Studies Team will:

  1. Identify how and where to most effectively provide Library services to all disciplines and communities that use Library collections with an international/area studies focus, including those engaged in the study of languages, literatures and cultures.  The group should take into consideration the recommendations in the Final Report of the Budget Plus Group, the goals identified in the Library International Strategy (2003), the recommendations of the forthcoming report from the Technical Services Coordination and Consolidation Team, and other ideas such as the proposal to establish an International Reference Service (IRS).  

Membership of International and Area Studies New Service Model Team

The group had wide ranging discussions from many perspectives and an intensive series of meetings between December 2008 and March 2009.  We particularly appreciated expert input from William Brustein, Ruth Watkins, Ann Mester, and Matthew Tomaszewski.

The membership of the team was:

  • Barbara Ford, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs (Team Leader)
  • Jan Adamczyk, Slavic
  • Merle Bowen, Center for African Studies
  • Paula Carns, Modern Languages, Interim Latin American and Caribbean
  • Shuyong Jiang, Asian
  • Al Kagan, Africana
  • Andrew Orta, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Lynne Rudasill, Center for Global Studies, Education & Social Science
  • Susan Schnuer, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
  • Marek Sroka, Slavic
  • John Wagstaff , Music and Performing Arts
  • Scott Walter, Associate University Librarian for Services (Administrative Liaison)