2008 January Newsletter

17th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture

On October 19, 2007, Clara Budnik presented the 17th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture. Ms. Budnik spoke on “The Enchanted Libraries of Chile: a story of transformation.” She has been the executive director of the Foundation for Democracy and Development in Santiago, Chile since 2006 and prior to that, she worked 14 years in Archives and Museums within the Chilean Directorate of Libraries, serving as the director for six years. The slides and audio of the lecture are available on the Mortenson Center website.

We are in the process of planning next year’s lecture, and would welcome your suggestions for a renowned international speaker who could address a topic related to international understanding.

Fall Associates Program

The Mortenson Center welcomed 17 librarians from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ghana, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Korea, Tanzania, Uganda, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam . This is the largest group with the most varied countries that we have hosted. Most of the librarians were here for nine weeks (September 4-November 2). The South Korean who is sponsored by his University and the Pakistani who is a Fulbright scholar are here for one year. Three Serbian librarians were here for one week sponsored by the Department of State. The schedule of seminars, tours, workshops, and conferences included trips to the ILA Conference in Springfield where they were speakers; to OCLC in Dublin, Ohio; to the LTLS Symposium on the Future of Integrated Library Systems; to ALA and several libraries in Chicago; and to the Illinois State Library in Springfield. Associates also spent several days at host libraries around the state, where they gained valuable knowledge about how other Illinois libraries serve their users.

A big thank-you to the colleagues who helped make this year’s Associates Program a success: Mary Beth Allen, John Andrick, Susan Avery, Atoma Batoma, Bob Burger, Nelly Gonzalez, Kristine Hammerstrand, Frances Harris, Jan Ison, JoAnn Jacoby, Al Kagan, Paula Kaufman, Cynthia Kelly, Jo Kibbee, Betsy Kruger, Bryan McMurray, Lori Mestre, Rae-Anne Montague, Janice Pilch, Miranda Remnek, Lynne Rudasill, Beth Sandore, Fred Schlipf, Karen Schmidt, Joe Sciacca, Sue Searing, Sarah Shreeves, Helen Sullivan, Jennifer Hain Teper, Sara Thompson, Mary Towner, Kristin Vogel, Bob Wedgeworth, David Ward, Anna Maria Watkin, Karen Wei, Cherie Weible, Lynn Wiley, and Beth Woodard. Thank you also to our colleagues who served as “Friends” to the Mortenson Associates: Mary Beth Allen, Susan Avery, Paula Carns, Zoe Chao, Rajwant Chilana, Adrianna Cuervo, Nelly Gonzalez, Jim Hahn, Al Kagan, Betsy Kruger, Emily Love, Setsuko Noguchi, Miranda Remnek, Beth Sandore, Diane Schmidt, Peggy Steele, and Joyce Wright.

Special thanks to libraries who hosted Mortenson Associates: Augustana College, Columbia College Chicago, Eastern Illinois University, Farmington Public Library System, Jacksonville Public, Lewis and Clark Library System, Northern Illinois University, Olivet Nazarene University, University of Illinois at Springfield, Western Illinois University, and the Wethersfield School District. Tiger Swan, Coral Daube, and Sara Thompson from the Mortenson Center staff worked closely with the group during their time at the Mortenson Center.

The demand for the Mortenson Associates program has been growing and we were not able to accept everyone in 2007 so already have a number of librarians hoping to participate next year. Applications for the 2008 Fall Associates Program are due no later than May 1, 2008, and are available on the website.

“Thinking Outside the Borders” Leadership Institute

The final “Thinking Outside the Borders” library leadership institute supported by an IMLS grant with the Illinois State Library took place October 22-24 in Lincoln, Nebraska. This year’s institute brought together librarians from Nebraska with librarians from Latin America. The agenda included presentations and small-group work on leadership issues affecting all librarians, including cross-cultural communication. The group had a wonderful experience with interesting institute sessions organized by the Nebraska Library Commission. The Latin American librarians then traveled to Kearney for the Nebraska Library Association conference where they gave a well received presentation about their libraries.

As the IMLS grant ends, training “modules” are being developed and refined by our presenters so that librarians anywhere in the world can conduct similar leadership institutes on their own. The project will be completed later this year.

Africa Project Updates

Susan Schnuer returned to Ghana and Nigeria this fall accompanied by David Dorman. During site visits to our Carnegie and MacArthur grant universities, they worked with staff on implementation of their new library management systems which they have purchased. Susan will return to west Africa in February to continue the work. Barbara will go to Tanzania and Uganda in March with Paula Kaufman and JoAnn Jacoby who will make presentations on library assessment.

The Carnegie Corporation has asked us to prepare a grant to continue our work with university libraries in sub-Saharan Africa and Susan is working on the proposals which will be submitted soon. We are also working with institutions in South Africa to prepare a grant at the request of the Carnegie Corporation to conduct leadership workshops for Carnegie grantees in Africa.

In March, six librarians from three universities in South Africa will be at the Mortenson Center to learn more about how librarians can best support faculty research. After spending two weeks at the Mortenson Center the librarians will spend one month at a variety of large academic libraries in the U.S. This project is supported by the Carnegie Corporation.

Outreach Activities

Mortenson Associates presented a program, “Innovative Customer Service Practices in Libraries Around the World,” at the Illinois Library Association conference on October 11. Mortenson Center staff met with the ACES Global Academy to share information about international programs in November. Barbara spoke at the first international conference on public libraries in Medellin, Colombia in November.

The IFLA/OCLC fellows from India, Morocco, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda will be at the Mortenson Center on May 13.

Additional Information

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