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Promotion of e-resources in developing countries. Alan Hopkinson Middlesex University. Problems?. Financial Organizational Technical Marketing. History.

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Promotion of e-resources in developing countries

Alan Hopkinson

Middlesex University

  • Financial
  • Organizational
  • Technical
  • Marketing
  • Libraries held books and journals and the librarians selected, purchased and provided them either on open shelves or brought them out from closed access
  • Journals are being replaced by e-journals and books becoming to be replaced by e-books
Good news?
  • This should be good news
    • No problems of expensive carriage or lost in post
    • No problems of time delay
    • Bandwidth is now improving in many developing country universities though it may still be problematic in some
What has happened?
  • E-journals sometimes available
  • No one knows they are there
  • No one knows how to access them
  • No one is responsible for ensuring availability
Case studies: Serbia
  • Serbia
    • During sanctions (1992-2000), no advances
  • Good library infrastructure including COBISS
  • Returned to the emerging digital world
  • TEMPUS project
    • Contributed e-resources promotion
    • Helped pay for licenses
  • Traditional libraries, Soviet style
  • TEMPUS project laid foundations for:
    • VLE (well-received by academics)‏
    • Infrastructure for e-resources
      • Licenses
      • Training
      • promotion
Armenia: problem
  • Librarians well-versed in traditional librarianship (collection management)‏
  • No knowledge of passwords
  • Computing infrastructure staff provided passwords but no knowledge of or interest in assisting with content
  • Librarians ‘low visibility’
  • Project in Homs and Aleppo
  • Low status of librarians (library education only available in Damascus)‏
  • TEMPUS project set up a website for E-resources and introduced a library automation system
  • Model training sessions provided
    • Using temporary passwords
Syria - problems
  • Library staff too low status to implement change
  • Academics did not seem to think it was the role of librarians (few seemed interested)‏
  • No one would take responsibility for licenses
  • Technical infrastructure reasonable but no other support available from IT
  • Visitor from Nigeria on Commonwealth Professional Fellowship scheme from agricultural library
  • Visited INASP and learned about range of databases available to all universities
  • Not aware of these for the use of his library users
The problems
  • Invisibility of e-resources
  • Technical problems of accessibility
    • Good network
    • PCs to access (is the library the place for PCs?)‏
  • Organisational problems
    • Who ensures licenses paid for?
    • Who provides passwords?
  • Better training for librarians
  • Infrastructure such as training rooms equipped with good network connections and PCs in the libraries
  • Interest at a high level in government in disseminating information
Next phase: Armenia
  • TEMPUS provided a curriculum development project to improve library science education in Armenia, Georgia and Uzbekistan
    • 9 lecturers become students at Robert Gordon university for 2 periods of 6 weeks
    • Training rooms provided in each country
  • Need to integrate e-resources delivery and promotion into library science courses as we do in the US and Europe
  • Need to retrain existing librarians
    • International Digital Librarianship course at Parma, Oslo and Tallinn
  • Don’t ignore other strands of library science
  • Negotiations
  • is advocating for affordable access to commercially produced electronic journals and databases through collective negotiations with publishers and aggregators. Our negotiation activity includes not only obtaining affordable prices, but also establishing fair terms and conditions for access to those resources by library users in developing and transitional countries. has produced a model contract and a model license to be used in connection with the deals negotiated by with an individual publisher.
The future
  • Plenty of room for further developments
  • Should it be libraries who look after e-resources
  • Any ideas from the audience?
    • More promotion from publishers or hosts?
    • Any ideas for INASP or