Issue 60, Lent 2007: International issue
- Help for VSO Librarians
- Listening at night: one librarian's former hobby
- The library tour
- A library trip to Göttingen
- Commuting to Siberia: or, librarianship at -24°C
- The Japanese Collection at the University Library
- The ESU/CILIP Travelling Librarian Award: or, how I visited 36 libraries, archives and museums in 21 days and lived to tell the tale …
- No wheels on my wagon
- More global stuff
Libraries, says Sandra Cunningham in this issue, are not normally the first places on an itinerary for a world trip. But here comes a whole CULIB about libraries worldwide, and – as we're a Cambridge librarians' house journal – about Cambridge's place among them.
So we hear from Noburu Koyama about Cambridge University Library's celebrated collection of Japanese books; from Heather Lane about how a Cambridge librarian toured Alaska on an English-Speaking Union Travelling Award, and saw the consequences of melting glaciers at first hand; from Gotthelf Wiedermann about the workings of a German library with strong links to Britain. And, because we announced this issue to members of CILIP's International Library and Information Group, we have contributions from outside Cambridge, as well: Simon Francis on libraries in Siberia, Maria Cotera on the support that is available for librarians doing voluntary service overseas, and a brief snippet about ILIG itself. Plus the regular features.
The online version of CULIB comes with illustrations and links, not to mention an article by Ian Stringer on mobile libraries without wheels.
The Career Development Group (CDG) is one of the generalist groups of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). CDG's mission is to support, represent and promote the development needs of new and existing library and information workers and students.
CDG also has an international policy which supports 'the right of every citizen of the world to access information and imagination, and have freely available information to inform their personal, social and intellectual development'.
CDG International's aim is to support members of the Group in gaining a better understanding of international issues. Specific areas of activity which, through active participation, increase the personal and professional knowledge and understanding of members about relevant matters outside the UK, are periodically selected. These activities include providing support for the developing world and CDG members interested in international issues, and promoting international understanding in the profession.
CDG is a small charity, Registered Charity Number 313014, and money for International Projects comes exclusively from fundraising events and voluntary donations requested at library visits, pub quizzes and similar events organised by CDG Divisions throughout the country.
Some of this money goes to support a Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Librarian on a bi-annual basis. VSO volunteers aim to pass on their expertise to local people so that when they return home their skills remain. During 2005-06, CILIP member Sarah Ellis was supported by CDG with a £1,000 per year contribution during the time of her placement in Uganda.
Sarah went to Kampala, Uganda's capital, to work as an office manager for Literacy and Basic Education, a national Non-Governmental Organisation aiming at promoting literacy and basic education for all. After finishing her placement, Sarah was so keen to continue her VSO work that she moved to Kambalee, a rural area, to do another small placement as Organisation Development Officer for another Ugandan NGO, which she very successfully finished in September 2006.
For further information about VSO see: http://www.vso.org.uk/. More information on CDG collaboration with VSO is also available by contacting CDG's International Officer Maria Cotera: firstname.lastname@example.org
University College London
Radio Moscow had a dark, distinctive studio echo – I could tell I was tuned to Moscow by the quality of the silence. Radio Portugal I imagined presenting its English programmes, with benign forgetfulness, from rooms that had seen better days, with a lot of chipboard around and faded yellow paint. Radio Tirana's chief English speaker, I thought, must be standing up to shout the news bulletins, and probably looked a bit like an Irene Handl character from an old film.
I listened to those stations, and others, as a teenager in the 1970s.
Long-distance radio on medium-wave is a night thing, a winter thing. My pocket radio twice, in deep January, brought local stations from Canada's Atlantic seaboard into my Nottinghamshire bedroom. Distant broadcasters verified my reception reports with postcards – known as 'QSL' cards – and I built up a collection of them.
The hobby had the thrill of distance; the thrill of newness, sometimes, when I came across a broadcaster I hadn't heard before; the thrill of the chase and the capture (I with my pocket radio, hearing things I thought no one else had heard); the thrill of hatred (Radio Tirana devoted itself to diatribes against everything I thought worthwhile); the thrill of the ridiculous, when a programme showed complete misunderstanding of things any British listener would know; and, after a while, not much thrill of any kind, but an addict's obsession with recapturing the thrill that had been there before. My schoolwork suffered for a time, and I still occasionally blame my lack of reading on the hours I spent glued to the radio. Or sometimes just poring over the World radio TV handbook entries for stations I would never find.
Silly to blame radio listening, when some people can listen sensibly enough. But my interest in world radio faded round about 1980, and shows no signs of coming to life again.
An earlier version of this article appeared in Streetwise, the parish magazine of St Matthew's church, Cambridge. Thanks to Tony Shaw, the Editor of Streetwise, for permission to reprint.
Libraries are not normally the first places on an itinerary for a world trip. Despite this, I found myself on the doorsteps of all kinds of libraries on my travels. I began with an ancient Roman library and worked my way through to the 21st century libraries of today. No two libraries on the trip were the same, yet inevitably they all shared a similar ethos – to promote learning and culture. Even the library at Ephesus is still promoting and preserving history today despite the fact that it is long past its lending days. All made me feel welcome and the staff were always helpful (naturally!)
For me, the key feature of any library is the design and architecture. So, perhaps it was fitting that I began with a very early and magnificent example, the Library of Celsus in the ancient city of Ephesus. The scorching 40° heat was almost unbearable but the stunning ruins of a once glorious library were worth the effort. It was built in the 2nd century by Julius Aquila and is still admired today for its size, beauty and design. Copies of four original female statues representing wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and virtue are an impressive reminder of what life and libraries are all about.
