2008 April Newsletter

South Africa Projects

Seven librarians from three the University of Cape Town, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the University of Witwatersrand spent two weeks at the Mortenson Center in March 2008. They were here as part of a grant from the Carnegie Corporation to help their universities to develop new methods of library support for research in South Africa. The project has three phases: a web-based library research portal, a research commons at each university, and a human resource development component intended to equip librarians to provide high quality research support. Following the program at the Mortenson Center, “Setting the Context: A Program for Learning about Library Research Support,” the librarians went to other research libraries including Arizona State, Texas A&M, Washington University, University of Washington, Yale University and the University of Arizona.

Thanks to our colleagues who helped make this program a big success: John Andrick, Kim Armstrong, Robert Baird, Merle Bowen, Alvin Bregman, Paula Carns, Tina Chrzastowski, Tim Cole, Coral Daube, Valerie Hotchkiss, Cindy Ingold, JoAnn Jacoby, Al Kagan, Paula Kaufman, Cindy Kelly, Kathleen Kern, Jo Kibbee, Betsy Kruger, Lori Mestre, Bill Mischo, Katie Newman, Dawn Owen-Nicholson, Lisa Romero, Diane Schmidt, Sarah Shreeves, Linda Smith, Melissa Straw, Sara Thompson, John Wagstaff, Scott Walter, Beth Woodard, and Greg Youngen. Visits to the Center for Research Libraries, University of Illinois at Chicago, Upshot Advertising Agency, Association of College and Research Libraries, and Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago also added to the program.

Learn more about the details of the program from the Mortenson Center wiki. Another group of librarians from this project will come to the Mortenson Center next spring.

In November 2008 the Mortenson Center will be working with the University of Pretoria on a Leadership Training Program as part of the Centenary Programs of the University. The University of Pretoria has also submitted a grant to the Carnegie Corporation to establish a Centre for African Library Leadership for the provision of quality library leadership training and development of library personnel in South Africa. The UIUC library has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Pretoria for ongoing collaboration.

Sub-Saharan Africa Projects

The three-year grants from the Carnegie Corporation and MacArthur Foundation for projects to assist university libraries in sub-Saharan Africa with library technology are coming to the end and Susan is preparing proposals for new grants to continue the work. In February Susan went to Nigeria to work with staff on implementation of the library management systems they have purchased. In March Barbara went with Paula Kaufman and JoAnn Jacoby to Makerere University in Uganda and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to present workshops on Measurement/Evaluation/Assessment of the Impact of Library Services to Show the Value of the Library to Sustain Interest and Funding. The workshops were well received. We expect to host librarians from these university libraries at the Mortenson Center for a program this fall.

U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services Grants

The “Thinking Outside the Borders” grant for library leadership institutes funded by an IMLS grant with the Illinois State Library is in its final stages. A publication is being developed under the direction of Sandra Rios Balderrama with chapters prepared by many of the institute presenters. This will be the legacy of the grant and will be available to librarians anywhere in the world to give them ideas for conducting similar leadership institutes on their own.

Mortenson Center staff are working with the UIUC Asian Library and the Chinese American Librarians Association to prepare a grant entitled, “Think Globally, Act Globally: Developing Resources and Expertise through Communication, Collaboration, and Exchange between China and the United States.”

Outreach Activities

We hope to feature a speaker from China for the 18th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture in September.

We are now processing applications for the fall 2008 Mortenson Associates program and expect participants from Colombia, Ghana, Iraq, Japan, Nigeria, Palestine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

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

This spring Barbara has spoken at Dominican University Career Day, the University of Panama Library, the California Academic and Research Libraries Conference and will speak at the University of Miami and the University of San Carlos in Guatemala in May.

Susan and Barbara will speak on “Libraries, Librarians and Information in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa” at the Community Informatics Initiative Speaker Services on April 30 at 2:00 pm in GSLIS 109.

Susan has been invited to a workshop on copyright for librarians at the Harvard Law School in April to discuss strategies for sharing copyright information with colleagues in emerging countries. She will also participate in a board meeting for the Friends of FOKAL, an Open Society Institute non-profit organization working with libraries in Haiti.

Additional Information

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