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2008 started with geographical expansion in both Africa and Asia. After eIFL's investigative visit to Nepal in January and the expression of interest in joining eIFL by the Kenya national consortium following a meeting at IFLA Durban, we are delighted to announce that these 2 countries have now become member countries. Both communities of libraries and their stakeholders have decided to join eIFL as it is seen as an opportunity to share knowledge and resources with other countries and as a means towards library modernization and the improvement of services to the users. The eIFL global network is looking forward to partnering with both countries.
The Kenya Libraries and Information Services Consortium (KLISC) was created in 2003 and has a current membership of 41 University, research institutes, college, governmental and other non for profit organization libraries. In spite of continued budget cuts and financial difficulties, the consortium has strived to be self-sufficient in subscribing to electronic resources and has an ever- growing agenda where promotion of local content, capacity building and training and awareness raising about information technologies for librarians and researchers rank high.
The Nepali community is at the beginning of nation-wide collaboration to benefit from access to e-resources, but has already started deploying OSS solutions in libraries, and embarking on digitization of local content. The Social Science Baha, a fine research library, is heading the working group to bring an alliance of information seekers into the eIFL.network.
The first eIFL Advisory Board meeting of the year took place at the Open Society Foundation premises in London on January 25-26. This was the first Board meeting for the newly elected members Helena Asamoah Hassan from Ghana and Irina Razumova from Russia. Iryna Kuchma was welcomed as new full time eIFL OA programme manager. The meeting discussed the plan of work throughout 2008 including a focus on fund-raising and on the refresh of eIFL strategy and business planning for the next 3-5 years. Minutes of the Board meeting are already available in the MEMBERS ONLY section of our web site.
"Advocacy, accountability and transparency: library watchwords in Ghana" is the eyecatching title of the new success story that you can read in the Spotlight section of our website. This time we focus on explaining the sound principles that underpin the rapid and sustainable development that CARLIGH, the Consortium of Research and Academic Libraries in Ghana, is experiencing.
In just 5 five years the consortium has managed to embrace 18 university and college libraries, both public and private, with an agenda covering a wide range of issues, including advocacy, fundraising, training and electronic licensing. The full story as well as previous stories are available at www.eifl.net
Please mark the dates 6-9 of November. The eIFL GA this year will be hosted by BIC (Bulgarian Information Consortium) and will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria. We would like to thank Nadia Terzieva and her team for putting forward the proposal. More detailed information will follow later.
By the end of March, an updated overview of eIFL programmes and agenda will be published in the next issue (no 42) of SCONUL Focus Newsletter, a publication by the Society of College, National and University Libraries in the United Kingdom. Characterised by a practical focus, this Spring issue will be a special international issue. We thank the SCONUL Focus team for this opportunity and the newsletter will be freely available to all at www.sconul.ac.uk.
In addition, the first eIFL.net article in Spanish will be published in the Biblios Spring issue, a well known Peru-based electronic journal supportive of Open Access and devoted to disseminate the latest trends in Library and Information Sciences and ICT applications in libraries, museums and archives. The journal is freely available to all at www.revistabiblios.com.
Focuss.Info is a content specific gateway and search engine developed for the international field of global co-operation and studies. The search engine is an initiative of more than 30 international organisations offering more than 6,300 indexed websites. Each site has been selected by information professionals working in one of the cooperating institutes. Partners are located in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.
eIFL.net and the Focuss.Info initiative are discussing closer collaboration to bring more relevant content from our member countries for the global community interested in development co-operation and studies. eIFL.net member institutions interested in participating should get in touch with Richard Lalleman via email: info.focuss[at]gmail.com
eIFL.net thanks management board member Marian Vernooy for facilitating this cooperation. The initiative originates from the department of Library and IT Services of the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands (www.iss.nl/library).
Benetech, a California-based nonprofit organization, operates the Bookshare.org digital library for people who are blind. eIFL and Benetech are beginning negotiations around discounted access to the Bookshare.org collection for eIFL consortia. To test the interest level, Bookshare.org has agreed to offer a free pilot program to all eIFL national consortia. Bookshare.org will provide 100 book download credits and/or 10 individual one year memberships and has negotiated agreements with publishers to provide these books solely to individuals with severe disabilities that affect reading. They cannot be used for other purposes. For an individual to be served, the participating library must sign the Bookshare.org organization agreement as well as certify that the individual has a qualifying disability (such as blindness).
