UNISIST Newsletter Vol. 25 N° 1 Page
INFORMATION AND INFORMATICS
VOL. 25 N°1, 1997
INFORMATION & INFORMATICS ACTIVITIES
Seminar on the "Development of Libraries in the Caribbean" 3
Reading For All 5
Bibliotheca Alexandrina 5
National & University Library of Bosnia & Herzegovina 6
Activity Highlights 6
National Archives of Malaysia 7
Regional Symposium on "The Arab World & the Information Society" 7
Harnessing Information Technology for Development 8
Interagency Pilot Project in Ghana 9
Internet in Central Asia 9
Pilot Project on Educational Application of Interactive Television 10
Multipurpose Community Telecentres 10
WEB Culture 10
Preparation on Information & Communication Technologies 11
UNESCO NETWORK OF ASSOCIATEDLIBRARIES (UNAL)
Description of UNAL 12
UNAL Sub-Regional Workshop on Redefined Roles of Libraries 13
MEMORY OF THE WORLD
Safeguarding of the Sargiano Monastic Library 16
Memory of the World Programme Pilot Projects 17
WORLD INFORMATION REPORT - 1997/1998 18
1st International Congress 20
Workshop on Database Management Systems 23
1st National Meeting of CDS/ISIS Users 24
IDAMS Release 4.0 Available 25
IDAMS on Internet 26
IDAMS Training Activities in 1997 26
NEW UNESCO CHAIRS IN INFORMATICS 27
SPECIAL PROJECT: INFORMATICS IN AFRICA 27
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Consultative Meeting on Information Resources Development 28
Consultative Meeting & Workshop on Planning Human Resource Development 29
11th ASTINFO Consultative Meeting & Regional Seminar/Workshop 31
Monotoring Results of Project 510/NEP/60 32
Philippine Librarian Receives Library Technology Award 33
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN
National Library of Venezuela Databases 34
UNESCO - University of Colima Cooperation on CD-ROMS 34
Meeting of the INFOLAC Executive Committee 35
VI INFOLAC Consultative Meeting 35
University of Costa Rica Seminar 37
Rescue of the XIX Century Latin American Press 37
OTHER CII ACTIVITIES
Women on the Web 38
Just Published 40
50th Anniversary of the ISO/TC 41
International Congress on Electronic & Digital Library Information 42
British Library Launches Social Policy Information Service 42
National Digital Library Programme Awards Contract 42
The New Web Site for ADBS 43
Journals in Translation 43
Internet Connections 44
NEW PUBLICATIONS 44
SEMINAR ON THE “DEVELOPMENT OF LIBRARIES IN THE CARIBBEAN”
10 - 13 MARCH 1997
Forty-three delegates from thirty-two countries took part in this Seminar on the “Development of Libraries in the Caribbean, which took place in Fort-de-France, Martinique from 10 to 13 March 1997. The Programme of the International Federation of Library Associations on the Advancement of Biblio-economics in the Third World (IFLA/ALP) organized the meeting, which was a follow-up to similar sessions held in Vietnam in June 1994, and in Nicaragua in March 1995.
This Seminar had as its aim to bring together the leaders of the most successful libraries of the region to have them work together to elaborate a common strategy for the development of Caribbean libraries, based upon a detailed analysis of their present situation and their projects, with the cooperation of international partners such us UNESCO, the (ACCT) and the World Bank.
In their introductory remarks, the President of the General Council of Martinique, the President of the University of the Antilles and Guyana, and the President of the General Council placed emphasis on the challenge of the development of knowledge, the promotion of reading and the use of information, and the utilization of new technologies which favor - from primary school to the University - the autonomy of the student and documentary research in a society having an oral tradition. They all underlined that oral tradition and new technologies should not be set against one another, but rather face the challenges of tomorrow by associating tradition and modernization, promoting books and reading in a world which has a thirst for images, while taking advantage of modern access techniques and stressing the importance of the universal documentary heritage, particularly that of the Caribbean.