Continuing with my visit to grand and impressive places of knowledge, my next stop was the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. (known to many of us as the ultimate authority for all subject headings!). Once you get past the myriad of entrance security procedures, you cannot fail to be impressed by such a majestic home for one of the largest and finest collections in the world. Steeped in history and beauty, the collection is housed in three buildings, the most famous of which is the Thomas Jefferson building. In such a stunning setting it might be easy to forget about the wonderful collection but a tour of the building uncovers many rare and beautiful treasures including a perfect vellum copy of the Gutenberg Bible (which is on permanent display in the Great Hall).
In an exceptionally small country like Singapore, location and space are of the utmost importance. Libraries there are often located in shopping centres. This fact is worth remembering, especially, if like me, you have a tendency to spend money you don't have when faced with a lot of temptation! The most interesting aspect of these libraries was the massive assortment of manga, graphic novels and comic strips. I guess this unusual collection combined with the prime shopping district location account for the large numbers of young people they have as members.
Moving on, I found my favourite library in the heart of Melbourne city. It may not have the long history of the first two (it only opened in 2004) but the modern design and architecture create an open, friendly and relaxing environment. The inclusion of a café in the library is a marvellous idea, making it an appealing spot for lunch breaks and after work meetings. A number of large, comfortable, squishy chairs upon which people are encouraged to curl up in cosy corners for an entertaining read add to the appeal of the place. As for those who come with more serious intentions, they will find exactly what they are looking for in the quiet study rooms. This wonderful example of a 21st century library also has gallery space and meeting rooms for hire which may reduce some of their budget concerns, proving that design and space are as important today as they were in Roman times!
Classics Faculty Library
From 20 February to 3 March 2006 I had an opportunity to visit the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (SUB) Göttingen. As Head of English Collection Development at the University Library, I was particularly interested in exploring how a German University Library of similar standing to Cambridge organises and manages the work processes involved in the selection, acquisition and cataloguing of its collections, which methods, technologies and standards are being applied, and which new directions are being envisaged in order to deal with present and future challenges. I also wanted to find out how the SUB Göttingen fitted into the national, regional and local collection development strategy.
The Georg August Universität Göttingen, founded in 1734, owes its name to its patron, Georg August, Duke of Hannover, who at the same time happened to be King George II of Great Britain. Not surprisingly, from its earliest days there has been a lively exchange of British and German scholars, poets and scientists at this university. In many ways, there are quite a few similarities between Göttingen and Cambridge in that both are located in attractive historic cities of similar size, with many departments and schools dotted all over the city and many new developments springing up on the outskirts. Both universities have first class reputations in the natural sciences, many scholars having been awarded a Nobel Prize, and both have leading university and research libraries with national collection responsibilities. Until recently, Göttingen University Library was located in the middle of the city centre, occupying eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings, as well as the former Dominican monastery whose chapel (dating back to the late 13th century) formed the spectacular centre-piece of the Library. 1993 saw the completion of a new library complex just outside the city centre, an impressive piece of modern library architecture featuring much stainless steel, glass and automatic blinds, but, more importantly, a user-friendly layout and facilities. Not everything is perfect, of course (not even in Germany!), but on the whole the new library is very popular with readers and staff. While the new library houses the modern collections, of which about 20% are on open shelves, the old library buildings, after imaginative and sensitive restauration, now accommodate the rare books collection, manuscripts, maps, the University Archive, conservation and a state of the art digitization centre, while the Dominican chapel is now used for special events and exhibitions. Today, the SUB Göttingen is one of Germany's largest libraries, holding some 4.5 million books, 1.3 million microforms, ca 15,000 current journals, 13,000 manuscripts, 280,000 maps and over 150,000 rare books.
Collection development in national and regional
Unlike the United Kingdom, and unlike most other European nations, Germany does not have a national library as such. This is partly due to the late foundation of the German state; for the same reasons regional or state libraries have for a very long time played the primary role in the library and research provision in Germany. The only library possessing anything like a national library status today is Die Deutsche Bibliothek in Frankfurt (and Leipzig). This is the only national legal deposit library in Germany, and as such it also spearheads, co-ordinates and implements many national or large-scale projects and initiatives, such as cataloguing standards, national site licenses for electronic resources etc. But the real wealth of library collections, especially of pre-1945 material, is found in the regional state libraries, such as the SUB Göttingen.
Nevertheless, there is a national collection strategy in Germany, and Göttingen plays an important part in it. This strategy rests on two pillars. The first one, which is retrospective, is the concept of a shared, or virtual, national library, whereby 6 major research libraries were allocated the responsibility to collect everything published in Germany within a given era. Within this framework the SUB Göttingen is effectively the National Library for 18th-century German prints; approximately 90% of such material is now held at Göttingen, supplemented by microform and electronic collections to fill the gaps or to make the material more widely accessible. The second pillar – which deals with current rather than historic publications – is a nation-wide system of special collection responsibilities, established after the second world war, whereby selected university and research libraries (such libraries have the title of Staatsbibliothek) have been singled out as being responsible for acquiring everything of academic or cultural value in specified subject areas. The SUB was allocated the highest number of subject areas: general theory of science; library and information science and history of the book; altaic and palaeo-asian languages, literature and culture; finno-ugrian studies, Finland, Hungary, and Estonian language and literature; English and American studies, incl. Celtic studies, Australia and New Zealand; natural sciences (general studies), pure maths; astronomy, astrophysics, space science; geography, geophysics, thematic maps; forestry. Collection responsibility in these areas covers all formats, whether in print, microform or electronic versions, and is heavily subsidised (75%) by special funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG – the largest research funding body in Germany).