Bookshare.org provides additional software that uses synthetic speech to read the books aloud to blind users. There are roughly 3,000 copyrighted titles in the Bookshare.org collection with global rights negotiated from a handful of publishers: computer software/technical (O'Reilly Media), trade (HarperCollins), science fiction (Baen) and children's books (Scholastic). Roughly two thirds of these books are in English and the rest are in Spanish. More global rights are planed to be negotiated. Please contact Susan Veldsman, eIFL Content Manager, to participate. One of eIFL's goals has always been to level the playing field and push for equitable access to information, and we would like to thank Jim Fruchterman, CEO of Benetech, for offering this important opportunity to extend eIFL.net services to disadvantaged users.
Armenia On March 15-23, fourteen top library activists of Armenian national consortium ELCA will enjoy a study visit to their peers of the Lithuanian national consortium thanks to the support by OSI East-East Programme. The objective of the visit is to familiarise Armenian librarians with the work carried out by the Lithuanian consortium, and training topics will include library consortium building, negotiation and licensing of e-resources and their promotion to academia as well as the principles of fair copyright. Furthermore, the Lithuanian Consortium will present ongoing digital library projects within the Lithuanian Academic Library Network. The programme is jointly coordinated by Emilija Banionyte and Tigran Zargaryan, from the Lithuanian and Armenian eIFL consortia respectively.
An important recent accomplishment by the ELCA member Fundamental Scientific Library of Armenia has been the award of a NATO Networking Infrastructure Grant aiming to improve the telecommunications infrastructure and thus to promote enhanced scientific cooperation and knowledge sharing with peer communities globally. The library has just launched the portal of the Armenian Digital Library. All ELCA member libraries are welcome to participate in these projects. Please read the full stories at the country page of our web site: www.eifl.net
Bosnia-Herzegovina On March 20-21, Dragan Nikolic will conduct workshops on the administration of EBSCOHost database at the National and University Library and the Parliamentary Assembly Library of Bosnia-Herzegovina. These sessions are open to the consortium members.
More promotion of scholarly e-resources will be happening with the training session planned by Emerald Publishing at the National and University Library on March 28. All consortium members are invited to participate.
Mozambique CONVERGINDO, the 2nd National Seminar on Archives, Libraries, Documentation Centers and Museums in Mozambique will take place on April 23-25 in Maputo. The seminar is organized by Fundo Bibliográfico de Língua Portuguesa (Bibliographic Fund for Portuguese Language) a state organism with different responsibilities in the areas of book provision and reading promotion.
The Seminar's theme is "Building an information society in Mozambique" and the main areas to be discussed are technologies, services and users - the use of ICT; Access to information: the possible ways; Information professionals: challenges in their activity; Partnerships: working in cooperation to build the information society - where the ideas of library consortium and professional association will be presented.
eIFL.net will present an overview its program and services and run a practical workshop on access to e-resources.
Senegal On March 11-14, COBESS consortium will conduct training sessions to familiarise with the use of the open source web based library management system PMB. These events are part of planned activities by the consortium to inform librarians on the latest trends in technological applications.
Sudan A group of librarians and information professionals will pay a study visit to Jordan in April in order to learn about their library consortium model. This is part of the Sudan action plan to build the national library consortia the launch of which is planned for May. An important event in this planning phase was the eIFL.net visit to Khartoum mid November last year.
Ukraine On March 10-14, senior representatives of Emerald Publishing will hold a series of meetings with information professionals in University libraries in Ukraine to raise awareness on Emerald products and services offered. This activity falls within the framework of recent activation of a trial access period to Emerald e-resources for library members of Informatio Consortium.
On March 3-4, the International Renaissance Foundation, Information Program of Open Society Institute and Public Health Program of Open Society Institute, Scientific Library of the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Association "Informatio - Consortium" and eIFL participated in the round-tables Exceptions and limitations to copyright in the digital environment and Development and Intellectual Property under the EU-Ukraine NNNegotiations: International experience and View of Civil Society. Full information about the events is available at the Ukraine country page of our site at www.eifl.net
On March 3-7, Teresa Hackett attended the first meeting of the new WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) whose role is to oversee the implementation of the Development Agenda for WIPO. The meeting took place in Geneva.
