Several metrics were proposed to measure the contribution of a person to scientific enterprise. However, the very first step in the calculation of all of these metrics correctly, is to figure out "who" did what. For several reasons, like similarity of many common names, different spelling out of some names, variable presentation of certain names, etc, it is not always possible to identify what record really belongs to "who". Herein, we proposed to establish an identification system through which a unique identification number is assigned to each author (AID) by an international service. The author should use his/her AID in all his/her contributions to science. In this way, the key for search of digital databases would be the researcher's AID rather than name. In our digital world, this AID would be a great aid in figuring out "who" did what.
Reading in Czechoslovakia under Communism did not conform to the official line maintaining that citizens were primarily interested in serious political works. On the contrary, surveys revealed that light fiction and works from the West were the books with the highest public library circulation. The long period of spiritual stagnation led to the degradation of critical ability, one result of which was that some sophisticated and controversial Western works such as John Irving's The World According to Garp were acceptable to Communist authorities because they were mistakenly deemed “light literature”. In the years immediately following the demise of Communism, Czech public library users did not show a radical change in their choice of titles, but the author points out that the recently improved distribution and availability of both “high” and “low” literature may have altered habits considerably in the period since the survey was done.
This paper discusses free online and Internet tools that can be adapted by librarians for use with library instruction and information literacy training, with a focus on social media and Web 2.0 technologies, including social networking websites Facebook and Twitter, blogs, RSS, wikis, and video sharing. Many students already use these technologies and are readily engaged with the library when the technologies are incorporated into library websites and classes. There are challenges in using these technologies, especially in countries with oppressive governments. This paper is based, in part, on a presentation the authors gave at the UNESCO Training the Trainers in Information Literacy Workshop at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt in November 2008.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a reconnaissance of major academic libraries located in Australia, Canada, the U.K. and U.S.A. that have embraced Web 2.0 tools for enhancing library services. The research is based on a survey of websites of 277 university libraries. The checkpoints used for this evaluative study were given by Nguyen (2008) for evaluating various Web 2.0 tools. Additional checkpoints were arrived at after visiting and browsing the various sites. The findings of the study acknowledge the strength of Web 2.0 tools in improving library services for users. Really Simple Syndication (RSS), Instant Messaging (IM) and blogs are popular in academic libraries. The paper concludes by offering best practices for implementing Web 2.0 tools in academic libraries.
The early reports that appeared during and immediately after the 2003 war and subsequent civil disorder in Iraq provoked public and professional concern about the impact on libraries and archives services. However, many of the early reports were later proved to be unreliable, and subsequent reports correcting that information have been less well publicized. Moreover, the mass media have focused on a few well-known institutions, and paid little attention to the post-war reconstruction efforts. This paper aims to provide a more rounded and reliable picture, based on a critical reading of a wide range of official and unofficial media, and summarizes the scattered information in the public domain about the overall situation up to the end of 2004. A brief note of the main reconstruction programmes is followed by an outline of some of the contextual issues relating to the rehabilitation of Iraq's library and information services. An extended review of what has been reported about the impact on individual elements of the professional panorama in Iraq covers not only the National Library and Archives, but also the university libraries and significant special libraries, as well as noting the limited information available about college, school, and public libraries. The state of the main archival collections is outlined, and an appendix lists the minor collection and their reported condition. It concludes with an examination of the human resource issues. Finally, the paper discusses the problems that have arisen through the lack of quality information about events during the conflict and continuing civil disorder in Iraq, and some issues relating to current and future reconstruction efforts. The paper points to the need not only to repair damaged buildings, replace looted equipment and make good the deficiencies in collections, but also to mobilize and modernize the indigenous professional workforce to implement the reconstruction.
e-Government has emerged as a popular governance reform in recent years, to improve the productivity of the government and quality of services provided by it to various stake-holders. However, e-Government implementation is hampered by certain roadblocks such as lack of financial resources, lack of technical and soft skills, etc. Public–private partnership (PPP) has emerged as a viable model to counter these factors, apart from improving the economic sustainability of e-Government projects. PPP essentially implies sharing of risks and rewards of a venture. Successful implementation of PPP in e-Government requires the adoption of some key best practices, and incorporation of the learning obtained from previous PPP experiences. Four successful “PPP in e-Government” projects, implemented in Asia, are discussed to highlight the best practices and key learning obtained from each project. This is intended to highlight the necessary steps to be taken, especially in an Asian setting, to implement a successful PPP in e-Government.
This paper describes contemporary Turkish libraries and librarianship. It is based principally on information gleaned during the 1995 conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The meeting was convened in Istanbul, more than 25% of the delegates were from Turkey, and approximately 15% of the papers were on topics relating to Turkish librarianship. It was a unique opportunity to learn about the library scene in Turkey first-hand, and to explore my special interest in academic libraries, with particular emphasis on the four universities whose language of instruction is English. A short history of library development and education for librarianship is given, followed by descriptions of problems facing Turkish librarianship and programs which address them. The national level projects which are underway, especially in the area of access to information in electronic form, hold promise for working around, if not overcoming, some of the constraints which exist in the library sector of modern-day Turkey.
