Lecture Biographies

Dr. Reggie Raju is the Director of Research and Learning Services at the University of Cape Town Libraries.  He has been in academic libraries for more than 35 years and holds a PhD in Information Studies.  Dr. Raju is the author of several publications in peer-reviewed national and international journals, chapters in books and a book publication. His research focus is on research librarianship with an emphasis on open access and library publishing. He is currently a member of the Academic and Research Libraries Standing Committee of IFLA as well as being the convenor of its Special Interest Group: Library Publishing. Reggie is currently the Chair of SPARC Africa and is driving the social justice agenda of open access for Africa. He serves on the editorial board of Journal of librarianship and scholarly communication.

Professor Jaya Raju is Head of the Department of Knowledge and Information Stewardship (Humanities Faculty) at the University of Cape Town. She has a PhD in Information Studies.  She has researched and written extensively in the area of LIS education and its implications for the LIS services work environment. Jaya Raju served as Editor-in-Chief of the South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science from 2013 to 2018. She also serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Southern African Journal of Communication & Information Science; African Journal of Libraries, Archives and Information Science; International Journal of Information, Diversity & Inclusion; LibriThe International Journal of Libraries and Information Studies, and De Gruyter’s Open Information Science.  She is co-editor of the ALISE Book Series on LIS education and research. She has published in peer-reviewed national and international journals and presented papers at local, national and international conferences. She is currently Co-Chair of IFLA’s Building Strong LIS Education (BSLISE), an active global network of LIS educators and researchers. In 2018, Jaya Raju became Subject Chair for Library and Information Science on the Scopus Content Selection & Advisory Board.

Valeda Dent, Ph.D., is currently Dean, St. John’s University Libraries. Prior to joining the team at St. John’s, Dr. Dent served as Dean and Chief Operating Officer for the Libraries at Long Island University, and as the Interim Director of the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, also at Long Island University. Dr. Dent has also held administrative positions at Rutgers University and the Joint Information Systems Committee in London, England.

Dr. Dent holds an M.S.W. and M.I.L.S. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from the Palmer School at Long Island University. Her research interests include the impact of chronic poverty on development; rural libraries in Africa and related literacy and reading habits; ethnographic approaches to understanding the user experience; and information and techno-literacy. She has published several books, including Qualitative Research and the Modern Library (2011) and Rural Community Libraries in Africa: Challenges and Impacts (2014) with coauthors Geoff Goodman, Ph.D. and Michael Kevane, Ph.D.

Dr. Dent’s longitudinal research on rural village libraries in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa has spanned 12 years. Her work has been published in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals and presented internationally at conferences in South Africa, Uganda, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Swaziland. In 2013, Dr. Dent and her husband, Dr. Goodman, were both awarded the J. William Fulbright Foreign Award and Scholarship and spent eight months in two rural Ugandan village libraries establishing an intervention program to facilitate the development of school readiness skills in preschool children. Dr. Dent is the Founder of the Rural Village Libraries Research Network, a not-for-profit organization that conducts, promotes, and disseminates research related to the development and evaluation of rural libraries and information centers.

Dr. Dent and her husband live in New York with their five-year-old daughter, Carlyn.

Viet Thanh Nguyen holds the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and is Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC). Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Other honors include the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Literary Excellence from the American Library Association, a California Book Award, and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Fiction from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. A finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the PEN Faulkner Award, and an LA Times Book Prize in the Mystery/Thriller category, The Sympathizer made it to over thirty best of the year lists, including those of the New York TimesPublishers Weekly, Amazon.com, Public BooksKirkus ReviewsThe GuardianLibrary JournalFlavorwire, and BuzzFeed, among other venues. The foreign rights have been sold to twenty-three countries.

His current book is the short story collection The Refugees from Grove Press (2017). He is also the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002) and the co-editor of Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field (University of Hawaii Press, 2014). He also authored Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War from Harvard University Press (2016), a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction, and the winner of the John G. Cawelti Award for Best Textbook/Primer from the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.

