Category Archives: International Collaboration

Two good examples of library collaboration

Here are two new items today.

The Internet Reviews was published in a recent C&RL News; it noted the Digital Library of the Caribbean.

The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a collaborative international digitization project involving 18 partner institutions from around the Caribbean region. Culling collections from academic libraries, private collections, and archives, dLOC documents the diverse historical and cultural legacies of the many islands and surrounding areas of the Caribbean.

Community Collaboration: Phoenix Public Library Joining Arizona St. University’s Alexandria Co-Working Network.”  Found via the InfoDocket.

The Alexandria Co-Working Network is an ASU initiative that brings people together in collaboration spaces in public libraries across Arizona. The new space at Burton Barr Central Library will support the entrepreneurs, inventors, problem-solvers and small-business owners across the Valley who need help to advance their ideas but don’t currently have access to the necessary tools.

Connect and collaborate internationally with #SLAtalk & #UKlibchat tomorrow

#SLAtalk and #UKlibchat are pleased to co-present a Twitter conversation like no other!

Beyond Borders: Connect and Collaborate Internationally

Using Twitter, our two groups will explore the challenges and opportunities when it comes to working as an info pro as well as networking with others in our profession across geographic and cultural boundaries.

Use both hashtags of #SLAtalk and #UKlibchat for our conversation.

Tuesday, 3 December from 18.30-20.30 GMT (1:30 pm – 3:30 pm EST / 10:30 am – 12:30 pm PST)
What time is that where you are?

Important information unique to this session:
• The first hour (18.30-19.30 GMT) will be in the style of #SLAtalk. Check out How to #SLAtalk and the latest #SLAtalk Roundups, as well as #SLAtalk explained via PowToon.
• The second hour (19.30-20.30 GMT) will be in the style of #UKlibchat. See for full details.

Discussion Questions:

Q1 – [18.30-18.45] – What tools or technologies do you use to assist you in today’s global workplace? Describe a success story and share the impact of the project.

Q2 – [18.45-19.00] – Have you successfully performed research using another country’s resources or researched in another language?

Q3 – [19.00-19.15] – Share a challenge caused by working beyond your own borders, and how you overcame it.

Q4 – [19.15-19.30] – What skills do you think make you more successful in working and collaborating in a multinational environment? How can you better network beyond your borders?

The questions after 19.30 are up to you; head over to the #UKlibchat agenda doc to tell us what you’d like to talk about!

Collaboration and innovation in international library orientations

This is a good new article in the C&RL News.

Collaboration and innovation “across land and sea”
Developing global library orientations

In January 2013, College & Research Libraries published “Libraries across Land and Sea: Academic Library Services on International Branch Campuses.” In this preliminary study, Harriett Green shares the results of a survey of services at branch campuses of U.S. institutions located abroad. The article ends by predicting “creative outreach programs” and calling for future studies focusing on “methods of collaboration between home and campus libraries.” Here, two New York University (NYU) librarians, one in New York City and one in Abu Dhabi, respond to the article. We offer a tale of collaboration and innovation in library orientation for undergraduates “across land and sea.”

Editorial board that spans 16 time zones–much collaboration needed

This paper was presented at the recent IFLA meeting in Singapore.

The ALTO editorial board: collaboration and cooperation across borders

From some of the abstract:

The current editorial board has members from the National Library of Finland, the British Library, Singapore National Library Board, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Netherlands Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the Library of Congress, the University of Kentucky, the University of California Riverside, and a software company, Content Conversion Specialists. All but two are IFLA members, and several serve on other standards boards in addition to the ALTO board. (You can see the list of current editorial board members at With members in cities that span 16 time zones, you can imagine collaboration, cooperation, and good communication are essential to achieving anything. Of course a willingness of the members in the outlying time zones to get up early or stay up late is indispensable too. Good telecommunications infrastructure is imperative, and, as we will see, free and easy (Skype) sometimes is not reliable. This paper gives an account of the history of the ALTO XML standard, of the ALTO editorial board, and of the ways that the board organizes itself and conducts its business.

