IASC21 – 2016 Workshop

International and Area Studies Collections in the 21st century (IASC21)
2016 Workshop
October 13th & 14th.

Sponsored by the University of Illinois Library, Center for Global Studies, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, and U.S. Department of Education, Title VI NRC Program

October 13th

8:30 – 9:00 

Breakfast, 106 Main Library

9:00 – 9:15


9:15 – 12:30, 106 Library

Collections at Work: Forming global citizens through outreach and engagement

Led by: José Díaz, Elizabeth “Beth” Black, Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros, and Amy Hwang

Abstract: This session will describe a series of initiatives, activities, and programs aimed at supporting The Ohio State University’s call for more global dimensions to scholarship. The panel will feature librarians from the William Oxley Thompson Libraries’ Area Studies and Research and Education Departments. They will describe their efforts to support undergraduate research and teaching, enhance community engagement, and expose students and faculty to the Libraries’ extensive and deep international collections.

12:30  – 1:30

Lunch: Main Library 323C

1:30 – 2:00 

Tour of International and Area Studies Library

2:15 – 4:30

Keeping the “Area” in Area Studies: All about International Acquisitions Trips, 106 Library

Led by: Mary Rader and Mara Thacker

Abstract: Overseas buying trips have long been recognized as an invaluable tool to build unique area studies collections. Less acknowledged but certainly no less valuable is the set of activities that accompany acquisitions trips—the professional networking, continuing education and institutional positioning that can happen while an area studies librarian is “in the field.”  Despite the importance and benefits foreign travel—even in the seemingly ubiquitous internet age–institutional support for this type of activity varies and there have been mixed  opinions about the extent to which the outcomes are worth the cost.  In the debates, questions about priorities abound: how many individual titles need to be procured and at what cost-savings?  How to respect cultural patrimony when seeking unique and rare special collections?  If no tangible acquisitions result from the trip, how can we justify the investment?  What kinds of institutional partnerships are possible and of interest to a parent institution?  How can we explore prospects for open access collaborations in an international context?  How can we measure the professional “learning” and “engagement” that takes place in such trips?

This three-part session is all about overseas trips and addresses this controversy head on. In the first part, we will discuss how we might collectively define and describe what constitutes an overseas trip. This discussion will result in a group statement on the value of overseas trips for area studies librarianship. In the next part, we will discuss strategies for requesting funding to implement an overseas trip program and present a case study of one institutions’ recently implemented pilot program. Finally, we will discuss ways to assess the impact of these trips exploring traditional and alternative methods of assessment and generating a list of assessment tools that participants can implement at their own institutions.

6:30 PM – Dinner at Golden Harbor Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Visit our logistics page for suggested transportation to the restaurant.

Hosted by the Center for Global Studies, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, and International and Area Studies Library

October 14th

8:30 – 9:00

Breakfast, 106 Library

9:00 – 11:30

Organizing the Work of International & Area Studies Collections in the age of “Distinctive Collections”

Led by: Ellen Hammond (panel organizer), Lisa Carter, Martha Conway, and Nerea A. Llamas

Abstract: This panel will explore the nexus between international and area studies collections and special collections, a topic that has already generated considerable interest in the special collections world.  In the past few years, it has become increasingly common to group these two library units together organizationally as “distinctive collections.”  This approach has been explored in depth in a 2015 article by Lisa R. Carter (Ohio State) and Beth M. Whittaker (University of Kansas), whose institutions have helped pioneer this innovation.

At the same time, some are arguing that distinctiveness should position areas studies collections somewhere between “general” and “special,” suggesting that library materials be placed on a conceptual continuum as a way to organize library processes.  And, looking beyond the nature of the collections themselves, some libraries are foregoing any type of reorganization by experimenting with new personnel collaborations in an effort to integrate area collections expertise into the work of special collections.  This is the approach at the University of Michigan Library, where some area studies librarians are “embedded” in special collections.

11:30 – 12:00


12:00 – 1:00

Lunch On Your Own

1:00 – 2:30

The International and Area Studies Library
and the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs present:

Chai Wai Series: International Perspectives on Censorship, Alice Campbell Alumni Center

Panel Led By:
Barbara Jones, Former Director of ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (Moderator)
Marianna Tax Choldin, Founding Director of Mortenson Center; Author of Garden of Broken Statues: Exploring Censorship in Russia (2016)
Ann Morgan, Author of The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe (2015)

Abstract: Chai Wai (Hindi for “tea or something like that”) is a regular event series put on by the International and Area Studies (IAS) Library(see for example: Inspired by the cultural salons of the past, Chai Wai events bring together an interdisciplinary panel of experts to host an “enlightened conversation on important global issues.” Audience participation is highly encouraged. This event is co-sponsored by the International and Area Studies Library and Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, and follows the International and Area Studies Collections in the 21st century (IASC21) 2016 Workshop (October 13th & 14th)

This special Chai Wai event brings together experts in the area of literature in translation, censorship, intellectual freedom, and more to have a rousing, interactive discussion on censorship from an international perspective. In addition to participating in the conversation, we will invite attendees to recommend their favorite international banned books on our “Banned Book Exchange Wall”. Virtual attendees can tweet their #bannedbooks suggestions to @MortensonCenter. We will share a master list on the Mortenson Center and International and Area Studies Library Facebook pages following the event.  For livestreaming information, please see:



Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
25th Anniversary Reception and 2016 Distinguished Lecture
Alice Campbell Alumni Center

Reading the globe: exploring the world’s literatures, discovering ourselves, 4:00 pm
Distinguished Lecturer: Ann Morgan, UK-based writer and editor

****View the live stream of the lecture at: ****


In 2012, British writer Ann Morgan set herself the challenge of reading a book from every country on Earth in one calendar year. The blog-based quest – recorded at – drew the support of readers, authors and translators around the planet, and has inspired numerous reading ventures.

Morgan’s lecture draws on her experiences during the project, her research for her book The World Between Two Covers and ongoing interactions with the international literature community. It considers some of the barriers to reading widely and the rewards that come from surmounting them.

The writer reveals her approaches to curating reading lists, discovering unfamiliar writers, reading in translation, and encountering texts that force us outside our cultural comfort zones. She also sets out the transformative effect of exploring stories that challenge, problematize and even re-write the dominant narratives of Western society, and the role that sharing stories internationally can play in enriching lives and promoting peace.

In so doing, Morgan highlights what individual booklovers, literary organisations and libraries can do to champion and increase the international circulation of literature, and shows the extraordinary benefits that can come from a curious and concerted effort to read the world.

Speaker Bios
Suggested Background Readings

Sponsored by:

The University of Illinois Library

Center for Global Studies

Mortenson Center for International Library Programs

U.S. Department of Education, Title VI NRC Program