JASPUL-CILC

UPDATE:2005/07/25
Professional Development for University Librarians and
The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs

Ms. Barbara J. Ford
Director and Distinguished Professor
Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library


Japan Association of Private University Libraries Symposium
Tokai University
14 May 2004



It is a pleasure to be with you here today to talk about professional development and the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs. University libraries in all countries have an exciting and challenging future. We must learn quickly and efficiently to select, implement, and manage new technologies to provide better access to information. Information today is no longer confined to a physical structure such as a library, and learning to provide access to virtual information is critical to the educational mission of universities. At the same time, use of traditional library resources continues to be strong and traditional services must be maintained to support users. One of the important ways to help librariansf transition into an open access and changing information environment is to provide a professional development program that focuses on the new technologies and the skills needed to use them and on how to work productively in an environment of change and challenge. As an introduction to talking about professional development, I thought it would be useful to look at some of the issues and opportunities facing academic libraries. First, I will discuss some issues and opportunities for academic libraries in the U.S.A. and Africa. Then, I will talk about continuing education today for librarians and some of the challenges and programs available. Finally, I will tell you about the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs.


Issues facing Academic Libraries in the U.S.A.


A task force of the American Library Associationfs Association of College and Research Libraries identified the most important issues facing academic libraries. The task force report, authored by W.L. Hisle, was published in College and Research Libraries News in 2002. Librarians at open forums, both online and face to face, contributed to the articulation of issues they believe are most pressing and that must be dealt with effectively to retain the important role of academic libraries in the academy.

1. Recruitment, education, and retention of librarians. The need to find and retain quality leadership is a core issue for the future of academic libraries in the U.S. As retirements increase, fewer librarians are entering the profession as a whole, and fewer librarians are entering the academic library field in particular. Ensuring education of new librarians and reeducating existing librarians with skills and knowledge to support new roles in a digital information age, especially roles involving teaching and library promotion, is a challenge for the profession. Low salaries and the lack of diversity in the profession are other topics that need collective action.

2. Role of library in academic enterprise. Librarians are dedicated to maintaining the importance and relevance of the academic library as a place of intellectual stimulation and a center of activity on campus. Some fear that libraries are becoming marginalized. Librarians believe that it is essential that we emphasize information literacy instruction and the importance of the teaching role of librarians. Since access to information is increasingly decentralized and computer labs now compete with libraries as campus gathering points, librarians must demonstrate to the campus community that the library remains central to academic effort.

3. Impact of information technology on library services. Librarians are aware that an appropriate institutional balance needs to be maintained between traditional library materials and services and those services (which sometimes overlap) represented by instructional and information technology departments. Whether libraries should house campus information commons is one question. Another issue is whether librarians should report through an ginformation czar,h rather than through the traditional academic hierarchy. It is also important, though difficult, to maintain technological currency in the face of decreasing resources, rising costs, and differing views about institutional funding priorities.

4. Creation, control, and preservation of digital resources. Methods to determine what should be digitized, to find resources to do the work, and to develop appropriate bibliographic control mechanisms for digital materials offer complex challenges. In addition, librarians want to ensure that digital materials are preserved appropriately and that permanent access to those materials can be provided.

5. Chaos in scholarly communication. Librarians advocate the need for fair scholarly communication models as copyright laws change or are reinterpreted, and challenges to fair-use in a digital context continue to be made. Traditional library/publisher relationships may change substantially. The consolidation of the information industry under a few large vendors is a substantial threat, as it represents possible homogenization of information and the potential for monopolistic business practices. The rise of the Web as the first choice for student and faculty researchers represents a departure from traditional scholarly research patterns. Overcoming the apparent lack of commitment by the commercial information industry to future access of information will be an ongoing challenge for librarians.

6. Support of new users. Librarians articulate the need to provide appropriate services and resources to new users, whether distance education students or those involved in new teaching and learning methods. The organizational patterns of academic libraries are thought to be a barrier to providing these students with access to instruction and information appropriate to their educational style. Librarians would like to take advantage of student enthusiasm, creativity, and technical skills. At the same time, librarians observe the general and growing lack of literacy among students, along with flexible ethics that tolerate plagiarism and copyright violations and show a general lack of respect for scholarship and research.

