Posts Tagged ‘librarians’

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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A new partnership between researchers and librarian will provide opportunity for library and information science professionals to develop and refine their skills, knowledge and confidence in conducting research. The Partnership is sponsored by the Library Theory and Research Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

Research skill and knowledge are the essential tool kit for ensuring that libraries and librarians continue to effectively and efficiently meet the evolving needs of the clients and communities they serve.

Up to six recipients will be selected to take part in the Partnership in 2010. The successful recipients will be matched with a mentor who has experience in conducting research.

Link to the announcement.

Nominations will be considered by a Selection Committee and recommendations made to the Library Theory and Research Standing Committee. Nominations close on 3 May 2010. Download the application form here.

Applications should be submitted via email to the LTR Selection Committee Chair, Helen Partridge at h.partridge@qut.edu.au

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Haiti Earthquake

Primary and secondary school in Port-au-Prince, taken by Jennifer Graves of Moonlight Productions (thx!)

5 Ways Librarians Can Help Librarians in Haiti

(more will be added)

1.) Give Books. IFLA’s Center for Arabic Speaking Libraries is requesting new and used English and French books. To donate books to Haiti, please send your donation with parcel labeled with “Haiti Libraries Relief” to the following address:
Haiti Libraries Relief
IFLA Center for Arabic Speaking Libraries
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
P.O.Box 138, Chatby
21526 Alexandria
Contact: For more information please contact Mrs. Dina Youssef, Deputy Director of IFLA-CASL, e-mail : dina.youssef@bibalex.org – tel.: +2 03 4839999 extension 1997

2.) Volunteer virtually or in Haiti. Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS) is looking for volunteer archivists, restorers, curators, librarians, architects and other experts to aid in the recovery and damage assessment. Find the application online: http://haiti2010.blueshield-international.org/.

3.) Lend your tech skills. Find a CrisisCamp Haiti near you and join up. They are looking for programmers, librarians, researchers, geospatial development, and translators in more than 12 cities worldwide. Ongoing tech projects include a Relief “craigslist”, Haiti Hospital Capacity Finder, Disaster Accountability Project, Haitian Voices digital archive, and NGO maps in action. Also, see their “simple tasks anyone can do” wiki.

4.) Donate to ALA’s Library Relief Fund to help rebuild libraries and archives in Haiti. Donations can be made by credit card or check through www.ala.org/haiti.

5.) Educate. The Digital Library of the Caribbean has been posting ongoing detailed information about the recovery effort. Also, check ALA’s up-to-date list of reported damages to libraries in Haiti.

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Internet copyrightThe effects of globalization and the internet is a troubling concept but even more so when we consider the issue of internet copyright and plagiarism.  Signifyin’ Guyana explores the issue of copyright and considers “is it really theft if you steal it from a blog?”  (The answer, I hope, is “NO” since this came from Guyanese blogger Charmaine Valere:)

What if you logged on to your favourite social networking site one day and discovered the talk was all about a brilliant newspaper article, and when you checked out the article it closely resembled something you had written online a few months prior?  Would you just brush it aside and consider it mere coincidence?  Given that general scenario, a rational thinking person would probably do just that . . . brush it aside . . . call it mere coincidence.  But what if there’s more to the scenario?

Rules are changing about internet copyright and librarians have long recognized issues like net neutrality that affect academics and the public. It is no longer a question whether or not librarians have an obligation to play more of a role in helping users navigate this complicated world, but how they will do this. Even more so — how does one explain this to an increasingly globalized community which has different social customs and opinions on citations, quotes, pull-quotes, paraphrasing, source stealing and how to treat pulling images from websites. Is it enough to link to an article (thank you, Ian Shapira, for addressing this earlier this year) or should you use more traditional citation methods seen in scholarly research? Or is the reader’s expectation that determines the type of citation necessary? (i.e. academics expect it; media-hoppers and some bloggers don’t.)

So I ask —  how do international internet copyright attitudes differ from each other and are they just as equal? Should we treat them as such?

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A shameless pltwitterug – and list of other librarians and libraries in the twittersphere. Learn more about the professionals and organizations out there interested in global and international librarianship.
Other international library twitterers (@globallib listed as #82.):

@LivingLibrary: This organization works to promote the Living Library on a global level.
@IFLA_HQ: Get news from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions here.

Let me know if you hear of others not on this list.

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World Humanitarian Day 2009The first World Humanitarian Day will be observed on August 19 – a day to increase  public awareness about humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and to honor all those who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty.

Here are 5 ways you can celebrate World Humanitarian Day:

1.) Give a thought out to the librarians and archivists at the national archives in Honduras which been occupied by military personnel. ICA has expressed concern over the reported threats to the preservation of the national archives.

2.) Give a donation to the Sergio Vieira de Mello Library, named after the late Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Iraq who was killed in a bomb blast in Baghdad on 19 August 2003 along with  21 United Nations staff members.

3.) Educate yourself. Find out what humanitarians around the world are risking their lives for. Don’t miss the slideshow.

4.) Give a prayer for the 260 humanitarian aid workers killed, kidnapped or seriously injured in 2008. Also give a prayer for librarians killed doing humanitarian outreach, like William Jefferson in 1995.

5.) Visit the World Humanitarian Day exhibition of posters and photographs capturing images of humanitarian workers in action — Wednesday, 19 August at 10:30 a.m. in the Visitors Lobby of United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

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In the  keynote speech at the Nigerian Library Association in Ibadan, Omolewa, Nigerian UNESCO delegate Prof. Michael Omolewa said Africa needs (and loves) it’s librarians.

A world without librarians and a library would be void, unexciting and without consolation of any type

Repost from the Resource Shelf:  Nigeria: World Without Librarians, Library, Void

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