October 9, 2017 Meeting of Mortenson Center Advisory Committee Charge and Membership

Time and Location of Meeting

October 9, 2017141 Undergraduate Library – Conference Room

Agenda Details


I. Welcome and Introductions

II. Approval of the April 26, 2017 minutes

III. Personnel update

IV. Reports and Updates

a. Grants: Gates SILL and Project Welcome https://publish.illinois.edu/projectwelcome/

b. Professional Development Programs (2017 and 2018)

c. Partnerships/Training (OCLC, University of Pretoria, Moldova, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Naseej Academy, iSchool)

d. Recent and upcoming trips

V. Mortenson Center Initiatives and Communication

a. Libraries for Peace http://librariesforpeace.org/, Community-Library Inter-Action (CLIA) [US, Colombia, India, Qatar, Canada, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, South Africa], Policy briefs

b. New websites

VI. Lecture: Brainstorming

VII. Other

1. April 26, 2017 Meeting Minutes

Minutes Details


Clara Chu, Susan Schnuer, Rebecca McGuire, Emily Kasak, Jean Kanengoni, Catalina Hernandez, Martin Wolske, Susanne Belovari (attending first half), Shuyong Jiang, Qiang Jin, William Schlaack, Ellen Moodie

Not Present: John Randolph, Yoo-Seong Song


Clara Chu began the meeting with welcome and introductions, followed by approval of the April 2017 meeting’s minutes. We welcome Qiang Jin to her meeting as a new member on the Committee.

Personnel update
Clara Chu introduced our new GA, Catalina Hernandez, and RA, Jean Kanengoni. Both Catalina and Jean will be supporting our research activities, and we are thankful to have this support as we transition in other positions.

Susan Schnuer is retiring at the end of December, after 25 years at the Center. She will be taking a position at EIFL, where she will build off our work that was started through the SILL grant. Clara will be meeting with Bill Mischo about possibilities for filling Susan’s role. Additionally, Rebecca McGuire’s contract, on the SILL grant, ends with the grant at the end of November 2017.

Reports and Updates
I. Grants

a. SILL (https://www.library.illinois.edu/mortenson-leadership/)

i. Susan Schnuer provided an overview and update of recent activities:

1. Curriculum has been successful in many different contexts.

2. Materials are now fully available online and on flash drive.

3. SILL development assessment has been happening throughout the grant process, as opposed to before and after the grant. This has significantly aided in development of effective training materials.

4. Final trip on grant in October to Zambia. Susan, Rebecca, and Eric Kurt (Media Commons) will hold two-day “Train the Trainer” session with librarians from Ghana, Zambia, and Cameroon. Final day of training will involve participants conducting the training.

5. Final pieces of grant are being pulled together; Rebecca has been critical in updating materials and website.

b. Project Welcome (https://publish.illinois.edu/projectwelcome/)

i. Clara Chu provided an overview and update of recent activities:

1. Working with our partner, ALA, to continue gathering notes and feedback for the action plan.

2. The final action agenda and recommendations will include a refugee library services guide, co-designed by the Center, ALA, national and international librarians, and resettlement agencies for all public libraries. The guide may be utilized in libraries with/without direct refugee populations, and is in part, aimed at bringing about a discussion around the information needs of refugees.

3. Currently, we are working with the International Rescue Committee to develop a questionnaire to be sent to refugee agencies to assess their awareness of available library services.

4. Grant will wrap up in April.

c. General Questions on grants:

i. Martin Wolske asked how much Project Welcome is being accepted within ALA beyond the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion group, regarding a broader appeal.

1. Clara Chu responded that there has been a proposition to the ALA council for a new committee on this area, but still housed within Equity, Diversity, and
Inclusion umbrella. Clara also reiterated that one of the charges of the grant is to provide formal recommendations for associations and the broader library community, which might raise general awareness.

II. Professional Development Programs (2017 and 2018)

a. 2017 Associates

i. Program overview: The 3.5 week summer program hosted ten Associates from Costa Rica, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Oman, South Korea, and Qatar. The program included many library visits and tours in town, on campus, as well as in Chicago, Arthur, Springfield, and Ohio. All ten Associates left with an action plan based on services they plan to implement in their home libraries. Overall, the program was a success. This year, Associates blogged during the program, which proved to be a beneficial way to see their view of the experience.

ii. Will Schlaack asked about what sort of follow-up is provided by the Center?

1. Rebecca McGuire replied that we do a formal 6 month follow-up; coming up soon for this group. Across previous years, we see about 75% of Associates implementing their action plans upon return, and we also see them taking training back to their libraries and running their own trainings.

2. Susan Schnuer shared that when individuals aren’t able to implement their action plan, most often this is because of funding and input from supervisors.

b. 2018 Associates

i. The Center team is meeting this week to talk through the coming year’s program, changes, and further feedback.

ii. Qiang Jin asked if we maintain a list of all Past Associates.

1. Susan Schnuer noted that we don’t have a listserv per say. We primarily use Facebook to stay in touch with past participants.

2. Clara Chu mentioned we are working with James Whitacre to update our Associates Map, which includes a GIS map of all countries that have had an Associate the number of past Associates from each country.

c. Mortenson Executive Leadership Institute

i. Background: Last year’s call for a “Global Connections” program was geared at mid-management individuals – those below the Director position. However, we received
little interest in the program, and we have decided to refocus attention to high-level managers and Directors. We are now meeting to discuss if there is funding available to get an Executive Leadership program off the ground.

ii. Shuyong Jiang asked if this program is in addition to the Associates.

