Monday, 15 November 2010

Travelling Librarian: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana (total population 180,000) in east-central Illinois. It is situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 125 miles west of Indianapolis, and 180 miles northeast of St. Louis, and I travelled to and from the university by train, on an Amtrak service.

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at UIUC is a Title VI National Resource Center in consortium with the University of Chicago Center for Latin American Studies, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. (Most of the libraries visited were linked to centres included in this funding scheme, either individually or in consortia.)

The University Library is one of the largest public university libraries in the United States, with more than 24 million items in the main library and over 35 departmental libraries and divisions. The Latin American and Caribbean Library is one of those libraries - but is soon to merge with other area studies collections. UIUC Libraries hold one of the largest collections of Latin American and Caribbean materials in the United States. Materials are located in the Main Stacks and in the various UIUC departmental libraries, including the Music and other libraries.

During my visit we spoke about collections and services generally. One interesting and useful resource I discussed with the current interim Librarian for the LAC collection was the Bibliographic Guide to Black Caribbean Literature - compiled by Thomas Weissinger and Nelly Sfeir v. de González.  

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