The Website is the trademark of the modern distance education (DE) system as DE is vastly dependent on the World Wide Web in delivering academic programs and student support services. DE authorities and administrators should make every effort to ensure that their Web interfaces are intuitive and easy to use for supplying “any time, any place” service. Unfortunately, we distance educators in Asia are far behind our Western counterparts in this aspect. This article explores the level of accessibility of Websites of members of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) in order to provide the results to the Asian DE authorities. The author's primary objectives in writing this article are to highlight the importance of Web accessibility for distance education institutions and their libraries in catering to a wide range of user groups and to point out how easily barrier-free Websites can be created if the basic rules of Web accessibility are followed.
Absence from work is a persistent and challenging problem confronting organizations. This study aims to analyze the effect on absence rates of the following administrative factors: line of authority, work climate, leadership, communication, employment, supervision, decision-making, and innovation; the extent of occupational variables: library type, specialization, and organizational department; and employees’ characteristics: gender, age, marital status, and experience, at eight state academic and six public libraries in Jordan.Data was collected via field visits, personal interviews and a questionnaire. Of the 132 staff applicable to the study objectives, 115 (87.1%) responded. ANOVA, T-test and “Duncan dimensional comparisons” methods were used for statistical data analysis. Study findings revealed that poor organizational structure, improper work climate, poor leadership and communication processes, the absence of sensible employment policies, poor supervision, and managers’ passiveness are administrative factors negatively affecting employees’ absence from work. Statistical analysis of mean values revealed that there is a significant statistical difference, at the α⩾0.05 level, between all administrative factors attributed to respondents’ personal characteristics and occupational variables.Recommended solutions include establishing sensible organizational structures delegating authority, promoting teamwork practice, developing job descriptions and evaluation systems, allowing employees’ freedom of choice to perform job duties, supporting cooperative working relations, promoting managers’ attitudes towards delegation of authority, open-door communication policies, and providing employees with training opportunities and motivations.
The abuse of library materials defined in terms of theft, mutilation, unauthorized borrowing and vandalism was investigated in University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) in Nigeria and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia. The study sought to find out the ways the collections of the two institutions were abused by various classes of readers and for various reasons. By interviewing librarians, and analysis of collection use records, it was revealed that students, as well as faculty, staff and external readers indulged in abuse of library materials, motivated by situational, conceptual, attitudinal and other factors. It was observed, however, that Uniport had more problems with the misuse of library materials than KFUPM. Recommendations relating to library building design, tightening of security, generous and flexible loans policies, etc., were made for improved collection protection. Besides, public relations campaign and multilateral co-operation on book theft detection would help to discourage in particular the uninitiated or new converts from any acts of library abuse.
This paper discusses the evolving sophistication of the Internet and the World Wide Web abuses in Africa. It begins by reviewing known abuses worldwide. It also reviews the various technology solutions in place to reduce the abuses. The paper notes that the various security measures and protocols identified require human intervention based on trust. It argues that human behaviors are unpredictable, and that human trust cannot always be absolutely guaranteed as they can at any point in time compromise their integrity. The paper also notes on-going efforts of some African countries at updating their country laws. The author proposes the creation and enforcement of new international laws that would compliment country laws and preserve basic civil rights in the electronic environment as a way of bringing sanity into the use of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Such laws must particularly incorporate measures that would prevent governmental abuses. The paper also suggests the formation of a separate international court with exclusive jurisdiction over the Internet.
This paper examines the developments in ETD repositories, in particular PhD thesis repositories, in India. The purpose is to perform a preliminary study and explore the possibilities for creating a national repository for the deposit, discovery, use and long-term care of research theses in an open access environment. The author looks at the current state of deployment of ETD repositories in the academic sector and discusses the subject coverage, number of items, access policy, browse/search option, and value added services. This study raises questions about policies and strategies that national higher education, research funding and policy-making bodies, as well as individual institutional communities within the higher education sector will want to consider. In spite of the great interest in e-theses development and the fact that the majority of doctoral theses in India are being produced electronically, no wide scale activity has been initiated by the government in terms of the storage and dissemination of these materials. Adoption of national level policies on institutional repository development is also lacking in India. To date, very few institutes request students to electronically submit their theses and dissertations. This article proposes the construction of a reservoir of extensive doctoral research and an Indian portal to enable preserving of scientific and technological research materials in the country and a global view of Indian institutional research assets. A few national level institutes such as the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Technologies have established ETD repositories and a few are currently in the planning stage. The survey reveals that digital preservation of theses and dissertations is already in progress, though some of them are still in a preliminary stage. The major problems and concerns reported by respondents are summarized and findings are discussed.
Organizing information on a Website is vital to retrieve information from Websites and the Internet. This study investigates the establishing of navigation and search systems needed to organize information on academic Websites, and addresses key questions in relation to information access and to the use of these systems. This is achieved through the evaluation of two Websites (Dhofar in Oman and Monash in Australia) and their comparison with Google, using standard criteria identified in the literature. The outcomes will support designers of academic Websites and will support students in accessing and retrieving information. The main findings of this research is that Google and Monash University Websites have established search and navigation systems that support Website accessibility, which enhance site usability while Dhofar University Website uses navigation systems only because of content reasons.