Collection Development at the SUB Göttingen
The local library system at Göttingen comprises the university library as well as a host of faculty/departmental libraries. The university library consists of the main library and several dependent libraries (Bereichsbibliotheken) for chemistry, physics, medicine and forestry/forest ecology. Plans are afoot to create a new integrated natural science library and research complex in the north of the city, where most of these departments have been settled during the past 20 years. As in Cambridge, the faculty/departmental libraries (Institutsbibliotheken) are entirely independent of the university library. In fact, they receive independent funding from the government and tend to be controlled by the institutes' professors. Such independence is, however, coming increasingly under threat from the need to cut costs and to pool library services, a trend that is, of course, hastened by an ever-increasing provision of electronic resources. In some cases, such as medicine, faculty libraries have been absorbed by the university library. Other symptoms of this development are the university-wide co-ordination of book acquisitions and journal subscriptions to avoid unnecessary duplication, or experiments with a resource allocation model whereby faculty/departmental libraries are charged for the use of electronic resources provided by the university library.
Collection development in the narrow sense of the term, i.e. the selection of materials for purchasing, is performed by a team of subject librarians who are not part of any department or division, but are accountable directly to the chief librarian. Subject librarians are primarily responsible for the selection of materials in all formats. The SUB used to have 20 subject librarians, but this has now been reduced to 14 FTEs as a result of economies imposed by the University. Selection tools for new acquisitions are national bibliographies of the various countries, publisher and supplier information, both print and electronic, and, increasingly, new title lists extracted from the Gemeinsamer Verbundkatalog (Northern German Union Catalogue), set up according to specific subject profiles on the basis of DDC. Subject librarians at Göttingen also contribute to descriptive cataloguing by allocating local subject headings, decide about the borrowing status and location of books and contribute to reader services at the highest level by giving subject specific advice and communicating with academic staff.
Acquisitions and cataloguing at the SUB Göttingen
The division 'Erwerbung und Katalogisierung' is responsible for managing the acquisition and bibliographic description of monographs, monographic series, journals, microforms and new media (i.e. audio-visual, CD-ROMS and online resources), dissertations, as well as final technical services (binding, labelling etc.), each of which are dealt with by different departments. The division has around 70 members of staff. The Head of the Division is also heavily involved in current efforts to co-ordinate collection development throughout the university (especially for journals and reference materials), and in developing a new charging model for electronic resources where the SUB provides access for all departments. At the heart of all acquisition and cataloguing activities at Göttingen is a library management system linked to a union catalogue used throughout the whole of Northern Germany.
The library management system
Between 1993 and 1995 the SUB introduced the Dutch library management system PICA, using OCLC-PICA software for both cataloguing and acquisitions. The introduction of PICA made possible the amalgamation, integration and further development of a large number of I.T. projects of the previous 20 years. Crucial to the system's architecture is the distinction between the Central Library System (CBS) and the Local Library System (LBS). The former is used for cataloguing, Inter-Library-Loan, classification and subject headings allocation, and for new title alert services not only by Göttingen, but by all university and most public libraries throughout Northern Germany, facilitating collaborative cataloguing by all participating libraries (see more below), whereas the latter is used for acquisitions, circulation and for the OPAC. For the SUB, as for all other participating libraries, the benefits were enormous, creating dramatic increases in efficiency as well as leading to considerable job enrichment for all staff concerned.
The Northern German Union Catalogue
Central to all acquisitions and cataloguing activities at Göttingen is the Joint Network Catalogue (Gemeinsamer Verbundkatalog or GVK) of Northern Germany. The origins of the GVK go back to the scheme of Zentralkataloge introduced in West Germany after the second world war, according to which the Staatsbibliotheken were assigned the task of compiling a union catalogue covering all major libraries within their federal state. The Niedersächsische Zentralkatalog was compiled at the SUB Göttingen, using local cataloguing rules and descriptive standards. To begin with, separate catalogues were produced for books and for journals. It was at Göttingen that most of the IT developments were pioneered which led to the electronic union catalogue for both books and periodicals.
I was very impressed with the range, quality and management of the GVK. It really does achieve collaborative cataloguing on an impressive scale, while at the same time functioning as a bibliographic database that can be used very effectively to provide subject librarians with new title lists.
Microforms and new media
This department, consisting of 9 full-time employees, manages the acquisition, cataloguing, technical services, conservation and lending of microforms, audio-visual materials, CD-ROMs/CD-Is/DVDs, as well as online resources. Big investments have been made since the 1970s in microform collections and reference materials. The department has been trying hard to overcome problems of accessibility, due to lack of catalogue records, by sourcing individual catalogue records from publishers or by creating these themselves. In addition, the office pursues collaborative cataloguing ventures with other research libraries. As a result, microform collections are represented in considerable detail on the GVK and readers are able to make good use of them. To guarantee the availability of audio-visual materials, these are copied onto more durable carriers. Computer files and CDs are copied onto the library's server. Again, creating catalogue records for such materials is an essential part of the department's remit. The department also deals, as a dedicated office, with subscriptions to online resources, negotiates deals with vendors, heads consortial activities and initiatives in Niedersachsen and prepares bids with relevant funding bodies leading to national site licences of e-journals, indexing and abstracting services and reference sources. This requires close collaboration with subject librarians, academics and university departments. I liked the fact that the SUB had a dedicated office for cataloguing alternative media and for managing the selection and acquisition of electronic resources.
These are managed by a department (Dissertations- und Tauschstelle) which also deals with donations and materials received or sent as part of an exchange with other libraries. I was particularly impressed with the library's attempt to encourage every member of the University to publish their dissertation (doctoral, post-doctoral, MA or diploma) electronically on the library's server. A very simple scheme has been set up and is advertised on the SUB's website (www.sub.uni-goettingen.de E-Publishing – Elektronische Dissertationen). In Germany successful doctoral and post-doctoral candidates have a legal obligation to disseminate their research and, until recently, were obliged to publish 100 copies of their dissertation for distribution among university libraries in Germany. Now, for the very small fee of 25 Euros they can publish them electronically, have them entered immediately on the Library's OPAC and made accessible to everyone via the world-wide web. After only 4 years of offering this service, about 40-45% of dissertations are now published electronically (according to statistics I was shown the figures in some German universities are as high as 75-80%). Readers can either print out copies themselves or, using the library's Pro-print service order part or complete print-outs, bound or unbound. Electronic dissertations from Göttingen are also added to the national library of electronic dissertations mounted on a server of the Deutsche Bibliothek in Frankfurt (Digitale Dissertationen im Internet: www.dissonline.de), enabling full-text access and searching. It makes sense, for everybody these days produces their dissertation on a computer. As many dissertations are subsequently published in book form, publishers were initially concerned that internet access to dissertations might damage sales prospects. However, it has been found that the opposite is the case – a trend that booksellers have also observed with e-books.
