November 7, 2018 Meeting of Mortenson Center Advisory Committee Charge and Membership

Time and Location of Meeting

November 7, 2018141 Undergraduate Library – Conference Room

Agenda Details


I. Welcome and Introductions

II. Approval of May 9, 2018 minutes

III. Personnel and scholars/librarians in-residence

IV. Reports and Updates

a. Grants completed: Gates SILL and Project Welcome

b. Professional Development Programs: Associates 2018, 2019; Minitalks

c. Partnerships/Training: University of Pretoria, Sierra Leone, Naseej Academy, JASPUL, Center for Global Studies d. Recent and upcoming trips

V. Mortenson Center Initiatives

a. Libraries for Peace, – Libraries for Peace Day 2018, September 21 (Theme: The Right to Peace)

b. Community-Library Inter-Action (CLIA) [US, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, South Africa, India, Qatar, Canada]; IberBibliotecas Grant – partnership with Zoraida Mendiwelso-Bendek (U. Lincoln, UK), and partner institutions in Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru

VI. 28th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture: Valeda Dent, Nov. 26, 2018; noon and pre-Lecture conversation 10:15 am; Main Library 106

VII. Other


1. May 9, 2018 Meeting Minutes

2. Project Welcome Guide

3. 2019 Mortenson Associates Program flyer

4. CLIA bilingual description

5. L4P bilingual bookmark

6. Lecture postcard

Minutes Details


Clara M. Chu, Shuyong Jiang, William Schlaack, Ellen Moodie, Mara Thacker, Qiang Jin, Susanne Belovari

Not Present: John Randolph, Yoo-Seong Song, Martin Wolske


Clara Chu began the meeting with welcome and introductions followed by approval of minutes from May 2018. Clara Chu noted a correction in the spelling of Qiang Jin’s name from “Qiang-Jig” in the May 2018 minutes.

I. Welcome and Introductions

a. Clara began the meeting with introductions and asked about approval of the agenda for the day.

II. Approval of the May 9, 2018 minutes

a. Committee members in attendance approved the May 9, 2018 minutes after taking a short time to review.

III. Personnel and scholars/librarians in-residence

a. Clara Chu reviewed work of Susan Schnuer’s upcoming trip to Africa for the SILL program.

b. Susanne Belovari asked about the center needing more funding and if funding was lost when Susan Schnuer left. Clara Chu discussed endowed positions vs. salaried positions and noted that with Clara and Susan’s positions working at the same time, the University provided the additional funds that the endowment did not cover.

IV. Reports and Updates

a. Grants completed: Gates SILL and Project Welcome

i. SILL Program – funded by Bill and Melinda Gates.

1. Clara Chu discussed that there are now some Spanish translated training documents available on the website that people can use for free. Only some of the materials have been translated but not all – Clara did training in Peru and Spanish documents were needed for participants. Clara was not sure if the documents have been used for training by others. Susan Shnuer is using the translated documents for her training through EIFL and the Mortenson Center is also using the materials.

2. There is an active Facebook page for SILL that people are joining weekly. Jean Kanengoni provided an update that people are using the SILL Facebook page to share photos and send media write-ups of what they are doing in the community. No one has been seen to have used Facebook to share Mortenson training materials on the page yet. Clara Chu pointed out that Jean was one of the librarians in the first test that was done for SILL in Namibia and has been involved from the beginning. At the end of this first test in Namibia participants of the program provided feedback on any alterations that needed to be made. Afterward, the materials were tested for about 2 years in different countries.

ii. Project Welcome

1. Clara Chu informed the group that the Mortenson Center has finished the institute and museum and library services grant. She noted that in the last meeting a brief guide was handed out but in the current meeting, one of the distributed items was the full guide that provides more information about what was in the circles in the brief guide. The full guide is up on the website where the Mortenson Center is continuing to do work.

2. Sharon Han is working on a survey which asks refugee resettlement agencies if they are working with or have worked with libraries and conversely, are asking public libraries if they have worked with refugee resettlement or other refugee organizations. Clara Chu mentions that this is going to build on the existing work. ALA has been involved and has discussed being a centralized resource to provide more information to immigrants, refugees and misplaced persons. This has been designated to a particular ALA committee.

iii. Personnel Update

1. Clara Chu mentioned that as a way to build up available funding, she is looking for ways to fill up the amount of staff available. She has reached out to other units in the library to see if there is staff who can spend about 20-25% time at the center to be able to contribute their expertise. This is still under consideration. Jean Kanengoni’s research assistantship is being funded by center endowment.