7. Higher education funding. Considering the current state of the economy, librarians face the possibility of reductions in funding that could have a deleterious effect on library programs, salaries, and resources. Creative thought and action will be required to compensate for the already low pay of librarians, as well as the rising costs of materials and technology. The question asked is, gHow can libraries provide access to the information students and faculty need when the cost of resources is rising so precipitously?h In addition, librarians must face the challenge of competition from other organizational units during these times of tight resources.


Opportunities for U.S. Academic Libraries

A number of library leaders in the U.S. were informally surveyed about what issues they think are important priorities, critical issues and how they spend their time. The topics they identified provide a brief introduction to some of the opportunities for academic librarians and set the stage for a discussion of professional development needs.

1. Communication. Librarians are finding that much of their job involves persuading people to do things or to think in different ways. Excellent and continuous communication is essential with not only library staff and library users but also with campus administrators, potential donors, and other stakeholders.

2. Library visibility on campus and in the larger environment. We must find ways to promote the values, expertise, and leadership of the profession throughout the campus to ensure appreciation for the roles librarians do and can play. Involvement in higher education associations and other groups making national and state decisions is essential. Working with the commercial information industry to ensure future access to information is an ongoing challenge for librarians.

3. Funding for the Library. University librarians now spend considerable time working on securing funding from the campus, private individuals, foundations and corporations. Stretching the budget and finding new sources of funding take up a considerable amount of time for todayfs academic librarians.

4. Opportunities to improve library services. New technologies and changing service expectations and patterns provide opportunities to change and improve library services. Changing expectations of users means that library approaches must be responsive, flexible, and receptive to new opportunities. Library buildings may need to be modified to better serve users. It is essential to find time to plan for and think about the future.

5. Positive culture for the library workforce. Supporting all library employees so they can do their work, including ensuring that there are sufficient support services and a positive culture, is important in a climate of change. In some cases, the long-term organizational culture may need to be changed to meet new and emerging needs of users and staff. Keeping morale high in difficult financial situations can be a challenge. Providing and supporting professional development and training opportunities for all library employees are essential as positions become more fluid.


Challenges for Academic Libraries in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda

Mortenson Center staff has just returned from visiting university libraries in Ghana (University of Ghana-Legon and University of Education-Winneba), Nigeria (Ahmadu Bello University, Obafemi Owolowo University, and University of Jos), Tanzania (University of Dar es Salaam), and Uganda (Makerere University) that are receiving funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, as part of their revitalization of African universities initiative. Here are some of the challenges facing these libraries.

1. Difficult political settings. A number of the countries have gone through very difficult political times. War and violence have disrupted the countries and their universities.

2. Harsh physical environment. Heat, dust, and humidity make preservation of library materials difficult. Traditional print materials do not age well in these situations and preservation is difficult.

3. Manual library systems. Most of the libraries are in the beginning phases of automation and still have many manual systems that must be converted and changed.

4. Lack of resources for new acquisitions. There is a lack of new resources for acquisition of library materials. The economic situations in the countries and weak currencies make it very difficult to purchase current library materials in print or electronic formats. Many of the new journals are donated or received free of charge. The condition of the book stock is poor with many monographs predating 1990.

5. Poor facilities. The lack of resources and weather create havoc on library facilities. There are not enough seats for students, and most students work from notes and not materials from the libraries. Materials cannot be protected and preserved.

6. Unstable Infrastructures. Unstable infrastructures on the campus make it challenging to deliver services using technology. Electricity is unreliable and even when computers are available, they sometimes cannot be used due to lack of electricity.

7. Unfamiliarity with new technology. There is sometimes an unfamiliarity with new technologies, since they are not available for staff to practice and become proficient users so they can pass their skills on to faculty and students.

8. Security for library materials. Security of library materials is often lacking and because of this, stacks are often closed and materials are not allowed to circulate.

9. Lack of bandwidth for Internet access. Bandwidth is not available at the levels needed to support use of online resources in libraries. Universities pay very high fees for limited bandwidth.


Opportunities for Academic Libraries in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda

At the same time, the academic libraries in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda have a number of opportunities to enhance their services and activities.

