Perspective and commentary by Marshall Breeding
Library Technology International
My Systems Librarian column for the November 2008 issue of Computers in Libraries talks about some of great libraries in other countries that I've visited in the last few years. I've been extremely fortunate to receive invitations to speak in many international venues including Taiwan, Korea, China, Thailand, The Netherlands, Austria, and the Czech Republic, and Argentina. These trips provide the incredible benefit of allowing me to tour libraries and visit with librarians from different parts of world, each facing their own unique problems and issues. This diversity of perspective has helped me extend my own thinking about library automation beyond what happens in my own part of the world. I'm impressed with how much some libraries are able to accomplish with very limited resources and how others deliver state-of-the-art technology and provide exceptional collaborative learning spaces for their communities.
In my research on library automation, I've worked hard to embrace an international perspective. It's a slow process, but I'm hoping to expand the lib-web-cats directory to include many more libraries outside the English-speaking world. I'm also following some of the technologies used in libraries in other regions. Tens of thousands of libraries in the developing world, for example, use automation products based on ISIS initially developed by UNESCO. The ISIS community has seen some very interesting developments in the last year, including a movement toward open source. While each region has its own particular issues and challenges, I also see many common themes. I hope to continue to gather information about libraries throughout the world and bring some of that content into Library Technology Guides.
Iíve been extremely fortunate over the last few years to have had the opportunity to travel to many different parts of the world and speak and work with librarians in many countries. It has been great to have the chance to see firsthand some incredible libraries that demonstrate creative approaches to library services, innovative uses of technology, expansive resource sharing, and pragmatic approaches to library automation. Let me give you a quick tour. continue reading...
(The full text of my Systems Librarian columns are available on Library Technology Guides 90 days following thier original publication in Computers in Libraries magazine.)
Marshall Breeding Feb 19, 2009 07:11:57 Link to this thread