The summer months were very busy for all staff and faculty as everyone prepared for the fall semester. Major projects this summer involved integrating government documents into the collections and reference services. This is a very complicated undertaking and will take at least another year to complete. Facility work continues on the first floor and second floor to accommodate government documents and to make public services desks more accessible. Room 254, our backup classroom, was refurbished for more classroom space. The first UK library science class is being taught in this space. The course is Management #254, taught by Professor Tom Sineath, the Director of the program, on Mondays from 6-8:30 pm. Approximately 25 students are enrolled.
The KCVL (Kentucky Commonwealth Virtual Library) continues to work on service agreements for document delivery and other services. We are still waiting for the final agreements to be signed. The KCVL Information Literacy Committee has finalized their five Web-based information literacy modules: 1.Web Basics, 2. Basic Search, 3. Advanced Searching, 4. Evaluating Sources, 5. Citing and Copyright. They can be found at http://www.kcvl.org under Using the Virtual Library. Anna Marie Johnson is now a member of this committee.
We are continuing to add electronic information to the collection. Rae Helton and Kathy Shambo prepared a new handout listing the latest sources.
International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
The 65th IFLA conference was held from August 2-28 in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme was "On the Threshold of the 21st Century: Libraries as Gateways to an Enlightened World." More than 2,250 delegates from 117 countries attended. The largest delegation, 308 delegates, was from the U.S.; the second largest group came from Thailand with 305 delegates.
Christine Deschamps, IFLA's new President, reported on her challenges and activities during the first year in this important position. She outlined her priorities for the organization such as training, standardization, help for developing countries and support for freedom of expression. OCLC and IFLA announced the IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship, which will support library and information science professionals during the early stages of their career development from countries with developing economies. Up to four fellowship recipients per year will travel to OCLC in Ohio for four weeks to participate in an intensive program of lectures, seminars and mentoring.
Two lecturers addressed intellectual freedom and information access issues:
The User Education Roundtable held a meeting with the theme "Integrating Information Skills into a Changing Curriculum." Speakers from Mexico, the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel addressed the theme in a variety of ways.
IFLA's Section for University Libraries and General Research Libraries, the section on which I serve, with a membership of more than 450 international members, sponsored the following programs:
Discussions among the workshop attendees made it clear that most academic libraries around the world face issues including library support for distance and web-based education, building partnerships with faculty to integrate information skills into the curriculum, how to do outcome assessments, and how to change education for librarianship to make it more realistic for the next century.
The University and General Research Libraries Section addressed important issues currently of concern to academic librarians within the international setting. Many of the IFLA papers will be available on the IFLA site http://www.ifla.org
I was fortunate to visit Thammasat University, established in 1934, with a current enrollment of almost 26,000 students. It has a new main library, with four levels underground and three levels above ground. It was interesting to note that the Thai government plans to free all universities of state control within the next five years. The library was heavily used, but had very few computers although it has a new automated library system and several Internet connections. Electronic resources are still scarce.
Bangkok is an exciting and interesting city with more than 10 million inhabitants. The traffic is a nightmare but people seem to have adapted to it. The Thai food is wonderfully delicious and there are many restaurants. Shopping is plentiful and bargaining is the acceptable way of doing business. It is a city of contrasts, beautiful flowers and palaces, enormous traffic jams and tremendous poverty. Bangkok is alive twenty-four hours a day. The most memorable fact for me is that the Thai people are very gracious, polite, patient and highly likeable.
--Hannelore Rader, University Librarian