2007 August Newsletter

September-December Calendar

  • September 4: Mortenson Associates arrive
  • September 5: Mortenson Center program begins
  • September 20-21: Mortenson Center Associates go to Chicago
  • September 24-25: Barbara and Susan attend Carnegie meeting in New York
  • October 1-5: Three Serbian librarians participate in MC program
  • October 3: Thinking Outside the Borders Institute with Illinois Librarians
  • October 4-5: Mortenson Associates participate in host visits in Illinois libraries
  • October 9-12: Mortenson Associates attend digitization institute in Illinois State Library
  • October 11: Mortenson Associates give Illinois Library Association presentation
  • October 19: Mortenson Distinguished Lecture
  • October 22-26: Mortenson Associates travel to Nebraska for IMLS Institute
  • October 29-Nov.16: Susan will be in West Africa
  • November 2: Mortenson Associates depart
  • November 19-23: Barbara in Colombia speaking at a conference
  • November 27: ACES Global visit to Mortenson Center
  • December 3-7: Barbara will attend the IFLA Board meeting in The Hague

17th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture

“The Enchanted Libraries of Chile: a story of transformation,” will be the focus on Friday, October 19, 2007 when the Mortenson Center has the honor of introducing Clara Budnik as the 17 th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecturer. This year’s event will take place at 11:00 am in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science room 126.

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.

During the last 15 years Mrs. Budnik has launched numerous innovative projects and programs that have increased the influence and public knowledge of the role libraries, archives and museums play in Chile . Some of these include programs such as Chilean Memory; incorporating the library Miguel de Cervantes into the national library via portal; opening community libraries; increasing access to new technologies and computer training in public libraries, and the library of Santiago . Mrs. Budnik has specialized not only in the area of public libraries, but has done extensive work to promote reading and books for children.

Numerous projects have been implemented by the Chilean public libraries to bring books and reading closer to the people, while at the same time, changing the image people have of libraries. The last fifteen years of initiatives have brought pivotal change in the public libraries of Chile . At the forefront is their philosophical approach to community involvement, thus creating a unique library – community encounter. The policies implemented, both at the level of historic milestones, as well as the major initiatives generated during these last years, have triggered a change in the mentality of those who work in libraries, thus producing a real community-minded management and citizen participation.

The initiatives show how public libraries were conceived in Chile and maintained so that today they are democratic spaces that can tell their story. Public libraries have been the most democratic spaces in the society. Serving as a free meeting space without the confines of censorship, libraries are a place where citizen participation is born. Within them, there are no boundaries for creativity and ideas. With this aim, the enchantment of the Chilean public libraries is born.

Fall Associates Program

The Mortenson Center expects to welcome 21 librarians from Brazil , Colombia , Costa Rica , El Salvador , Ghana , Iraq , Japan , Mexico , Nigeria , Pakistan , South Korea , Tanzania , Uganda , Uzbekistan , and Vietnam . This is the largest group with the most varied countries that we hosted. Most of the librarians will be here for nine weeks (September 4-November 2). The librarians from Tanzania and Uganda will spend an additional week at the Mortenson Center working on projects relating to the Carnegie Corporation grant to provide additional technology for their libraries. One of the Nigerians will stay an extra month to work on a special project. The South Korean will be here for one year sponsored by his University and the Pakistani who is a Fulbright scholar will be here six months. The librarians from Uzbekistan and Iraq are being sponsored by donations to the Mortenson Center from Robert Wedgeworth and Carol Erickson. In addition, three Serbian librarians will be at the Mortenson Center from October 1-5.

The librarians from Brazil , Costa Rica , El Salvador , and Mexico are sponsored by the Illinois State Library and Mortenson Center ‘s IMLS grant, “Thinking Outside the Borders,” and a number of librarians from around Illinois will be involved in working with them as part of the grant. The entire group of fall Associates will travel to Lincoln , Nebraska as part of the IMLS grant to participate in an IMLS sponsored leadership institute with librarians from Nebraska and to make a presentation at the Nebraska Library Association meeting in Kearney . This leadership institute will focus on the topic of communication. This is the final workshop to be held as part of the Illinois State Library and Mortenson Center ‘s IMLS grant.


Africa Project Updates

The Center continues working with 10 universities in Ghana , Nigeria , Tanzania and Uganda with grants from the Carnegie Corporation and MacArthur Foundation. The six Nigerian universities and one of the universities in Ghana are working on implementing the VTLS Virtua integrated library system. We are very pleased with the progress the universities are making in deploying additional technology to provide better service to library users. On September 24 and 25 Susan and Barbara will be in New York City at the Carnegie Corporation meeting with other Carnegie grants to discuss projects in Africa . In November Susan Schnuer will take a team to West Africa to continue working with these universities on this project. In spring 2008 we will again travel to east Africa to work with the universities there.

IFLA/OCLC and Department of State Groups Visits Mortenson Center

IFLA/OCLC fellows from Brazil , Ghana , Jamaica , Philippines , and Serbia visited the Mortenson Center May 3-4. Thanks to Meg Burger, Roxanne Frey, Francis Harris, Jo Kibbee, Rae-Anne Montague, Karen Schmidt, Becky Smith, and Greg Youngen for making presentations and giving library tours to these visitors. The U.S. Department of State brought librarians from Afghanistan, Bahrain, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Swaziland, West Bank, and Zambia to the Center as part of their international visitor leadership program. Thanks to Muhammad al-Faruque, Claudia Alcada Iniguez, Meg Burger, Roxanne Frey, Nelly Gonzales, Paula Kaufman, Miranda Remnek, and Karen Wei for making presentations and giving library tours to these visitors.

Presentations and Outreach

Susan had a very successful year as chair of the ALA International Relations Round Table with excellent programs at the conference in Washington , D.C. Barbara was elected to an additional two year term on the IFLA Governing Board. Barbara traveled to Krakow , Poland (with Marek Sroka) and Kunming , China (with Shuyong Jiang) to speak at conferences this summer. Susan will be presenting a paper about the Mortenson Center ‘s IMLS grant at the IFLA preconference in Johannesburg on Continuing Professional Development: Pathways to Leadership in the Library and Information World. Before IFLA, Barbara will be in Swaziland sponsored by the U.S. Department of State making three presentations for librarians.

Center Staff Update

Dawn Cassady will leave the Center in mid August for the position of Director of Circulation Services at the Urbana Free Library. Tiger Swan tswan@uiuc.edu , an academic hourly, will coordinate training during the Fall Associate’s Program. Sara Thompson sara.q.thompson@gmail.com is the new graduate assistant, and Coral Daube coral2u@uiuc.edu is the new secretary at the Mortenson Center .

Additional Information

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