1. Foundations. A number of foundations, including the Carnegie Corporation and McArthur Foundation, are investing in African universities and their libraries. Computer and online systems and resources are among the items available from these investments. Some of the funds are also being used for more traditional acquisitions such as new books, security systems and related items.

2. Retrospective conversion. Libraries are beginning to prepare for online catalogs and systems by doing retrospective conversion, bar coding, and other tasks. There is excitement about the possibility of making resources available in online forms.

3. New technologies. New technologies are being implemented as funding allows. Training programs for library staff and library users are being planned and implemented, so that the best use will be made of online resources.

4. Digitization. Digitizing of historic and unique resources is being planned for and beginning in some locations. Librarians understand the importance of making these resources available for broader use. There is also hope that digitization can help with preservation.

5. New construction. New library construction is taking place in some locations. In others, some remodeling is going on to make space more useful and pleasant for staff and users.

6. Internet cafes. Most universities now have Internet cafes, and they are popular sites for students on campus. Many libraries have access to online resources for the use of students and faculty who need them for research purposes.

7. New computer laboratories. New computer labs are being built and planned in many libraries. At the same time, librarians are planning to train users on how best to use online resources, especially those found on the Internet.

8. Back up power systems. Electricity is unreliable in many locations, so backup power systems such as solar panels are being used in a number of locations.


Continuing Education for Librarians Today

The examples from US and African academic libraries illustrate some of the needs for continuing education. Organizational re-design efforts, changing technologies, and demographic changes are some of the major causes for the recent interest in training programs for university librarians. Technology is reshaping the world of learning and scholarly communication, and the skills and knowledge needed to perform jobs in libraries are constantly changing. Libraries must provide leadership for their universities in managing these issues, and teamwork and system-wide and global thinking are required. Adequate training is one way to enhance our ability to cope with rapid change in a global environment. These factors are encouraging many library administrators to focus on preparing the new wave of leaders who will shape the future of academic libraries.

Some of the areas of training needed by academic librarians include:

1. Information and telecommunications technology. Topics include evaluating and using computer hardware and software, understanding computer and information concepts, understanding systems analysis, planning and implementing digitization projects, and accessing information via the Internet.
2. Project Management. Todayfs librarians are dealing with implementing new technologies and services. Knowing how to manage and plan projects is essential in the current environment.
3. Advocacy and Marketing. Librarians must be able to advocate for their libraries and market them on the campus and in other areas where needed. Not everyone understands the value of libraries and the strategic value of information for education and research. Librarians must market information not only to the university communities but also to government policymakers and to funders.
4. Communication. Librarians and libraries are basically communicators of information. Verbal, non-verbal, and interpersonal communication skills are important for all library staff. Librarians must be able to express themselves clearly, communicate with users, and listen carefully.
5. Outreach to varied communities. New tools provide new opportunities to bring additional users into the libraries. Virtual services can reach offsite users and others in new ways. Information literacy is a skill needed by all library users, and librarians must work with faculty and administrators to be certain this is part of the curriculum for all students.
6. Teamwork skills. All libraries today require teamwork from their staff to move ahead in times of challenge and change. By working effectively together, excellent programs and approaches to opportunities can be developed.
7. Change management. Institutions of higher education are undergoing major change, and librarians working in these settings must become adept at managing change. Leadership skills are essential to manage personnel and libraries in the current environment.

As one searches the web, one finds that many universities have developed their own staff development training programs both for the entire university and just for library staff. There are also regional groups of all types of libraries or of academic libraries, who have come together to develop joint training programs. Many professional library associations also offer continuing education, training, and leadership programs.

Many of the training programs are supported by research, the development of resource materials for participants, and an approach built on an understanding that adults learn best by experiencing and then reflecting on that experience in a non-threatening, supportive environment. Key leadership and management theories, concepts, methodologies, and techniques are explored, developed, and practiced in many of these programs. Programs focus on the issues and developments most critical to those who currently, or will soon be expected to, play significant leadership roles in their organizations. The curriculums are designed and facilitated by experts in the library, higher education, and information technology arenas.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section works to encourage and develop continuing education programs for information and library personnel and to provide a focal point for relevant activities. New trends in information sources, technology, users' needs and management of libraries and information services emphasize the requirement for continuing education and retraining. The Section brings together those interested in and/or responsible for providing delivery systems for continuing education. http://www.ifla.org/VII/s43/scpdwl.htm

Here are some sample professional development programs for academic librarians to provide a little background on the variety of programs that are available.