During the last decade I have made 29 visits totalling 52 weeks to nine different cities in Siberia – from the Urals to Vladivostok on the Pacific coast. Little did I expect, when my wife answered the telephone in 1995 and heard an old friend offer "Now is your chance, have you ever wanted to send him to Siberia?", that I was entering an unusual and highly rewarding period in my professional career.
The TEMPUS programme of the EU was intended to assist in the development and restructuring of higher education in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. University libraries were included within the scope of the programme and I have had the good fortune to be involved in multinational teams working with local Siberian colleagues to introduce new management methods and modern automation systems into at least four different university libraries. The good fortune has, at times, been something of a mixed blessing and I recall with feeling the Princess Diana wine in a heart-shaped bottle bearing her portrait that a kind university rector uncorked in my honour; the pressing invitation to a beach picnic on the shores of the Pacific in -6°C temperature, the ten-hour wait for an aircraft to leave a provincial airport; and the recent British Airways flight to London that subsequently turned out to have been contaminated with Polonium-210. But I also recall with much warmer feelings the firm friendships with local colleagues and the long professional and personal discussions; the meal at a table laid out as a stage set for Chekhov complete with a samovar in the corner; the accordion players strolling along the river embankment on a summer's evening while on the great river the barges plodded upstream.
TEMPUS projects last two or three years and the EU requires that a substantial proportion of the funding is used to bring local colleagues to visit comparable libraries in the Western partner institutions. When we started our work the Soviet Union and its financial systems had not long collapsed and library staff considered themselves lucky if they received a salary at the end of the month, and very lucky if they received 100% of it. There were no funds for travel, or for acquisitions or equipment. Acquisitions and periodicals department staffs commonly sat twiddling their thumbs because no materials were arriving and no-one knew what to do. I once called an informal meeting of half a dozen university library directors and told them that they would be invited to visit libraries in England or the Netherlands with all expenses paid by the EU and would also be given a photocopier, a PC, modem, a fax machine, and an OHP. I was surprised at their low-key response and lack of questions until my interpreter said that they were dumbfounded and simply could not believe what they had just heard. One of the hugely influential aspects of number of the visit opportunities was the ability to invite not only chiefs and deputies and heads of department, but also heads of section and it was they who returned and reported to their colleagues that the extraordinary things that they had heard from western colleagues who had visited them and delivered training and advice, were actually true and that, having discussed it thoroughly with their counterparts in Western libraries they understood exactly how it worked and that it might, with a few modifications, be usefully adopted in Siberia.
By dint of hard work and numerous visits, to and from Siberia, our local colleagues have created and implemented the first strategic development plan in any Russian university library; installed and implemented in all modules the first fully integrated automation system in Russia; restructured services and staffing; introduced the rare concept of open access; and developed e-learning modules for user education.
At the end of each of the two major TEMPUS projects we took mixed groups of Western and local colleagues to deliver 'dissemination workshops' in other cities whose librarians had not had opportunities for contact with foreign colleagues. Soviet and post-Soviet librarianship is closely controlled by Moscow and the first question that was asked of our Siberian colleagues after each paper was "How did you get permission from Moscow to do that?" The reply was always "It seemed a good idea and we had seen it in Western libraries. We didn't ask for permission, we just went ahead and did it" which in the Russian context is astonishing.
For their part, our Siberian colleagues articulated what the Westerners had noticed, that their attitudes had changed as a result of working with foreign professionals. As one local colleague put it "We've changed, we're not like these librarians (in another city) any more." Installing and implementing modern software and equipment has been the easy part, changing attitudes is much more difficult to achieve and much more rewarding to have achieved. As the memory of far too many vodka toasts recedes and the clouds of summer mosquitoes fade into the distance, I recall instead the heartfelt gratitude of good people that we had come and helped them to develop and to regain again pride in their activities.
There are five major Japanese library collections in Britain, in addition to some other minor ones, and those five are the "big four" (SOAS, Cambridge, BL and Oxford) plus Sheffield. The size of the five collections reflects the cumulative time of acquisition, in other words, their size depends on how early they started collecting. The collections at SOAS and Cambridge started in late 1940s, following the Scarbrough Report (1947), and they are the largest two collections. Those of BL and Oxford started in the 1950s. Finally, the collection at Sheffield began in the 1960s, following the Hayter Report (1961). Oxford has spent the largest sum recently to develop their Japanese collection and its growth rate has been the highest among the "big four" libraries. On the other hand, BL contains a significant number of Japanese official publications. Those two libraries are better staffed than those of SOAS and Cambridge (with two posts of officer/curator grade for BL and Oxford, but only one for SOAS and Cambridge). Both BL and Cambridge also possess important early Japanese books.
There are just under 90,000 volumes of Japanese books, including around 10,000 early Japanese books and a substantial number of bound periodicals, at the University Library (the UL). The UL also subscribes to about 380 current titles of Japanese periodicals. All Japanese language publications are housed at the UL's Aoi Pavilion, together with the Chinese and Korean collections. Both the UL's early and modern Japanese books were purchased when book prices were at rock-bottom in Japan. Most of the early books were collected by Ernest Satow (a diplomat who was a pioneer of Japanese studies) just after the Meiji Restoration (1868), which was the beginning of Japan's modern period. Eventually, those books were transferred to his colleague, W.G. Aston. When Aston, who was another pioneer of Japanese studies, died in 1911, Cambridge acquired his collection. At the same time, Satow added some more of his remaining books to Cambridge's collection.