The state of libraries in the various countries of the Caribbean was developed in a series of brief exposés, followed by a lively debate. The major problems which Caribbean libraries face can be summarized in five points:
lack of national policies and appropriate legislation;
lack of premises which conform to norms and consequences of seismic and other national calamities; as well as lack of funds and qualified personal;
a less-than-accurate image of libraries and librarians with the consequence that governments do not give a high priority to libraries in their plans and develop-ment projects;
limited access to local and international information resources;
lack of adequate telecommunications infrastructures
The exposé of the representative of UNESCO at the Seminar, Mr Abdulaziz Abid, centered on the new mandate of the Information and Informatics Division (INF) the challenges of the information society, and the innovator role of libraries in the development of countries. The concept of polyvalent community “telecenters” was positively received by the participants.
The discussion which followed this exposé allowed different strategies and solutions to be put forward, which can be summarized as follows:
adapt training programmes for libraries to the exigencies of the information society, to bring about a new “savoir faire” centered on means of research, the creation of web pages, the valorization of the documentary heritage of the Caribbean, and the marketing of this heritage;
divisify the documentary services and products and assure the marketing of them;
launching activities which can generate revenue and sensitize government authorities and users to the economic value of information;
sensitize users and non-users to the role of libraries as community centers which can contribute to producing better-informed citizens;
set-up a consortium of libraries which can share their resources;
establish regional mobile conservation laboratories;
record and diffuse the oral tradition of the Caribbean;
launch and/or support literacy cam-paigns and distance education pro-grammes.
This Seminar proved to be an excellent occasion to mobilize librarians in the Caribbean region to further the new UNESCO strategy and mandate which places the accent on increased use of new information and communication techno-logies. It is expected that UNESCO will now receive various requests from participating countries under the 1998/1999 Participation Programme of the Organiz-ation within the framework of the "Memory of the World Programme", UNESCO Network of Associated Libraries (UNAL), and Telematics applications.
READING FOR ALL
On the occasion of the First Lady of Egypt, Mrs Suzanne Mubarak’s visit to UNESCO on 5 March 1997, an Aide Mémoire on the establishment of an International Reading for All programme was signed. This programme will benefit from experiences and expertise acquired by the Egyptian authorities through a national Reading for All programme. The pro-gramme seeks to strengthen public library systems including municipal, village and community libraries and to distribute reading material at low prices to readers. An International Panel set up and supported by UNESCO will prepare and implement the programme. The Panel will be chaired by Mrs Mubarak; the President of the Intergovernmental Council for the General Information Programme will be the ex officio Vice-President of the Panel and ensure close co-operation with UNESCO’s relevant sectors; the Secretariat of the Panel will be assured by the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Council for the General Information Programme.
For more information on Libraries activities, please contact Mr A. Abid, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 188.8.131.52. Fax: (33-1) 184.108.40.206. E-mail: email@example.com
Within the framework of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Project, phase 2 of the construction of the Library building which began in January 1997 is well advanced, with scheduled completion foreseen for late 1998/early 1999.
In addition, steps have been taken to ensure that the Alexandria Library is equipped with modern information techno-logies, to enable it to serve as a “virtual library” of the future. In this regard, an Internet Server has been purchased for the Library from Regular Programme funds ($20,000) on which a website, developed by the International Executive Secretariat, will be made available.
An Audio-Visual Round Table Discus-sion was held in Alexandria, Egypt (16-18 February 1997), in which technical experts from Egypt, France, Germany, Lebanon and the U.K. participated and made suggestions and recommendations on the setting-up of the audio-visual and multi-media section of the Library (A/V collection development policy). This Round Table will be followed up by a Seminar on Audio-Visual Materials and Services which is planned to be held in Alexandria next Autumn. The Library Information System will be reviewed at that time, taking into account the needs analysis of the Library Information System, which is now being prepared by a British consultant.
For more information about the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, please contact Mr Richard Holmquist, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 220.127.116.11. Fax: (33-1) 18.104.22.168. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL AND UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Within the framework of longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction, UNESCO is pursuing its assistance programme for the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly concerning equipment (purchase of computers), train-ing and collection rebuilding. It is intended that most of the donations received be used for the revival programme of the Library including the rehabilitation of the premises, which the national authorities are presently identifying for the library for the next few years. The refurbishment of these premises will be carried out in close co-operation with the World Bank.
