In December, Associate Professor Terry Weech visited Enssib, France’s national school for information and librarianship, to talk to students, staff, and faculty about an exchange program with GSLIS. The program, which was recently authorized by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, is the formalization of a nearly 20-year informal collaborative relationship with Enssib (École Nationale Supérieure des Sciences de l'Information et des Bibliothèques), the premier library and information science school in France.
Through the new program, students, staff, and faculty from GSLIS and Enssib have the opportunity to visit each other’s institutions to participate in classes and conduct research in areas of shared interest. Weech reported that his December 2012 visit to Enssib indicated much interest in potential exchange activities. “As a result of the visit we hope to explore collaboration in research as well as the coordination of guest lectures in some of the classes, such as Library Administration or International Librarianship, which are taught at Enssib and at Illinois,” said Weech.
Weech has visited and presented papers and lectures at the French institution almost every year since the mid-1990s. He has presented on trends and issues in North American librarianship, the impact of digital libraries, and the economics of information. Enssib faculty members have frequently visited GSLIS as well to lecture, collaborate, and utilize resources at the University Library, such as the American Library Association Archives. Raphaëlle Bats, international relations director of Enssib, recently visited GSLIS to further discuss the program with Weech. Bats is currently a research fellow at GSLIS and plans to visit GSLIS again in the fall of 2013.
Interested GSLIS participants must be fluent in French to take part in the program, and courses taken at Enssib may count toward the student’s GSLIS degree. To learn more about the program, students, faculty, or staff are encouraged to contact Terry Weech.