Professor Nguyen’s research interests include war and memory; race and ethnicity; multiculturalism and identity; transnationalism and diaspora; Asian American literature and culture; international and comparative approaches to the Vietnam War; the Vietnamese diaspora; and fiction writing. He has an ongoing interest in multimedia and pedagogy, ever since teaching several multimedia courses at USC and being involved with the Visible Knowledge Project of Georgetown University. At USC, Nguyen is a member of the steering committee for the Center for Transpacific Studies. His articles have appeared in numerous journals and books, including PMLAAmerican Literary HistoryWestern American Literaturepositions: east asia cultures critiqueThe New Centennial ReviewPostmodern Culture, the Japanese Journal of American Studies, and Asian American Studies After Critical Mass. He has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (2011-2012), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard (2008-2009) and the Fine Arts Work Center (2004-2005). He has also received residencies, fellowships, scholarships and grants from the Luce Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, the James Irvine Foundation, the Huntington Library, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation.

His teaching and service awards include the Mellon Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students, the Albert S. Raubenheimer Distinguished Junior Faculty Award for outstanding research, teaching and service, the General Education Teaching Award, and the Resident Faculty of the Year Award. Multimedia has been a key part of his teaching. In a recent course on the American War in Viet Nam, he and his students created An Other War Memorial, which won a grant from the Fund for Innovative Undergraduate Teaching and the USC Provost’s Prize for Teaching with Technology.

In his spare time, Nguyen co-directs the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, edits diaCRITICS, a blog on Vietnamese and diasporic Vietnamese arts and culture, and writes for the New York TimesTimeThe GuardianThe Atlantic, and the Los Angeles Times, where he is a critic at large. His academic and literary writing, and literary criticism with a focus on ethnic and transpacific studies speak to many audiences, whether faculty, students and community members, with interests in cultural studies, information representation, cultural heritage, Asian American and other ethnic studies, English and comparative literature, literary criticism, Global Studies, East Asian and Pacific Studies, among others.

Ann Morgan is a UK-based writer and editor, and the author of two critically acclaimed books. The first, The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe , was inspired by her project to read a book from every country on Earth in 2012. Taking the form of a blog , the quest brought Morgan into contact with readers, writers, translators and literary organizations around the planet. It obliged her to grapple with many of the issues surrounding the publication and circulation of texts, including censorship, translation and cultural identity. Through this, she experienced the transformative power of reading and the potential stories have to bridge cultural,temporal, political and religious divides.

Morgan continues to blog about international literature at ayearofreadingtheworld.com ,building on the links her project established and adding to the extensive list of reading recommendations bibliophiles around the globe have shared with her. She has given a TED talk, and her literary journey has inspired and informed many personal and group ventures around the planet.These include a community bookshelf at a bus stop in Mexico, library events in the UK and US,school projects around the globe and pledges from booksellers to stock a more international range of titles, as well as numerous individual reading quests.

As a result, Morgan sits on English PEN’s PEN Translates funding panel and has helped draw up the long lists for several literary prizes, including the Commonwealth Foundation’s Short Story prize and the FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices awards. She speaks regularly on international literature and has appeared at numerous literary festivals.

Morgan has worked as an editor for several newspapers and magazines, and has written on literature, education and international development for publications including the Guardian , the Financial Times , the Independent and the BBC Culture website. Her debut novel, literary psychological drama Beside Myself , was published by Bloomsbury in January 2016.

Dr. Irmagarda Kasinkaite-Buddeberg is a programme specialist working at United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Communication and Information Sector, Knowledge Societies Division in Paris, France.

She coordinates UNESCO’s projects related to access to information and knowledge for Persons with Disabilities as contribution to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She also works on the implementation of the UNESCO’s Communication and Information Strategy on Media and Information Literacy, and multilingualism in cyberspace, particularly on the promotion and implementation of the normative instrument “UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace” and development of UNESCO’s World Atlas of Languages. She is also involved in UNESCO’s response within the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and Internet Governance Forum(IGF) international cooperation frameworks.

During more than ten years at UNESCO, she also carried out a number of projects on HIV and AIDS issues, contributed to research activities and preparation of numerous publications, reports and articles on wide range of issues.

Before joining UNESCO in 2002, she worked as Senior Programme Specialist, Department of Information and Informatics, Ministry of Public Administration Reforms and Local Authorities,Lithuania.

She obtained her Doctor’s Degree in Humanitarian Sciences, Communication and Information from Vilnius University (2006), Master’s Degree in Information Management (1999) from Vilnius University and Bachelor of Arts degree (1996) from Vilnius Academy of Arts (Lithuania). As a visiting researcher, she conducted her research in Lund University (1999), Helsinki University (2000) and Helsinki Technology University (2001).