Digitization of oral history records at the State Library of Western Australia

This paper will be presented at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress, 17-23 August 2013 in Singapore.

The Oral History Records Rescue Group (OHRRG) Digitisation Project at the State Library of Western Australia.

Digitising Oral History at the State Library of Western Australia: the Oral History Records Rescue Group (OHRRG) Project – In-house digitisation project of analogue audio cassette tape collection – Providing digital preservation and access: collaboration, building the structure, innovative solutions, realities, lessons learnt, and the future.

Papers at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Singapore

There are many relevant papers that will be presented at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress, August 17-23, 2013 in Singapore.

By John Stephen Agbenyo and Aaron Kuwornu:

Collaborative Innovations-Making Libraries More Relevant in Society

There are more than 230,000 public and community libraries in developing and transitioning countries. With the advent of technology, many libraries appear to have become irrelevant and are gradually losing their position and role. Further, with heightened focus on Millennium Development Goals as the 2015 deadline becomes imminent, libraries need to position themselves to play a role in meeting these goals. The contribution of public libraries to the development of countries is under-valued and un-tapped. This assertion is noted in a communiqué released at the African Public Libraries Summit in Johannesburg in September 2012 that challenged African Libraries to: 1. Be essential hubs for development, and be catalysts for community development with potential to transform people’s livelihoods; 2. Develop partnerships with other development workers to ensure that they remain relevant to the needs of the communities; The presentation provides an analysis of a partnership between Northern Regional Library in Ghana and Savana Signatures, a Northern Ghana based NGO. The presentation will show how this partnership has contributed to the Library, which is now seen as a major stakeholder in developmental discourse and practice. Analysis focuses on two activities resulting from the partnership: (1) On the Last Thursday of every month, Savana Signatures partners the Library to organise the Northern ICT4D Forum. This open event is hosted by the library and brings together development experts and members of the general public to discuss the role of ICT in community development. (2) The Technology for Maternal Health Project . Launched in 2012, the Project sends SMS messages with health information to the mobile phones of pregnant women. For both projects, the partners have put in place rigorous monitoring and evaluation processes. The paper is based on results of these processes.

By Madeleine Lefebvre:

The Library, the City, and Infinite Possibilities: Ryerson University’s Student Learning Centre Project

Ryerson is a dynamic university in the heart of Toronto, the largest and most diverse city in Canada. In the last decade the university has undergone rapid expansion from a 9000 student polytechnic to a comprehensive university of almost 30,000 students, offering programs at all levels. The three goals of the University’s 2008 Master Plan are: urban intensification; people first (pedestrianization of the urban environment); and a commitment to design excellence. At the Master Plan announcement Sheldon Levy, Ryerson President, said “With energetic partnerships and great ideas, our aim is to move Ryerson and Toronto forward together”. Numerous inventive partnerships have been formed since then. The first new building since the Master Plan was the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), which houses a large image bank of twentieth century photo-journalism from the Black Star Agency. Next, The Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) rose from Maple Leaf Gardens, an iconic 1930s building famous for ice hockey, Elvis, and the Beatles. In partnership with a national grocery chain the MAC houses new student athletic facilities, an ice arena, and a huge supermarket. Third is the Student Learning Centre (SLC), to be built on Yonge Street, the major spine of Toronto. The current Library is a 1970s brutalist book warehouse. This building is completely inadequate in size, functionality and ambience for our users. The new SLC, designed by Snøhetta (Oslo) and Zeidler (Toronto) satisfies the three tenets of the Master plan. It will provide a window and gateway to Ryerson. The transparent building will focus on student learning support, individual study and collaborative space. There will be no bookstacks. The two library buildings will be organically connected. Retail stores will occupy the street face at ground level and below, to revitalize the street. Completion is planned for 2015. This paper describes the philosophy, the landscape, the planning, the design, the collaborations, and the challenges of this exciting project.

