Mid Term Post Program Review – December 13, 2023

The 2023 Mortenson Center Associates had a mid-term post program review meeting on Zoom with the Mortenson Center Team. The associates each had a chance to share the PDP (Professional Development Plans) from the program and provided an update on their implementation, including challenges and opportunities they had encountered in implementing the projects. Some of the challenges included a lack of funding and issues related to time management while some of the opportunities mentioned included buy-in from administration and thus securing funding for the projects, and opportunities for networking and more travel outside of their countries. The associates expressed a desire to stay connected with zoom meetings at least quarterly. Vuyo Jamieson, the center’s Research Assistant and PhD student at the iSchool is working on some Alumni Engagement initiatives that will ensure former associates stay engaged and connected beyond their time at the center. The projects the associates are working on are varied and are listed below:

  • Neveen Nagy Eid (Egypt)Establishing a “Book a Librarian” program at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
  • Ola El Zein (Lebanon)Creating a Virtual Exhibition of Historical Medical Artifacts at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and AUB Medical Center (AUBMC)
  • Ulrike Junger (Germany)Automating Cataloging Tasks at the German National Library
  • Tebogo Khama (Botswana)Establishing a Research Data Management (RDM) and curation Service at the University of Botswana
  • Jinsook Lee (S. Korea)Renovation of the “Study Garden” (open study space) at the Seoul National University Library
  • Florence Plockey (Ghana)Advocating and Marketing Library Resources & Services thru social media at the Accra Technical University
  • Minsang Song (S. Korea)Using whiteboards for team meetings at the National Library of Korea
  • Tereza Richards (Jamaica)Improving Research Data Management services at the University of West Indies- Mona Campus

The 33rd Mortenson Center Distinguished Lecture- September 21, 2023


The 33rd Mortenson Center Distinguished Lecture featured Dr. Ricardo L. Punzalan, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, and a scholar of archives and digital curation. His lecture “Reciprocity, Reparative Actions, and Decolonial Work” explored the case of “decolonizing” U.S. Philippine materials to transform our digital work to enact reparative actions that connect collections with communities that have been long separated by colonization. View recording at: https://lnkd.in/g-cThK7S.


Human Library Event- September 16, 2023 Internationalization @ Home!

The Mortenson Center, in collaboration with the New American Welcome Center and the University YMCA hosted a Human Library Event as part of the events featured during 2023 National Welcoming week. The event featured immigrants and international students living in Champaign-Urbana as human books. Each human “book” was available during the event to interact with “readers” and talk to them about their native country. Topics covered in the conversations included among others geographic location, cuisine, languages spoken and culture. The human volunteers were also free to share their story of how they came to the United States or anything else they wanted to share about themselves or their country.  International food/cuisine was offered for sampling at the event.

Eleven countries were featured at this inaugural event: Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Greece, Kenya, Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and USA. In keeping with the mission of the Mortenson Center, the event aims to introduce the concept of “internationalization @ home to the University of Illinois community and to foster intercultural competency and global understanding as well as welcome newcomers to the community while embracing diversity and fostering a sense of belonging.


IFLA 88th World Library and Information Congress (WLIC)

North American Regional Virtual Hub- August 21-25, 2023

The Mortenson Center and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library coordinated and hosted the North American regional virtual hub during WLIC to promote increased inclusion and participation from registered remote delegates (i.e., those not able to travel to Rotterdam).  The regional virtual hub sessions aimed to promote regional engagement/conversation on topics related to IFLA and the congress. Read more about the featured sessions at: https://sites.google.com/illinois.edu/2023-ifla-wlic/home.

Workshop on Libraries and Advancing the UNSDGs- April1, 2023

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and the ALA Student Chapter, Illinois iSchool hosted a hybrid workshop on libraries and advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 

Clara M Chu, Ph.D., Director and Mortenson Distinguished Professor
Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Kendra S. Albright, Ph.D., Goodyear Endowed Professor in Knowledge Management
School of Information, Kent State University.

2022 – 2023 Holiday Greetings

Happy Holidays from the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs!

We value your efforts in connecting communities and sharing their stories.
“To be linked to the thread of humanity that connects us all, whatever our country, creed or culture…Now thanks to big advances in digital technology such precious voices live on online and in numerous digitized archives around the globe, helping to inspire as well as inform us.” – Mike Thomson, 32nd Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecturer
Best Wishes in 2023 from the Mortenson Center team!