Die Deutsche Bibliothek (German National Library) donated 9,000 linear metres of shelving for the library which were shipped to Sarajevo in Novem-ber/December 1996. The shipment and its funding was organized by the German National Commission for UNESCO which contributed DM 25,000 for this action. The contribution of UNESCO amounted to $17,000.
For more information about the NUL of Bosnia and Herzegovina, please contact Mr Axel Plathe, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France . Tel: (33-1) 22.214.171.124. Fax: (33-1) 126.96.36.199. E-mail: email@example.com
PGI continues to provide technical support and administrative and organ-ization services for the establishment of the National Archives Centre in Sana’a, Yemen (project YEM/92/041 - Records and Archives Management). The project, which was initiated by UNESCO and which is funded by the United Nations Development Pro-gramme (UNDP), is to be completed by the end of 1997.
An emergency programme for the safeguarding of vital records in case of armed conflicts is presently being established by the International Council on Archives (ICA) within the framework of a contract established with UNESCO. This programme will apply the “Guidelines of the Safeguarding of Records and Archives in the event of armed conflicts” which is presently being elaborated by the ICA, upon request of UNESCO.
The revised edition of the “Guide to the Archives of International Organizations” is being prepared by the ICA, upon a UNESCO initiative. This guide will be published in paper form and will also be made available on the Internet through CII’s website thus contributing to easier access to information in the public domain.
As part of the activities to ensure the preservation of the world's audiovisual heritage a codified philosophy, defining the media, archives, heritage, profession, etc., is being prepared under contract. The publication will provide a theoretical synthesis of the current practices, values and guiding principles of audiovisual archiving to increase the profile of audiovisual archivists and to facilitate professional identity and recognition.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF MALAYSIA
The National Archives of Malaysia (NAM) has started discussing the partici-ation of public and private sector partners for developing a preservation and con-servation programme for documentary heritage materials. Within this programme, rare and endangered collections will be identified and a few selected for digitization. NAM is also planning to convene a small discussion group (possibly via electronic mail) to set up the programme.
For more information on Archives activities, please contact Mr Axel Plathe (See page 6).
REGIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON "THE ARAB WORLD AND THE INFORMATION SOCIETY" AND THE FIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REGIONAL ARAB NETWORK FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (RAITNET)
4 - 8 MAY 1997
From 4 to 8 May 1997, UNESCO and ITU assembled more than 200 information and communication specialists from more than thirty countries, during a regional symposium on "the Arab World and the Information Society". They discussed curbs and perspectives of the development of the information society within the Arab world, especially the development of information content and services in fields such as education and training, culture, health and environment, and the decen-tralisation of economy. The preparation of individuals for the information society was at the center of the discussions and recommendations: children, parents and educators for the appropriation of contents, users and civil society for services, universities and enterprises for research and development, administration and enter-prises for information production and services, and governing bodies for strate-gies and policies.
At the end of the symposium, on 8 May 1997, RAITNET held its first general assembly. This Arab Network for Inform-ation and Communication Technologies is a NGO open to public and private organisations from the Arab world specialised in information and commu-nication technologies. It was founded in 1995 in Cairo where its headquarters is located, and is supported by both UNESCO and ITU. It aims at fostering the establishment and the development inform-ation services, stimulating exchange of knowledge, experience and know-how among its members, and co-operation with international organisations, supporting regional projects by providing technicalassistance and advice to decision makers. It is in line with the symposium and will lead to the undertaking of actions and projects in the areas discussed during the symposium; and become a spokesman for the Arab countries within the information world and its mondialisation. Its ambitions are great, and the road may be long and difficult to follow. Therefore, all necessary resources will be put together within partnerships among institutions, countries and co-operative organisations.
For more information, please contact Mr René Cluzel, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 188.8.131.52. Fax: (33-1) 184.108.40.206. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
HARNESSING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The project on "Harnessing Inform-ation Technology for Development" (HITD) of the UN System-wide Special Initiative on Africa, was launched following a co-ordination meeting convened by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa (October 1996). UNESCO, as one of the lead agencies, has collaborated in the development of sub-project plans on connectivity, training on information tech-nology, multi-purpose community tele-centres, and information for development, which were presented to a “donor and executing agency collaborative meeting”held in Rabat, Morocco from 16-18 April 1997, with a view to mobilization of extrabudgetary funding. UNESCO is pro-viding support for the national telematics policy process in several African countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda and Zambia). The Regional Informatics Network for Africa (RINAF), launched in 1992 within the framework of the International Informatics Programme (IIP), is being extended through support to four countries and integrated into UNESCO’s overall action to promote telematics for development in Africa.