On March 7, Susan Veldsman attended the University of Pretoria centenary celebrations UP BookJol, where she took part in a panel discussion, discussing the eBook phenomena, and specially referring to consortium purchasing of eBooks. More information about the event is available at www.bookfest.up.ac.za
On March 10-12, Teresa Hackett and eIFL IP coordinator for Moldova Mariana Harjevschi will attend the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights: Sixteenth Session which contains an agenda item on Exceptions and Limitations.
On April 1-4, Iryna Kuchma will attend the Open Repositories 2008: 3rd International Conference on Open Repositories to take place in Southamption, UK. More information about the conference can be seen at or08.ecs.soton.ac.uk
The first eIFL-IP global conference will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 4-5 and will cover key policy, legal and advocacy issues and will build on knowledge and experience gained since the first regional training workshops. This event is by invitation only for eIFL-IP librarians and related information is available in the eIFL IP section of our site.
Susan Veldsman will attend the United Kingdom Serials Group Meeting in Torquay, English Riviera, United Kingdom, on April 7-9. See details at www.uksg.org
On April 10, Rima Kupryte will attend the SYReLIB project final conference in Aleppo. For one year, eIFL has partnered with Robert Gordon University and Middlesex University in Britain together with Aleppo University and Al-Baath University to raise awareness and assist in the utilization of electronic services in libraries in these two institutions in Syria.
At the London Book Fair April 14-16 Susan Veldsman will negotiate new offers with publishers. Additional information of the Fair is at www.londonbookfair.co.uk
Monika Segbert will be in Mongolia April 14-19 to take part in a national conference which will discuss knowledge and information services for development. It will also see the launch of Mongolian Library Consortium. Other stakeholders in the event include the Ministry of Education, Culture ad Science, the World Bank, and Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA).
On April 16, Arnold Hirshon will present an update of eIFL FOSS programme at the Spring ICOLC 2008 meeting to take place in San Francisco. Details of the conference can be viewed at califa.org/icolc2008/
On April 17-18, Teresa Hackett will attend the expert meeting "Copyright for Librarians: a Distance Learning Course" at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Cambridge, Massachussets. The course will gather together experts in several related fields; copyright, libraries, distance learning, open education and developing and transition countries to review the distance-learning curriculum on copyright for librarians currently under development by the Berkman Center in partnership with eIFL and sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
On April 26, Susan Veldsman, in close collaboration with the eIFL country coordinator for Mozambique Aissa Issak, will present a paper "Access to Knowledge in the Digital Environment - an introduction to eIFL.net programs and services". Aissa Issak, together with Susan Veldsman and Xoliswa Matroko (CSIR),will present the workshop: How to make e-resources work for the librarian, scholar and institution? These activities are part of the programme of the national seminar "Building an information society in Mozambique" to be held in Maputo on April 23-25.
On April 28-29, Iryna Kuchma will attend the eIFL co-organised and sponsored workshop "Open Access Repositories: New Models for Scholarly Communication" at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria.
The American Mathematical Society is pleased to sponsor the National Mathematical Reviews Subscription (NMRS) Program which offers mathematical communities in around 100 developing countries the opportunity to receive MathSciNet, an electronic publication with access to a carefully maintained and easily searchable database of reviews, abstracts and bibliographic information for much of the mathematical sciences literature at highly discounted prices.
Over 80,000 new items are added each year, most of them classified according to the Mathematics Subject Classification. MathSciNet contains over 2 million items and over 700,000 direct links to original articles. Bibliographic data from retrodigitized articles dates back to 1864. Reference lists are collected and matched internally from over 300 journals, and citation data for journals, authors, articles and reviews is provided. This web of citations allows users to track the history and influence of research publications in the mathematical sciences.
There are approximately 95 countries eligible for the NMRS Program and around 40 of them are already participating, including some eIFL countries. If your library is interested in this offer, please get in touch with us. Additional information can be viewed at www.ams.org
The Negotiations programme web site is in the process of being updated. All new and variation agreements as well as licenses have been added to the site in the MEMBERS ONLY section. We are collecting usage statistics regarding full text downloads for the whole year 2007. You can already find those related to EBSCO, Gale, SAGE, Institute of Physics, American Chemical Society, and Emerald Publishing in the MEMBERS ONLY section of our web site, under "Statistics". Statistics from other publishers will be available within the next few weeks.
