2005 August Newsletter

Mortenson 15th Annual Distinguished Lecture

The 15th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture will be held Wednesday, October 26, at 4:00 in room 126 of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. A reception will follow. Jorge Orlando Melo Gonzalez who is Director of the Department of Libraries and Fine Art at the Banco de la Republica and of the Luis Angel Arango Library in Bogota, Colombia, will be the speaker.

Mr. Melo is one of Colombia s most distinguished public intellectuals, a librarian, and an accomplished historian. The public library which he directs in Bogota has 3 million readers each year. The lecture, Democracy and Libraries in Colombia: From Oral Culture to the World of the Book, presents an outline of the history of written culture in Colombia as a framework for discussion of the role of libraries in the consolidation of a democracy in societies in development. Watch the Mortenson Center web site www.library.uiuc.edu/mortenson for more information.

New Mortenson Center Staff

The Mortenson Center welcomes Dawn Cassady in her position of Visiting Training and Technical Assistant Coordinator in the Mortenson Center. Dawn has her M.S. from GSLIS and has been firm librarian at Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen in Peoria since 2002. She also worked at the Urbana Free Library, RoundTable Media, and Human Kinetics Publishers. This new position is funded by Mortenson Center grants.

Fall Mortenson Associates

Sixteen librarians from eight countries are expected at the Mortenson Center for the fall Associates program from September 7 to November 4. Three South African public librarians are being funded by a Carnegie Corporation grant to the Library and Information Association of South Africa. Four Colombian librarians will be funded by the Banco de la Republica in Bogota. For a third year, an academic librarian from Japan is being sponsored by the Japan Association of Private University Libraries. Donations to the Mortenson Center will be used to partially support librarians from Botswana, Mauritius, Nigeria, and Vietnam. The Indian librarian is supported by a Fulbright award, and librarians from Japan and Vietnam are being supported by their home institutions.

Thinking Outside the Borders: Library Leadership in a World Community

Sixteen Illinois library representatives from academic, public, and school libraries, library systems and the state library have been selected to take part in the “Thinking Outside the Borders: Library Leadership in a World Community” leadership institute to be held in Springfield, September 26-29, 2005. An IMLS National Leadership Grant developed by the Illinois State Library (ISL) and the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library will cover all expenses, except travel. The purpose of the project is to encourage librarians to “think globally and act locally.” These Illinois librarians will participate in the event with the Mortenson Center Associates mentioned above. Participants will be involved in a simulation exercise, use leadership assessment tools, listen to presentations followed by group discussions, and will complete a case study in a small group.

Carnegie Grant for Strategic Planning and Automation of African University Libraries

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library has received a three year grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The goal of the project is to assist university librarians from seven Carnegie grantee institutions in East and West Africa to move into a fully automated on-line catalog environment and a computer-based library management system that will better serve the research and learning needs of their users.

Seven universities and their libraries in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda have received grants as part of Carnegie s focus on The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa. In this project, the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs will work with the University of Ghana Legon and University of Education Winneba in Ghana; Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Jos, and Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria; Makerere University in Uganda; and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

A team from the Mortenson Center will visit each year to provide assistance in planning and implementing an automated system. Our first visit was in May 2005. Training and technical support systems and communication systems will be set up to provide assistance and for reporting on progress. We will provide training at the Mortenson Center for selected staff to develop local expertise in library automation and develop strategies for sustainability. This grant builds on an earlier grant when Mortenson Center staff prepared a study of these institutions for the Carnegie Corporation. You can read the report from the previous grant at the Mortenson Center web site (www.library.uiuc.edu/mortenson).

MacArthur Grant for Needs Assessment of Nigerian African University Libraries

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received a grant from the MacArthur Foundation as part of MacArthur’s initiative to strengthen key universities in Nigeria, of which improving libraries as a resource for the University is a critical element. In consultation with library staff, our role was to review library priorities and strategies for providing access to research materials for library users. In February, Mortenson Center staff and a library consultant visited the four MacArthur grantees – the University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Bayero University, and the University of Port Harcourt. We have prepared a report to the MacArthur Foundation which will detail what we learned about priorities for the university libraries and the necessary resources and professional development programs needed to implement these priorities. The report will be available on the Mortenson Center web site www.library.uiuc.edu/mortenson.

Outreach Activities

  • June 20, Barbara and Susan spoke to visiting Chinese Librarians Summer Study Program at GSLIS
  • June 21, Barbara spoke to visiting Costa Rican librarians from Eastern Illinois University
  • June 22, Global Studies in Higher Education Workshop (Barbara and Susan made presentations)
  • June 24, ALA International Relations Round Table Program (Susan)
  • June 26, Poster Session at ALA (Barbara and Susan)
  • June 27, Public Library Association Program, Crossing International Borders (Barbara)
  • July 1-14, Mortenson Center team and Paula Kaufman visited and made presentations at libraries in South Africa
  • August 13, Paper on International Partnerships at IFLA (Susan)
  • August 16-17, Poster Session at IFLA (Barbara and Susan)
  • August 17, Overview of IFLA Continuing Education Projects at IFLA (Susan)

Additional Information

For additional information about these and other activities in the Mortenson Center please contact Barbara Ford (bjford@uiuc.edu) or Susan Schnuer (schnuer@uiuc.edu).