International Activities at GSLIS

For a long time Dominican’s library school has been actively involved in international aspects of the field. Sister Lauretta McCusker taught, for many years, a course entitled “International and Comparative Librarianship” (now LIS 760). World Libraries was founded in 1990. The School feels that readers of this journal may be interested in hearing, on a regular basis, about its current international activities. So with this number we begin a new feature devoted to some of 1998’s happenings in this area; future issues will report on later events and projects.—Ed.

In May 1998 five librarians from Central America (then at the University of Illinois Library’s Mortensen Center) visited Dominican. Dr. Jane Carpenter (M.L.I.S., 1992) of the Newberry Library spoke to them about cataloging Latin American manuscripts, and Dr. William V. Jackson, Senior Fellow, led a discussion on how to promote library development in that region.

Professor Michael E. D. Koenig participated in an IFLA and FID sponsored “Workshop on Management Education and Training for Librarians and Information Specialists in Latin America and the Caribbean,” held in Valparaíso, Chile, in April 1998. His presentation was on “Information Driven Management, the Convergence of Management Themes that are Driven by Information or Information Technology”; Saur published an expanded version as IFLA Publication #86.

Koenig traveled to Amsterdam in August for the IFLA meeting and then to Finland. The chair of IFLA’s Section on Management and Marketing, he presented a paper “From Intellectual Capital to Knowledge Management.” In Finland, he was keynote speaker at NORDINFO’98, the Nordic Conference on Information and Documentation. Koenig’s paper was “Knowledge Management—Where Will We Take It?” Both of these studies are scheduled for publication. In December, Koenig attended the International Online Conference in London and delivered a talk at Napier University in Edinburgh on “Information Sciences and Organizational Productivity—What We Know about the Relationship Between Them.”

Professor Tze‑Chung (Richard) Li made several trips to Asia; he continues to maintain close contact with the profession in Taiwan and has explored the possibilities of a cooperative program between one or more institutions in that country and GSLIS.

Mary Wagner, Associate Professor (at the College of St. Catherine), was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) representing the College of St. Catherine. HECUA provides credit courses for consortium member institutions in Latin America, Scandinavia and South America. In her capacity as Board Member, Mary visited two programs in Bogotá, Colombia in April 1998. During her stay, she met with students, faculty, and program directors and spent several days with students at their field placement sites. Before leaving the country, she visited Colombia’s national library and the children’s room at the Bogotá public library.

In March William V. Jackson, Senior Fellow, visited Guatemala, where he continued work as advisor to the library of the Francisco Marroquín University and also met with the Committee on University Library Cooperation (CCBU), the consortium of the country’s five universities. In May, Dr. Jackson gave three talks in Bogotá, Colombia, one on collection development to the Colombian Library Association (ASCOLBI) and two on the history, collections, and organization of the New York Public Library to the students at the library school of the Universidad Javeriana and to the staff on the country’s leading public library, the Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango. He also visited the Universidad Externado and the National Archives.

In late September Jackson returned to El Salvador to continue advising the U.S. Information Service (USIS) on library development in that country. On this assignment Jackson worked primarily with five universities, each of which is striving to improve library collections and services. They are the Universidad Nacional de El Salvador (UES), Universidad Evangélica, Universidad Tecnológica (UTEC), Universidad Panamericana (UP), and the Universidad Dr. Matías Delgado. Two of them, Universidad Evangélica and UTEC, had opened new library quarters early in 1998; another, Universidad Panamericana, is planning library facilities in a new academic building, groundbreaking for which took place during Jackson’s visit. The UES general library continues to improve its administrative procedures and access to its collections; Carlos Colindres (M.S.L.I.S., 1994) is in charge of its automation programs.

Associate Professor Kanti Srikantaiah spent July and August 1998 in India, where he examined the growth and present status and delivery of electronic information. He visited a number of academic and research institutions in Delhi, Bangalore, Mysore, and Madras, as well as offices of several international organizations such as the World Bank. Among the conclusions he drew as a result of this trip are the following: India is one of the leading countries in Asia in terms of electronic industry and software development; the country has embraced the INTERNET as an important way of addressing information issues, even though traditional publishing and bookselling remain large and visible industries. The Indian market for information in English is enormous, because English speakers form a significant proportion of the literate population. Finally, the country is making considerable progress in setting up a nationwide computer network for the academic and research community.

GSLIS now has a folder in Spanish, prepared for potential students and practicing librarians in Latin America and Spain. It presents, in concise form, the School’s programs, facilities, library and information technology resources as well as the advantages of being located very near to Chicago, “city of libraries.” Several hundred copies have already been distributed to library schools and associations in the countries south of the Rio Grande.

Late in 1998 Dean Prudence Dalrymple announced that gifts from friends of GSLIS had established a Fund for International Activities. It will provide modest support for specific projects, and future issues of World Libraries will report on them.

About the author

Michael E. D. Koenig is Dean of Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, Brookville, New York. He was formerly Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University.