A new "frequently-asked-questions" section is being developed to assist country coordinators when completing licenses, accessing databases and searching for information on eIFL offers.
eIFL has signed at the beginning of 2008 the following extensions of agreements for the period 2008-2010 for member countries:
a.. Oxford Journals, who publishes almost 200 peer-reviewed journals, all of the highest quality, covering a broad spectrum of academic disciplines. Their journal collection contains some of the world's most prestigious publications, including the European Heart Journal (published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology), JNCI (Journal of the National Cancer Institute), Brain, Human.
a.. Emerald Management Xtra, the largest and most comprehensive collection of peer reviewed management journals and online support for librarians, students, faculty, researchers and deans. It provides access to 95 full text journals and reviews from the top 300 management journals.
a.. Institute of Physics, a leading international professional body and learned society, established to promote the advancement and dissemination of a knowledge of, and education in the science of physics, pure and applied. IOP today publishes over 50 journals, magazines and community websites.
eIFL has signed a 3 year agreement with Ovid Technologies in order to provide access to over 13 million bibliographic records in IBSS (International Bibliography of Social Sciences, from the British Library of Political and Economic Science of the London School of Economics and Political Science), ISD (International Science Database by INIST/CNRS), ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center by the US Department of Education), Agris database by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Agricola by US National Agricultural Library, and Medline by the National Library of Medicine.
Negotiations are still continuing with the following publishers to be offered to eIFL members during 2008: Royal Society, Nature Publishing, American Psychological Association, Web of Science and ScienceOnline.
New negotiations have been taken up with Taylor and Francis (journals and books), OVID-medical titles and Royal Society of Chemistry.
We are delighted to welcome several new faces to the eIFL-IP network. These are librarians from Bulgaria, Cameroon, Kenya, Kosova, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Palestine, Serbia and Uzbekistan, all nominated by their consortia to take part in the eIFL copyright programme and to share their knowledge nationally. It's a good time to get involved because everyone has the opportunity to attend the first global eIFL-IP conference in Istanbul in April.
We would like to send a big thank you to all outgoing eIFL-IP librarians and to wish them success in their new jobs, careers and pathways. Anyone who wishes to be kept updated on copyright issues may remain on the eIFL-IP mailing list for news and information. Please see the updates at www.eifl.net
Planning is advanced for the first global eIFL-IP conference in Istanbul, 4-5 April 2008. The previous meetings were held in the regions, so this is the first time that everyone has met together. In response to suggestions from participants, the first day focuses on practical issues faced by librarians on a day-to-day basis, such as copyright and library services and the role of copyright in digitisation projects. The second day deals with international policy issues and what's hot in Geneva. Lobbying, legislative advocacy and how librarians can influence processes feature strongly, as well. "Copyright for Librarians: a Distance Learning Course" will have its first airing with a demo and feedback session.
With an impressive line-up of speakers from Moldova, Switzerland, the UK and the US, their combined skills and experience will ensure that participants depart with new knowledge and confidence. We would like to thank John D.and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Tides Foundation for sponsoring this event.
Information about the conference can be found at www.eifl.net
Two March meetings herald the next phase of the policy agenda work in Geneva. The new Committee on Development and Intellectual Property begins its work on implementing the 45 recommendations on a Development Agenda for WIPO agreed upon last year at the WIPO General Assembly. The first meeting, and whoever is elected as committee chair, will set the tone for future work.
The following week, the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights has its first "normal" meeting since 2006 (2007 meetings were special sessions on the proposed broadcast treaty). Of special interest to libraries is the agenda item on exceptions and limitations, which complements recommendations in the Development Agenda and the study on exceptions and limitations for libraries currently on commission by WIPO. An eIFL representative from Moldova will attend the meeting.
eIFL-OA Programme seeks to enhance access to, and greater use of research findings, increase the efficiency of research and developments, accelerate use and innovation, stimulate economy. To achieve this, we apply the developing practices of Open Access as defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative.
a.. builds networks of Open Access repositories, Open Access journals, Open Access education materials;
b.. provides training and advice on Open Access policies and practices;
c.. empowers library professionals, scientists and scholars, educators and students to become open access advocates.
We invite libraries, Universities or any other research and development organisation from eIFL countries that are interested in Open Access projects, plan activities listed above, and ready to organise local and national events to make themselves known to the eIFL-OA Program Manager, Iryna Kuchma (iryna.kuchma[at]eifl.net).