Barbara J. Ford, Mortenson Distinguished Professor Emerita, retired from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library at the end of May 2014. She joined the Mortenson Center as its director in 2003 and led the Center as it expanded its activities in developing library professionals worldwide and providing opportunities to learn from and share with librarians globally.

The American Library Association (ALA), Chinese American Librarians Association, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have recognized Ford with awards for her significant contributions and dedication to international librarianship. Both Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science have given her distinguished alumna awards.

Ford was the 1997-1998 president of the ALA; her theme was”Libraries: Global Reach, Local Touch.” She was president of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of ALA, from 1990-1991. From 2005-2009, she served as an elected member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Governing Board. She previously served as the secretary for the IFLA Section on Government Information and Official Publications and on the IFLA Academic and Research Libraries Section. From 2011-2013 she served on the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Ford previously worked as assistant commissioner at the Chicago Public Library, director of the Virginia Commonwealth University libraries, and associate library director at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She served in several capacities at the University of Illinois at Chicago,including documents librarian and audiovisual librarian. In addition, Ford was director of the Soybean Insect Research Information Center at the Illinois Natural History Survey and a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama and Nicaragua. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and education from Illinois Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sanjana Shrestha has been with READ Nepal for nine years and has served as Country Director since January 2009. Prior to READ, Sanjana was a Project Coordinator and Researcher withthe Manushi for Sustainable Development organization in Nepal. Sanjana was also involved in project evaluation work in various organizations such as Save the Children US, Winrock International and German Technical Cooperation. Under Sanjana’s leadership, READ has been the driving force behind the strengthening of the Nepal Community Library Association (NCLA), which helps READ Centers advocate and lobby for rights. Sanjana’s expertise and facilitation skills have been critical in expanding the READ model to India and Bhutan.

Sanjana serves as the READ Global representative for Beyond Access, an initiative of IREX, EIFL,IFLA, Makaia, Facilitating Change, Development Gateway, The Asia Foundation, TASCHA, the Riecken Foundation, and READ Global, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Beyond Access has started a movement to raise awareness of the powerful role that libraries can serve as hubs for economic and social change.

Recently, Sanjana received a Nomura Centre CONFINTEA scholarship from the UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL) to write an article based on empirical research showing the impact of sustainable community libraries. She is will be in Hamburg, Germany in May 2013 to do her research work in partnership with UNESCO. Sanjana is serving as a Sterring Committee member of the Association of International Non-Government Organizations in Nepal (AIN) and has served as an International Advisory Board Member for the Access to Learning Award of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in humanities and social science from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.

Deborah Jakubs is the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vica Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University. Prior to her appointment to this position in January 2005, she served as the Director of Collections Services for the Duke University Libraries, the founding Head of the International and Area Studies Department (1990), and the Librarian for Latin America and Iberia in Duke’s Perkins Library.Between 1996 and 2002 she directed the Global Resources Program, a joint initiative of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), now the Global Resources Network (GRN), based at the Center for Research Libraries. Prior to moving to Duke, she was Collection Development Manager at the Research Libraries Group (RLG). She has served as a consultant to the library system of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Chile, Koc University Library in Istanbul, and as an external reviewer for the University of New Mexico/New Mexico State libraries, Indiana University’s Latin American Program, and Dartmouth College Library.

Jakubs graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a BA in Spanish and Ibero-American Studies, and holds MA and PhD degrees in Latin American History from Stanford University. She earned an MLIS from the University of California at Berkeley.

Deborah Jakubs is an Adjunct Associate Professor of History at Duke University. She served as the Director/Associate Director of the Consortium on Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina and Duke, a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center,1996-2002.

Elizabeth Pierre-Louis is the Library Program Coordinator, Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FOKAL), Haiti. She was born and raised in Haiti.She is a librarian and demographer. She studied Social Science, Population Science (Demography) atthe University of Paris X-Nanterre, and obtained her PhD in Demography in July 2004. Ms.Pierre-Louis also obtained her MLIS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003,where she received the Jane B. and Robert B. Downs Professional Promise Award .

In 1997, Ms. Pierre-Louis began to work at the Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FOKAL), a national Foundation of the Open Society Institute, financed by American philanthropist George Soros. That same year, she also became a library trainer, after having participated in a six month long training session at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2003, she became the Library Program Coordinator at FOKAL, with a focus on creating a network between the 35 community libraries supported financially and technically by the Foundation. These community libraries, though dedicated to public service,received no state funding.