The Association of College and Research Libraries is a division of the American Library Association that offers a number of training programs. The Harvard Leadership Institute focuses on how to stimulate change in organizations. The primary means of presenting higher education issues is through the classic Harvard case method. Participants read, reflect upon, and address a set of questions within the context of a real life case study. There are some international attendees and before the IFLA conference in Boston in 2001, a special institute was held for international participants. http://www.ala.org/acrl

The Association of Research Libraries in North America offers Library Leadership for New Managers which is designed for emerging library leaders who have little or no formal management experience. The program builds upon the OLMS tradition of training and facilitation, creating a learning space in which new professionals from many institutions can network, exchange ideas, and gain competencies to help them throughout their careers. The program offers three different but related learning opportunities: an in-person Leadership Institute, a web-based course, and a facilitated project. http://www.arl.org

The Frye Leadership Institute attempts to develop creative leaders to guide and transform academic information services for higher education. The Institute is an intensive, two-week residential program held at Emory University. Through presentations by recognized leaders in higher education and society, seminars, and group projects, the Institute offers participants the opportunity to explore and analyze the leadership challenges stemming from the changing context and complexity of higher education, with special attention to the implications of the growing power of information technology to transform the means of research, teaching, and scholarly communication. The Institute is sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources, EDUCAUSE, and Emory University. http://www.fryeinstitute.org

The UCLA Senior Fellows Program, which originated at UCLA in 1982, is designed for leaders in academic and research libraries. Senior-level academic librarians, who are interested in an executive management level course on policy and leadership conducted by leading experts, are encouraged to apply. The Program is highly selective and limited to 15 Fellows per year. The program was first established with support of the Council on Library Resources, UCLA, and the institutions represented by the participating fellows.? Over 165 academic library leaders have participated in the program. http://is.gseis.ucla.edu/seniorfellows/

The Academic and National Library Training Co-operative is an Irish based training organization. The aim is to identify training needs within the academic and national libraries which form the basis of an ongoing cooperative training and development program. This training will supplement each institutionfs own program and, through joint group consultation, will aim to offer a wide range of training opportunities to relevant groups of libraries and library staff at a reasonable cost.?This program has been expanded and developed based on feedback received on previous courses, and consultation with librarians. http://www.anltc.ie/

Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute at the University of Alberta in Canada works to contribute to the vitality, growth, and success of the library profession well into the 21st century, by positioning professionals to be proactive, effective, and consequential voices in a dynamic and sophisticated information environment. The Institute provides a unique opportunity for professional librarians to share with peers and mentors a five day experiential and theoretical learning situation in Canada. Participants explore and experiment with such leadership concepts as vision, risk taking, creativity, change, communication, power, and styles of leadership. This is all to be done within a context of self-exploration, evaluation, and development. @@http://www.ls.ualberta.ca/neli/instit.html


The Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) located in London promotes excellence in library services in higher education and national libraries across the United Kingdom and Ireland. SCONULfs web page provides useful staff development links. SCONUL offers a monetary award to help develop ideas for staff development. The award will support a development event, an exchange or visit to other libraries, publication or research, or a new staffing initiative.@ @http://www.sconul.ac.uk/activities/staffing/links.html
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Each of these professional development and leadership programs offers a different and unique approach. Many of the programs are aimed primarily at librarians in a particular country or region. All of the programs aim to create a climate to help facilitate the learning process. Some of the characteristics of effective adult learning programs to be considered, as one evaluates programs, are indicated below.

