e-promotion - Promotion of e-resources in developing...

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Promotion of e-resources in developing countries: a case study 1. Introduction This is not so much one case study as a description of outcomes from a series of cases, based on our experience at Middlesex University in different but related projects concerning the modernisation of libraries in developing countries. For many years, libraries, particularly academic or special libraries, were stable institutions, purchasing books and printed journals to the extent that their budget would allow, cataloguing and classifying them and then making them available by placing them on open shelves or closed stacks. Libraries in developing countries were in the same situation, except that their budget was less and the books and journals more expensive because everything they received had to come by post half way round the world at great cost. So they could buy even less. Academic libraries in general discarded only books which were damaged unless they ran out of space in which case they might have to select carefully material for disposal. Libraries were staffed by librarians who had been taught the same kinds of topics as their grandfathers (or should I say also their grandmothers) before them. In many cases this still applies in a number of developing countries. The course curriculum for librarians has never been updated to take into account electronic sources of information, electronic journals and now e-books. 2. Armenia Armenia is one of the countries which used to be in the Soviet bloc. Science and technology was good and libraries were good though traditional. Before we began to work with Armenia, we were aware of some of the problems of libraries in the former Soviet Union. In a visit to a State Linguistic University library in Siberia which wanted to obtain funding from the European Union to extend their library to hold more books, we discovered a good traditional library but with no access to e-resources (only via an Internet cafe, nothing to do with the library though in the same building which, incidentally, had direct access to the internet with no password control). However we also discovered that the library was full of textbooks from the Soviet period which had formerly been given out by the library to students for the duration of their courses but which were all recalled to the library as they were no longer used (and so filled the library shelves). Middlesex University had contacts with Yerevan State University and ways were explored of securing funding from external sources to modernise the library. At the point in time at which Middlesex University became involved they already had installed the library automation system Aleph in the central library as part of an Armenian consortium to produce a union catalogue. The outcome was that in order to enable further modernisation of Yerevan State University Library, a project was undertaken with European Union funding. The European Union Directorate General for Education has established a programme for support of
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This note was uploaded on 12/29/2009 for the course IWBL WBS4845 taught by Professor Mehmetali during the Fall '09 term at Middlesex UK.

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e-promotion - Promotion of e-resources in developing...

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