From 2006 till 2009, Ms. Pierre-Louis was an Institutional Member of the Executive Council of the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institution Libraries (ACURIL), and received the ACURIL President’s Award for her work in 2007. In 2008, she was awarded the Charles C. Steward International Young Humanitarian Award given by the Office of International Programs and Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2009, she served as a consultant at the Ministry of Culture for a public reading program in Haiti. Currently, she continues to work as Program Coordinator at FOKAL.

Dr. Shalini R. Urs is the Executive Director and Professor,International School of Information Management, University of Mysore, India. Dr. Urs is an information scientist who has an interest in all matters of the mind–from creative to cognitive to cultural. Looking broadly at information, she has researched issues ranging from the theoretical foundations of information science to the technological aspects of digital libraries. In addition to digital libraries, her areas of research include relevance and information retrieval, content management systems, ontology, and social network analysis.

For the last 35 years, Dr. Urs has been a faculty member in the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Mysore. She conceptualized and founded the International School of Information Management (ISiM) at the University of Mysore–the first and only iSchool in India–with seed funding from the Ford Foundation and Informatics India in collaboration with leading information schools in the U.S. Dr. Urs currently serves as executive director and professor of ISiM and is working toward putting ISiM on the map as a world-class institution.Additionally, she has helped with the formation of the Consortium of iSchools of Asia-Pacific(CiSAP), where she currently serves as Vice Chair.

Her professional accomplishments also include: being a Fulbright scholar and visiting professor at Virginia Tech from 2000-2001; the establishment the Vidyanidhi Digital Library Project, an internationally-known Indian digital library; and leading the Electronic Theses and Dissertations movement in India. She also helped to bring the International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries (ICADL) to India in December 2001, and was involved in organizing the conference.Dr. Urs currently serves as Chair of ICADL’s Asian Digital Library Steering Committee. Dr. Urs also serves on the Board of Directors of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations(NDLTD), a Virginia Tech-based global initiative, and previously served on the Governing Board of the Inter University Centre of University Grants Commission (INFLIBNET) from 2001-2004.

Dr. Urs’ work and dedication to the field has been widely recognized and awarded, including the NCLTD-Adobe Leadership Award in 2004 and the Emerald Research Fund Award in the category of Indian Library and Information Science in 2007-2008. Widely traveled, she has also been invited to speak at many national and international conferences and served as a UNESCO expert.

Ellen Remona Tise , Senior Director of Library and Information Services at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, will be the 2009 Mortenson Distinguished Lecturer on October 22, 2009 at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Ms. Tise is the president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions(IFLA) for 2009-2011.

Her professional experience includes serving as University Librarian at the University of the Western Cape from 2001 – 2005 and prior to that was Deputy University Librarian at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She also previously held the position of Systems Librarian at the University of the Western Cape, as well as posts at Brakpan City Library and the University of the Free State.

She has served on the Governing Board and Executive Committee of IFLA, the IFLA Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) Advisory Board, and the IFLA Africa Section Standing Committee. Ms. Tise was Chairperson of the National Organizing Committee for the IFLA 73rd World Library and Information Congress, held in Durban,  South Africa in August 2007.

Teresa Hackett is the Manager of eIFL-IP “Advocacy for Access to Knowledge:copyright and libraries”, a programme of eIFL.net, an international consortium that supports andadvocates for the wide availability of electronic resources by library users in developing and transition countries. The eIFL-IP programme seeks to protect and promote the interests of eIFL libraries and their users in copyright issues at national level and in international policy fora.

Teresa was the Director of the European library association (EBLIDA) from 2000-2003; before that provided technical support to the European Commission library research programme, and was part of the team to establish electronic information centres at the British Council in Germany. Teresa has a special interest in legal issues in information work, especially in the electronic environment.She is currently a member of the Copyright and Other Legal Matters Committee of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA-CLM). Teresa is a chartered librarian and in 2004 completed a post-graduate diploma in legal studies at the Dublin Institute of Technology.Teresa is a native English speaker and speaks Irish, German and Dutch.

Clara Budnik has been executive director of the Foundation for Democracy and Development in Santiago, Chile since 2006. Prior to that, she worked 14 years in Archives and Museums within the Chilean Directorate of Libraries, serving as the director during the last six years. Mrs. Budnik is an active member of three committees within the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions: Public Libraries, Latin American and Caribbean, and Freedom of Access to Information and Free Expression. She has been a consultant to the Organization of American States, assisting in creating networks for centers of documentation. She was a professor in the School of Librarianship at the University of Chile and has worked with various institutions in Venezuela promoting books and reading.