Repositories play a pivotal role in the evolving scholarly information environment of open access research outputs and scholarly collections. With its theme of "Practice and Innovation", 3rd International Conference on Open Repositories 2008 to take place on April 1-4 in Southampton, UK will create an opportunity for practitioners and researchers to share experiences and to explore the challenges of the new scholarly communication. eIFL-OA will present the poster Open Access Institutional Repositories in Developing and Transition Countries: Results of eIFL.net Activities and will also meet with the partners.
Nigerian University Libraries Consortium, Department of Library and Information Science, Ahmadu Bello University and eIFL.net will organise a workshop Open Access Repositories: New Models for Scholarly Communication on April 28-29. Hosted by the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the workshop will address Open Access state-of-the-art, policies and recommendations; subject and institutional repositories, and case studies on Open Access institutional repositories in developing and transition countries.
In addition, the workshop will devote time to issues particularly focussed on the Nigerian case, with an overview about the dissemination of scholarly information in Western Africa and Nigeria, and will analyse the first steps and demonstration of the institutional repository in Ahmadu Bello University, including management issues and filling institutional repositories, copyright and open content licenses, choosing an institutional repository platform and the workshop on Dspace installation. Contact person: Ezra Shiloba Gbaje, Ahmadu Bello University: shiloba[at]yahoo.com.
In early February, a Call for Participation in the eIFL-FOSS ILS project was issued. The response was excellent. Thanks go out to eIFL-FOSS country coordinators and others for circulating the call to libraries in each national consortium. As well as applications to take on the pilot roles for the project, the program also received numerous expressions of interest in associate participation. As one coordinator put it, "let's learn together." Sounds exactly right! The next step for the project is selection of official pilots and organisation of an initial pilot training event.
In late January Randy Metcalfe, eIFL-FOSS Programme Manager, was invited to speak on the significance of FOSS at an event publicizing the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program. www.eifl.net
Later in the same month eIFL-FOSS gave two presentations at the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference in Toronto. The later event provided an opportunity for former eIFL country coordinator from Gaza Nasser Saleh to reconnect. Nasser is now based at Queen's University in Canada but continues to follow the developments of eIFL-FOSS closely. Rounding out the triumvirate of eIFL-FOSS presenters was Bess Sadler, who is a member of the eIFL-FOSS Advisory Board. It was most gratifying to see the level of interest and enthusiasm in the eIFL-FOSS program evinced by the Canadian librarians at this event: www.eifl.net
In early January, Randy took the opportunity to visit with John Fink who is Digital Technologies Librarian in the Mills Memorial Library at McMaster University in Canada. John is in charge of McMaster's piloting, evaluation of, and eventual migration to the FOSS ILS Evergreen. Randy's account of McMaster's migration process may be of interest to others contemplating migration of key library infrastructure to FOSS solutions: www.eifl.net
Finally, although it isn't strictly speaking a FOSS event, attention is drawn to the forthcoming Document Freedom Day on 26 March. Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a rallying point for open standards for documentation, a key element in maintaining long-term access to knowledge. DFD is a new venture that is complementary to the well-known grassroots event Software Freedom Day (SFD), which takes place this year on 20 September. Such world-wide events highlight the growing movement around free and open source software and open standards.
The first phase of capacity building within this one-year project has now been completed with the organisation of regional and national workshops since last August which have trained altogether 66 specialists from 10 countries in basic Greenstone use, and further trained 13 of them from 4 countries in advanced Greenstone use. The last of these workshops took place at the Greenstone national center Lesotho on February 26-29, where basic Greenstone training workshop was enabled for 12 national trainees and one each from Botswana and Mauritius.
Each of these workshops was a learning experience for the organisers and the southern African resource persons, so that there is now a pool of technical and methodological expertise to extend the training effort throughout the region.
In the second phase underway, the national centers are developing providing support to the workshop participants to get started in digital library building while developing their own flagship digital library applications to be shared as examples. The project website at the Library of the University of Namibia (UNAM) (www.sagreenstone.unam.na is supporting this effort with documentation and news on developments, and the user discussion list, also managed by UNAM, is providing a lively technical exchange forum. Discussions have begun on how to assess the results of the project and to follow it up through a continuing self help network. Details will be available in the next issue of this Newsletter.