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About the International and Area Studies Library

In 2011, the University of Illinois Library formed the International and Area Studies Library (IASL) to coordinate patron and research focused services while continuing to build nationally prominent collections of materials from outside of the United States. This created, for the first time at Illinois, one unit that combined the library’s strong faculty, services, and collections focused on African Studies; East Asian Studies; European Union Studies; Global Studies; Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Middle East and North African Studies; Russian East European, and Eurasian Studies; and South Asian Studies. The combined expertise and research collections of the IASL constitutes one of the campus’ gateways to information and scholarship related to area, international, and global studies, connecting students and scholars to the knowledge crucial to developing global competencies through the study of distinct nations and regions, as well as transnational issues and global concerns. The IASL faculty and staff marshal their expertise and the resources of the Library to support its mission by delivering international reference services; engaging the campus community; publishing original research, developing resources and media; teaching; and developing world class collections.

Engaging Librarianship

The IASL supports interdisciplinary research that informs and draws upon both area knowledge and transnational connections. To this aim, the IASL faculty teaches and promotes knowledge related to the societies, cultures, and intellectual output of the countries and regions supported by its expert services and research collections. A core service initiative of the IASL is to expand teaching opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting by drawing upon the expertise of the library’s faculty to make international and area studies knowledge accessible, engaging, and relevant to the campus’ research, teaching, and engagement efforts. These activities also support key campus research and teaching missions to promote cultural and international understanding while engaging in dialogue focused on tolerance and diversity within a pluralistic society. IASL’s International Teaching and Engagement Committee (iTEC) is the primary organizational vehicle for supporting international engagement activities.


In total, the IASL faculty curates a collection of materials that consist of nearly 2 million volumes in over 150 languages.  Specific collections include:

Collection Name Current Collection Development Statement               Contacts
African Studies African Studies Collection Development Statement Sub-Saharan Africa – Atoma Batoma
North Africa – Laila Hussein
EU Studies EU Studies Collection Development Statement Paula Carns
Global Studies Global Studies Collection Development Statement Steve Witt
Latin American and Caribbean Studies Latin American and Caribbean Studies Collection Development Statement Antonio Sotomayor
Middle East Studies Middle East Studies Collection Development Statement Laila Hussein
East Asian Studies
(Japanese, Chinese, Korean)
East Asian Studies Collection Development Statement Japanese – Steve Witt
Chinese – Bing Wang
(Vacant – Korean)
South Asian Studies South Asian Studies Collection Development Statement Mara Thacker
Slavic and East European Slavic and East European Collection Development Statement Kit Condill
Joe Lenkart
Marek Sroka