1. Voluntary participation. Participation in these learning opportunities generally is voluntary and often sought after.
2. Learners involved in objectives and assessment. Learners should be involved, as much as possible, in the needs assessment and formulation of training and staff development objectives.
3. Climate of mutual respect. A climate of mutual respect lays the groundwork for a situation where new ideas can be freely debated and discussed.
4. Sense of shared responsibility. For learners to be able to take advantage of the personal experiences of others, there must be a sense of shared responsibility for the quality of the common learning experience.
5. Personal discovery. For adults to acquire and fully integrate desired knowledge or skills, the learning process must involve personal discovery and the opportunity to compare ideas with an understanding of how things work.
6. Opportunities for discussion and practice. Effective training programs provide opportunities for both discussion and practice.
7. Open and accepting environment. An open and accepting environment is essential.
8. Mentoring. Mentoring helps most of us learn, and having a mentor is an excellent way to test assumptions and continue to grow and learn.
9. Continuous learning. Programs are developed to help the participants learn and remain enthusiastic and interested in the learning process after the program is over.

Adults learn best through experience, observation and reflection, generalization and conceptualization, and experimentation and integration. The learner must bring energy, enthusiasm, and a lifetime of experience to the learning process. The continuing education program provides content and structure to enable the learner to acquire new knowledge and skills. Learning in a setting with colleagues from different geographic settings and cultural backgrounds provides an extra dimension that seems particularly appropriate in the 21st century. The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs provides this dimension, while developing its international programs on the basis of what is known about how adults learn and the areas of training needed by academic librarians.


The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs is located in the cities of Champaign and Urbana with a combined population of 100,000, approximately 140 miles south of Chicago. The University and its surrounding communities offer a diverse cultural and recreational environment in the middle of typical Midwestern American farm land with corn and soybean fields. We have four seasons in Illinois.

The University of Illinois is a comprehensive, major public university rated among the best in the world. It provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study. The University has more than 80 centers, laboratories, and institutes that perform research for government agencies, industry, and campus units. It provides public service to the state and the nation. The University has 38,000 students, 10,000 faculty, professionals, and staff. The 2003 budget was 1.224 billion dollars. The University was the first to provide students with disabilities access to all university services, curricula and facilities. We are home to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and developer of the hypermedia browser Mosaic. There are over 47,000 network connections for students, faculty, and staff and 3,000 computer workstations available for student use. The Illini Union is the student union with rooms for visits, restaurants, and recreational facilities. The Morrow Plots are the oldest experimental agricultural plots in the country, and the undergraduate library, which is next to the plots, is built underground so the shadow of the building will not shade the agricultural plots.

The University of Illinois Library was founded in 1867 with 1,039 volumes. It is recognized as a premier institution and has strengths ranging from the sciences to the humanities. It houses the largest public university collection in the world with more than 22 million items, 10 million volumes, 13 million print and non-print materials, and over 90,000 periodicals and journals. There are 42 departmental libraries with one large library for undergraduate students. The online catalog is accessed more than one million times weekly from all over the world. There are 288 electronic article indexes and abstracts, some full text. E-reserves are available for course materials, and there are numerous digital projects. The Library belongs to at least 10 library resource sharing networks and has a budget of $29.5 million. There are over 500 librarians and staff. There are 250 public computer terminals and 500 staff terminals. The Library is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations along with other international groups. The Grainger Engineering Library is one of our newest library buildings and has a variety of spaces for students to study.

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science is a great resource and is recognized as a premier institution, frequently ranked number one and consistently among the top three U.S. library and information science schools. Mortenson Center Associates are able to take advantage of the library school and its faculty and resources.

Founded in 1991 with two generous gifts from the Mortenson family, the Mortenson Center for International Library programs seeks to strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians worldwide for the promotion of international peace, education, and understanding. The goal of the Mortenson Center, as Walter Mortenson put it so eloquently, is to gpromote international education, understanding and peace.h Since its inception, more than 600 librarians from 85 countries have participated in the Mortenson Center programs. The Center provides a variety of programs designed to meet many different professional development needs with colleagues from a variety of settings around the world. The Center is the only one of its kind in the world.

The Mortenson Center has welcomed librarians from more than 85 countries in all parts of the world. The Center welcomes librarians and information specialists from all kinds of libraries and information centers including: public and youth libraries, school libraries, library and information science schools, government libraries, academic and research libraries, corporate libraries, national libraries, medical libraries, agricultural libraries, law libraries, and archives among others. While some of the training programs are directed at a particular type of library and part of the world, many of them include a wide range of participants. The Center is well located for running a residential program as part of a large and great university with a presence in practically every imaginable discipline, conveniently located on one large campus.

