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Veracruzana University librarian to give Mortenson Distinguished Lecture

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Jesus Lau, a prolific author and internationally recognized library and information science scholar, will give the Mortenson Distinguished Lecture for 2003 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His talk on “Information Competencies: A Bridge to Narrow North-South Knowledge Gaps” will begin at 4 p.m. on Sept. 23 (Tuesday) in Room 126 of the Library and Information Sciences building, 501 W. Daniel St., Champaign. The talk and a reception that will follow it are free and open to the public.

Currently University Librarian at the Veracruzana University at Veracruz, Mexico, and coordinator of its Virtual Library Project, Lau previously served as library director, dean of academic affairs and dean of information services and accreditation at Juarez University in Mexico, and before that as library director at the Technological Institute of Durango, also in Mexico.

Lau is the author of four books and more than 100 articles and conference papers, and editor of nine books. He received the National Researcher Award in Mexico four times, and the Librarian of the Year Award of the Border Regional Library Association of Texas in 1997.

Lau is a member of the board of directors of the Special Libraries Association, chairman of the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) Advisory Committee on College and University Libraries, chairman of the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) Information Literacy Section, member of the board of the Trejo-Foster Foundation for Hispanic Library Education and chairman of the Mexican Library Association’s International Relations Committee.

Lau received his doctorate in information studies from the University of Sheffield in England, a master’s degree in library science from the University of Denver and a law degree from the University of Sinaloa in Mexico.

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs was established at Illinois in 1991 to expand the activities of the Mortenson Distinguished Professorship, which began in 1986. The center and the professorship seek to strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians, regardless of geographic location or access to technology.

More than 500 librarians from 76 countries have already taken advantage of programming through the Mortenson Center, which remains the only one of its kind in the world, according to Barbara Ford, director of the Mortenson Center and Mortenson Distinguished Professor.