2010 April Newsletter

Mortenson Associates Program

The Mortenson Associates program will not be held in 2010. Instead the program will be refocused and offered next in June 2011.  Participants will have the opportunity to attend the American Library Association at the end of the Mortenson Associates program if they desire.  The program will be slightly shorter and more focused. Holding the program in the summer will involve fewer logistical challenges.  We will be providing more details in the months ahead.

20th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture

The 2010 lecture will be held on Wednesday, October 20 at 4:00 pm in GSLIS 126.  Dr. Shalini R. Urs, Executive Director and Professor, International School of Information Management at the University of Mysore, India, will be the speaker.  Her lecture will be “Shifting Terrains, Crossing Boundaries: Digital Libraries are Personal and Social Again!”

Professor Shalini Urs is an information scientist having interest in all matters of the mind – from creativity to cognitive to cultural. Taking a 360 degree view of information, she has researched on issues ranging from the theoretical foundations of information science to technological aspects of digital libraries. Her areas of research, apart from digital libraries include – Relevance and Information Retrieval, Content Management Systems, Ontology, and Social Network Analysis.

Shalini has been a faculty member in the Department of Library and Information Science of the University of Mysore for the last 35 years, and was a Fulbright scholar and visiting professor at Virginia Tech, USA during 2000- 2001. Her major accomplishments include—the Vidyanidhi Digital Library project ( www.vidyanidhi.org.in ), an internationally known Indian digital library. Having led the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) movement in India, she is the recipient of NDLTD–Adobe Leadership award in 2004. She is on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Tech, based global initiative – NDLTD (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations). She served on the Governing Board of INFLIBNET – the Inter University Centre of University Grants Commission from 2001 to 2004. She has served as an UNESCO expert on several occasions.

She put India on the global digital library map by bringing the well known international digital library conference series “International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries (ICADL)” to India and organizing ICADL 2001 in December 2001 in Bangalore. She is currently the Chair of the Asian Digital Library Steering Committee. Widely traveled, invited to speak at various international and national conferences, Shalini has won many awards including the recent Emerald research Fund Award in Indian Library and Information Science category for 2007-8.

Having conceptualized the International School of Information Management (ISiM), Shalini founded ISiM – the first and only iSchool in India at the University of Mysore with seed funding from Ford Foundation and Informatics India in collaboration with leading Information Schools in the US ( www.isim.ac.in ). As executive director and professor of ISiM in Mysore she is striving towards making ISiM a world class institution. She has led the formation fo the Consortium of iSchools of Asia-Pacific (CiSAP) and is currently the Vice Chair.

Carnegie and MacArthur Africa Grants
The grants have been renewed for three years to assist ten grant supported university libraries in Africa to become automated.  This will be the last renewal and we are quite pleased with the progress and ownership of the initiative by the grantees.  Susan was in Nigeria in March and will go back in October to continue to move the project forward there where the universities are implementing VTLS. In May Barbara will go to Uganda with trainers to discuss how to use automation to enhance library services to university students and faculty.  Allen Lanham from Eastern Illinois University will go to the University of Ghana-Legon to work with the librarians on technology and management related issues.  Liz State from Makerere University in Uganda will provide training at the University of Education – Winneba in Ghana.  Ms. State previously traveled to Nigeria with this project to provide training related to VTLS implementation.  ADLIB is the automation vendor that the University of Dar es Salaam uses and we are working with them to provide additional training on using the software.  In June and July, 20 librarians from the grantee institutions will spend several weeks at the Mortenson Center and attend the American Library Association conference in Washington, D.C.  This will be the final U.S. visit for university librarians from Africa sponsored by Carnegie and MacArthur.

IMLS China Grant
The Center continues to work with Shuyong Jiang and Karen Wei on the collaborative grant with the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.  We plan to have two groups of Chinese public librarians here in June 2010 who will spend time at the University of Illinois, at another library in the U.S., and attend the American Library Association conference in Washington, D.C. The program for one group will focus on continuing education and the program for the other group will focus on technology.  U.S. librarians including Barbara Ford traveled to China in March to Chengdu, Chongqing, and Guangzhou to make educational presentations. Another group including Karen Wei and Paula Kaufman will go in May to China to provide another set of educational programs.  The principal investigators are continuing to work on the web portal of Chinese materials for U.S. users
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Contract

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support a training program for public librarians in other countries.
Global Libraries, an initiative of the foundation’s Global Development Program, is working to transform public libraries into vital resources that can help improve the lives of millions of people. The initiative works with select countries that demonstrate a need and a readiness to help public libraries provide free access to computers and the Internet, and training on how to make full use of these tools.
Two of the foundation’s Global Libraries country programs – Latvia and Romania – have been selected to participate in the Mortenson Center program. The Mortenson Center program will expose potential public library leaders and innovators from these countries to different models of successful public libraries.  The goal is to provide these individuals with the opportunity to study the policies, services, and funding sources that are necessary to fully support a library system, which is both responsive to the needs of a community and proactive in addressing the information needs of users.
The training will consist of a three-week program in the United States, followed by a one-week visit to another country with excellent libraries.  It will focus on a changing library environment due in part to the influx of new electronic tools and services.
Beginning April 16, Sara Thompson will again work for the Mortenson Center part time to plan the programs for the African university librarians.
Expected 2010 Mortenson Center Visitors
Ukrainian public librarians (23 expected) April 24-30
Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Fellows from Jamaica, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Pakistan, China and two OCLC Minority Fellows on April 27
Chinese public librarians (2 groups of 10 each expected) in June
African university librarians (20 from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda expected) in June and July

Additional Information
Contact Barbara Ford ( bjford@illinois.edu ) or Susan Schnuer ( schnuer@illinois.edu ) for additional information.