Charge for International and Area Studies

Charge for International and Area Studies


The Final Report of the Budget Group Plus recommended that an "Area and International Studies Library" be created 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. See the report from the Technical Services Coordination & Consolidation Team.

The Budget Group Plus also recommended the creation of 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.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is "poised to become our nation's pre-eminent global university," according to William Brustein, Associate Provost for International Affairs.  As campus seeks to foster "globally competent" citizens with deep disciplinary expertise and the capacity to communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries, the University Library will be called upon to rise to the challenge of supporting new strategic initiatives promoting "intercultural scholarship and learning" <>. Other large research libraries (e.g., Berkeley, Oxford, the British Library) have begun reorienting themselves to better support research that crosses the borders which have traditionally defined library units focused on the study of discrete areas.  David Hickey (2006), an Asian Studies Bibliographer at University of Florida, has suggested research libraries must rethink compartmentalized collections and services in order "to respond to the inter-area academic synergies increasing created between department/programs on campus...and  between local, state, national, or even international trans-regional/global shareholders"(Library Collections, Acquisitions & Technical Services 30: 77-84).



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).  
  2. Consult broadly with relevant constituents within the Library and on campus.  This may include convening focus group(s) comprised of Title VI program directors, the Associate Provost for International Affairs, and faculty from relevant departments for discussion and feedback during (1) and (5).
  3. Submit an Interim Report outlining a proposed service profile for disciplines related to international studies/area studies, languages, literatures and cultures to the University Librarian by May 1, 2009
  4. Plan the specific steps needed to implement the proposed service profile, provide a timeline (with a target completion date of January 15, 2010) for implementing these steps, define staffing needs and responsibilities and develop a plan for assessing the effectiveness of the new service profile.  Submit an Implementation Plan to the University Librarian by June 15, 2009.
  5. Begin phasing in new service profile during after acceptance of the report, with a target completion date of January 15, 2010.
  6. Conduct a preliminary assessment of the new services, and make future recommendations based on this assessment to the University Librarian by May 15, 2010.


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

Submitted to the Executive Committee for consideration:  October 27, 2008; Revised November 10, 2008

Approved by the Executive Committee:  November 10, 2008