2. There will be various attempts made to fill in the personnel until the best method of having a student or permanent employee fill in the positions is met. Shuyong Jiang asked if the people looking to be added are librarians. Clara responded, “yes” – Mortenson has asked supervisors to see if that’s something that people would be interested in doing – if it’s not something that contributes to innovation of the center then it will return to the traditional system. Susanne Belovari asks Clara Chu if the Mortenson Center would have 4 librarians contribute 25% of their time to give a total of 100% time. Clara responded that the Mortenson Center is not trying to reach 100% time from new staff but is looking to add about 2 librarians and noted that the Center is also covering funding for Jean Kanengoni’s work.

b. Professional Development Programs: Associates 2018, 2019; Minitalks

i. Reports

1. The 2018 Associates Program was successful with the support of Graduate Assistant Catalina Hernandez and Research Assistant Jean Kanengoni. During the program, the center was in transition and not able to hire new staff immediately however it went well and the Mortenson Center was able to add a few more activities and cost effective events than in previous years. Rather than chartering a bus, associates traveled to Indianapolis via a rental van operated by Center staff.

2. Clara Chu thanked William Schlaack and other attendees for their participation in the 2018 Associates Program. Clara Chu asked William Schlaack if the half day visit to his unit was more helpful than a tour. William noted that it depends on the participant feedback and preference. William mentioned that visitors from South Korea tend to have more preservation resources so they may be familiar with these things already and may be less engaged and concluded that it is probably best to keep it at the half day. Clara agreed that the half day visit would be better.

ii. 2019 Associates Program

1. Clara announced that the 2019 programs is underway. The center will emphasize smarter, strategic and sustainable libraries and is working with the Naseej Academy to provide scholarships for 2 people coming from the Arabic gulf region. The Japanese Public Library Association also will send one person. The others are general applications.

iii. Minitalks

1. This is the 30 minute online webinar to which the Mortenson Center contributes the Spanish version. Clara described that these are 15 minute presentations and 15 minute discussions. The speakers are Spanish speakers and so far they’ve all come from Latin America except for one – the IFLA president.

c. Partnerships/Training: University of Pretoria, Sierra Leone, Naseej Academy, JASPUL, Center for Global Studies

i. Partners In Training

1. Clara mentioned that the University of Pretoria used to bring masters students to campus but funding stopped over a year ago.

2. Clara and Susan have continued to participate in the program by presenting lectures in the international librarianship and knowledge course. The center covers three of the online classes for this. Clara mentioned that it is not as helpful because the students use the old blackboard system and many of them do not have high speed internet and are unable to talk online so it is not as interactive as Clara would like to see. Clara expressed uncertainty about whether the center will continue next year.

ii. Sierra Leone

1. Former Associates will take their learnings back home. One Associate learned how to create a web site and would like to do that back at home. The Center for Global Studies along with the iSchool can provide some support that will help development of library and information services at Janla University and other places in Sierra Leone. The Center for Global Studies will contribute to the cohort that’s going in June with title VI funding.

iii. Naseej academy

1. The center is still working with the Naseej Academy on collaborations – in 2020 the Mortenson Center is hoping that they will support an executive leadership program and they will be paying for the whole program to bring in top library leaders. The program is expected to be similar to a Harvard leadership institute. The program is still in planning stages and support from Naseej is has not yet been secured.


1. The Mortenson Center has a collaboration with JAPSUL to send one associate for the Mortenson Associates Program.

v. Center for Global Studies

1. The Mortenson Center submitted ideas for their grant proposal but had not heard back about particular components of the funding that they might receive.

d. Recent and upcoming trips

i. Recent and upcoming trips

1. Clara has been doing a lot conference presentations. The center has the opportunity to do a lot of CLIA presentations. Clara has had the opportunity to give keynote speeches or presentations on international librarianship and multicultural librarianship. Clara mentioned that she often looks for an opportunity to stay an extra day or two paid for by center discretionary funds, to support the work of the CLIA project.

2. Upcoming trips are (day of meeting) – Clara is president elect of ASIS&T – the Association for Information Science and Technology. She will be going to Vancouver for a meeting, then giving a talk in South Africa where she was earlier in the year to introduce CLIA to the Cape Town public library.  She will follow up with opportunities there on her next trip. Clara has been invited to lead a CLIA workshop in Spain and participate in a panel discussion at the end of the month.

V. Mortenson Center Initiatives

a. Libraries for Peace, – Libraries for Peace Day 2018, September 21 (Theme: The Right to Peace)

i. MC Initiative for libraries for peace •

1. The 2017 celebration was on September 21st with a webinar and online discussion forum presented in 3 forms.

•  An online white space was created for anyone wanting to discuss the rights to peace. This conversation also considered the United Nations 70th anniversary celebration which emphasized a universal declaration of human rights and presented the question of if we should have a right to peace. Participants in the white space were asked to consider what the role is of libraries in the right to peace. Susanne Belovari considered communication for librarians abroad and security/freedom of speech issues for some and asked if the white space was public. Clara affirmed that it was a public space however posts were anonymous and that there haven’t been any issues. Clara also mentioned that the palette makes it very easy for any media to be easily integrated.
• Via social media
• Via and online discussion on the right to peace.

2. The Mortenson Center continues to encourage people to add their activities to the asset map that is available online. Any libraries that are doing work to advance peace are encouraged by the center to contribute and share their information. Many of the most recent contributions have come from Latin America likely as a result of Clara’s recent and frequent visits there.