This study examines reasons for the shortage of qualified academic librarians in China and recommends ways to position Chinese academic libraries to move into the modern era.Interviews were conducted with 20 academic librarians in China and 20 in the United States, in one library in each country, to collect data for a comparative study. This paper compares Chinese and US academic librarianship in terms of reasons for entering this profession, academic education in library and information science, and requirements for knowledge and information skills.Chinese librarianship faces great challenges in the recruitment and education of librarians and with the library system itself. It is time for the government, university officials, libraries and society as a whole to learn to promote librarianship and build a powerful librarian workforce, to meet the needs of China's social and economic development.
This study examines the use of Internet resources and the evaluation of their usefulness from the perspectives of Chinese students and academics. The questionnaires were distributed at Peking University, ISTIC, and at the Information Institute of Science and Technology of Zhe Jiang Province, where 706 valid samples were collected. The data was analyzed according to: The background of the Internet users; the standard of Internet resources; Internet information-seeking behaviour; users’ evaluations of Internet resources and their perceived expectations about future Internet services. The study found that users with higher educational degrees tend to spend more time on the Internet and find Internet resources more useful than less-educated users. Although Internet search engines are the preferred information retrieval tool, other traditional or informal retrieval methods are also used. Many respondents agree that the Internet is helpful for narrowing the knowledge gap between developed and developing countries. Besides its richness and high speed, accuracy and authority are the most important factors when users judge the quality of the Internet; but, more specialized information filtering and navigation services are required. Further studies should focus on the information-seeking behaviour of different target groups, and with specific comparisons of Chinese academic users from economically developed areas, versus users from China's comparatively undeveloped Northwest provinces.
This study examines the way in which libraries in Canada approach the issue of the evaluation of international credentials (ICs) held by internationally trained librarians (ITLs) and the eventual short-listing and hiring of such individuals. In the United States and Canada, librarianship, a non-regulated profession, is to a large degree governed by the American Library Association (ALA), but the ALA's statements regarding ICs and ITLs are often ambiguous. It is therefore frequently left to individual libraries to decide how best to deal with ICs and ITLs. Based on a questionnaire sent to managers of large academic and public libraries in Canada, this study concludes that a significant percentage of Canadian libraries, especially academic libraries, are open to hiring ITLs insofar as these libraries and their managers do not consider an ALA-accredited degree to be mandatory for an applicant to be short-listed for a job position. At the same time, these library managers possess very little information about the state of LIS education in countries other than the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, thus making their decisions about hiring ITLs problematic. Governing bodies of librarianship may wish to consider establishing nation-wide guidelines and/or bridging education programs to facilitate the integration of ITLs with ICs into the North American workforce.
Libraries have experienced a great deal of change in communication networks and information technology. The Iranian academic libraries, like other libraries, attempted to adopt the new information technology. It should be realized that although new information technologies and electronic resources are collected on a large scale by academic libraries they are not always used in the same scale. There are some factors, which affect the rate of adoption of each new technology. Rogers in his theory introduced these factors in five categories as relative advantage, observability, trial- ability, complexity and compatibility. This paper investigates the effects of different features of electronic reference materials on the rate of their adoption. Results show that the most effective factors in adoption of electronic reference materials are the ability of electronic reference materials to facilitate information retrieval, shortening the time of searching and fair cost of resources. In addition, it seems that the most problematic factors, which slow down the adoption of electronic reference materials, stem from unfamiliarity of academic librarians and users with computers and searching of databases.
This paper discusses the information-seeking behaviour of academics in relation to the productivity of academics in South African Universities, with particular reference to the University of Zululand, through a survey of 105 academics. It was established that the nature of the discipline and the rank of the academic, which normally corresponds with the academic qualification, experience, exposure and research productivity level, largely determine the information-seeking behaviour. Academics mainly need information for career development, and occupational and professional needs. Furthermore, university libraries, which currently face budget cuts on acquisitions, still play a pivotal role in information access by the academics. It is confirmed that the use of “local environment” is dominant for intra- and inter-university information access network and system. It is recommended that avenues that work colleagues can use to interact should be supported, and career challenges that stimulate productivity by academics, such as research and publication, should be maintained and sustained.
PurposeThis study investigates the acceptance and importance of digital library among female students of International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. The study also highlights the problems that are confronted by the female students in completing their research work after limited access to digital library in the female campus of the University.Design methodologySurvey was administered personally to collect data from 315 female students of eight faculties of the female campus of the university. The convenient sampling technique was used to collect data from the subjects of the study.FindingsThe access to digital library is indispensable to the students to complete their research work. With limited access to the digital library the students were unable to meet their information needs from the Internet and the libraries of other universities. The quantity as well as quality of their research work were affected due the restriction of digital resources. Also the limited access affected adversely to improve insight of the respondents regarding technological developments in their respective area of research. The lack of informational literacy program, IT training workshops, IT literate staff and the electricity failure were the main hindrance to access digital library as well as Internet.Research limitationThis study was limited only to female students of the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
This article includes a brief profile of selected engineering libraries in Maharashtra state of India and discusses salient issues related to strategic cooperation and consortia, with particular focus on the current situation. It examines the structural, financial and technical factors that have compelled the academic libraries to think about the formation of statewide consortia. The author surveyed forty-nine libraries to get an idea about the current status and explored the possibilities of forming regional consortia with a mission to enhance access to information and knowledge through cooperation for benefit of the engineering communities. The focus is on librarians' perceptions/opinion on the formation of state level consortia; ICT infrastructure; users' needs; collection development policies and the services provided by engineering libraries to the community.