The modern Japanese books were purchased in Japan, a few years after World War II, where books were very cheap at that time. Cambridge spent £3,500 purchasing Japanese books, acquiring 13,653 volumes in 1949 and 1950. Those modern Japanese books became the foundation of the Japanese Collection at the U.L. The academic staff of SOAS and Cambridge who bought Japanese books in Japan had to pretend to be businessmen in order not to irritate the Americans then governing Japan. When American universities started to build their own Japanese collections, a few years later, the price of Japanese books soared rapidly.
As for the cataloguing provision of the Japanese collection at the UL, it started as the title/author card catalogue of Chinese, Japanese and Korean publications which has still remained in the East Asian Reading Room, although we stopped adding new cards a long time ago. There are two published book-form catalogues of the Japanese collections at the UL: Eric Ceadel: Classified catalogue of modern Japanese books in Cambridge University Library (1961) (FD.22:1.1), and Nozomu Hayashi and Peter Kornicki: Early Japanese books in Cambridge University Library (1991) (FD.22.28). Both catalogues are shelved in the East Asian Reading Room. The latter catalogue is important as it is the only catalogue available for the early Japanese books, since the bibliographic information of those books has not been included in other forms of catalogue.
As for the online catalogue of the Japanese language collection at the UL, the inclusion of the Japanese vernacular script has been our main concern since the romanised cataloguing data were insufficient for serious academic staff. The Japanese vernacular script consists of Japanese characters (or Chinese characters) and the Japanese phonetic script. The former is called kanji and the latter is called kana (hiragana and katakana) in Japanese. We have started our vernacular script catalogue of Japanese collection as a part of the UK Japanese Union Catalogue Project using the cataloguing records derived from NACSIS-CAT. NACSIS-CAT is the bibliographic utilities of the National Institute of Informatics (Tokyo, Japan) and it is used by most universities in Japan. As the result of our project, the vernacular online catalogue of the Japanese collection at the UL and the UK Japanese Union Catalogue are available at the following sites:
Until the introduction of Newton (Voyager), the UL's main online catalogue did not contain the cataloguing records of the Japanese collections, with some exceptions such as the romanised data of Japanese periodicals, etc. When Newton (Voyager) was installed at the UL in 2004, the Japanese phonetic script (kana) parts of the Japanese vernacular cataloguing records were converted into the roman alphabet, and those romanised records were then fed into Newton (Voyager). As the first version of Newton (Voyager) was not the unicode (or UTF-8) version, it could not display the Japanese vernacular script. Neither could it display the diacritics, which were used for Japanese records such as macron. Therefore, the romanised cataloguing records are linked to the database of the vernacular script records. Also, the circumflex is used instead of the macron.
When Newton (Voyager) became the unicode (or UTF-8) version in 2005, the condition of the online catalogue was finally sufficiently mature to display the full Japanese vernacular script and diacritics, and also to retrieve records using the vernacular script. Since the introduction of Newton (Voyager) in 2004, we have been using the cataloguing records derived from RLG (RLIN) and OCLC for Japanese books and periodicals for Newton (Voyager). We have also been replacing the existing romanised records, which were derived from NACSIS-CAT, by the new records from RLG (RLIN) and OCLC. We are doing this because most of them contain Japanese vernacular script and are much more suitable for Newton (Voyager) than the romanised records, which were derived from NACSIS-CAT, considering the provision of subject headings, etc.
In Newton (Voyager), we have been working very hard to increase the size of the portion of cataloguing records for Japanese publications, which are originally derived from RLG (RLIN) and OCLC. This means adding new records from RLG (RLIN) and OCLC and also replacing existing records by those from RLG (RLIN) and OCLC. Since it may take sometime to complete this process, we are for the time being concurrently maintaining two catalogues for the Japanese collection at the UL: the Newton (Voyager) catalogue and the Cambridge Japanese Vernacular Catalogue together with the UK Japanese Union Catalogue. As for the UK Japanese Union Catalogue, which is available from Cambridge as the Project of the Japan Library Group, I think it is very important to maintain it, not only for academic staff and students of Japanese studies in Cambridge, but also for those in the rest of the country. Since the resources of all the Japanese library collections in Britain are relatively limited, Japanese studies being a minority subject in Britain, the Japanese collections need to co-operate with each other nationally and pool their limited resources.
THE ESU/CILIP TRAVELLING LIBRARIAN AWARD:
I VISITED 36 LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS IN 21 DAYS AND LIVED TO TELL THE
In early March 2005, I noticed a small advertisement in the CILIP Gazette for the English Speaking Union/CILIP Travelling Librarian Award, which annually offers £3000 to undertake a study visit anywhere within the United States, staying wherever possible as the guest of ESU members. As I had only been in post as Librarian at the Scott Polar Research Institute for six months, it seemed an ideal opportunity to meet colleagues working with polar collections on the other side of the Atlantic. The Institute has a strong teaching and research component, but also functions as the world's premier polar information centre, including World Data Centre C for Glaciology, with special responsibilities for the provision of information to British and European glaciologists. The SPRI also houses the Thomas Manning Polar Archives, containing the world's finest collection of unpublished materials relating to the polar regions, and a Museum of historic polar artefacts. It is therefore at the centre of a worldwide polar information network, with which I urgently needed to be better acquainted. I duly put in an application and was invited for an interview at the ESU headquarters in London. Before the end of the month I was delighted to hear that I had been chosen to receive the award.
