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British colonists commissioned the establishment of libraries in West Africa, while the Italians pioneered this effort in East Africa. While academic libraries have received attention in African library development, they contend with issues that impact their ability to deliver 21st-century library services:.
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The LIS community recognizes the above issues and is willing to tackle them, so we are seeing Africa turn the corner. Growing national, regional, and international networks, and collaborative efforts are being initiated to mobilize funds, grants, and donations to build infrastructure, procure equipment, and develop capacities, especially IT skill-based competencies.
Abstracts - parallel sessions 2A-2C | The 39th Annual IATUL Conference
Echoing the Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted on September 25, , by the United Nations General Assembly, sustainability is one of the key foci among the academic libraries in Asia and Oceania. Major conferences were held to address the issue of sustainable development in academic libraries as a long-term strategic development. Shortly after this meeting, another major conference on sustainability was held in mainland China.
Topics such as sustainable library development and planning, outreaching services, staff development, revitalizing library space, as well as other sustainable library issues, were reported and discussed in this annual conference. Apart from sustainability, there has been an increasing emphasis on the way in which academic libraries can facilitate student learning and success, increase the impact to the university community and beyond, advocate their value and relevance in higher education, and engage stakeholders to influence the society in the Asia and Oceania region.
The growth of libraries in the six Arab GCC countries started during the s as a result of substantial investments in education, research, and development.
This wholesale expansion necessitated the employment of a large corps of professional librarians, especially in the academic setting. From the s to the s, young nationals were sent to North American and British universities on scholarship. Meanwhile, libraries grew very quickly in numbers, resources, and sophisticated services. GCC academic libraries contribute significantly to supporting both the learning process and research activities in universities in the Gulf region. They are facing different challenges in the 21st century, five of which are:.
For the last 25 years, the SLA-Arabian Gulf Chapter SLA-AGC has played an important role in developing librarians and information professionals in the GCC, promoting best practices, establishing strategic partnerships with key information stakeholders in the Gulf region, and helping academic librarians to develop their skills by offering continuing education CE activities. They are working with Arabic publishers and vendors to develop new Arabic scholarly content that supports international emerging technologies content and software and to translate LIS professional literature into Arabic.
In identifying five areas that are impacting European university libraries, I wish to start off with student services. Libraries are providing space for group learning and creativity, changing traditional library services, and creating applications that provide access to resources virtually. Recognizing that users can access more and more information and applications through their smart phones, major European libraries are needing to provide such emerging technologies. Digital learners present university libraries with a new area of services to develop, which has resulted in synergies between libraries and computer services across different universities.
For example, the ability to provide users with a certification in CI2 Computer and Information Skills , strengthens the role of university libraries. The current support for open access by academic institutions has seen research libraries involved in various activities. On the one hand, they are strengthening institutional repositories and creating services to facilitate self-archiving by researchers and, on the other, they are supporting the transition to the golden path of open access that includes initiatives to offset the costs of publication.
Furthermore, libraries have the new challenge of helping researchers to manage research data. Research funding institutions, especially the European Commission, have set targets requiring researchers to facilitate access to data that lead to publication. Academic libraries should be prepared to help not only publish the data but to manage them throughout the research cycle and beyond.
This development is aligned with the aim of libraries to support the interests of researchers committed to improving existing copyright exceptions, making them common and binding for all member states.
Latin America and the Caribbean is known for its various open access initiatives for scientific production and also, paradoxically, for its concentration of countries with no or few limitations and exceptions to copyright and related rights for libraries, that are needed to offer equitable access to information in the current digital age.
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