Cooperation amongst institutions for sharing their library resources has been practised for decades. However, the mode of cooperation has been transformed with the infusion of new information technology. The emergence of the Internet, particularly the World Wide Web (WWW) as a new information delivery medium, triggered proliferation of Web-based full-text online resources. An increasing number of publishers use the Internet globally to offer their publications to the international community of scientists and technologists. The libraries and information centres, as heavy consumers of electronic journals and online databases, will benefit greatly from this technology-driven revolution. The proliferation of electronic resources in a networked society has resulted in the development of “shared subscriptions” or “consortia-based subscriptions” to journals everywhere in the world. Shared subscriptions to electronic resources through consortia of libraries is a feasible strategy to meet the pressures such as diminishing budgets, increased user demands, and rising costs of journals. This article outlines efforts made by Indian libraries and institutions towards formation of consortia of libraries for buying access to electronic resources. The proposed strategic cooperation called the “Indian National Digital Library in Engineering Science and Technology” (INDEST) is based on five project pro-posals submitted to three major Ministries/Departments of the Government of India, namely, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the Ministry of Information Technology (MIT), and the Department of Biotechnology. The INDEST is proposed to function as a consortium of engineering and technological libraries for nurturing core digital collections in engineering and technology. As a consortium of libraries, the INDEST would bring together institutions receiving financial support from these three Ministries/Departments of the Government of India. While these Ministries/Departments would provide financial resources for establishing the consortium and for obtaining core electronic resources, the participating institutions would contribute for consortia-based subscriptions. The INDEST would host a variety of Web-based digital resources including those available through national and international agencies with consortia and national licences to provide access to authorized users in India.
Information Technology (IT) has revolutionized the information handling activities in research and academic libraries in India. The university libraries, as Centres of information services, have largely benefited by the rapid changes in the IT. Indian universities constitute one of the largest higher education systems in the world. It comprises more than 310 universities/institutions, 15,500 affiliated colleges, 10 million students with 5 lakh [1 lakh=100,000] teachers. The university libraries in India are at various stages of development in the application of information technology tools in their day-to-day activities. INFLIBNET—An Inter University Centre of University Grants Commission (UGC) has undertaken the task of providing assistance to university libraries across the country through its number of initiatives. This paper is an attempt to give an overview of Information Technology implementation in different university libraries in India that provides effective access to resources available within universities and elsewhere. Also discussed is the role of the INFLIBNET Centre in the overall development of university libraries across the country with special emphasis on efforts through UGC-Infonet E-Journals Consortium.
Co-operation amongst institutions for sharing their library resources has been practiced for decades. However, the mode of co-operation has gone through a transformation with the infusion of new information technology. The emergence of the Internet, particularly, the World Wide Web as a new media of information delivery triggered proliferation of web-based full-text on-line resources. An increasing number of publishers are using the Internet as a global way to offer their publications to the international community of scientists and technologists. The libraries and information centres, as heavy consumers of electronic journals and on-line databases, stand to benefit greatly from this technology-driven revolution. The prolifiration of electronic resources in the networked society has resulted in development of “shared subscription” or “constortia-based subscription” to journals everywhere in the world. Shared-subscription to electronic resources through the consortia of libraries is a feasible strategy to meet pressures such as diminishing budget, increased user's demand and rising cost of journals. The article outlines efforts made by Indian libraries and institutions towards formation of consortia of libraries for buying access to electronic resources. The proposed strategic cooperation called the “Indian National Digital Library in Engineering Science and Technology” (INDEST) is based on five project proposals submitted to three major Ministries/Departments of Government of India, namely the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Ministry of Information Technology (MIT) and Department of Biotechnology. The INDEST is proposed to function as consortium of engineering and technological libraries for building-up core digital collection in engineering and technology. As a consortia of libraries, the INDEST would bring together institutions receiving financial support from these three Ministries/Departments of Government of India. While these Ministries/Departments would provide financial resources for establishing the consortia and for obtaining core electronic resources, the participating institutions would contribute for consortia-based subscriptions. The INDEST would host a variety of web-based digital resources including those available through national and international agencies with consortia and national licenses to provide access to authorized users in India.
Scientific and technical communication is one means of sharing knowledge in the form of ideas, research findings and/or observations by and among scientists and engineers. The literature dealing with information-seeking behavior by the pure scientists and engineers is reviewed. Information technology is advancing at a rapid rate that engineers and pure scientists ought to know how to locate and use the right kind of literature pertinent to their respective field. In this respect, the role to be played by the science/reference librarians is very critical.
