Area Studies Department Receives Mellon Grant to Develop a New Online Course

March 5th 2015

The Office of the Vice Provost for research has awarded Marion Frank-Wilson and Wookjin Cheun a Mellon Innovating International Research, Teaching and Collaboration Innovative Curriculum Fellowship to develop an online course on Area and International Studies Librarianship.

One of the only such courses in the nation, this class on global and international library issues would provide vital training for students interested in careers as area and international studies librarians at large research institutions, such as IU, as well as students who will pursue careers in smaller college libraries, with responsibilities to develop international collections. 

This graduate course will include national and international experts on area studies librarianship and will serve students across the country.

”We are very excited to have the opportunity to develop this class as an online class, so students from other institutions will be able to enroll. The MIIRT grant will allow us to develop the class as a truly collaborative effort, involving and drawing on the expertise of our colleagues at the national level.”

The work of an area studies librarian is unique. It combines many of the qualifications required of other subject specialist librarians with skills unique to area studies librarians such as knowledge of foreign languages, approval plans, relationships with national and international vendors, and redefinitions of collections in light of globalization, among other matters.

The IU Libraries have been leading the discussions on the future of area and international studies librarianship for some time, hosting two workshops in this area that provide a foundation for this proposal. In 2013, the IU Libraries hosted an international workshop on “Collaboration, Advocacy, and Recruitment” which was collaboratively organized by the members of the Area Studies Department of the Wells Library.* The 2013 workshop represents IU’s most recent contribution in this area. After undertaking a Department of Education-funded project to investigate and promote area studies librarianship as a career in 1993, the IU Libraries hosted a conference on the Future of Area Studies Librarianship in 1995.  

For the full news release, see “Faculty, students at IU Bloomington receive international research, teaching grants” on the IUB website.

* The workshop proceedings, which include various workshop-related documents as well as video-recordings of the entire workshop, have been published and are available at

See also the workshop website at