Building Global Library Leaders: An Evaluation of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
About the Evaluation
The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign runs training programs to strengthen the leadership and librarianship of librarians from around the world and to enable them to improve their libraries and communities. Arabella Advisors assessed the impact of the Center’s annual Associates programs and of its country- or region-specific programs. Its programs help librarians build their communications, leadership, and librarianship through trainings and library site tours. This is a summary of Arabella’s findings.
What We Learned about the Mortenson Center
The Mortenson Center has trained over 1,000 innovative library leaders since it was founded in 1991. Training participants we surveyed and interviewed indicated that:
- The Mortenson Center is prestigious and seen as a model for librarianship training throughout the world. In fact, experts, partners, and participants alike consider the Mortenson Center to be a top program for global librarianship training. Remarkably, 100 percent of participants Arabella Advisors surveyed were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the Mortenson Center’s programs.
- The Mortenson Center alumni are creating their own impact. Eighty percent of survey respondents felt more prepared to take on leadership roles or additional responsibility in their libraries thanks to their training at the Mortenson Center, and one-third of participants went on to take such leadership roles in professional networks.
- Mortenson Center alumni are putting innovation into practice. More than 70 percent introduce a new tool, service, or resource in their library within five years of training.
- Libraries and communities around the world are seeing the impact of the Mortenson Center’s work. Seventy-nine percent of participants say that, since applying the lessons they learned at the Mortenson Center, their library is more prepared to serve users’ needs, and 76 percent say that their colleagues are more prepared to serve users’ needs.