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
14 - 19 SEPTEMBER 1997
The Latin American and Caribbean Symposium on Telematics for Develop-ment (LACSymp’97) has been scheduled for 14-19 September 1997 in São Paulo, Brazil, under the aegis of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the ITU, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Latin-American Parliament (PARLATINO) and UNESCO. It is intended as a forum for reflection on experiences and policies leading to a wider use of telematics in areas of social concern, including measures to provide wide access to public domain information and to develop bodies of cyberlaw in the interest of all sectors of society. Input has been provided through support for a New Information Technology Regional Seminar (Costa Rica, March 1997).
Following the first meeting of national focal points of the Support for Telematics Applications Co-operation with the Commonwealth of Independent States (STACCIS) project, undertaken in co-operation with the Commission of the European Communities (Kiev, December 1996), the first two major substantive STACCIS activities are being planned: a demonstration and training course on ecologically related telematics and informatics to be held in Minsk in conjunction with the EUROMAB conference (September 1997) and a demonstration and consensus conference on telematics for open and distance learning (Moscow, October 1997).
INTERAGENCY PILOT PROJECT
The interagency pilot project in Ghana on an integrated approach to planning, development and use of telematics in the sectors of public concern has developed through the first activity of the national Internet training centre a two-week training course on network techniques and application management organized in February 1997 with support from the ITU, UNDP and UNESCO. The Ghana National Committee on Internet Connectivity (GNCIC), grouping the major public sector and civil society Internet users, has begun work with UNESCO support, on a user study, a national user association, a public sector telematics policy conference and pilot user support services.
IN CENTRAL ASIA
A round table meeting on the use of Internet in the promotion of cultural tourism in Central Asia is planned to be held in Almaty, Kazakstan, in September 1997, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre, to assess needs of libraries, museums, historico-architectural complexes and natural heritage sites in Central Asia vis-à-vis the Internet, and ways of promoting the cultural and natural heritage of the region with the new information and informatics techniques. Follow-up recommendations are expected to include the organization of a regional training programme for Web designers and the establishment of a co-operative Web network on the Cultural Heritage of Central Asia.
PILOT PROJECT ON EDUCATIONAL APPLICATION
OF INTERACTIVE TELEVISION
The ITU-UNESCO pilot project on the “Educational Application of Interactive Television”, aiming to test whether interactive television technology can be appropriate for educational applications in developing countries, is being implemented in Morocco following a donor conference. The Indian authorities have invited the ITU and UNESCO to proceed with a second project in two states of that country and have organised, with UNESCO support, a training and planning workshop for the officials concerned. Extrabudgetary funding is being sought to implement this project. A pilot project on “Creating Learning Networks for African Teachers” was initiated in Zimbabwe as a basis for a regional learning network, and a project proposal for networking teacher training colleges and education ministries in twenty African countries has been formulated for extrabudgetary financing. An experiment in the use of the Internet for international environmental education was organized on the occasion of the One Step Young Explorers expedition to the Antarctica (December 1996 - January 1997) and fifteen schools from around the world participated.
MULTIPURPOSE COMMUNITY TELECENTRES
As part of a multi-agency project on Multipurpose Community Telecentres sponsored by the International Develop-ment Research Centre (IDRC), the ITU and UNESCO, feasibility studies have been initiated for pilot projects in five African countries (Benin, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda), and implementation is commencing in Mali and Uganda. UNESCO’s contribution, with DANIDA funds-in-trust assistance, is designed to enhance the role of public libraries as gateways to development information and open learning, in particular making use of telematics applications.
A pilot project has been initiated on virtual laboratory techniques, between the research centres in Kazakstan and the United States of America, working in the area of the migration of radioactive products in human populations and in the environment. An expert group is being planned for late 1997 in Paris to advise on appropriate methodologies and techno-logies to enable researchers in the South and North to collaborate on priority research projects for development through the establishment of virtual laboratories.