Alex Byrne is the 2005-2007 president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and pro vice chancellor for teaching and learning and vice president for alumni and development at the University of Technology in Sydney,Australia. Dr. Byrne’s publications are primarily in information management, community empowerment, and human rights, with particular regard to freedom of expression and access to information.

Jorge Orlando Melo Gonzalez is director of the Department of Libraries and Fine Art at the Banco de la República and of the Luis Angel Arango Library.

Mr. Melo is one of Colombia’s most distinguished public intellectuals, a librarian, and an accomplished historian. He was born in Medellín, Colombia, graduated as a Bachelor in Philosophy from the Universidad Nacional de Bogotá in 1962, and after receiving an MA in Latin American History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he went into teaching. He lectured on Colombian and Latin American history at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad de los Andes and Universidad del Valle, and published books and articles on different topics of Colombian history.

He became one of the leaders of the group known as the “new historians,” who renovated the writing and teaching of the discipline. He participated in several collective projects and encyclopedic works and directed some of them, such as the Historia de Medellín and the Historia deAntioquia. For his research, and also for several efforts of making history available to wider publics, he became one of the best known Colombian historians. In 2000, one historical periodical selected him as one of the 10 most influential historians of the 20th century in the country.

Jorge Orlando Melo worked also as a university administrator. He was dean of research and vice president for academic affairs in the Universidad del Valle, and was influential in the improvement of the library system of the university, and in early efforts of using computer technology for catalogs.

In 1990, he went into public administration as adviser on human rights and advisor for Medellín to the president of Colombia. In Medellín, as one of the programs geared to develop alternatives for young people, the office of the adviser supported and funded a program for improving 39 libraries in the poorest neighborhoods, where the rank and file of drug organizations were being recruited. From that period on, he became convinced that libraries had an important role in overcoming some of the difficulties of the country, as they offered creative alternatives for time use of youth, an effective tool for improving education quality, and a way to develop cultural abilities basic for democracy: independent search of information, critical thinking, and so forth.

In 1994, he was appointed director of art and libraries of the Bank of the Republic; the main responsibility was the direction of the largest library of the country, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango. During the period 1994-2004, the library, which already was well developed and had a modern OPAC system, changed in many ways. Book collection increased from 280,000 to 1,050,000 volumes,lending was introduced in 1997, the catalog was put on the Web in 1996, and a virtual library was initiated in 1995. Today, the library is one of the 10 most visited sites in the country. The branches in other cities of Colombia went from 11 to 18, and total number of visitors to the 19 libraries of the network moved from 4 million to 6 million (not including art exhibitions and concerts). Today, the library offers national affiliation and lending (books from any library are delivered to patrons in 27 cities), local home delivery and pickup, and some uncommon services: the music reference room, besides sound and video machines, has 10 cabins for reading of scores, three of them with pianos.

The library has a growing art collection and many temporary art exhibitions. In 1996, a permanent exhibition of coins and bills was opened (Museo Numismático) and, in 1997, a permanent exhibition of Colombian art was opened with more than 300 works. In 2000, the Library opened the Museo Botero, formed by the personal collection of Fernando Botero, more than 75 works of international art and 125 of his own paintings and sculptures, donated to the Banco de laRepública. In 2004, a new art building, the Museo del Banco de la República, was opened as part of the library. The library also has consolidated its role in music: The main Concert Hall of Bogotáis part of the library, and every year around 90 concerts, many by internationally well-known artists, are presented there.

In 1995, the library proposed to the mayor of Bogotá a joint program for improving the local library network of Bogotá, which received under a million visits every year, when the Luis Angel Arango Library alone received 2.5 million. The program started in 1996 and made some modest advances. In 1998, a new mayor decided to develop an ambitious program for public libraries. By 2002, three new large and beautiful libraries had been built, and nine more libraries were redesigned. In 2004, total visitors to the municipal network were over 5 million. Jorge Orlando Melo was a member of the Advising Committee since the start of the program.