3. Ellen Moodie asked if there is a formal definition of peace on the web site. Clara said that there is not but there is a palette on how the center defines peace although it did not stipulate a particular definition. Clara noted that she does use a working definition during presentations.

4. When examining the impact of libraries the center is always looking at output – circulation, users etc. ILFA has a world library map and is trying to document these things. Clara would like to examine if there is a measure of the impact of libraries to advance social issues and how peace can be defined in terms of social measure as well as if there is something that can be created that would be in the index that looks at libraries advancing peace.

5. The Libraries for Peace page has a section of resources to continue this thought process. There is a list for measurements of the global impact of libraries, considerations of some global peace indexes as well as considerations for the ways in which communities at the city level are measuring their wellness. Clara noted that these are some available indicators that we could tap into as we move forward.

b. Community-Library Inter-Action (CLIA) [US, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, South Africa, India, Qatar, Canada]; IberBibliotecas Grant – partnership with Zoraida Mendiwelso-Bendek (U. Lincoln, UK), and partner institutions in Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru


1. Clara introduced CLIA as the process through which the center is inviting libraries to think about doing things that allow them to engage with libraries and not just do work for their library users. A bookmark was distributed to each person in attendance which displayed information about this project. Clara noted that since this bookmark is used for the center’s Spanish work it was designed in Spanish also to have three distinct areas on it. Clara discussed that in the CLIA process, libraries are invited to hold community conversations so communities can get to know each other. The library can get to know their community members and facilitate conversations about their concerns on ways to
improve their own lives and to improve their communities by identifying common areas that they want to address or problems to solve. The desired outcome is that action would be directed by the communities themselves rather than the librarians thereby leading to social transformation.

2. Susanne Belovari inquired on whether there have been any cases where libraries or librarians have gotten into trouble because local wealthy people or politicians did not like what they were seeing during local community meetings for the CLIA project. Clara responded that the focus is that the community makes decisions about what improvements they want. While the library facilitates a conversation, it is not making decisions or pushing ideas. Concerns have come directly from a few librarians. Some expressed concerns that they were not “social workers” and others expressed their concerns about the community making decisions for themselves, referring to the project aim as “Utopian”. Clara mentioned that one small library supported the idea but expressed concerns about having to close and turn people away in order to host the discussion.

3. Clara hopes to be able to post one of these community conversations. In Logrono some librarians expressed that they don’t have vulnerable communities and Clara informed them that the aim was for the library to get to know the community rather than the community needing to be vulnerable.

4. Atoma Batoma discussed a program in Uganda that facilitated a community conversation about book sharing which really helped to assess community needs and was less related to politics but more about community need.

5. Clara mentioned that in Gael, Peru four youth who attended a CLIA meeting discovered that they had similar concerns. During feedback they expressed that they found the meeting helpful because their parents don’t listen to them and that it was helpful to have someone ask them questions and for them to be able to voice their concerns.

6. Clara noted that the positive impact for people to see that the library is something beyond just literacy. The Mortenson Center will continue to do this work to see if libraries can play a role in social change and enhance people’s lives in communities in other ways apart from reading.

ii. IberBibliotecas Grant

1. The Mortenson Center has been doing workshops in different areas. It currently has a grant from the lberBibliotecas Foundation to do work with public and community libraries in Costa Rica, Peru and Colombia. This work is currently in progress.

2. The center has modified its logo to show the countries of Ibero-America – Spain, Portugal and all of Latin America.

3. The lberBibliotecas grant has helped the center to go into indigenous communities. The center is working with different country coordinators and is looking forward to how this work develops. At the end of the grant there will be a one day mini conference online for each country coordinator to share their work and learn from each other’s experiences.

VI. 28th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture: Valeda Dent, Nov. 26, 2018; noon AND pre-Lecture conversation 10:15 am; Main Library 106

a. 28th Annual Mortenson Lecture

i. The Mortenson Center will be hosting Valeda Dent as its distinguished lecturer on Monday November 26th Clara invited everyone to attend and noted that if unavailable the event will be livestreamed online as well as recorded for later viewing.

VII. Other

a. Clara opened the floor to questions and ideas

i. Ellen Moodie noted the library’s mission to promote the accuracy of information in referencing the CLIA project and asked Clara if this is consciously circulated in CLIA forums considering that the project structure is framed as not political. Clara responded that it depends on each country and each library. Clara provided examples of various types of libraries and noted that the extent to which some libraries share information about the voracity of information varies. Susanne Belovari asked if the libraries offered online services other than printed books. Clara replied that it depends on the library and mentioned a location in Peru which, being located in the same building as a telecenter, did not offer computer services. ii. Susanne Belovari inquired on whether the center would anticipate a cut in the types of planned activities due to a slight cut in funding. Clara responded that the cut mainly affects whether the center can hire full time staff although it will affect activities somewhat because the smaller staff size may affect the number of projects operating at once. Clara noted that recently she has focused more on funding that supports how cultural and other institutions add to the development of society. These kinds of grants and resources are nontraditional for the center’s funding.

Clara opened the floor for additional comments/questions to Jean, Catalina and Courtney. No questions were asked.

Close of meeting