WebWorld, the new website of the Sector for Communication, Information and Informatics, was developed by the Information and Informatics Division and released in January 1997. It represents a strategic tool for ensuring the Sector’s and CII/INF’s presence in cyberspace. In addition to providing basic information as to the Sector’s strategies and activities, including making full text CII publications accessible on-line, it aims at establishing a virtual memory of the world, including not only the documentary heritage covered by the Memory of the World Programme, but also other information in the public domain. On the basis of projects developed within the framework of the Memory of the World Programme, it will give on-line access to collections and holdings of libraries and archives world-wide. In this context, a proposition has been made to the National Archives of Yemen and Benin for the establishment of their web sites and their hosting on WebWorld. The creation of a virtual library making literary works in all languages in full text accessible on-line, is envisaged. As a first step, eighty literary works in the Portuguese language will be made available.
WebWorld is also intended to demonstrate the possibilities of the new technologies for accessing the public domain information, encouraging the creation of websites of partner institutions. On an experimental basis, WebWorld hosts their websites, e.g. the website of the Union latine and of the National Museum of Cameroon featuring masks and statues from Cameroon. In addition, CII/INF develops co-operation mechanisms with research and training institutions for the creation of experimental websites demon-strating the possibilities of world-wide networks. CII/INF also has provided financial and technical assistance for the preparation of a 3D introduction to the collections of the Kremlin Museum on Internet and for the organization of a Public Internet Centre in the Kremlin Museum.
In keeping with the desire of the General Conference to increase inter-disciplinary and inter-sectorial co-operation, CII/INF assisted the Sector of Culture in the creation of its website. Also an Internet Guide has been published and distributed to Member States.
PREPARATION OF AN INTEGRATED TEACHING PACKAGE
ON INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
This package is intended mainly for use of community, school and rural libraries and information centres. The teaching package uses multi-media materials - text, transparencies, video cassettes, tapes - to suit different types of requirements and conditions. The teaching package was field-tested in Bangladesh and Nepal and is now being revised to incorporate suggested changes to suit country conditions. Both Bangladesh and Nepal are preparing versions in their local languages. The package is also due to be field-tested in the Philippines and Vietnam in July/August 1997.
For more information on Telematics activities, please contact Mr John Rose, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 220.127.116.11. Fax: (33-1) 18.104.22.168. E-mail: email@example.com
UNESCO NETWORK OF
ASSOCIATED LIBRARIES (UNAL)
The UNESCO Network of Associated Libraries (UNAL) was launched seven years ago as a means of fostering international relations between libraries sharing similar concerns. Seven years provides sufficient time for the Network to be established and now seems to be an opportune time to reflect on the purpose of the Network, how it functions and the role played by its various members.
UNAL forms part of UNESCO's networks of associations or institutions among which are the Associated Schools Systems (ASP) and the UNESCO Clubs. Although much smaller in number than its older sisters, the UNAL Network is steadily growing and now has over 350 members in eighty different countries some of whom have established special twinning agreements.
Libraries provide such effective tools to broaden horizons and increase knowledge that they play a key role in supporting UNESCO's programmes to combat illi-teracy, improve the environment, promote human rights and, in particular, the status of women, develop a culture of peace, etc.. The UNAL Network was therefore created as a means of creating awareness of these world issues and setting up a mechanism for the sharing of information in these fields.
UNAL is primarily a partnership of libraries whose members collaborate at an international level to achieve some of UNESCO's major objectives for the betterment of humanity. It is a voluntary organization whose success is made possible with the motivation and commit-ment of all its partners. Membership opens the door to certain privileges that libraries are encouraged to exploit fully: special ties with other members for pooling inform-ation and experiences; exchange pro-grammes involving librarians and materials; organizing joint events in support of better understanding among peoples etc.