This study aims to investigate the resources and methods used in information instruction provided at private university libraries in Jordan. It also investigates trends among Zarqa Private University students towards the achievement of its objectives. Data was collected via two questionnaires. The population of the study consisted of 19 administrators of private university libraries; 14 of them (73.7%) responded positively to the study, and of 600 first year students who were in the first semester of the academic year 2007/2008, 512 of them (85.3%) responded positively. Study findings have revealed that information literacy instruction programmes are not comprehensive in all target libraries. No more than five (35.7%) of the responding libraries offer the required lectures that inform students about the importance of libraries and libraries’ departments, the practical training of online access to databases through internet, or training on the usage of periodical indexes. The curricula offered by more than 78.6% of the respondents lacked courses or exercises that support library usage. Findings of “information literacy instruction programmes offered to students of Zarqa Private University, reveal that the programmes concentrate on theoretical aspects more than practical aspects. This study introduces some recommendations related to its findings.
This papers describes the economic difficulties in Ghana from 1973 to the early 1980's, culminating in a situation where libraries in Ghana, including the UST Library, were unable to acquire library materials. Books in the main library and faculty libraries became so outdated that they were unable to support current academic work. The Library was not able to subscribe to core periodicals and journals.In 1987, the PNDC government, with the help of the World Bank, instituted a policy to replace scientific equipment and to supply books and journals to higher education institutions. Under the Educational Sector Adjustment Programme (EDSAC), academic libraries in the country received books, journals, and equipment including photocopiers, microfilm/microfiche readers and cameras, and telex machines.In 1991, the PNDC Deputy Secretary for Education invited the three university libraries to review the procedures for procuring journals for tertiary institutions in view of difficulties which had been encountered in previous years.Besides materials received under the EDSAC programme, the UST library receives gifts and donations from recognized international agencies. Some of the gifts create problems when materials donated do not cover subject areas of interest to the library. The library also exchanges publications with other institutions as a means of acquiring useful items. The university's calendar and prospectus are the main publications used for the purpose. The Newspaper Registration of Ghana Act, 1963, urges publishers to deposit copies of books published in the country at the UST Library among five others. The majority of publishers flagrantly refuse to do so because the sanctions against defaulters are rarely enforced. The library also receives budgetary allocations, though not enough to purchase books locally.
This paper evaluates the collections of the Saudi university libraries against the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Standards of 1986. The information gathered through questionnaires to Deans of Library Affairs to provide information on library holdings and collection development programmes reveals that library holdings of six Saudi university libraries are below the ACRL Standards. However, King Saud University Library collection has exceeded the Standards. The reasons given for the inadequate library collections of the Saudi universities are the lack of planning, absence of a collection development policy, low participation by faculty members in collection building, insufficient financial support, and the absence of inter-library loan and on-line searching facilities in some university libraries.
Teaching across cultures as a result of a Fulbright Senior Fellowship is a life-changing event for many Fulbright Fellows. This American author experienced powerful classroom dynamics in teaching her library science students at the University of Botswana during her 1999–2000 Fulbright. Her attempt to restructure a traditional lecture class to a student-centered learning environment created classroom dynamics that forced her to examine her pedagogical beliefs for their evident weaknesses. This ethnographic study reports on her teaching experiences and her analysis of what she discovered in the process, findings that continue to impact her study of teaching and learning.
The purpose of the study was to investigate LIS Community's perceptions towards Open Source Software (OSS) adoption in libraries. The study adopted quantitative research design and a Likert type scale of 20 items was designed to collect data. Attention was given to three variables – organization type (public/private sector), library type (academic/public/special), and country type (developed/developing). A total of 370 responses were received from 48 countries. Collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent sample t-Test, and ANOVA. The overall results suggested that respondents had positive perceptions towards OSS. However the results of t-Test and ANOVA indicated that organization type or library type were insignificant factors but country type was a significant factor as respondents from developed countries has significant difference of perceptions in comparison with the respondents from developing countries.This study is first of its kind in the world. The findings are useful for LIS community, library system developers, software developers, technology administrators, and library administrators.
The “Afrocentric-Eurocentric approaches” dichotomy is strangely out-of-place in an African context and is curiously out-of-touch with the issues that are significant in library and information work. In its predominant perception of itself as a “counter-offensive” to Eurocentrism, the Afrocentric approach is drawn into a struggle that can only entrench contrary positions and serve divisive interests. More importantly, and as a challenge to information science theorists, Afrocentrism requires an examination of both its overt Pan-Africanist overtones and its covert potentially racist undercurrents. It is proposed that the Afrocentrism vs Eurocentrism duality needs to be deconstructed. The debate is better-suited as a vehicle to sharpen concepts in the design of library and information services that recognize universal continuities.
This paper discusses how a hybrid library (digital and manual) has been set up at the KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory (KEMRI/WTRL) Centre based in a rural district along the Kenyan coast. The research activity at the Centre has focused on malaria and a number of clinical, laboratory and community-based research projects are underway.Developing Web-based systems is still a new concept within the Kilifi Centre. There has been little input in skills. Facilities also constrain these objectives further, and there is an urgent need to address this problem.The advent of Internet connectivity via satellite communications has gone a long way in bridging the gap of disparities of institutions in Kenya and equivalent research institutions within developed countries. However, there is much that needs to be done to ensure the availability and maintenance of these facilities. Training is being addressed through workshops for system operators and database engineers, through arrangements coordinated by MIMCom.