Thanks to the generosity of the English Speaking Union and CILIP, I was able to visit libraries, archives and museums with polar collections in Alaska, Colorado and New York, for a three-week period in September and October 2005. This was to include my first experience of the Arctic, in the form of a visit to Barrow, the most northerly US settlement, 340 miles north of the Arctic Circle, my first radio interview and my first taste of musk-ox. By email, I contacted librarians and archivists in all of the places I planned to visit, and was delighted by their enthusiastic response and offers of places to stay. I booked flights and, on the advice of an Alaskan friend, a train journey between Fairbanks and Anchorage, which was to prove a memorable way of seeing the landscape of central Alaska. A colleague in Boulder offered accommodation for the whole of my visit to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Colorado and I planned to round off the trip with one day in New York – just time to visit the archives of the Explorers Club.
My study visit had two main aims. Primarily, I wanted to discuss future collaboration in the field of bibliographic control of English language publications on the Arctic and Antarctic. The SPRI Library is internationally renowned for its provision of analytical cataloguing, indexing and abstracting of polar material from around the world in the medium of English, whatever the original language. In particular, I wanted to investigate how we might prevent duplication in the indexing of Arctic material in consultation with the Polar Periodicals Index at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the World Data Center A for Glaciology in Boulder. The award was to provide an excellent opportunity to develop a strategy for sharing responsibility with US libraries. Visits to the libraries of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and Fairbanks (UAF) were also to prove fruitful in setting up agreements on record sharing, exchange of duplicates, collaboration on an oral history project and informal inter-library loan procedures for Arctic materials. In addition, visits were arranged to many other fascinating collections in both cities, and in Juneau. For example, with less than a week in Anchorage, my colleagues Sally Bremner and Gretchen Bersch had managed to arrange a non-stop series of visits and time to meet many others interested in polar matters over dinner every evening, a side trip along the Kenai Peninsula to the see the Portage Glacier and even a chance to take in a Sitka Music Festival Autumn Classics concert!
My second aim was to explore how best to make knowledge of the SPRI's extensive holdings of Inuit and Alaskan Eskimo material available to indigenous communities. We are working on a number of digitization and outreach projects and I was keen to learn from the work that has already been carried out in North American collections to promote access to First Nations material. This was the impetus for both my visit to the Ethnology Department of the Museum of the North in Fairbanks and also for my 24 hours in Barrow – my first taste of the Arctic, but in mid-September the freeze had not yet truly begun, despite the odd flurry of snow. The visit was hosted by David Ongley, librarian of the Tuzzy Consortium Library in the Iñupiat Heritage Center, which provides library services to the entire North Slope Borough and is the academic library for Ilisagvik College. My first radio interview, talking with KBRW presenter Earl Finkler about the reasons for my visit, resulted in many Barrow residents stopping to chat through the rest of the day. With a population of 4,500, Barrow is one of the largest Iñupiat Eskimo settlements, but is also home to a large number of scientists based at the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium, where a visit had also been arranged, followed by a tour of the mayor's office, the film archive of the local television station, a trip out onto the tundra and along the shoreline to the whaling station at Browerville, before returning for a tour of the Simon Paneak Memorial Museum.
In Colorado, the library at NSIDC was to be my base for discussion on a range of topics including the development and use of the Universal Decimal Classification for Polar Libraries (for which SPRI is the lead body); joint contributions to the NISC database, Arctic and Antarctic Regions (AAR); the future direction of the World Data Centre for Glaciology, Cambridge and its relationship to its sister organisation in Boulder, as well as joint digitisation and data management projects. I was able to talk with colleagues about the International Polar Year Data and Information Service (IPY-DIS) for Distributed Data Management and linked IPY Publications Database project (in which the SPRI is a partner institution). I was offered the opportunity to attend an IPY Data Subcommittee meeting held in Cambridge in March 2006, where we were able to develop some of these themes for the International Polar Year 2007-08 http://www.ipy.org/start/. We also worked on a projected joint IPY Grey Literature Digitisation project, known as DAHLI http://www.nsidc.org/dahli/, for which the SPRI has offered to provide a European mirror site.
With such a hectic schedule, this was a tiring but enormously enjoyable experience, from which I gained a great deal, both professionally and personally. I was met with extraordinary hospitality, and I was struck by how much I was able to learn about how the Institute and its information resources are perceived elsewhere, not least from the many Institute alumni and patrons I met during my visit. Looking back over my three weeks in the US, I realise there was a wonderful exchange of friendship, polar information issues and projects, as well as shared insights into our countries and cultures. I would like to thank all those who gave so generously of their time to make my stay so enjoyable and helpful. I am also most appreciative of the assistance offered by the English Speaking Union and CILIP, who made the whole thing possible. The impact of the Travelling Librarian Award on my professional development has been positive and continues, in the form of invitations to lecture, visits from American colleagues and further opportunities for involvement in collaborative ventures. I would encourage anyone thinking of making an application for next year's Award to give it a go.
Scott Polar Research Institute
What does the term mobile library mean to you? A bus-like vehicle that wanders about the countryside delivering books to isolated communities? Well it is to some extent in the UK, but in other countries it can be very different.
In some countries, the mobile library is a boat. In Norway just north of Bergen the beautiful boat library delivers books to isolated communities. The boat contains books, videos, DVDs etc., and a small performing company, which includes the world's smallest circus. Working the boat is very popular with the staff and they refer to it as a housewife's holiday.
In Sweden, the boat serves a similar purpose. The one used is older and rejoices in the name of Gurli. So here's a Gurli picture.
In Kenya the preferred transport is the camel, and in Zimbabwe they use donkeys. South Africa has trek carts. Over in the Andes the most usual mobile library is on the back of a llama.
Pity the poor mobile librarian in Nepal who has to carry the books on his back in a doko basket (a wicker basket about 30 cm x 100 cm x 100 cm). 14,000 feet up the Himalayas, you can borrow the Oxford English dictionary! Amazingly, this is one of the more popular books that he carries.