The Mortenson Center receives funding from a variety of sources. The University of Illinois, U.S. government agencies, individuals, foundations, and endowment all help us do our work. We offer a number of programs at the Center including: the Associates Program, a unique individualized non-degree program; the visitors program which includes seminars, tours and discussions; the partnership program focusing on the unique needs of a country or region; and the lecture series promoting international understanding. The distinguished lecture series is held each fall and, in recent years, we have focused on information literacy and intellectual freedom and civil societies.


The Associates Program is a unique, individualized, non-degree program which offers an opportunity for librarians and information specialists to learn first-hand the workings of U.S. libraries and to share their experience with other Mortenson Associates from around the world. The Mortenson Center offers this unique, individualized, non-degree program for librarians who are able to come to the University of Illinois for extended stays. The purpose of the program is to expose the participants first-hand to the workings of U.S. libraries and to give them the time and resources to develop new strategies for their libraries back home while sharing their experiences with others. This past fall participants were from countries around the world including: Colombia, India, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia, and South Africa.

At the Mortenson Center, we introduce visiting librarians to life in the middle of America. We show them a major academic institution. They spend time at the Lincoln Trail Libraries System, the local library consortium that includes the giant University of Illinois along with tiny public libraries. They visit the Illinois State Library in Springfield and a variety of libraries in Chicago. Visits to the American Library Association in Chicago, where staff prepare programs for the group, provide a broader context on issues in libraries in the U.S. We often take them to a nearby farm, where they learn how this sector of our society lives and works and how its information needs are met.

All training programs at the Center focus on best practices and exposure to a number of experts and work settings. By bringing participants to the University of Illinois, we allow them time to focus on training, the opportunity to use technology labs and resources, exposure to a large and important university library and its staff, structured time to interact with a wide range of librarians and other specialists from around the state, and the opportunity to visit a variety of sites and observe first-hand activities in a number of libraries. It would be impossible to provide this kind of broad exposure to a number of libraries and experts, if the training were not done in the United States.


Typical Mortenson Center Program Elements

During their time at the Mortenson Center, academic librarians generally join their international colleagues from a variety of countries and types of libraries in a structured program. Responding to the training needs identified above (technology, project management, advocacy and marketing, communication, outreach, teamwork, and managing change), we develop programs keeping in mind the characteristics of effective adult learning programs. The Mortenson Center provides a comprehensive program that includes the following elements:

Presentations and Tours: Mortenson librarians hear presentations from a wide range of staff from libraries and organizations affiliated with libraries. We tour school, public, academic, and special libraries. Special libraries such as those at the Chicago Tribune, a major newspaper, are often included in the tour. In addition, we meet with library consortium organizations, book distributors, and other relevant groups.

Information and Telecommunications Technologies: We offer a general course on new technologies. We work to assess the skills of each visitor and, depending on their abilities and interests, we will also provide web design and database development training. Recently, some of our visitors have requested training in understanding the technology for digital libraries. Things like the Virtual Reality Cave on the engineering campus, which is an experimental laboratory where faculty members from across the disciplines can use advanced technology to present information and ideas in unique and interactive ways, add to the program.

Visits and Presentations: During the program, we generally travel to Chicago and Springfield, the state capital. In Chicago, the group will visit the Chicago Public Library and the American Library Association. In Springfield, we work with our partner, the Illinois State Library, to offer a program of tours and seminars about the role of the State Library. We always include a couple of Lincoln historical sites, much to the delight of our visitors. During these visits, Mortenson associates develop their communication skills by interacting with a wide range of librarians and staff.

Host Site Visits: We arrange for our visitors to spend 2-3 days in a host library in Illinois. We place the visitor in a library that is similar to their home institution. The Mortenson visitor then has a chance to spend one-on-one time with a librarian and ask in-depth questions about the management of the library. In these settings, Mortenson associates learn about outreach to communities and see examples of how users can be provided with library services.