There is a worldwide concern growing regarding the increasing potential threats to the personal privacy of individuals caused by technologies and governments. The international response of governments has been to draught comprehensive privacy legislation in order to protect their citizen's personal information and to enable their citizens to have control over their personal information. In South Africa, the right to privacy is protected by both Section 14 of the Constitution and the provisions of the Common Law, but at this stage no formal privacy legislation is in place to enforce fair data protection principles. A new Data Privacy Bill is in the process of being draughted by the South African Law Commission and it is taking into account South Africa's unique political and social context as well as international demands made by the global economy. The prime influences acting upon the new Data Privacy Bill are the mandate in the Constitution, the EU Data Protection Directive and the Ubuntu worldview. Ubuntu can be described as a community-based mindset in which the welfare of the group is greater than the welfare of a single individual in the group. In this article, we argue that the EU Data Protection Directive is one of the best articulated privacy laws in existence today and the Ubuntu philosophy has been pressed into service very successfully in diverse arenas in South Africa. This paper argues that both influences will be seen in the future Data Privacy Act, but that the EU Data Protection Directive's influence will be pre-eminent.
This paper reflects on factors that need to be considered for establishment of an equitable knowledge society that will secure the Indigenous Knowledge space. While information communication technology facilitates the capture of a predominantly oral-based indigenous knowledge, its contribution to exploitative approaches to information access, also encourages the development of such knowledge as a commodity for competitive advantage, a factor that requires serious consideration. The basis for this consideration should be the World Summit on the information Society (WSIS) Principles which provide the promise of equitable access to information as a base for creation of the knowledge society through ethically grounded information use and sharing.
This paper investigates the question of whether Africa is moving towards a knowledge society. An analysis is made of the current initiatives that are undertaken in Africa to put the continent on the road towards a knowledge society. The content of the paper is structured in the following manner. Firstly, we explain what a knowledge society means and based on this definition we describe the technological and economic landscapes that shape the knowledge society. We also identify and discuss four interrelated pillars of a knowledge society which we coined as follows, information and communication technology (ICT) and connectivity; usable content; infrastructure and deliverability and human intellectual capability. We then use these four pillars to analyze the African content as a knowledge society. Our main findings are that Africa has still a far way to go to become a true knowledge society, but that there is hope to successfully transform Africa into a knowledge society. We argue that this success is based on certain preconditions amongst other investment in human capital, effective stopping of brain draining as well as the effective development and maintenance of a physical infrastructure.
The digital divide is severe in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The prevailing digital divide will continue to exist and define the characteristics of the digital information environment of the sub-region as it influences, along with other concerns, the information needs of end-users in the sub-region. The model of information needs of end-users in the electronic information environment and observations and theories from the literature of Library and Information Science (LIS) show that the information needs of end-users in SSA are for information content that is relevant for day-to-day tasks and that is adequately accessible and effectively usable within the capabilities of the information and communications technology (ICTs) that they possess and their level of skill in manipulating the ICTs. The model of the information needs of end-users in the electronic information environment presents the nature of user tasks, the state of electronic resources in use, and user experience in using the electronic resources as factors giving rise to information needs of end-users in a digital information environment. The principles of least effort, satisficing, utility and accessibility particularly give support to the argument of the paper: that end-users need information content that is adequately accessible and effectively usable within the capabilities of ICTs currently in use by the end-users concerned. Recognizing the nature of the information needs of the end-users of SSA will help in meeting their needs as well as in selecting appropriate interventions in addressing the digital divide in the sub-region.
This article discusses an investigation which was undertaken on behalf of the Legal Deposit Committee into the state of legal deposit in South Africa. Legal deposit cannot be successfully implemented in a country without the positive and committed participation of publishers and legal deposit institutions. The main aim of the study was therefore to investigate how the attitudes, opinions and behaviours of these core role players affect the depositing of material subject to legal deposit. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with selected groups or individuals representing the publisher populations. Similar interviews were conducted with representatives of the five legal deposit libraries. As no studies have been done in South Africa to determine the state of compliance with legal deposit requirements in the country, a smaller investigation in the form of a feasibility study was undertaken with the aim of obtaining figures that reflect the levels of compliance over a specific time period. Based on the results obtained from these investigations, suggestions and recommendations for improved procedures and methods for monitoring and managing legal deposit in the future were provided. Although this study is specific to the South African situation at the present time, the methods employed and suggestions provided may have a wider scope for implementation than in this country only. Other countries on the African continent, for example, could use the methods and suggestions of this study, or adaptations thereof, for their own purposes.
A study was conducted in 2002/2003 to investigate and assess the strategies of bridging the digital divide in Uganda. Data were collected qualitatively using semi-structured interviews. The study focused in depth on a relatively small sample of people concerned with the digital divide. Data was analysed using the grounded theory approach. Three categories of players in the digital divide emerged from the data, namely information workers, business entrepreneurs and policy makers. Finally the concept that emerged from the analysis pointed directly to the information workers, which suggests that the National Library and other information centres are valuable in bridging the digital divide in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some implications of the study areas for further research are highlighted.