Little Honda motorbikes are used in downtown Singapore to do a sort of housebound service. They also serve the ladies in the red-light district where sadly romance books are the favourite reading matter.
But my favourite delivery vehicle is the elephant, which is used in Thailand. To provide a library service in remote areas they use two elephants. Once on site they put feed baskets out for the elephants and tether them. They then bang bamboo canes round the elephants. They then wrap polythene sheet round the canes to make a compound. Cleverly the sheets have pockets in them and so the library books are put in the pockets providing a face on display.
Not content with supplying just books the service has a great extra: internet access. This is achieved by taking out PCs, modems, a solar panel, and – la pièce de résistance – a satellite dish. They ensure the elephant's backside is facing the correct satellite position by careful placement of the food tray.
Ian Stringer is the Information Officer for the IFLA Public Library Section and officer responsible for mobile library interests. He has written a book on mobile libraries, edits the IFLA Public Library Section Newsletter as well as editing Service Point, the journal of the UK Branch and Mobile Libraries Group.
If you've enjoyed this international issue of CULIB, you may be glad to know that there's a group for librarians with interests beyond these shores. The International Library and Information Group (ILIG) is a Special Interest Group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). You'll find ILIG's website at http://www.cilip.org.uk/specialinterestgroups/bysubject/international.
ILIG has a lot going for it:
- Focus, its journal, published three times a year, with news and in-depth articles about the international library scene.
- The 'Hosts Directory' – a database of UK librarians who are willing to give accommodation to library and information workers visiting this country from overseas. This is maintained jointly with the Career Development Group – see Maria Cotera's article in this issue, Help for VSO librarians.
- The Anthony Thompson Award, made every 2-3 years to enable professional visits to the UK by library and information workers from overseas. Strictly speaking, the Anthony Thompson award is a project of the parent body CILIP, and ILIG is closely involved in the choice of honoree and the running of the visit. Most recent was Marsha Stewart from Cornwall Regional Hospital Library, Jamaica.
- ILIG's own International Award, made every year to "a person, group or committee, which has made a real difference to a community through their work in library and information services in countries outside of the UK."
- The ILIGlist – an email discussion list, hosted by Yahoo!, for ILIG members.
- Public meetings – low-key informal talks held at CILIP headquarters once a month, and the occasional big seminar. The next of these will be on Friday 4 May 2007 at CILIP headquarters: internet guru Phil Bradley talking about Web 2.0. Phil addressed an ILIG meeting last October and the place was packed out. See you at this one?
Queens' College is delighted to welcome their first Graduate Trainee to a 20-month part-time post. Jonathan Gray, a philosophy graduate of Corpus, started on 8 January, and will have opportunities to work in both old and working libraries, and to participate in the Cambridge Trainees' programme of training and visits.
In November 2006, Gonville and Caius welcomed Jenny Sargent to the post of Assistant Librarian (Cataloguing), replacing Owen Massey, who has moved to Oxford. Jenny is no stranger to Cambridge, having been the Graduate Trainee at Classics, 2004-5.
Emma Hearn is the new Library Assistant at Churchill College. She replaces Maria Fernanda Gonzalez Rojas, who has moved to the United States with her husband.
St John's bade farewell to Frank Bowles, Librarian's Assistant for the past four years, who is now working in the archives at the London School of Economics. His replacement is Naomi Herbert, who moves just a few feet across the office from her post as Graduate Trainee at St John's. Taking over as 2006-7 Trainee from February is Charlotte Cairns, formerly part time Library Assistant at Fitzwilliam and Emmanuel Colleges.
The autumn brought several new faces to the UL: Thomas Rodgers, Carolyn Keim and Holly Carr were appointed to Rare Books, while Amanda Dixie, Rebecca Taylor, Richard Greenburg and Amy Appleyard joined the staff of the West Room.
Daniel Davies of Near Eastern and Taeko Kasama of the Japanese Department both came back to the UL after brief absences. This year's Munby Fellow, Dr. Hanna Vorholt, was appointed at the beginning of October. Her research project is in medieval literature and she will be giving a talk to the Cambridge Bibliographical Society on 2nd May entitled "Hand-held libraries: encyclopaedic compilations of Early Norman England."
Sue Mehrer took up the new post of Deputy Head of Reader Services on the 4th of December. She has worked at Manchester Metropolitan University and the London School of Economics and comes to the UL from Belfast, where she held the post of User Services Librarian at the Queen's University.
The Tower Project to catalogue Victorian popular literature began on Monday 15th January. Vanessa Lacey, the project director, reported to staff that "the first title to be catalogued was Buz [sic], the life and adventures of a honey bee with illustrations by Linley Sambourne." The project promises variety and entertainment for its newly appointed staff, who are Tim Pye (formerly of Lambeth Palace Library), Margaret Kilner and Claire Sewell (both formerly employed on the Greensleeves retrospective conversion project), Rosalind Esche (formerly a school librarian and a cataloguer for the Royal Commonwealth Society) and Liz Rouncefield from the staff of the West Room. Other appointments are to follow in due course.
Angela Fitzpatrick, a graduate of Newnham College who has worked in the Library there and also at Gonville & Caius, joined the staff of English Cataloguing on February 5th to replace Fiona Grant who is working temporarily on the Royal Commonwealth Society's official publications collection.
Pia Tohveri left Materials Processing at the end of August to return to her native Finland. Nick Gill of the Darwin Correspondence Project left on 30 September and the same day saw the retirement of Liz Stokes and Elizabeth Harrisson, long-serving members of the UL's Preservation Microfilming Project. In November we congratulated Emma Coonan of Official Publications who had just been awarded her PhD by York University, and also Simon Gates of Inter-Library Loans and the Staff Club Committee, who won a Cambridgeshire County Council Volunteer of the Year Award for services to Scouting. The award was presented to Simon by HM Lord Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, Hugh Duberly, at a ceremony in St Ives.