By Sam Boss, Fang Jiazhong & Zhang Jiangshun:

The Intersection of Design and Culture: The New Guangzhou Library and Its Relationship to the City

A new facility for the Guangzhou Library was recently completed, and it is currently among the largest in China. It is situated on Flower City Square in Guangzhou’s Zhujiang New City, which is home to the city’s most modern cultural institutions. It was designed by an international team from Japan and China. The design is based on the Chinese character “之”, and its exterior walls are inspired by a collection of books, an idea the designers call “美丽书籍”, or “Beautiful Books.” The facility is a cultural landmark and represents a new direction in architecture and design for Chinese libraries. The paper explores the facility’s relationship with the square and the surrounding institutions, the Guangzhou Opera House, the Guangdong Museum, and the Second Children’s Palace. Additionally, the paper examines both the exterior and interior designs of the facility to show how it not only represents a break from traditional library design in China, but also the ways in which design and planning have created a library that captures the spirit of the city and is prepared to engage with and meet the various needs of its users.

And, there are probably some others.

Australian State Library commits Wikipedia with GLAM residency

“Wikipedia is set to experience a dramatic increase in Australian content with the State Library of NSW becoming the first Australian cultural institution to engage a GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) Wikipedian-in-residence.”

Networking, collaboration and law–From the LawSync blog

The British Law blog called LawSync from the Sheffield Hallam University mentioned the #SLATalk Twitter Chat on collaboration that recently occurred.

A recent Special Libraries Association Twitter-talk took collaboration as its theme; it is evidently an idea of interest to librarians. Peter Griffith and Pete Smith will be presenting a paper to the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) 2013 conference, discussing their experiences of networking and collaboration in the context of LawSync. They’ll be thinking about some of the issues that have arisen- planning, process, and so on- as well as talking about the benefits of collaboration.

Presenting a paper- and attending conferences- is a well established form of networking, and we certainly hope to catch up with existing contacts and make new ones.

Online networking is the ‘new normal’ of collaboration, and not just for librarians. It’s interesting to note that the recent Riverview Law / DMH Stallard alliance started life on Twitter, but equally interesting to note Jon Busby’s point that this should be no more astonishing that they made contact by phone.

Thanks to Sarah for retweeting and Pete for also noting.

Another good article from Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice

Here is another article from the same issue of Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice.

Using Social Media to Promote International Collaboration” by Hua Sun and Mark Douglas Puterbaugh

This paper explores the use of social media or Web 2.0 services for an international collaborative project. Participants in this collaboration used free and inexpensive social media tools to communicate and work together. This case study presents a model for using inexpensive social media tools to forge new partnerships among academic libraries. Academic libraries can now tap the expertise of fellow librarians in other countries and explore new cultures to improve and extend their services without the huge financial cost once attributed to international collaboration.

Two articles on different aspects of international collaboration

There are many good new articles that are in the journal, Insights: The UKSG Journal, Volume 26, Number 1, March 2013. (Full text limited to subscribers.) Two of the articles are:

The Finnish National Digital Library: a national service is developed in collaboration with a network of libraries, archives and museums

The National Library Finland (NLF) is responsible for the development of the public interface service Finna, which is part of the NDL and will also act as the national aggregator for Europeana. The NLF has decided to develop this comprehensive service based on open source components, and the development of the software is in the hands of experienced developers. In terms of challenges, the greatest challenge has to be constructing and co-ordinating the mechanisms to enable organizations’ participation.

and Co-operation and collaboration to strengthen the global research cycle

This article provides an update on the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), a development charity working in Africa, Asia and Latin America. INASP’s work with partners helps strengthen the global research communication cycle in all its forms (research availability, access, use, creation and communication). To help activities have the most impact and reach, it establishes effective partnerships and co-operates and collaborates with libraries, library consortia, publishers and policy makers in developing and developed countries. Some of these partnerships will be explored, including INASP’s work with country co-ordination teams, library consortia and international publishers who provide online journal and book access and support resource access, awareness and use through ‘Publishers for Development’. Looking ahead, the emerging ‘Librarians for Development’ will be introduced, with its promise of how a group of librarians from developing and developed countries might help support and enrich the work of each other.