In 2002, he wrote a proposal for a National Plan of Libraries. Although some efforts had taken place before, they had not been very effective. The government adopted the program, and, in 2003 and 2004, 350 of the 1,180 Colombian municipalities received a basic book and video collection from the government; the local authorities providing buildings and staff. More than 150 more municipalities will receive a library in 2005. The libraries, with 2,500 books and around 200 DVDs and VHS tapes fully catalogued in computers connected to the Internet, are changing the cultural and civic life in many towns where no cultural facilities existed before. At the end of the program’s first phase, in 2006, half the municipalities of Colombia, those which did not have a library or had a very poor one, will have benefited from this program, which was funded mainly by the Banco de la República. Jorge Orlando Melo also has been a member of the National Council for Books and Libraries, which directs the program, since 2002.

Pancras J. M. Ssebuwufu was chief academic and administrative officer of Makerere University, the premier institution of higher education in Uganda and a traditional leader of higher education in East Africa. Throughout the tumultuous years of the Amin and Obote regimes,Ssebuwufu defended the high standards in science and technology he has espoused throughout his academic career.

A native of Kampala, Uganda, Ssebuwufu earned his bachelor of science degree from Makerere University and his doctoral degree at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He worked asa postdoctoral research fellow in physical chemistry in Ireland before returning to Makerere as a lecturer in chemistry in 1979. He was named senior lecturer and department chair in 1985. As department chair, he initiated, reformed and designed new curricula in pure chemistry, industrial chemistry and chemical engineering. He was the vice chancellor from 1993 to 2004.

Ssebuwufu chaired the Uganda Management Institute and the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, and was director of the National Agricultural Research Organization. In 1996, he was named Administrator of the Year by the major daily newspaper, The New Vision.

He has authored or co-authored some 20 scholarly articles and papers, and has served as a consultant to the Ugandan government and several private firms on a wide variety of chemistry-related issues.

Jésus Lau received a PhD in information studies from the University of Sheffield in England, a master’s degree in library science from the University of Denver, and a law degree from the University of Sinaloa in Mexico.

Dr. Lau has held leadership positions such as director of libraries, dean of academic affairs,and information services and accreditation dean in Mexican institutions at the Veracruzana University, Juarez University and the Technological Institutes of Monterrey and Durango. He is currently the university librarian at the Veracruzana University, Veracruz Campus, and coordinator of the Virtual Library Project.

He has authored four monographs, edited nine books, and written more than 100 articles and conference papers in Mexico and other countries, received the National Researcher Award in Mexico,and the Librarian of the Year Award of the Border Regional Library Association from Texas.

He is a member of the Special Libraries Association Board of Directors, chair of the OCLC Advisory Committee on College and University Libraries, chair of the IFLA Information Literacy Section, member of the IFLA University Libraries and Other General Research Libraries Standing Committee, member of the board of the Trejo-Foster Foundation for Hispanic Library Education, and chair of the Mexican Library Association International Relations Committee

Marianna Tax Choldin retired as the C. Walter and Gerda B. Mortenson Distinguished Professor in the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. In 1991 she became the founding director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs. She has traveled allover the world to work with librarians, promoting improved library services, new technologies, and especially freedom of information. In conjunction with her activities as Mortenson Distinguished Professor, she served as chair of the multifaceted library program of the Soros Foundation, which has distributed millions of dollars to libraries and librarians in more than 30 countries.

Educated at the University of Chicago, Choldin received her bachelor’s degree with Phi Beta Kappa in 1962 and her doctorate in 1979. She served on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for over 30 years. Among her responsibilities, she has served as an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and has been director of the Russian and East European Center and head of the Slavic and East European Library. In her own research Professor Choldin studies censorship in Russia, the Soviet Union, and the post communist world. The author of numerous articles and books, she is best known for A Fence Around the Empire: Russian Censorship of Western Ideas Under the Tsars and The Red Pencil: Artists, Scholars, and Censors in the USSR (co-edited with MauriceFriedberg). In 1995 she was elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

In 2000, Professor Choldin became the third recipient of the prestigious Pushkin Medal awarded by the Russian government. The Pushkin Medal recognizes extraordinary contributions to Russia in the sphere of culture and education. The award was established in 1999 by President Boris Yelts into commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Pushkin, the great Russian poet.This honor has previously been bestowed on the late renowned scholar of the humanities and academician Dmitry Likhachev, and American philanthropist George Soros.

Marianna currently resides in Chicago.

Martin E. Marty is one of America’s foremost theologians and religious historians.He spent his career at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus.

Professor Marty is a fellow of the oldest scholarly societies in this country, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and the recipient of many medals, including the National Humanities Medal and the National Book Award. He has received 67 honorary doctorates.