Seminars: The participants attend a weekly schedule of seminars on topics that include, but are not limited to: introduction to American libraries, library management, library leadership, managing information technology in libraries, library development, fundraising, promotion, marketing, advocacy, issues of access to information, services to disabled, youth and seniors, library programming, technical services.

Conferences: We attend and participate in the Illinois Library Association conference in October. For Mortenson visitors, this is an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues from the state of Illinois, to visit exhibits in order to view the latest in technology, and to participate in a seminar where they will be able to talk about libraries in their countries.

Training-the-trainers: An important component of the Mortenson program is the training-the-trainers module. We expect that visitors who complete our program will be able to return home and share their knowledge with their colleagues. We spend a lot of time working with the Associates on their presentation techniques, and everyone must develop a presentation during their stay at the Mortenson Center. Most libraries around the world are undergoing major changes, and all librarians must learn to manage change and help staff handle change with training.

Mortenson Friends and Mentors: All Mortenson visitors are paired with an U.S. librarian. We ask the U.S. librarians to spend informal time with the visitors to discuss their work and to involve them in interesting professional activities. We find, in most cases, that the two librarians develop a good friendship and participate in social activities together.

Group projects: Mortenson visitors are asked to work on many projects. Through these activities, they learn about project management and working in teams. They may be asked to write an Internet policy for computers in a childrenfs department or to develop a flyer promoting a new library program. Our visitors work together in groups on the projects, and this is a wonderful opportunity to discuss common library issues. We find that the bonds that develop between a group of visitors at the Mortenson Center remain strong after they return home as they continue to communicate in order to discuss issues in their libraries.


During the training, we often split into groups to help each individual develop skills in a more focused area. So, for example, a systems person might spend more time on learning how to operate a network and a librarian might focus on managing new technology in the library. Depending on the level of expertise of each participant, we may not be able to cover all topics. It is our goal to help individuals develop new skills during their stay with us and to send them back better prepared to meet the challenges in their own institutions.

We always use a combination of training strategies to present the content of the program. Seminars, workshops, hands-on demonstrations, computer lab exercises, tours, professional development meetings, training-the-trainer sessions, and on-site training at academic libraries in Illinois are all part of the program. Cultural activities are also part of the Mortenson Associates Program. We often visit an American farm or museums. Social activities allow the Associates to meet other librarians in the area. Each Mortenson Center program ends with a graduation ceremony, where Associates are given a certificate and recognized for their participation in the program.


Some Examples of Mortenson Programs

The Visitors Program is a more abbreviated program generally directed at a specific group. The Mortenson Center welcomes short-term visits (generally one to two weeks) to the University of Illinois from librarians and those engaged in library-related activities internationally. The Center works with visitors to design a program that fits their needs. Short term visitors in the last year arrived from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Ecuador, Germany, Honduras, Russia, and Ukraine.

The partnership program focuses on the unique needs of a country or region and is designed to assist other countries and regions in developing self-sustaning centers for continuing education. With our partners, we create programs so librarians from other countries can meet their professional development goals.

The partnership with the South African library community is a good example of the work of the Mortenson Center. Staff visited South Africa to find out if there was a need for continuing education programs for library professionals, and if the Mortenson Center was the best organization to help develop such a program. A group of South African librarians met and decided that they wanted to work with the Mortenson Center and appointed the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) as the coordinating agency for the project. The group identified the greatest need as leadership training for middle- and senior-level library managers. Two groups of South African library leaders have been trained at the Mortenson Center and returned to South Africa to become active leaders in LIASA and their libraries. Several academic librarians were included in this training and have found the program very useful when they returned to their academic libraries in South Africa. We have just received funding from the Mellon Foundation to bring a third group of librarians to the Mortenson Center for Training.