The Network was intended to bring together public libraries from all over the world, each serving a local community, within the framework of a cooperative scheme. However, because the organi-zation of libraries varies from country to country, UNAL's original mandate was widened to allow the admission of libraries serving the public (and not only public libraries). It was felt that this would create greater symbiosis among members in support of national development. Con-sequently, there is now a considerably vast range of information sources within the Network which can be tapped for the benefit of all. Members are encouraged to make known their needs as well as their strengths so that paired interests can be easily catalogued. It is stressed that this type of cooperation is mutual and should not be regarded as a typical transfer of ideas and material from the "haves" to the "have-nots". Many libraries in developing countries have much to offer their counterparts in other regions of the world, both developed and developing, and this needs to be reflected more in UNAL's activities.
Information on activities carried out by its members are publicized in the Newsletter UNAL INFO which is published quarterly and distributed free-of-charge to members. It also contains their suggestions for collaboration, offers of and requests for assistance as well as reports on national, regional or international seminars con-ducted within the framework of the Network.
UNESCO's role is one of coordination. It helps to orient the programme towards those areas where needs are most apparent and promotes closer ties between libraries with similar goals for their mutual benefit and support. It encourages the exchange of information on members' activities and ensures the flow of information among them. Although some limited financial support for worthy activities may be possible, UNAL does not cater to the needs of individual libraries. While its prime objective is to ensure that global as well as local concerns are addressed, any assistance which is provided is for the collective rather than the single entity.
Any library that is open to the public may join the Network by completing and returning the membership application form included in this Newsletter to the address below. There is no fee but libraries must undertake to remain a member for at least two years and provide annual reports on their activities within the Network.
UNAL SUB-REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON REDEFINED ROLES OF LIBRARIES
IN AN INFORMATION SOCIETY AND PROMOTION OF
UNESCO NETWORK OF ASSOCIATED LIBRARIES
16 - 18 FEBRUARY 1997
The Sub-Regional Workshop on Redefined Roles of Libraries in an Information Society and Promotion of UNESCO Network of Associated Libraries (UNAL), jointly organized by UNESCO and the Bangladesh National Scientific and Technical Documentation Center (BANSDOC) was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 16 to 18 February 1997. Thirty-five participants including librarians, documentalists and infor-mation scientists from seven countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) attended the Workshop.
The objectives of the Workshop were:
to discuss the changing roles of libraries and librarians in development;
to discuss the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in information delivery and in transforming societies into an information society and their relevance to development;
to develop strategies for promoting awareness and appreciation of ICT in development and the role of libraries and librarians in such programmes;
to invite public and school libraries to join UNAL.
In his welcome address, Dr Md. Lutfur Rahman, Director, BANSDOC outlined the aims of the Workshop and stated the benefits of participating in UNAL and its role in achieving the goals of UNESCO. He emphasized the importance of information for national development, and briefly narrated the background of the Workshop.
In her remarks, Ms Delia E. Torrijos, UNESCO/INF Regional Adviser for Asia/Pacific explained the rationale and enumerated UNESCO's contribution towards the development of national, academic, research and specialized libraries in member states over the last decades. She also emphasized the importance of UNAL for establishing linkages and promoting cooperation among public and school libraries, within the country and among countries in different regions of the world.
Mr Abdullah Harun Pasha, Secretary, Ministry of Education, Government of Bangladesh, in his speech appreciated the role of UNESCO in the cause of advancement of international friendship and cooperation, and wished the joint activity of UNESCO and BANSDOC much success.
In his address Mr M. Fazlur Rahman, Secretary-in-charge, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Bangla-desh, stressed the need for appropriate education and training of information personnel in the emerging information age. He also emphasized the need for extending information services down to rural areas so that community people can reap their benefits to raise living conditions and quality of life.
The following Recommendations were approved by the Workshop:
Recognizing that no true national development in any country will occur without the active involvement and participation of the general population, especially those living in the rural, isolated and disadvantaged areas;
Considering that national development programmes require an effective national information system, which is based on an appropriate national information infra-structure and services, and which must ensure that all types of information required for development will flow to all areas of the country, specially the rural areas;
Recognizing further that the emerging global information society and the initiatives being taken by several countries in different regions to transform their societies into information societies in order to hook-up to and benefit from the much talked-about information superhighways and the urgent need to reduce the growing imbalance between information-rich and information-poor communities within a country and amongst countries.
The Workshop strongly recommends that:
the government of each country formulates a set of national information policies to guide the continuing and sustained development of the country's national information infrastructure and services (NIIS), with the required strategies for short- and long-term development, the requisite institutional implementing mechanism and detailed plan of action.
