- Leadership and Innovators Training Program for Latvian and Romanian Public Librarians at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
- Library Trends
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 63, Number 4, Spring 2015
- pp. 629-646
- View Citation
- Additional Information
From 2009 to 2012, the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs (MC) at the University of Illinois Library implemented the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries (GL) Leaders and Innovators Training Program. The purpose of the program was to have a team of library leaders and innovators in Latvia and Romania committed to designing and creating a stronger public library environment. The GL grantees, 3TD, and Biblionet worked with the MC team to administer and support the program. The program included planning visits and agreements, training at the MC, attendance at a U.S. library association conference, development and implementation of group projects, and follow-up visits and training. Twelve Latvian librarians and fifteen Romanian librarians participated in the program. The training was unique for each country group based on the needs identified in the initial visits and discussions with the GL grantees. Each country group was divided into three teams of four to five members. The teams had to develop an idea for a library project, write a proposal, and then implement the project. After submitting a successful proposal, the teams received a small grant. The result was a cohort of enthusiastic and engaged library leaders who implemented group projects that were positively received in their respective communities and by library colleagues around the country. All the librarians reported gains in their skills and knowledge in several topics. New library services were implemented, including working closely with local government, making more active use of technology, reaching out to seniors, and creating spaces for children and teens.