Monday, September 20, 2010

CALA 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series, Shanxi University III

Many database and ILS vendors have made their products available on mobile devices, such as EBSCOhost, WilsonWeb, IEEEXplore, WorldCat, SerialsSolution Summon, Innovative AirPac, and RefWorks have provided mobile search interface. Libraries try to offer easier access to information at the tip of user's finger. The participants have shown a great interest in the application of mobile technology in libraries.

Many participants commented that their libraries also face the challenge of managing diversified resources and try to keep the balance of print and electronic resources. In the USA, the collection development is based on curriculum and program requirements, as well as user needs. Each library has its own policy to acquire print and electronic resources. There is no standard to evaluate the appropriate proportion of different types of collections. But we noticed that ACRL started to collect data of new e-books and e-theses in digital repository a few years ago. So we suggested that libraries in China should share resources in a certain way to relieve the burden of fund shortness. For instance, the California state universities share database subscription fees among the libraries in the state system with appropriate proportion of money based on the potential users at each school. For small libraries, a consortium will be the group to join and share those skyrocketing journal prices.

Chinese librarians were also eager to know about library fundraising. Most libraries are funded by the central government through their parent institutions. However, most libraries want to explore new projects, for example, digitizing a puppetry collection. A library has to find a way to initiate the project. While library fundraising is very common in the USA, especially for independent schools. Our American colleague gave a great talk on this topic and answered their questions on how to possibly raise money for their projects.

Three-days forum is never enough for those young Chinese professionals to seek solutions for their work or satisfy their thirst for knowledge, but it is a good start. With the development of new technology, scholarly communication finds its way across countries. People learn from each other when they start to communicate, this is what we are doing now and what we will do in the future.

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