He is the author of more than 50 books, among them Modern American Religion and The One and the Many: America’s Search for the Common Good , and editor of the newsletter Context and contributing editor of The Christian Century .

Professor Marty directed the recently completed five-year Fundamentalism Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which studied comparative fundamentalist religious movements around the world. This lecture derived from that project.

Professor Marty gave his 2001 Distinguished lecture a paradoxical title: “Religion on the Global Scene: The Killer that Heals.” In light of the events of September 11, 2001, the topic takes on new significance.

Ekaterina Genieva has never been afraid to pursue unpopular topics. As a student at Moscow State University in the early 1970s she wrote her dissertation on James Joyce’s Ulysses , then banned in the Soviet Union. She has spent nearly three decades at the Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow, a safe haven in Soviet times for intellectuals forbidden to work elsewhere. A religious believer, she supported the liberal priest, Father Alexander Men,until his murder (almost certainly by the KGB) in 1990 and has memorialized him with international conferences and publications each year since his death. She mounted exhibitions on anti-Semitism and other uncomfortable subjects, and during the coup attempt of August 1991, she defied the KGB and made the library’s printing press available to publish banned newspapers.

In the years since the fall of the Soviet Union, Dr. Genieva has emerged as director of what is arguably the most active library in Russia, the Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow, and as one of the leaders of cultural reform. She serves on President Yeltsin’s Council for Culture and Arts. Perhaps her most visible post is president of the Soros Foundation in Russia, which has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars under her leadership.

Dr. Genieva’s 1999 Mortenson Distinguished Lecture is entitled “Whither Russia? The Role of Libraries in the Transformation of a Society.”

Edwin Thumboo , a native of Singapore, is chairman and director of the Centre for the Arts, University of Singapore. He is a poet, scholar, teacher, and social critic, and an authority on creative writing in Asia and Africa. Professor Thumboo is the author of many books and articles and has received numerous honors and fellowships at home and around the world.

Michéle Duvivier Pierre-Louis , a graduate of the Sorbonne, has spent the last 20 years in her native Haiti working with a variety of grassroots organizations to build civil society. In 1991 she was a consultant to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on government structure and land reform. A major thrust of her work has been to promote literacy. In 1993 Japan’s Yoko TadaFoundation for Human Rights awarded her its Human Rights Prize. Currently she is executive director of the Fondation Connaissance et Liberté, the Soros Foundation in Port-au-Prince.

In the 1997 Mortenson Distinguished Lecture, “Haiti: Reading the Minds of Democracy,” Ms.Pierre-Louis reflected on Haiti’s difficult history, the heavy burden of illiteracy, and the importance of libraries and education for the country’s future.

In 1971 Talat S. Halman became the minister of culture in his native Turkey, the first person ever to hold this cabinet post. From 1980 to 1982 he served as ambassador for cultural affairs. He was also Turkey’s deputy permanent representative at the United Nations. From 1991 to 1995 he was a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO, and for two years chaired its planning commission.

He is the author of numerous books and articles in English and Turkish. Honors and awards include Columbia University’s Thornton Wilder Prize and other literary prizes; a Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities; the UNESCO Medal; and the Knight Grant Cross, G.B.E., The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, conferred upon him by Queen Elizabeth II. Professor Halmanis currently a professor in the Department of Middle East Studies at New York University.

Hans-Peter Geh studied history, political science, and English literature at the Universities of Franfurt am Main and Bristol. He received his library education and training at the City and University Library of Frankfurt am Main and at the College of Librarianship in Cologne. He served as president of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) from 1985 to 1991, and is currently president of the European Foundation for Library Cooperation. He is also a member of the International Commission for the Revival of the Ancient Alexandria Library.

In the 1995 Mortenson Distinguished Lecture, “Preserving the Written Intellectual and Cultural Heritage: An Obsolete Task of Libraries?” Dr. Geh discussed the enduring importance of old and rare materials, illustrating his points with examples drawn from his own experience.

Juan Rada studied economics and sociology at the Universidad Católica de Chile,followed by postgraduate studies at the University of London, where he obtained his PhD. His areas of specialization are technology management and the impact of technology on management and companies.