This set of information policies should include as a priority the establishment of well-equipped and supported school and public library systems (down to the village level) to ensure that access to information is provided to all segments of society in all areas of the country for individual and collective development of its citizens.
The implementing strategies and the plan of action of the information policies to be formulated should include actions that address the problems and issues identified, with emphasis on the following priority areas:
substantially improving the library collection, facilities and skills and capacities of human resources operating the libraries and information systems, especially in the school and public (e.g. village) libraries, to support the kinds of services required by an information society being established;
upgrading the status of library and information personnel and profes-sionalizing the library and information profession at par with the other recognized professions in the country;
optimizing the use of available resources through effective coordination, inte-gration and other resource-sharing arrangements, especially in establishing cross-sectoral functional linkages with better equipped agencies and organi-zations with those operating in the rural areas;
establishing alliances and partnerships with government and private organi-zations and agencies to expedite imple-mentation and ensure sustainability of operation;
Recommends that international agen-cies, particularly UNESCO, and other concerned agencies should make available the necessary financial and technical assistance to catalyze and support country initiatives to improve their citizen's access to and use of information for development, mobilize required resources and political support, whenever required and feasible.
Recognizing the growing importance for people, especially those in the rural areas, to properly understand and appreciate the applicability of emerging concepts and issues promoted by UNESCO, such as promotion of human rights, culture of peace, cultural diversity, eradication of all forms of discrimination and exclusion, environmental protection, improvement of the status of women, the Workshop strongly recommends that libraries join UNAL and launch a campaign in their respective countries to promote its objectives.
For more information on UNAL, please contact Mrs Joie Springer, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 22.214.171.124. Fax: (33-1) 126.96.36.199. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Please see page 47 for UNAL Membership Application Form)
SAFEGUARDING OF THE SARGIANO MONASTIC LIBRARY
The Sargiano Library (Italy) was created in 1454 A.D. in the Monastery of the same name, founded originally for the Order of St. Claire at the end of the fourteenth century. The first volumes, numerous and varied in subject matter, were received as a gift from Ser Nastasio di Biagio. The library kept growing in the centuries to come, as Sargiano became the center of Theological Study of the Tuscan Province of the Franciscan Order, and according to the inventory of the library as recorded in 1929, it was enriched by no less than 14,000 volumes and 20,000 journal issues attributed to Fr. Teodosio.
On July 14, 1944, the Monastery was severely hit by bombs, and the library lost substantial parts of its collections. Flooded in 1987 due to splitting frozen pipelines for antiquated heating system, the library holdings were found in 1995 scattered on all available floor and table surface to “dry”. Mold and mildew invaded the entire heritage that must be diagnosed and treated; the rooms as well must be renovated so as to provide an adequate physical environment within the historical library setting.
The initial cause of the damage was obviously the flood in the area of Fr. Teodosio’s Library, whose books, journals and documents were scattered throughout the other rooms and the Sargiano Library. For this reason the natural environment and physical conditions of the entire section (first and second floors) of the Sargiano complex must be renovated, including thermal control, lighting, fire detection and suppression, rodents and insect control, etc.
Unfortunately, the roof and walls of these sections were inadequately restored in the past, so as to create a “hermetically water-proof” zone, by the application of a non-transpiring “tar-protected” roof and painted, cemented exterior wall covering. This resulted in the creation of a kind of “sauna” during the summer, and a damp and cold environment for the collections during the winter.
The entire renovation of the library area, with the intention of opening the holdings to the international research public, is projected to include the following: compliance with the European Community Safety Norms, including the provision of an adequate number of exits, stairways, fire protection doors and detection devises; overhauling of roof and treatment of exterior walls, with ventilation and lighting control; electrical reworking of network, fixtures, respecting 18th-19th century setting and restoration of a display table with glass covering for exhibition of the most valuable items; lightning storm protection; restoration of interior walls, floors and ceilings of both library premises, reading rooms, audio-visual room provi-ding access to INTERNET, conference rooms; reception desk equipped with reference material and computer terminals; restoration or replacement of windows, doors and shelving, with furniture respecting the epoch; temperature and humidity control and regulation.