This paper explores information ethics (IE) education within LIS (Library and Information Studies/Science) schools in Africa to investigate the following: (i) the extent to which IE is necessary; (ii) who should offer IE and why; (iii) who should be taught IE (and at what level); (iv) how long IE education should take; and (v) what should be included in an IE course. This was accomplished through a literature review and a case study conducted via email with purposely selected LIS experts from around Africa. Overwhelmingly, the LIS experts agreed that information ethics should be offered by LIS departments in courses that account for the multidisciplinary nature of the subject and that it should be made available to all students at all levels. The content should be objective and outcomes-based or outcomes-driven. The challenges and opportunities enumerated in this study could potentially be used to set the agenda for further research and professional engagement.
This paper examines the extent to which the South African Library and Information Science (LIS) agenda maps to the national agenda for the reconstruction and development of the country, which is geared to the elimination of poverty and inequality. The nation has been described as comprising two societies: the one modern and well developed, the other characterised by masses of people living in dire poverty. The mandate of LIS in South Africa includes supporting and stimulating the technological and information development of all communities and providing effective LIS education to meet this goal. The government has embraced the concept of the Information Society, emphasising the link between economic growth and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and has pointed to the need for information literacy education. We present a critique of the fit between LIS policies and practices (including the curriculum) and the needs of an emerging democracy and its development goals, challenged by the duality of globalisation and marginalisation.
This paper first gives an outline of the importance of African indigenous knowledge. After that it gives the definition of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and indigenous knowledge (IK). It then goes on to highlight examples in which information communication technologies have been used to preserve IK successfully. The paper further lists projects which are still underway, in which information communication technologies are being harnessed in the collection and preservation of the IK. Lastly the paper looks at the challenges faced by African countries in harnessing information communication technologies in preserving IK and gives recommendations on the way forward.
This paper describes the emergence of popular information networks, the resource centre forums in South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s. Such forums have been established virtually countrywide. Collectively they have identified priorities for their regional development and national co-operation. They represent a significant response to a need for alternative library and information networks to serve the struggle for democracy. This has been recognised in the research prepared for a forthcoming document on national policy options in education in which library and information work forms a subgroup.
Permanent access and storage of recorded knowledge resources have been the cornerstone of libraries for centuries. Preserving the integrity of scholarship is one of the greatest challenges facing librarians and information professionals the world over today. In Africa the issue comes very much to the fore because of the prevailing conditions and the state of the continent's knowledge resources. This paper explores and reviews issues of permanency, accuracy, and integrity of stored digital knowledge resources in sub-Saharan Africa.
LIS training programme in Africa date from early independence period. In French-speaking West African area, few countries have an LIS school. The existing schools have been created in partnership with either an international organization or a northern country. The curriculum delivered is not always updated as in developed countries. The main objective of this article is to measure the gap between LIS curriculum as actually delivered in developed and developing countries in the age of the information and communication technologies (ICTs). A couple of schools were chosen—English and French-speaking area—from Northern America and Western Europe; their curriculum served as basis for evaluating those in West African French-speaking countries. The conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that LIS curriculum in Africa has changed less since the schools’ first creation and ICTs are not present as in Western countries. This trend brings out the problem of the curriculum pertinence and the competitiveness of the graduate students in the international employment market.
The aim of this article is to review the situation regarding legislation on library and information services, and in particular, the changes that have taken place over the past 20 years in French-speaking African countries. Our study concerns 24 African countries, located in North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia), West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo), as well as East and Central Africa (Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Rwanda), Djibouti, the Comoros, Madagascar and Seychelles.The institutions examined in this study are primarily national libraries and documentation centres. Nevertheless, we will also look at legislative decisions affecting national information systems and public and university libraries, as well as some decisions governing the practice of the librarian profession.The main changes that took place over the past two decades concern the setting up of international Francophone institutions and the support provided to information and library infrastructures in developing countries. We also note a definite improvement in documentation systems, due largely to a greater priority placed on information and the action of professionals trained in library science faculties and colleges, who continue to promote the need for adequate legislation to ensure well-performing institutions.
Among the recent changes in the South African education system are outcome-based education and student-centred learning (SCL). Reasons for these changes include the ever-growing pressure in school systems to provide job skills, the ubiquitous nature of information and communication technology and the increasing combination of work and study leading to a need for more flexible study arrangements. Education has therefore become more student-centred. The paper argues that, while the lecturer's time is “freed” for contact with students in SCL, the librarian is bound to play a more active role in ensuring the learning success of the students. The librarian's role becomes more crucial when one considers students from disadvantaged backgrounds for whom most of these learning resources may be entirely new. Libraries are expected to provide facilities like more spaces for study, more personal computers and workstations, online databases and Internet facilities. Librarians are also expected to give guidance and support in the use of the resources and to train the students on how to make effective use of them.
