Technology, African Libraries and Meeting the Development Agenda

Justine Withers, Gleeson Library Electronic and Continuing Resources Catalog Librarian, attended the 4th African Library Summit and 2nd AfLIA Conference. It was held in Yaounde, Cameroon, May 16th-19th, 2017.

AfLIA stands for African Library and Information Associations and Institutions. From the website: AfLIA is an independent international not-for-profit organization which pursues the interests of library and information associations, library and information services, librarians and information workers and the communities they serve in Africa. More details here.

The theme of this year’s conference was, “Libraries in the Development Agenda: Repositioning African Libraries to deliver on the Future We Want.”

According to Justine, “Much of the discussion revolved around the inseparable relationship between access to information and meeting the goals set forth in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I attended the conference in order to learn how I could assist some local libraries in Cameroon and how they handle the technical challenges of electronic resources. I learned the importance of meeting users where they are — including the technology they have access to and actual geographic location — and supporting local resources as much as possible. I will be thinking about how our own researchers access the library catalog as I make our resources visible.”

If you’d like more information about the conference, the program is downloadable in .pdf format here.

Yaounde restaurant

Mobile Access to E-journals

David Ferguson, Acquisitions Coordinator, Gleeson Library, att

NASIG 2016

ended the NASIG (North American Serials Interest Group) Annual Conference in 2016. A particularly interesting and alarming session he attended was, “We went mobile! (or did we?): reviewing and promoting third-party device-neutral library resources.”

The University of San Diego librarians discovered they were unaware how many students used mobile devices to access e-journals via the library website. They also realized they did not know how many successful versus unsuccessful attempts are made, if some providers are better than others, and the fact that vendors offer apps for either iPad or iPhone but often not both.

After a thorough study, they established a workflow when promoting mobile access and implemented a “training the trainers” (especially public service staff) to help address any questions or problems encountered. Check out the results of the study in their published article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0361526X.2017.1297594

Conference description: http://sched.co/52ys

Slideshow: https://www.slideshare.net/AlejandraNann/we-went-mobile-or-did-we

Do you know how your students access electronic resources?

What issues do you encounter?