academic library: March 2009 Archives
Last December I had the chance to get a break from the low temperatures in Ohio and board a plane to the warm Caracas in Venezuela. Exploring the city, one thing I could notice on the streets of Caracas is how Venezuelans revere Simón Bolívar , the leader of the battles for Venezuela independence and great contributor of the independence of other South American countries. Bolívar himself was a native of Caracas what makes it natural for the city to honor "El Libertador" as much as they do. His name is given to several places and even to the local currency: bolivares. It's also the name of one of the largest universities in the country: Universidad Simón Bolívar.
Universidad Simón Bolívar Library System (USB) is composed of three libraries established in three campuses - Sertanejas, Litoral, and Litoral Camuri. I visited the main library at Sertanejas campus. When I arrived there I couldn't help it observing the lucent main door which is from the 17th century and belonged to the military base in the Province of Burgos in Spain. I met the library staff, walked through the beautiful 5-store building (counting the basement), and learned more about their projects and work flow. Of course, I had the pleasure of enjoying a typical Venezuelan meal in their company.
For those that used to visualize a Venezuelan library as not well structured and struggling to keep up with the new trends, you better change your mind. Things are more surprising than you might imagine.
USB is the first Venezuelan institution to have its entire collection loaded into WorldCat. A collection that will enrich WorldCat and gain global visibility. Among the records I have to highlight the Ernesto Mayz Vallenilla collection with 6,000 titles donated to USB by the philosopher author (including all his own publications and titles from his private library) and the Latin American Studies collection by Aristides Torres . This project will help local and global users to easily locate these records held by USB. Venezuelan users will be able to see that the titles are available in their country. Good stuff!
Biblioteca venezolana en WorldCat.doc (vea en espanol)
Biblioteca venezuelana no WorldCat.doc (leia em portugues)
By Tim Rapp
Director OCLC Latin America and the Caribbean
We've just returned from a two week trip visiting over 75 major libraries in 5 cities in Colombia. The main purpose of the trip was to introduce our distribution partners to the libraries. We are proud to be represented by two very strong companies:
NOVA Informatica (has been selling and supporting the OLIB product line in Colombia for almost 20 years). They are also responsible for performing the Spanish translation to the software and know the product extremely well. We have entered into an agreement with NOVA to continue as an OCLC distributor for OLIB into the future.
Our Cataloguing and resource sharing products will be represented by DLC Contexto Ltda . They are a company that has been in the market for over 9 years and are managed and owned by librarians. Edwar Delgado was an IFLA/OCLC Fellow in 2005, and we are proud that he now represents OCLC in his country.
The trip was fascinating and we learned the diversity and strength of the library market in Colombia. We saw the amazing impact that a library like the Luis Ángel Arango has on the community. We were privileged to be allowed to visit the entire library and saw activity in every corner. The music rooms and the concert hall were particularly impressive, but most of all, the traffic was very high.
We also visited many academic libraries and we were very impressed by the creative ways that they work to increase usage. One tactic that stood out was loaning recorded media from the music collection to the campus radio station - and noting that after music was broadcast, there was an increase in lending of music!
I thank our hosts and all the libraries we visited for their warm reception.
Los Socios de OCLC en Colombia.pdf (vea en espanol)
Os Parceiros de OCLC na Colombia.pdf (leia em portugues)
By José Antonio Yáñez
Director OCLC Mexico and for the Libraries in Colombia
I was in a trip to Colombia and I would have a lot to tell though I stayed there for only two weeks. For me, it was very intense and with large areas of opportunity that made me "to carry out many reflections" and to admire how the Colombian librarians have faced their problems, implemented solutions (proper to each case, institution and budget). Tim Rapp, Director of OCLC Latin America and the Caribbean and Bruce Crocco, OCLC VP of Sales for the Americas joined me on this journey.
Among the activities, we organized and attended a special project that consisted of launching to the Colombian market the firm: DLC Context Limited , who will represent OCLC in Colombia with the majority of the " OCLC core services ". This launching included five breakfasts in key cities gathering approx. 160 librarians from around 75 institutions. Moreover, we had at least two meetings with the users of the software OLIB (one in Cali and another in Medellin), where a first approach with the Pan-American School of Library Science of the Universidad de Antioquia took place in order to explore some initiatives of joint work that would involve their staff and OCLC Programs and Research. See the PPT presentation here .
On the other hand libraries were visited in the cities of Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Barranquilla in order to better understand the problems they face and try to solve day by day while exposed to their work routine. Among the libraries visited (that I would not like to skip mentioning) are:
Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango (BLAA)
Biblioteca Externadista (from Universidad Externado de Colombia)
Biblioteca General "Ramón de Zubiría" (part of Universidad de los Andes Library System)
Biblioteca General de la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, fundamental part of SIBJA (Javerian Library System) campus Bogotá and Cali
Dirección Nacional del Sistema de Bibliotecas de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia (SINAB)
Biblioteca EPM in Parque de la Luz (Medellín Public Companies)
Universidades Del Valle, ICESI and San Buena Ventura in Cali (thanks to Nova Informática and its manager: Germán Mejía)
UniNORTE and Universidad Autónoma del Caribe in Barranquilla.
We continue working to better attend to the needs of the Colombian libraries with global and local solutions.
Reuniones OCLC con Bibliotecas Colombianas.pdf (vea en espanol)
Reunioes OCLC com Bibliotecas Colombianas.pdf (leia em portugues)