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I’ve become increasingly more active with a volunteer group of humanitarians who give technology aid after a major disaster, such as the one that occurred this week in Japan.  For those that haven’t heard of this emerging interdisciplinary field of crisis mapping, crisis mappers were featured on CNN for the instantaneous response and creation of the  person finder application and aggregation of news sources.  Voluntweeters around the world started self-organizing in the information space, using twitter and other microblogging environments to collect and disseminate information, creating mash-ups of satellite images for disaster and crisis management support — in just the last 24 hours. As a rule, time is the most valuable resource during these events and crisis mappers are very fast to respond when a crisis happens.

So what does this mean for libraries? Part of my graduate research is looking at the needs of crisis mappers from an information needs perspective. This emerging field of crisis mapping during a disaster is supported by loosely organizated individuals en masse without geographic restrictions. As librarians and information specialists we need to start looking at how we can help seek and provide information they are looking for. Why? Because it is our job.

In my research I am looking at crisis mapping for two reasons — how are crisis mappers doing it and how can we help as information specialists? This brings up more questions: If the crisis mapping community sets up interactive maps to help identify needs and resources of a community, how can we support that data? How can we help support and manage the evolving coverage of resources being created in response to a major disaster? What is our role in organizing that information and making it universally accessible and useful? Do we have the skills to support the many new web-based relief tools emerging — and do we want to have a role?

I hope to have the answers to those questions in the coming months as I continue to do my research.

Librarian Intelligence. It’s the new now.

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… And if Brewster Kahle’s plan comes to fruition, Iceland may also be the first nation in the world to have its entire cultural library digitized and put online.

From Forbes.com

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From the IFLA listserv

It is with great pleasure that the UNISA Library,  the IFLA Regional Office for Africa and IFLA Africa Section invite you to the African Library Summit 2011. Registrations are now open: http://guest.cvent.com/d/0dqgtn

The theme of the Summit

The theme of the Summit is The Future of African Librarianship.

The purpose of the Summit

The purpose of the Summit is to create an exciting and collaborative business atmosphere that will stimulate critical debate on library and information service issues with a view to developing an action plan for quality library services and librarianship on the African continent. The Summit will also provide the networking opportunities so vital to any professional community.

Leading library and information executives from the African continent will attend this three- day high-level strategy event from Wednesday 11th to Friday 13th May 2011.

The venue

The African Library Summit 2011 will take place at Misty Hills Country Hotel, Conference Centre and Spa, Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa

Registration fee

If registered by Thursday 31 March 2011, the cost is US $380 per delegate.

Registrations received after 31 March 2011: US $450 per delegate

For a Currency Converter: http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter

The registration fee includes:

·        Lunch and evening meals on all three days of the Summit

·        Morning and afternoon refreshment breaks

·        The Opening and Closing Events (11 and 13 May 2011)

·        Visit to the Cradle of Humankind or a Unisa Library Tour on the last day of the Summit

The registration fee excludes:

·        Travel and accommodation

·        Airport shuttles

·        Optional activities

·        Anything not otherwise specified

Accommodation

Accommodation is available at the Summit venue (Misty Hills Country Hotel, Conference Centre and Spa). Accommodation rates (in South African Rand) vary between R890 and R12,000 per person per night. Accommodation rates include breakfast.

There are also accommodation available very near to the Summit venue. Accommodation rates vary from R375 to R750 per person per night.

For more information and the preliminary programme, please visit our website:  African Library Summit 2011


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This came from the IFLA listserv.
We are pleased to announce that the application for Master of Science in Library and Information Studies is now open. Graduate School of Library, Information and Media Studies at the University of Tsukuba is the first and only institution in Japan that offers an English Master’s program in Library and Information Science.

Master Course of Science in Library and Information Studies (English Program)

Objectives of Education
The objective of this two-year Master’s program is to educate international students in Library and Information Science. This course will provide a comprehensive education based on multidisciplinary fields of study, encompassing the fundamental and applied subjects in Library and Information Science. Students will also develop their research skills in the multidisciplinary fields of managing diverse information resources.
List of courses
http://www.slis.tsukuba.ac.jp/grad/elis/ELIS_Courses_2011.pdf
How to apply
Please read the following Guidelines for Application carefully and follow the instruction in the document: http://www.slis.tsukuba.ac.jp/grad/elis/Guidelines_for_ELIS_Applications_2011.pdf
Contact
For any enquiry for the program, please contact us: elis-info@slis.tsukuba.ac.jp Graduate School of Library, Information and Media Studies, University of Tsukuba1-2 Kasuga, Tsukuba-city, Ibaraki-ken 305-8550, JAPAN

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I just finished reading today’s article from The Atlantic Why We Can’t Afford Not to Create a Well-Stocked National Digital Library System which highlights 9 reasons why the United States needs to jump out to DL bandwagon. Don’t worry — the article doesn’t advocate for abandoning traditional print collections, but rather for expanding and evolving the already existent reading practices.

The article goes on to discuss digital library set-ups around the world:

Europeans countries like France are–at least in terms of politicians’ rhetoric–closer than we are. There is even a Euro digital library portal. China has already amassed a huge digital collection, with six million books scanned as of 2006. A Wikipedia page lists dozens of government and nongovernment digital library projects, ranging from Project Gutenberg, probably the first, to the New Zealand Text Center.

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UN PublicationsAnnounced today, United Nations Publications launched their first application for the iphone. The first publications available are UN flagship titles such as ‘The Charter of the United Nations’, ‘The United Nations Today’, and ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.

UN Publications is the main source for over 5,300 titles produced by the United Nations and its key agencies.

The apps — which can also be downloaded for the iPad — are available for a fee. For more information, see https://unp.un.org/MobileApps.aspx

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Aaron Schmidt  — referred to in Library Journal as a hard-core librarian “by friends because he is an avid mountain biker, rock climber, and extreme sports kind of guy”  — recently made an interesting post on the future of libraries in Finland from the Gates Foundation’s 2010 Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting:

The libraries I saw have overcome their addiction to circulating content. Now they’re all about doing, making, publishing, working, and experiences revolving around content.

Instead of books people check out guitars. Or record music and edit music videos.

Another observation of Finnish libraries from Ari Katz at IREX from the same meeting.

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