1. Susan Schnuer confirmed that – yes – the program would be in addition to the Associates program. Additionally, this would be a more expensive program because of the type of programming and logistics that would need to be arranged.

d. Moldova / Novateca Program 2017

i. Susan Schnuer provided an update to the group:

1. A group of 12 library leaders from Moldova, sponsored by Novateca and IREX, came for a 3-week program in July. The goal was for the group to take back lessons learned and act as leaders within the Library Network in Moldova.

2. The program was challenging in that everything needed to be interpreted – both in-person and with respect to all course materials and workshops prior to the program start. However, we were greatly aided by a group of graduate student employees doing interpretation (from various disciplines) who helped make the program possible.

3. Each librarian was required to develop a project to take back to their library. Susan is going back in December to do follow-ups, before the Novateca program in Moldova ends.

4. The group was particularly dedicated, engaged, serious, and responsive to the program material and work. Every morning they led sessions with their group, and they took everything to heart immediately. Whenever they were given an assignment, expectations were met above and beyond.

III. Partnerships/Training (OCLC, University of Pretoria, Moldova, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Naseej Academy, iSchool)

i. Clara Chu updated the group on activities:

1. In 2017 we continued, and plan to continue, with the OCLC fellows program.

2. The Center has previously partnered with the University of Pretoria, however, funding on their end has run out. Susan and Clara are continuing this partnership by teaching a course, keeping us connected to international conversations.

3. The Naseej Academy is interested in providing training and support to librarians in the Middle East. They have partnered with the Mortenson Center to provide support and funding for two Associates each year through a scholarship. The Naseej partnership also has possibilities for further development.

4. The Center is working with the iSchool and the Center for Global Studies to support study abroad experiences for iSchool students. Clara will be leading a group over spring break to Costa Rica. Students will work alongside real library situations, identifying areas that need to be addressed, and work with local groups to come up with solutions. Additionally, students will be visiting the indigenous community and understanding their information needs. Locally, we are working with the University of Costa Rica and National University of Costa Rica.

IV. Recent and upcoming trips

i. Susan Schnuer:

1. Sierra Leone and Liberia – INGENAES (Nov): Led through the College of ACES, INGENAES identified the Center to help address the need for local ‘knowledge management’ systems, or institutional repository, as well as helping to lead workshops as part of grant requirement.

2. Zambia (Oct-Nov) – final SILL Gates ‘Train the Trainers’ training workshop, traveling with Rebecca McGuire and Eric Kurt.

3. Moldova (Dec) – follow-up on 2017 Novateca Library Leaders program.

ii. Clara Chu:

1. CLIA (Nov) – Traveling in November to Costa Rica, Colombia, and Peru with CLIA. Travel will also include a conference and discussions around establishing an LIS doctoral program in Central America.

Mortenson Center Initiatives and Communication

V. Libraries for Peace (L4P) http://librariesforpeace.org/

a. Clara Chu updated the group on the activities of the Libraries for Peace Initiative, which aims to be a portal for how libraries can help advance a culture of peace:

i. This coming year, we plan to move forward with our Policy Briefs initiative. We are making progress on University’s administrative steps, and we hope to proceed in spring or fall of 2018. Possible topic area includes intangible cultural heritage or something related to the new Information Management major at iSchool, per Martin Wolske’s recommendation.

ii. We continue to celebrate the International Day of Peace. On the Libraries for Peace website, we link to resources that exist to share amongst libraries, and we have worked with James Whitacre to create a map where anyone can add or view peace day celebrations worldwide.

iii. In 2017, we have focused L4P activities in the Community-Library Inter-Action (CLIA) project, in partnership with Take Part (University of Lincoln, UK). This work has led us to work with groups in the US, Colombia, India, Qatar, Canada, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, and South Africa. We have been working to co-develop an international process/guide for librarians to interact with community members. We plan to finish the guide by end of October and take it back to Colombia.

1. Ellen Moody asked how recent this initiative is, as she did some previous work with the UN Culture of Peace Initiative in El Salvador, where they worked to create community spaces that were also libraries. She offered to share more information about this project.

VI. Minitalks

a. Working with Kate Williams at iSchool on fall series. This activity helps expand and diversify our professional development work, and we have helped to expand the series in different languages.

VII. New websites

a. Launched new website, and working on second iteration. We welcome feedback on the website to ensure we are communicating our work as best we can.

Lecture: Brainstorming
VIII. 2017 Lecture

a. Clara Chu updated the group on the 2017 Annual Lecture with Viet Thanh Nguyen, 14

IX. 2018/Future Lectures

a. As our primary public facing activity, we are looking for ways the Lecture can increase engagement with the Center’s mission as well as the public.

b. Group suggestions:

i. Hosting two speakers that represent different points of view, perhaps a panel or city forum style. This would also help engage a wider, more diverse, audience and perspective.

ii. Hosting a minitalk with students and faculty around the topic, increasing faculty and student engagement/investment.

iii. Hosting a series of readings that students can do leading up to talk, perhaps integrated into curriculum (by faculty) or as a facilitated book club.

iv. Building a program around the Lecture, e.g. REEEC Fall symposium – lectures, exhibit, movie https://reeec.illinois.edu/programming-and-events/1917-2017 fallsymposium/

Closing Comments
Thank you to everyone for their time and ideas. Once we know more about the staff farewell, we will let you
know. Additionally, please always feel free to email or contact us.  Thank you.

Meeting adjourned
Minutes prepared by Emily Kasak.