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  • Librarian: Marion Frank-Wilson
  • Location: Herman B Wells Library E660
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last updated: 9/28/2009

December 4, 2002 Notes

Title VI African Studies Librarians / ALC Cooperative Projects Meeting
Wednesday, 4 December 2002, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Delaware A Meeting Room, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC.


Title VI institution attendees: Ruby Bell-Gam, UCLA; Phyllis Bischof, UC Berkeley; Simon Bockie, UC Berkeley; Karen Fung, Stanford University; Miki Goral, UCLA; Al Kagan, UIUC; Peter Limb, MSU; Peter Malanchuk, U of Florida; Loyd Mbabu, Ohio U.; Lauris Olson, U. of Pennsylvania; Dorothy Woodson, Yale.

Other attendees: Helene Baumann, Duke; David Easterbrook, Northwestern; Vicki Evalds, Philadelphia; Marieta Harper, Library of Congress; Birgitte Jansen, Nordic African Inst.; Deborah LaFond, SUNY at Albany; Peter Malanchuk, U. of Florida; Akilah Nosakhere, Atlanta U.; Hans Panokfsy, Northwestern (emeritus); Afeworki Paulos, U. of Michigan; Loumona Petroff, Boston U.; Fred Protopappas, Library of Congress; Jason Schultz, Northwestern U.; Paul Steere, Library of Congress (Nairobi); Barbara Turfan, SOAS, London U.; Gretchen Walsh, Boston U.; David Westley, Boston U.


Pre-meeting activities: considerable difficulty rounding up enough seating. Note to future organizers: the Title VI/Cooperative Projects meeting is scheduled early in the ALC series, but is very well attended!


Olson convened the meeting and asked for introductions to include Title VI status. All current Title VI centers are re-applying for the 2003-2006 cycle. Boston University is applying for reinstatement; Olson reported that Rutgers may be a new applicant; Columbia may also be re-applying.


Turfan's request for a description of the Title VI program led to considerable discussion.


Olson distributed copies of a 19 August 2002 e-mail from John Hanson (Indiana Univ.) to all Title VI center directors providing the common language for library projects as approved by the Africana Librarians Council. The e-mail included our request for individual program/center contributions to increase from $1500/year to $2000/year in the upcoming grant cycle. Discussion revealed that director-librarian communication at individual institutions and among ALC librarians needs to be improved: University of Illinois and Boston University applications may not have included the fund increase.


Olson described the 2nd Aberdeen Woods Conference on collaborative collection development, November 2002, hosted by Center for Research Libraries. The conference papers will be published in Collection Management, early 2003. Deborah Jakubs (Duke Univ.), outgoing AAU/ARL Global Resources Program Coordinator, reviewed the Global Resources Program. Her remarks were highly critical of AFRINUL, noting that delays in implementing the newspaper union database have postponed the more important goal of establishing collecting and preservation priorities.


Olson suggested that one successful model for collaborative work is the Global Resources Program's German Resources Project, in which US and German subject specialist-librarians were matched, bypassing the traditional American Studies/German Studies monopoly. Marion Frank-Wilson (Indiana) met with librarians at Frankfurt Univ. whose library is described in Africana Libraries Newsletter no. 104 (Nov. 2000/Feb. 2001).


Other collaborative projects of interest include the Digital South Asia Library and Yale's OACIS project, indexing Middle Eastern periodicals. Woodson offered to schedule a presentation on OACIS for the Spring 2003 ALC meeting at Yale. Olson reported Dan Hazen's (Harvard, incoming Global Resources Program Coordinator) observation that collaboration can be successful through small- and large-scale efforts and that documenting and sustaining small-scale projects would be rewarding.


Olson asked for information on librarians or institutions involved in training future area studies librarians, especially African studies librarians. He noted that Indiana Univ. and Duke Univ. offered internships for PhDs retooling for area studies. Baumann described the Duke internship in Slavic studies.


Discussion revealed other training efforts. Woodson reported that Southern Connecticut State University Library has proposed bringing African students over for MLS training; these students would work in the Yale University Library. Woodson also noted that Yale has hosted an intern from Zimbabwe. Kagan reported that the University of Illinois' Mortenson Center for International Librarianship brings mid-career South African librarians for one-semester coursework and practicums. Paulos reported that University of Michigan School of Information and University of Fort Hare National Heritage Cultural Studies Centre are working on exchange programs. Olson reported that Swarthmore College hosted a dance archivist from ICAMD, Ghana and hopes to repeat.


Kagan concluded the discussion, asking about outcomes. Do we help current librarians be better back home? Do we train new librarians in Africa? How does this help U.S. libraries?


Olson reported that some collection development officers at the Aberdeen Woods conference suggested that electronic resource-sharing projects such as OhioLink or OCLC WorldCat might be fertile ground for collaborative area studies efforts. However, Dan Hazen described the difficulties faced by Argentinean libraries using UNESCO bibliographic software: MARC is not a global standard and incompatibility makes collaboration very difficult.


Limb presented Michigan State University's African e-Journals Project. Project MUSE will offer online access to scholarly journals published in Africa, brokered by Michigan State University. MUSE subscribers receive access automatically; other institutions may subscribe to individual titles. AJEP will offer a writer's database describing African journals.


Olson distributed information on US Department of Education TICFIA grants, including MSU's AJEP, a UCLA project digitizing materials for less commonly taught languages, Yale's OACIS, and the Digital South Asia Library.


After asking if any African studies librarians planned to attend the upcoming TICFIA meeting, Olson adjourned the meeting.

last updated: 9/28/2009