Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Robert He
Librarians from around the world gathered in the Booth Library in Eastern Illinois University on June 18 to learn new skills they can take back home.
Representatives from countries such as Colombia, Japan, Pakistan, Korea, Bulgaria, Kenya, Kyrgz Republic and Brazil attended the event.
The event is just one part of the Summer 2013 Associates Program, sponsored by the Mortenson Center based out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Mortenson Center is “a center that provides professional development training for libraries around the world,” said Susan Schnuer, a spokesperson for the center.
According to Stacey Knight-Davis, a reference librarian at the Booth Library, the program is annual but representatives from the same countries do not attend all the time.
It depends on the sponsors of the program, but visiting librarians, called associates, usually come from the same regions.
The Associates Program, lasting from May 30-June 25, includes “tours to a variety of libraries, including academic, public, and school libraries,” according to the Mortenson Center page on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign website.
The associates come over to learn about libraries in the United States to see if they can bring anything back home. Booth library is just one of the man stops in the United States that the associates will be making.
The program’s goals are to help the associates, “gain a better understanding of libraries in the United States,” “gain insight into personal leadership and communication styles,” and “obtain knowledge about new library technologies,” among others.
Participants in the program will learn skills in “leadership, communication and management,” “information technology,” “digital and print collections,” and more, according to the Mortenson Center page on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign website.
Thirteen librarians were registered to attend the session at Booth Library, but two were absent. The eleven associates who did go on the tour were led by Allen Lanham, who is in charge of library services at Booth Library, and Bradley P. Tolppanen, who is in charge of circulation services.