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Mortenson Center for International Library Programs: Programs and Grants

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs seeks to strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians worldwide for the promotion of international education, understanding, and peace.


In the last 19 years, the Mortenson Center has raised more than $2.4 in grants from multiple foundations which have allowed the staff to travel all over the world to work with librarians in different types of libraries and settings. 

  • Central America: In 1997, the Center received funding to work with librarians in four countries in Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. The Staff Provided professional development training for librarians locally and also trained trainers from the region to deliver sessions on trends and best practices in libraries. 
  • South Africa: In 2001, the Center and the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) established the South African Library Leadership Project (SALLP). The goal of this project was to develop leadership qualities in current and future managers of academic, public/community, and national library services in South Africa and to provide training to refine communications and advocacy skills, highlight current best practices in management of library services, and to learn about change management and organizational structures.
  • East and West Africa: In 2005 and 2006, the Center received grants from the MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York to work with 10 libraries in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. The goal of the project was to provide researchers and students with better access to information with the help of new technologies.
  • Namibia, Myanmar, and Armenia: In 2014, the Center received funding to implement the Strengthening Innovative Library Leaders (SILL) project. Over the course of three years, Mortenson staff are designing a set of leadership materials for public and community libraries. The training is being pilot tested in Namibia, Myanmar, and Armenuia, as well as India, Nepal, and Bhutan. The final product will be freely available to librarians around the world in 2017.


Country Title of Program Dates

Latvia and Romania

Leaders and Innovators Training Program


Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda

Developing Automated Libraries - Phase II: A Professional Development and Technical Assistance Program for Carnegie Libraries in East and West Africa



Addressing the Information Needs of Nigerian Researchers, Scholars and Students: A Planning and Training Program for MacArthur Grantee University Libraries - Phase II


Think Globally, Act Globally: China-US librarian Collaboration



Addressing the Information Needs of Nigerian Researchers, Scholars, and Students: A Planning and Training Program for MacArthur Grantee University Libraries


East and West Africa

Developing an Automated and Dynamic Library Environment: A Planning, Training, and Implementation Program for Carnegie Grantee University Libraries


United States

Thinking Outside the Borders: Library Leadership in a World Community



Needs Assessment: Review of MacArthur Library Grantees' Needs in Nigeria


Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda 

Needs Assessment: Review of the Carnegie Library Grantees' Needs in Africa



Library and Information Science Education and Library Development in Georgia



Professional Development for Carnegie Grantees in Kenya



University Librarian Training: Education Innovation Project



Russia Small Towns Project



Professional Development Program for Haitian Librarians