Once these restoration measures have been achieved, it will be possible to catalogue the collections, and provide access to them. It is envisaged to use the CDS/ISIS software package, developed by UNESCO and offered on its behalf, free of charge, by the Province of Arezzo together with initial training of young students to input the catalographic data. It is also suggested that specific fields for assessing the preservation conditions of the holdings and recommended conservation treatment be foreseen when creating the data base. The Library catalogue will be published by the Province of Arezzo in cooperation with the Tuscan Region and eventually made available through the INTERNET. The Region has already made a number of Tuscan Library Catalogues available on-line. Once the catalogue is made available on-line, it will be possible for the Library to nominate for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register, documentary heritage of universal value, in collaboration with other Franciscan monasteries.
The Region of Tuscany and the Province of Arezzo have already begun collaborating with the Associazione Universitaria “Fernando Rielo” towards the recuperation of the Sargiano holdings through financing initial disinfecting treatment. The target date for re-opening the Sargiano Library, including its two collections, is the Jubilee Year 2000 A.D.
MEMORY OF THE WORLD PROGRAMME
A number of pilot projects are being carried out within the framework of "Memory of the World". These include:
The postcards from the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century chosen for this project constitute an important pictorial treasure relating to the 16 countries members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The presentation of these postcards off-line and on-line (CD-ROM and Website) will create an appropriate pictorial, historical and geographical framework. The CD-ROM, prepared in collaboration with a private French company, features 3,000 postcards, which represents only a small part of the 50,000 which exist for the same period (1890-1930) and the same countries.
Treasures of Dar Al Kutub, Egypt
This project, reproducing on CD-ROM a selection of precious manuscripts of the National Library in Cairo (Dar Al Kutub), offers a guided tour through the splendours of the Arab culture and its contribution to the enhancement of knowledge in numerous scientific fields.
Photographic collections in Latin America and the Caribbean
This project concerns public photograph collections of the XIXth century held in national archives and libraries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The coupling of a CD-ROM containing 3,000 to 5,000 images illustrating the main stages of the history of approximately ten countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and of a presentation on the Web of a selection of images, will promote this fragile heritage, which is in danger of disappearing, and will contribute to its preservation.
Note: The Third Meeting of the International Advisory Committee of the "Memory of the World" Programme will take place in Tashkent (Ouzbekistan) from 29 September to 1 October 1997. This meeting will be preceded by a Regional Consultation on the Conservation, Preservation and Promotion of the Documentary Heritage of Central Asia (25-26 September 1997).
For more information about the Memory of the World Programme, please contact Mr A. Abid, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 188.8.131.52. Fax: (33-1) 184.108.40.206. E-mail: email@example.com
WORLD INFORMATION REPORT
The World Information Report which is now available in French, provides a worldwide picture of archive, library and information services. This sourcebook not only covers in detail the state of the art of archive, library and information services in five continents, but also addresses the most challenging issues that they face at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
A thorough review of the world of information, from East to West and from North to South, is offered in Part I of the Report. For the first time, a general picture covering both developed and developing countries describes: national archives, libraries and information centres; school, university and public libraries; national and international networks; data-base producers; professional associations and education; public and private institutions providing all sorts of information services. Tables and figures synthesize the data available region by region.
Part II deals with the basic technical components of information work, which are presented in the form of state-of-the-art reports. Computers, telecommunication and multimedia technologies, and Internet together with library buildings are accordingly reviewed from an information perspective.
Part III is concerned with issues and trends of relevance to information provision. Crucial problems such as the future of books and copyright, access to archives, preservation of the archival heritage, and international co-operation and assistance are presented for the benefit of the layman. Prevailing trends leading to the twenty-first century’s information world are covered in chapters such as The Information Society, Information High-ways, and Economic Intelligence.
Prepared by UNESCO, which secured the contribution of the best specialists from all over the world, the World Information Report is an instrument of both diagnosis and decision. It will provide decision-makers, government officials, information professionals and the public at large with a better understanding of the information world as it is today and a more acute insight of what it will be tomorrow.
Sample available on Internet : http://www.unesco.org/webworld/wirerpt/
INTRODUCTION, Yves Courrier and Andrew Large