In October 2002, librarians from across the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) convened at the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery to discuss information literacy issues. The intent of the initial meeting focused on forming a collaborative effort within the USMAI to support information literacy efforts on individual campuses within the system. The University of Maryland Collaborative (UMC), as the group was initially known, focused its first efforts on obtaining grant funding to support the collaborative development of faculty workshops (and financial incentives for faculty to attend those workshops) designed to enhance faculty awareness of and provide faculty training on information literacy. In Spring 2004, grant work was completed with submission of the proposal to the following prospective funding institutions: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, SBC Foundation and AT&T. Ultimately all grant efforts were unsuccessful.
Following the grant funding work, focus of the UMC changed. Projects under consideration include the collaborative development of templates and course proposals for information literacy instruction as well as the development of resources and tabs for use in online course environments. An ongoing effort is the involvement in local and regional conferences (such as MEMO and MLA) to highlight academic integrity issues and the information literacy activities of the UMC and its active member institutions. Additionally, small-scale conferences/workshops are being planned and offered by the UMC. The focus of these events is also academic integrity and information literacy awareness and training.
In Fall 2005, the UMC members voted to change the name of the group to Maryland Information Literacy Exchange (MILEX) and to subsequently open up membership in the group to the wider community of Maryland academic libraries (university, college and community college). The hope is that broader participation in the group will encourage the collaborative development and/or sharing of resources focused on awareness of and instruction in academic integrity and information literacy.