23 January 2014

Botanical Books Display

Usually fortnightly, me and colleague changes the books display with new books that we have catalogued. Focusing on a range of different botanical themes with range of different sizes we come up with eye-catching displays with highly scientific information.

As I have catalogued a few of the books on this display, I want to also demonstrate how I have been thought to catalogue books with SirsiDynix Symphony in a cute little presentation. So, look forward to my next post.

9 January 2014

Audiences for Asian collections

As it is an ambition of mine to work with Asian collections in the future, I was delighted to be invited to NACIRA annual conference, topical on “redefining the audiences for Asian collections”.

I was really surprised to hear the interesting projects such as the conservation and digitization of the Lewis-Gibson Genizah collection between Oxford and Cambridge (which still sounds weird given their history).  However, Oliver Urquhart Irvine from the British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership Project is one that really caught my eye.

The idea of creating a completely online digital repository rich with content about the history of the Gulf and Arabic Science, with bilingual searches and metadata in English and Arabic, is something that hasn’t really being thought of before on such a scale. Utilising project management skills with digital humanities knowledge within libraries, I saw how the project was split into phrases to include aspects of the library catalogue, functionality via platform, and OCR software for search capabilities and embedment for sound and GPS mapping (for digitalised maps).  Followed by, the creating contingency plans for challenges in public and staff communication, awareness and advocacy, plus internal problems in spending alternations that affect technology and staff turnover.
This ambitious project has really got me thinking about what I could do with a qualification in librarianship. Simply from combining traditional librarianship with digital means to not only conserve material through data management from cataloguing, appropriate digitalisation, translation, creation of authority files to content delivery, but also ensuring the use of such information to encourage teaching and education e.g. changes in politics, trade and global communication. This therefore means creating a longer shelf life for digital libraries, from changing the culture of its use and adapting to user social needs in web compatibility, simplicity in architectural design and information content without overload.

Other projects into creating awareness for Asian collections was also highlighted with projects for the Clay Sanskrit Library for classical Indian literature and the Jainpedia project for the Jain faith.