2006 January Newsletter

Mortenson Annual Distinguished Lecture

The 16th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture will be held on Monday, October 16, 2006, at 4:00 p.m. in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Room 126. A reception will follow the lecture. Alex Byrne, president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, will address the topic of “Can International Organizations Deliver the Information Society?” IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users and is the global voice of the library and information science profession. IFLA has 1,700 members in 150 countries around the world. Dr. Byrne is also 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.

The 15th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture was held Wednesday, October 26, 2005. Jorge Orlando Melo Gonzalez, director of the Department of Libraries and Fine Art at the Banco de la República and of the Luis Angel Arango Library in Bogotá, Colombia, was the speaker. The lecture was well attended and very well received.

Fall Mortenson Associates

Fourteen librarians from seven countries were at the Mortenson Center for the fall Associates Program from September 7 to November 4. Three South African public librarians were funded by a Carnegie Corporation grant to the Library and Information Association of South Africa. Four Colombian librarians were funded by the Banco de la República in Bogotá. For a third year, an academic librarian from Japan was sponsored by the Japan Association of Private University Libraries. Donations to the Mortenson Center were used to partially support librarians from Botswana, Mauritius, and Vietnam. The Indian librarian was supported by a Fulbright award, and librarians from Japan and Vietnam were supported by their home institutions.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the fall 2005 Associates Program so successful! Mary Beth Allen, Rajwant Chilana, Nelly Gonzalez, Jan and John Ison, Christine Jenkins, Al Kagan, Lori Mestre, Setsuko Noguchi, Lynne Rudasill, Beth Sandore, Fred Schlipf, Sue Searing, and Peggy Steele all served as mentors for Mortenson Associates.

Atoma Batoma, Robert Burger, Nelly Gonzalez, Emily Goodhue, Marsha Grove, Frances Harris, Cynthia Helms, Patricia Hswe, Jan Ison, Lyn Jones, Al Kagan, Paula Kaufman, Kathleen Kern, Jo Kibbee, Betsy Kruger, Dallas Long, Michelle Ralston, Fred Schlipf, Joe Sciacca, Sue Searing, Wendy Shelburne, Dale Silver, Susan Singleton, Eric Sizemore, Peggy Steele, Jennifer Hain Teper, Tom Teper, Anna Maria Watkin, Amy Weber, Terry Weech, Karen Wei, Kathleen Weibel, and Lynn Wiley shared their expertise with Mortenson Associates through presentations and educational sessions. Associates also went on host visits to Dominican University, Eastern Illinois University, Helen M. Plum Memorial Library in Lombard, Illinois, Evanston Public Library, Illinois State Library, Lewis and Clark Library System, Morton Public Library District, Shorewood-Troy Public Library, and University of Illinois at Springfield.

Five librarians sponsored by the Japan Association of Private University Libraries spent one week at the Mortenson Center. Setsuko Noguchi served as their host and was very helpful during the program. Robert Burger, Paula Kaufman, Jo Kibbee, Betsy Kruger, Bill Mischo, Rae-Anne Montague, Karen Schmidt, Sue Searing, and Beth Woodard met with the librarians and helped make their visit a success. Two visitors from South Africa also spent a week at the Mortenson Center and Robert Burger, Tina Chrzastowski, Patricia Hswe, Al Kagan, Lori Mestre, Rae-Anne Montague, Wendy Shelburne, Marianne Steadley, Mary Stuart, Jennifer Hain Teper, and Tom Teper met with them.

Thinking Outside the Borders: Library Leadership in a World Community

Sixteen Illinois librarians from academic, public, and school libraries; library systems; and the state library-as well as the Mortenson Associates mentioned above-took part in the “Thinking Outside the Borders: Library Leadership in a World Community” leadership institute held in Springfield, September 26-29, 2005. An IMLS National Leadership Grant developed by the Illinois State Library and the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs funded the institute, which is the first part of a project to encourage librarians to “think globally and act locally.” A panel of library leaders began the institute by talking about being a leader in the 21st century. John Berry and Barbara Ford spoke about the World Summit on the Information Society, and institute participants in small groups discussed and presented stories for submission to the Success Stories Database developed for the summit. Ana Cecilia Torres from Costa Rica talked about leadership in the global context and Dawn Cassady from the Mortenson Center administered a leadership assessment to participants. Pamoja, a cross-cultural simulation exercise, was led by Susan Schnuer. Sandra Rios Balderrama led a session on communicating in a multicultural environment. The final session focused on developing and exercising a library disaster plan, which was presented by Julie Page from the University of California at San Diego, Tom Teper, and Tom Clareson from PALINET. The evaluation of the institute was quite positive.

The next program funded by the grant will be held as part of a preconference at ALA in New Orleans in June 2006. A preconference also will be held at the Illinois Library Association conference in Chicago in October 2006. A second full-scale institute will take place in November 2006 with librarians from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Latin America.

Carnegie and MacArthur Grants for Automation of African University Libraries

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs has received three-year grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and MacArthur Foundation. The goal of the projects is to assist university librarians from 10 Carnegie and MacArthur grantee institutions in East and West Africa to move into an automated library environment that will better serve the research and learning needs of their users.

The Mortenson Center will work with the University of Ghana-Legon and University of Education-Winneba in Ghana; Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Jos, Ahmadu Bello University, University of Port Harcourt, University of Ibadan, and Bayero 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 library services. A visit to some of the Carnegie institutions took place in November. The next visit to some Carnegie and MacArthur institutions will be in February 2006. Training and technical support systems and communication systems are being set up to provide assistance and for reporting on progress. Selected staff from these institutions will be at the Mortenson Center during April and May 2006 for training to develop local expertise in library automation and strategies for sustainability. These grants build on an earlier grant that funded a study of these institutions for Carnegie and MacArthur by Mortenson Center staff.

Other Events

At the Illinois Library Association conference held in October 2005 in Peoria, Mortenson Associates presented a program on innovative public service programs in libraries in their countries. It was well attended and well received. We also presented a poster session on Thinking Outside the Borders. Mortenson Associates also visited Clark-Lindsey Village for a tour, dinner, and presentation to residents.

The Mortenson Center was one of the sponsors of the Library History Seminar at Allerton Park in October 2005. Jorge Orlando Melo Gonzalez was a plenary speaker at the well-attended seminar and the Mortenson Associates and staff also participated.

Additional Information

Please contact Barbara J. Ford (bjford@uiuc.edu) or Susan Schnuer (schnuer@uiuc.edu) for more information.