IASC21 – 2016 Workshop

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


In the fall of 2012 Columbia, Duke and Yale Universities sponsored a workshop in New Haven, CT, which for the first time brought together librarians and mid-level administrators responsible for the oversight and coordination of area studies collections and staff at their respective home universities.  Dubbed “International and Area Studies Collections in the 21st Century” (IASC21), the new group began to cooperatively identify and address mutual concerns such as training, recruitment, digital content and finances. A year later in 2013, and after enlisting more participants, the group came together again (attendance was both physical and virtual) in Bloomington, IN to continue identifying shared needs and objectives, including those related to communication.  A third and fourth meeting in Austin in 2014 and 2015 allowed the group to continue to coalesce, grow and challenge.

Other highly-publicized discussions about the state of area studies in the academy and in libraries have taken place recently–most notably the Duke Forum on “Global Dimensions of Scholarship” and two conferences (one in 2013 and one in 2014) related to changes within and challenges to Title VI–discussions geared towards and engaged in by high-level administrators (notably library and/or National Resource Center directors).  However, in practice it is the individuals within the IASC21 group that both provide the context and content for those discussions and ultimately IASC21 will be the group that actually scrutinizes and implements any changes resulting from those discussions.  As such, the IASC21 group is essential to the successful realization of the current transformations we hope to engender in area studies librarianship.


This year in 2016, the fifth meeting of the IASC21 will be hosted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by the Center for Global Studies and International and Area Studies Library on October 13th and 14th. The workshop will incorporate three sessions, focusing on:

  • Outreach and Engagement – Activities to connect students, faculty, and the community with collections and services; support for undergraduate research; course integration; community events; social networking
  • Field Work – Acquisitions trips; developing networks and partnerships abroad
  • Organizational Models for International and Area Studies – hybrid organizational structures; shared positions; special collections; and other initiatives that bring area studies together

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