Cuban librarian Marta Terry González to visit campus

Abdul Alkalimat (McWorter)
Abdul Alkalimat (McWorter), Professor Emeritus
Kate Williams
Kate Williams, Associate Professor Emerita

martaterry1.jpg?itok=Jm9ci_pv This October, GSLIS will welcome to campus Cuban librarian and educator Marta Terry González, a George A. Miller Visiting Professor. Her visit was organized by GSLIS Associate Professor Kate Williams, who coauthored Terry’s biography with GSLIS Professor Emeritus Abdul Alkalimat.

“Cuba and the United States are working out a new state-to-state relationship, and all kinds of new collaborations are possible. GSLIS is leading the way in this arena by bringing a Cuban librarian to campus to talk with students, scholars, professionals, and the public,” said Williams.

Marta Terry has been called a legendary librarian. In the 1950s, she was instrumental in the development of Cuba’s school libraries. Much later, she brought the World Library and Information Congress to Latin America for the first time, to Havana, with her IFLA colleague and GSLIS alumnus Robert Wedgeworth (MS ’61).

“Throughout her career she directed important libraries, educated several generations of librarians, and fought countless battles that made libraries stronger. Of course, Marta did all this with finesse and panache. She told her story to us, her two biographers, and now nine campus units have helped bring her to Illinois to revise and extend those remarks,” said Williams. Terry’s biography, Roots and Flowers: The Life and Work of Afro Cuban Librarian Marta Terry González, was published by Library Juice Press in February 2015.

“Bringing her [to campus] gives Marta, our School, and others a way to write the book of the future, talking about and imagining together what might unfold in our and Cuba’s libraries,” said Alkalimat.

Terry’s visit will include several speaking engagements:

On Tuesday, October 13, Terry will participate in a discussion moderated by Clara M. Chu, Mortenson Center director and Mortenson distinguished professor. The event will be held at the International and Area Studies Library (321 Main Library) from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, October 14, Terry will deliver a talk titled, “Dialogue with a Veteran Cuban Librarian: The Long View on Literacy, Literary Culture, Digitization and Revolution,” as part of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Lecture Series. The event will be held at the International Studies Building, Room 101, at 3:00 p.m.

On Thursday, October 15, Terry will deliver a talk titled, “Libraries and Literary Culture: An Inside View of Cuba’s Information Revolution,” as part of the MillerComm Lecture Series. The event will be held at the Spurlock Museum at 4:00 p.m. A reception will follow the lecture.

On Friday, October 16, Terry will speak at the GSLIS History Salon meeting. “A Few Stories from Cuban Library History, Told by a Protagonist” will be held in room 131 LIS from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. From 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. she will participate in an open discussion hosted by GSLIS and the Department of Latina/Latino Studies, held at 1207 W. Oregon St., Urbana, Room 133.

At 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 19, Terry will meet with staff, patrons, and friends of the Lozano Branch Library in Chicago (1805 S Loomis St.). Conversation will be in Spanish.

Terry’s career has been influential in Cuba and internationally. In the 1960s, she supported Che Guevara as he organized the National Planning Board (JUCEPLAN) that set the post-1958 course for Cuba’s development. From 1967-1987, she was library director at Casa de Las Américas, which connected writers and their readers across Latin America and set a model for combining liberation politics and innovative cultural production. From 1987-1997, she was director of the José Martí National Library, at which time the library was assigned responsibility for all public library development in Cuba. A participant in international library gatherings since the 1950s, Terry was a leader in establishing Cuba’s international library reputation and connections through the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

Tags:
Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Introductory course teaches information science concepts through game design

As part of Teaching Associate Professor Judith Pintar's Introduction to Information Sciences (IS 101) course, students are tasked with creating board games that teach various aspects of information science targeted to particular audiences. The students presented their creations on April 19 at the Game Studies and Design Spring 2024 Showcase. In addition to the game demonstrations, the event featured posters and presentations by students and faculty.

David Hopping passes away

Teaching Assistant Professor and Workforce Development/Continuing Education Director David Hopping passed away on April 10. He is survived by his wife, Teaching Associate Professor Judith Pintar, two children, extended family, colleagues, and many beloved friends around the globe. 

David Hopping

2023 Downs Intellectual Freedom Award given to Missouri Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee

For its educational programming and advocacy work in support of the right to read, the Missouri Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) has been named the 2023 recipient of the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. The award is given annually by the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is co-sponsored by Sage, a global academic publisher of books, journals, and library resources.

Fab Lab Engagement Team wins campus award

The Champaign-Urbana (CU) Community Fab Lab Engagement Team has been selected as the recipient of the Campus Excellence in Public Engagement Team Award. The team will be honored on May 28 at a special event hosted by the Office of Public Engagement.

Mullally to deliver iSchool Convocation address

Alumna M. Katherine (Katy) Mullally (MSLIS '04) will deliver the 2024 iSchool Convocation address. The event will be held on Sunday, May 12, at 1:30 p.m. at the Activities and Recreation Center. The ceremony will be broadcast live online so that students, families, and friends can watch if they are unable to attend in person.

Katy Mullally