In this paper, we use the example of post-apartheid South Africa since 1994 as a case study, with US experience as a point of reference, to begin a modest deconstruction of some of the nomothetic assumptions implicit in general freedom of information (FoI) discourse. Using the Roberts–Snell model to analyze South African levels of administrative compliance with FoI legislation, we conclude that a lack of capacity and some deliberate evasion have combined to produce poor performance levels in the first years. Turning to low public demand, we examine language and discourse problems arising from the extreme diversity of South African society and the status domination of English, a minority language. In conclusion, we argue that although FoI may or may not be a genuine human rights issue in the strict sense, there is little doubt that unless FoI practices are articulated with other civil and human rights, societal change may be a long time coming.
Library and information science (LIS) education in Sub-Saharan Africa has its historical roots in colonialism, modeling its curriculum after European LIS training, based upon the information needs of the European cultures. While this model has been useful in building and guiding LIS education in Sub-Saharan Africa, it has not adequately addressed the unique cultural needs of the African societies it represents, particularly in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) established by the United Nations. This paper presents a critical analysis of the LIS profession within a Sub-Saharan context. Beginning with an overview of libraries in Sub-Saharan Africa, it proceeds to examine LIS education and practice within a cultural context, critically analyzing existing structures that have their roots in colonialism. It raises questions regarding the adequacy of current LIS education and practice towards meeting development goals, using HIV/AIDS as an example. Drawing from previous research and projects in Africa, recommendations for the future of LIS education in Sub-Saharan Africa are presented. A case study from an existing partnership between academic programs in LIS in Uganda and the United States is used as an example of the benefits to both institutions.
Africa has not been a huge success story in the 20th-century library and information world. What, if anything, can the rest of the developing world learn from the African experience? In many countries library and information services are more highly developed than in any countries of Africa. But others share many of the handicaps of library and information services development which characterize African countries. For librarians and information workers from such countries, the African experience may be quite close to home and it may offer some useful lessons.This paper attempts to outline the state of library development in Africa at the turn of the century in the context of the challenges and opportunities presented on the one hand by the world-wide developments in information technology, and on the other by the hoped for African Renaissance. Six promising responses to these challenges and opportunities are presented.Africa is a large and diverse continent. In this paper it is not possible to give a historical perspective on library development in Africa. Given limitations of the author's experience, the emphasis is on Anglophone Africa and on the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and on public, university and national libraries.
In the current information environment, libraries need to leverage on the latest digital technologies as well as the traditional paper technologies towards building practical digital libraries and electronic information systems. Digital libraries built exclusively out of nascent electronic publications such as e-journals, e-books, e-reference works (Web-based training programs, computer-based training programs, etc.), digital scholarly works (monographs, etc. in the public domain) and digitized documents conforming to standard digital formats are proving to be an uphill and unfinished task. Perhaps this could be the major reason why the start-success-finish ratio of most of the digital library initiatives, particularly initiated by isolated/individual libraries, is still left at alarmingly low numbers. We find the motivational and emotional bonding among the stakeholders melting down eventually as the digital library development process gets fired up. There are a host of problems the enthusiastic library fraternity face in their digital library development endeavours starting from copyright issues, technology complexities, infrastructure threats, diverse publication types, multiplicity of digital object formats and above all the publishers’ stringent policies and monopolies. It is therefore essential that the libraries adopt necessary strategies towards developing digital libraries from the lessons learnt. The monolithic and all-in-one-container approach is no longer feasible and no more advocated. It is imperative on the part of the information professional to have a componentized and a multi-system approach to knowledge technologies and information management. Seamless aggregation and meticulous integration of diverse datastreams, embracing the print as well as the electronic information, is the most appropriate strategy to be adopted and applied. This paper shares Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode's experience in creating a state-of-art digital library information system by seamlessly integrating and aggregating the print as well as the diverse and distributed digital content penetrating into its knowledge domain. The paper highlights significant features of IIMK's digital information system—the content aggregation and the content integration strategies we adopted for designing a scholarship Web portal and developing a digital library using the ‘Greenstone’ open source digital library software. The paper also highlights the role of libraries in promoting open access by setting up scholarly institutional repositories (IR). In summary, today's digital library information system is to be seen from a much wider and more holistic perspective, and provided with a much broadened meaning to hold and put together all the print, digital and electronic information available and accessible to the library.
This paper is based on a PhD study (Lwoga, 2009) that sought to assess the application of knowledge management (KM) approaches in managing indigenous knowledge (IK) for sustainable agricultural practices in developing countries, with a specific focus on Tanzania. This study used a mixed-research method which was conducted in six districts of Tanzania. Non-participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups were used to collect primary data from small-scale farmers in the selected districts. A total of 181 farmers participated in the semi-structured interviews, where the respondents ranged between 27 and 37 per district. Twelve focus group discussions were conducted in the selected districts. The study revealed that IK was acquired and shared within a small, weak and spontaneous network, and thus knowledge loss was prevalent in the surveyed communities. There were distinct variations in the acquisition of agricultural IK both in different locations and between genders. Information and communication technologies (ICT), culture, trust, and status influenced the sharing and distribution of IK in the surveyed communities. The research findings showed that KM models can be used to manage and integrate IK with other knowledge systems, taking the differences into account (for example, gender, location, culture, infrastructure). The paper concludes with recommendations for the application of KM approaches for the management of IK and its integration with other knowledge systems for agricultural development in developing countries, including Tanzania.