Another example of our work is illustrated by a project completed in the spring of 2003. The Center was invited to develop a two-week educational program for librarians, information technologists, and university administrators from Siberia. After discussions with the funding agency, a program was developed and the participants worked with interpreters at the Center and learned a great deal about how to manage, develop, and expand technology in the university setting. Field trips and site visits were an important part of the program. The funding agency and participants were very pleased with all they observed and learned during the program

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign, funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, visited seven universities and their libraries in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, as part of the Carnegie Corporation's focus on The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa. The Partnership supports innovative programs that are revitalizing the universities and their libraries and equipping the universities to educate future country leaders and administrators. While everyone recognizes the potential impact of strong universities and robust libraries on the growth of nations, it also is obvious that librarians need additional professional development to enable them to manage and implement sustainable changes. Staff from the Mortenson Center visited the seven Carnegie grantees to assess the capabilities of their libraries. The review focuses on user access to information and assesses the resources of the libraries in areas such as technical infrastructure, delivery of services, ease of access to and strength of collections and databases, staff development training, bibliographic instruction for users, understanding of international standards, and related services. New technologies and their role in libraries are part of the assessment. This assessment will serve as the first step in evaluating the need for a professional development program for grantees.

In December 2003, we conducted our third international leadership training program. Working with the Center for Professional Development of Librarians in Central America at the University of Costa Rica, we presented an International Leadership Institute in San Jose, Costa Rica for library leaders. Experts addressed the context in which libraries must operate and then leadership, negotiation, empowerment and the role of library associations were discussed. With participants from several countries, there was a rich interchange. The Council on Library and Information Resources provided some support for the program. In May 2004, we will have a fourth leadership training program in Guatemala.

From the Council on Library and Information Resources, we received funds to support an internship aimed at helping other North American libraries develop Mortenson-like international activities. An intern from the University of Toronto worked with us and spent time at the Mortenson Center. The intern developed and delivered workshops and other components of leadership training; assisted with the evaluation of the program; served as a resource person and mentor for visiting librarians; worked with Mortenson staff to assess activities; submitted a reflective report about the experience. The intern went with us to South Africa, where we met with participants in the program. We are continuing to work with the University of Toronto to develop collaborative international activities.

The Overseas Assignment Agreement with the Committee for International Library Cooperation of the Japan Association of Private University Libraries is another excellent example of a cooperative program. Last year, we had the first librarian sponsored by the Japan Association at the Mortenson Center as part of the fall Associates program. Next year we are very pleased that the second librarian sponsored by the Japan Association of Private University Libraries will join us.


Uniqueness of the Mortenson Center Program

Programs at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs generally include librarians from a number of countries and types of libraries and the opportunity to network with one another, so participants can use each other as resources when returning home. Discussing and learning with colleagues from a wide range of geographical settings greatly enriches the professional development experience. A climate of mutual respect and shared responsibility with opportunities for mentoring, discussion, practice and personal discovery provides a strong foundation for continuous learning.

The opportunity to read, listen, observe, and talk with other Mortenson Associates and with University of Illinois library staff is especially valuable. The combination of lectures, tours, and hands-on projects is all conducted informally and with lots of discussion. Participants come to know one another well and feel comfortable speaking about issues. Participants have time to do their own reading and research, using the excellent library at the University of Illinois. They can create their own materials to use when they return to their libraries, and Mortenson Center staff is available to help and advise with any project.

Mortenson Center programs are designed specifically for the group of Mortenson Associates and vary based on group composition and interests. There is time for individual work with Mortenson Associates on particular issues or projects. Professional values such as access, intellectual freedom, and advocacy are at the core of the Mortenson program. The issues, that unite us as librarians around the world, are discussed in both theoretical and practical ways.

Visits to a number of libraries and interactions with a wide range of librarians greatly enrich the program. The variety of backgrounds and contexts makes for rich and diverse interactions. Mortenson Center programs offer exposure to issues in a global context. Thinking beyond onefs own culture and country can lead to innovative ideas. Solutions developed in one part of the world can be adapted for use in other places. Global contexts can lead to global solutions that help libraries move into the future in inventive ways. Librarians at the University of Illinois and around the state of Illinois have learned a great deal from sharing their experiences and interacting with international librarians at the Mortenson Center. You can learn more about the Mortenson Center at http://www.library.uiuc.edu/mortenson

Only with strong, well educated staffs can academic libraries be effective partners in higher education. We thank JASPUL for your support of the Mortenson Center. Michayo Takao from Seijo University Library, who spent last fall with us, was a wonderful addition to our program. We look forward to welcoming Takanori Umezawa of Chuo University in September and to many years of collaboration with JASPUL
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