From 1979 to 1989 he was a member of the faculty of the International Management Institute in Geneva, where he was also director general from 1986 to 1989. From 1989 to 1992 he was the founding director general of IMD (one of Europe’s leading management schools) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and professor of technology management. From 1992 to 1993, Dr. Rada was vice president of Digital Equipment Corporation International (Europe), responsible for strategic alliances and new initiatives. Since January 1994 he has been managing director of the Environmental Partnership, an organization devoted to the implementation and promotion of environmental initiatives.

In the 1994 Mortenson Distinguished Lecture, “The Metamorphosis of the Word: Libraries with a Future,” Dr. Rada presented a richly textured, thoughtful, and provocative perspective on libraries and information.

Robert Wedgeworth ‘s long and distinguished career began in the 1960s as a pioneer in the then-new field of library automation and quickly progressed to expertise in the area of the international book trade. In 1972, he was appointed executive director of the American Library Association, a post he held for 13 years. From 1985 to 1992, he was dean of the School of Library Services at Columbia University, and in 1992 was appointed interim university librarian at the University of Illinois. He is also president of the International Federation of Library Associations, which represents over 1,300 library associations and institutions in more than 135 countries.

Mr. Wedgeworth’s many honors and awards include five honorary doctorates, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the prestigious Joseph Lippincott Award from the American Library Association. In 1993, he was appointed to the Library of Congress’s Copyright Advisory Group.

In the 1993 Mortenson Distinguished Lecture “At the Heart of the University: The Making of a Global Library,” Mr. Wedgeworth discussed the evolution of our own great library and considers its future in an environment in which computer and telecommunication links to information technologies play nearly as important a role as a library’s on-site collections.

Dr. Julieta Campos was born in Havana, Cuba in 1932. After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Havana in 1952, she spent a year on scholarship at the Sorbonne in Paris and received a certificate in contemporary French literature. Ms. Campos returned to Cuba and received a PhD from the University of Havana in 1955, and shortly thereafter emigrated to Mexico.In the next years she collaborated in magazines, including Octavio Paz’s Plural , editing the important literary journal Revista de la Universidad de Mexico , and translated numerous works of fiction and nonfiction into Spanish. Dr. Campos has traveled extensively in Europe, Latin America, and North America. She was elected president of the P.E.N. Club of Mexico in 1978.

Julieta Campos has gained wide acclaim for both her fiction and her literary criticism. Her novels include Death by Water , A Redhead Named Sabina (for which she won the Xavier Villaurrutia Prize in 1976), Celina or the Cats , and Fear of Losing Eurydice . Collections of criticism have been published as The Mirror’s Eye , The Novel’s Function , and The Persistent Legacy .

In the 1992 Mortenson Distinguished Lecture Dr. Campos discussed the clash between the values of the industrial and traditional societies and the ensuing cultural and economic poverty for those who are losing the battle—namely, those living in traditional societies.

Dr. Neville Edward Alexander holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in German philology and history from the University of Cape Town and a PhD in German philology from the University of Tübingen. He has taught German, history, and sociology in Cape Town, and has tutored, lectured, and organized projects for the South African Committee for Higher Education (SACHED).

From 1963 to 1974 he was incarcerated on Robben Island, where he occupied himself with teaching and other educational tasks, and from 1974 to 1979 he was under house arrest in Lotus River, Cape Town.

Dr. Alexander is executive secretary to the Health, Education, and Welfare Society of South Africa (HEWSSA) Trust in Cape Town and has held various research and teaching positions in South Africa, Germany, and the United States. Active in numerous community, civic, labor, and political organizations, he is currently chairperson of the Worker’s Organization for Socialist Action(WOSA). Dr. Alexander’s publications deal with literature, language policy, African history, and South African education and politics. His most recent book is Education and the Struggle for National Liberation in South Africa , a collection of essays and speeches.

Although Dr. Alexander focuses on South Africa in his Mortenson lecture, his topic and concerns are applicable far beyond that country. The complex issues he discusses here are reflected in the interplay between politics and intellectual freedom everywhere.

James H. Billington , one of the country’s foremost scholars and experts on Russia,was sworn in as librarian of Congress in 1987. An author and historian, Dr. Billington came to the Library of Congress from the directorship of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

Dr. Billington is the author of Russia Transformed: Breakthrough to Hope (1992). He has accompanied several congressional delegations as well as a library and a church delegation to the former Soviet Union.

In June 1988, he accompanied President and Mrs. Reagan to the Soviet Summit in Moscow. In 1993,he joined a bipartisan delegation of the U.S. House leadership on a trip to Ukraine and Russia.