2011 January Newsletter

Mortenson Associates Program

“Librarians of Tomorrow: Communication and Leadership” is the 2011 Associates Program. The program will be held May 30 to June 22 and will include seminars and workshops, tours of libraries, small group discussions, and networking with international colleagues. The program is scheduled to allow participants to attend the annual meeting of the American Library Association, if they wish. Details about the program are available on the Mortenson Center website: here


Mortenson Distinguished Lectures

The 2011 lecture is scheduled for Wednesday, April 6 at 4:00 pm in 126 GSLIS and will feature a presentation on Haiti by Elizabeth Pierre-Louis, Director of the Library Program, Fondation Connaissance et Liberte (FOKAL), Open Society Institute Haiti. Watch the Mortenson Center website for more details.

The 2010 lecture featured Dr. Shalini R. Urs, Executive Director and Professor, International School of Information Management at the University of Mysore, India. Her lecture was “Shifting Terrains, Crossing Boundaries: Digital Libraries are Personal and Social Again!” You can listen to the lecture and view her slides on the Mortenson Center website here.


Carnegie and MacArthur Africa Grants

Work continues on the grants to work with automation for 10 university libraries in sub-Saharan Africa. Susan will visit Ghana and Nigeria in January. As part of the Carnegie grant, librarians from Tanzania and Uganda will participate in the Associates program in the spring. These grants for work with universities in Africa will end in 2012.

In February and March, nine librarians from research universities in South Africa will be at the Mortenson Center supported by a Carnegie grant to improve research support. The grant covers the establishment of a research commons, a research portal and staff development. The staff development includes a two-week residential academy in South Africa and a two-month study trip to the U.S. for mid-career experienced librarians. The U.S. program includes a two week training program at the Mortenson Center, attendance at the ACRL conference, and a 6-week internship at an ARL library.


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.  The “Think Globally, Act Globally, China-US Library Collaboration” project ( www.library.illinois.edu/China/ ) is extended another year into 2011 with additional funding from IMLS.  We expect a group of Chinese librarians at UIUC in June and another team will travel to China in May 2011. 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 exposes 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.

This fall the Mortenson Center hosted a group of 12 public librarians and 3 staff members from Latvia from September 10 to October 10, 2010. Thanks to Pat Boze, Robert Burger, Meg Edwards, Eric Fair, Marsha Grove, Jan Ison, Paula Kaufman, Debra Lissak, Mara Saule, Kristin Vogel, Anke Voss, and Martin Wolske for their presentations.  Librarians and others in a number of communities including Arthur, Chicago, Georgetown, Marshall, Paris, Paxton, Tolono, and Watseka welcomed the visiting librarians. Darren Horner and Jessica Dorr from the Gates Foundation also were here during part of the program. Mortenson Center staff Coral Daube, Katherine Eriksen, and Jamie Luedtke were essential parts of a well received program.

Public Librarians from Romania will be at the Mortenson Center in the spring of 2011 for a specially designed training program which Mortenson Center staff are developing following their October and November visit to Romania.


Other Visitors

Ten librarians from Poland spent December 10 at the Mortenson Center as part of the International Visitor Leadership program of the U.S. Department of State. Thanks to Marek Sroka, Sarah Shreeves, Rae Anne Montague, Karen Hogenboom, Jim Hahn, and Katherine Eriksen who presented the program for the group, and to Katherine Eriksen and Jamie Luedtke who oversaw the program.

In November, Barbara met with the Consul General of Bulgaria from Chicago and, in December, Susan met with the Consul General of China from Chicago.  This is part of an on-going campus program to bring Consul Generals from the Chicago area to the UIUC campus.


Expected 2011 Mortenson Center Visitors

South African University librarians (9 expected) February 11-March 4, 2011

Romanian public librarians (16 expected) March 18-April 16, 2011

IFLA/OCLC Fellows from Botswana, Nepal, Philippines, Malawi, China, Serbia – April 19, 2011

Mortenson Associates Program (16 expected) May 30-June 22, 2011

Chinese public librarians, (10 expected) June 8 – 14, 2011


Additional Information

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