Mortenson Center Associates Program


Smart and Smarter: Leadership and Innovation in Libraries

A Professional Development Program for Library Leaders and Innovators

May 26 – June 22, 2021

The 2021 Mortenson Center Associates Program will offer individuals working in a library setting outside the United States an opportunity to explore current issues and trends in the library field and engage with librarians implementing cutting-edge programs and services.
2019 cohort. Click here to visit the Associates Blog.

Smart and Smarter: Leadership and Innovation in Libraries: A Professional Development Program for Library Leaders and Innovators will engage participants in learning about novel and inventive practices and services in areas such as:

  • Innovation by Design
  • Leadership, Communication and Managing Change
  • Smarter Strategies
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Digital and Print Collections and Repositories
  • Marketing and Advocacy
  • International Professional Networking

Applications for the 2022 Mortenson Associates Program will open in September 2021.

For more information and to apply, please download the 2021 Information Flyer  and read the information below

Associates Program Information Session Recording, originally held on 13 October, 2020.  Recruitment PowerPoint Presentation PDF also available.

***Note: Please attach all the applications materials in a single email, and the application form in a single word   or pdf file***

2021 Program Highlights

Download the Information Flyer here

  • Seminars and Workshops which provide an overview of current trends in the field. Library experts will be invited to share their perspectives, offer expertise, and foster conversations on the themes of communication and leadership.
  • Tours of a variety of libraries, including academic, public, and school libraries. We may also visit the American Library Association headquarters in Chicago, Illinois and other sites of interest.
  • Networking with dynamic group of international colleagues during and post-program.
  • Participants will develop individual action plans, appropriate to their professional and institutional needs, and will receive post-program implementation review.
  • Each participant will receive a Certificate of Program Participation upon completion.
  • Scheduling to allow participants to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Library Association (ALA), if they wish.
  • The 2021 ALA Annual Meeting will be in Chicago, IL, June 24-29. Arrangements and registration for the conference must be made separately and are not included in program costs.

Program Dates

Program activities will begin on 26 May 2021. The last day of program activities will be 22 June 2021.

15 December 2020: Application Deadline

All application materials must be submitted by 15 December 2020, including a fully completed application and 3 supplementary documents. (Please note: Applications and materials received after 15 December 2020 will be moved to the following year’s program for consideration in 2022.)

12 January 2021: Notification of Application Status

All applicants will be notified of application status by 12 January 2021 (end of business CST). Applicants accepted to the Mortenson Center Associates Program must send a non-refundable $USD 200.00 deposit by 15 February 2021 in order to hold their place in the program. Payment instructions will be provided upon acceptance, or after 12 January 2021.

15 February 2021: Deposit Payment Due

$USD 200.00 Deposit Due (all deposit payments are non-refundable)

2 April 2021: Remaining Balance Payment Due

Remaining Balance Due

Application Requirements

  • Application (typed and signed) must be submitted in English along with the 3 supporting documents in order to be considered.
  • Applicants must secure adequate funding to support a stay at the Mortenson Center in order to be accepted into the program.
  • This program is delivered in English only. Participants should be fluent in conversational English and possess a reading knowledge of English.

Application Form

Applications are open for the 2021 Mortenson Associates Program. We invite your applications and encourage interested participants to submit questions to

    Download Application Form HERE: word or pdf

Program Costs

The program cost for the 2021 Mortenson Associates Program is to be determined. The cost for 2020 was $4,000 USD.

Program costs are paid prior to the program’s start date and include:

  • Housing (shared, student-style accommodations while on campus and shared hotel accommodations while on out-of-town excursions)
  • Partial meals
  • Local transportation
  • Programming costs
  • Speaker fees
  • Medical insurance
  • Other materials and logistics

The program cost does not include transportation costs to and from Champaign-Urbana.These arrangements must be funded and arranged by individual participants.

Applicants accepted by the Mortenson Center must send a $USD 200 deposit in order to hold their place in the program. This non-refundable deposit will be deducted from your program fees.

Payment Deadlines

  • 15 February 2021 – $USD 200.00 – Deposit Due (all deposit payments are non-refundable)
  • 2 April 2021 – Remaining Balance Due

Payment instructions will be provided to participants upon notification of acceptance, on or after 12 January 2021.

Grant for professionals working in the Arab World

Application deadline for the 2020 Naseej Academy-SLA-AGC: To Be Determined

Apply Here

A free grant jointly awarded by Naseej Academy and the Arabian Gulf Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA-AGC) will enable two professionals in library, information and archive institutions in the Arab world to participate in the Mortenson Center Associates Program, which is designed to provide librarians and information specialists with the skills necessary to become leaders and trainers of their colleagues upon their return to their home institutions.

The Mortenson Center has engaged in this grant program from its inception, with the first awards made in 2017. Read more about the Grant and past recipients by clicking here.



Curious about what it’s like to be an Associate? Explore below!

Watch the 2015 Associates Video Read the Associates Blog