Céline Carty, responsible for cataloguing training in Voyager, left the UL at the end of January to go on maternity leave. January also saw the return of Near Eastern specialist Yasmin Faghihi following the birth of her daughter Sasha Shirin on 18th January 2006. Yasmin reports: "She was 5 pounds 14 (2.67 kg) and 47 cm. Yes, she had much library experience before birth!"
The UL has been visited by sadness as well as joy in the past few months. In early December, UL staff were shocked to learn of the accidental death of Daniel Bolger, recently appointed to MSS. January brought the news of the premature death from cancer of Melanie Williams, formerly of the Entrance Hall. We also received news of the death of Derek Williams who joined the Music Department early in 1969 and retired as its Head in January 1989, moving to Walsingham where he served as organist in both the Anglican Shrine and the Parish Church.
In Modern & Medieval Languages, Kathleen Manson has left after five years as Deputy Librarian, and is now working on the Haddon Library's Preservation Assessment Survey. Hélène Fernandes moves up to fill Kathleen's old job at MML; Hélène also continues as subject specialist for Romance languages, and keeps her CUFS work from her previous post. Catherine Minter replaces Hélène as Assistant Librarian and has responsibility for Germanic languages, audio-visual materials and periodicals. Catherine comes from the Warburg Institute, London. And, in another change at MML, James Raymond has replaced Sophia Graham as Library Assistant.
Architecture and History of Art has two new Senior Assistants in Susanne Jennings and Rebecca Sewell. Rebecca's career has included nearly 24 years with the Dunn Nutrition Library, as it then was, and a stint with Citizens' Advice Bureaux.
Catherine Sutherland has moved to Oriental Studies as a Library Assistant, having previously worked in the Betty & Gordon Moore Library and the UL.
An obituary for Fotini Papantoniou can be found here. Her job at the Physiology, Development and Neuroscience Library has now been taken by Margaret Wilson, formerly Distance Learning Co-ordinator in the Medical Library at the University of Cardiff.
Fotini Papantoniou, the much loved Librarian in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, died on 10th January 2007 at the age of 48. Born in Greece, she took her first degree in Agricultural Economics and Planning which she followed by a M.Sc. in Marketing and Product Management at Cranfield. She moved to the UK in 1985 and pursed a varied career drawing on the different strands of agricultural economics, marketing and translation. Fotini came to librarianship late and pursued it with characteristic intellectual rigour and diligence. After working at National Institute of Agricultural Botany for five years, she joined the then Department of Anatomy in 2000 in a role which combined acting as Librarian with providing support for the Part II students. From summer 2005 she became the full-time Librarian in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience which was formed from the merger of Anatomy and Physiology.
Fotini was a conscientious and thorough worker with an enquiring mind and a genuine interest in learning in general and librarianship in particular. Although her life was very full she was, at the time of her death, studying for a M.Sc. by distance learning. In her application to Anatomy she wrote 'I do take pleasure from my work' and it was very clear that it was much more to her than a way to pay the bills and fill the day. The users of Fotini's library were always treated as individuals to whom she offered a professional and personalised service. She established good and lasting relationships with the generations of Part II students whom she cheerfully supported. It is a tribute to the affection and regard she inspired that many of them attended her funeral.
Although she worked full-time and cared for her husband and two children Fotini found the time and energy to contribute to the larger world. She was very active and prominent as a volunteer, serving for many years as the Chair of the Greek School and being a mainstay of the Greek Church. It was clear from the eulogy that she had made a real difference to her local community. Fotini was a kind and energetic person who gave generously of herself in the home, at work and in the community. She will be sadly missed by those fortunate enough to know her.
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience
Barbara Murray, Assistant Librarian at the Haddon Library of Archaeology and Anthropology, died on Sunday 22 October 2006.
Barbara was born in Jarrow in 1948. Her life before Cambridge was a varied one, as she took her family round the world to follow her husband's postings – Cyprus, Belize, Germany. Time in this country included a period as a school secretary in Norfolk, and six years with North Yorkshire County Library in the 1990s.
Barbara joined the staff of the Haddon Library in 1996, as the first holder of a part-time assistant post. While that post was still unfilled, I sometime said that its creation felt like the lifting of a siege, and with Barbara in the job I had no occasion to revise that view.
What was Barbara famous for? Tidiness was one thing. I once asked her to organize my office while I was on holiday. When I came back to it, not only was the office tidier than it had ever been, but things were arranged so logically that I had no difficulty in finding them. Tact was another quality. I asked her to organize my office; she didn't urge this upon me. And shrewdness: you couldn't get a lot past Barbara. And discretion: she knew a lot more about people than she let on.
What came, for me, to be her most memorable trait was her way with innovations. She was not what's sometimes called an 'ideas hamster', the kind of person who's forever presenting you with bright, expensive, risky proposals that they want you to implement straight away. No, a Barbara idea would usually be like this:
- simple, so that your first response would often be "Why didn't I think of that?"
- cheap: you might have to ring Viking and spend a few score pounds, but you wouldn't need to seek an additional grant from anywhere
- good for the long haul
- crucially, a solution to something that everyone recognized as a problem. She never had to begin by persuading you that things could be better. You would know it already.
Barbara was for eight years a popular and respected member of the front-line team at the Haddon, and was promoted to Assistant Librarian in the summer of 2004. But in that same year, she was diagnosed with cancer. In 2005, as she put it, the struggle with cancer went from an amateur fight to a professional one of fifteen rounds. In 2006, she suffered a fall at home and fractured her hip. The cancer was found to have spread to many parts of her body. It rapidly completed its work.
Our sympathy goes to Barbara's husband of 37 years, Richard, and to their daughters Louise and Claire.
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