Academic libraries in this region face several possible paths toward their advancement into a new phase of automation, including open source systems such as Koha, commercial products from local Argentinean companies, or products from global vendors such as SirsiDynix, Ex Libris and Innovative Interfaces. Many libraries in Latin America make use of the CDS/ISIS software, available in many variations, provided without cost by UNESCO.
One of the key challenges for libraries in this region involves the need to provide high-quality services with very limited resources. Over the next three weeks we will assess the options available and attempt to identify strategies that these libraries can adopt to improve the automation of their operations and to provide better access to their resources.
This will be a great learning experience for me as well. I have been following the library automation industry in the United States for many years. Iíve gradually expanded the scope of my interest to other regions. Iíve done systematic reviews of the automation systems used by public and academic libraries in Canada and the United Kingdom and Iíve been working on gathering data on libraries on many countries in Europe. I've had the opportunity to travel to Asia and gain some understanding of library automation in several countries in that region. This project in Argentina provides the opportunity to gain a stronger understanding of library automation in Latin America. While Iím starting with Argentina, I hope to collect data on libraries and the automation systems they use for rest of Latin America as well.
It's especially great to experience live in another part of the world. Although working here without being able to speak the language is quite a challenge, I enjoy the opportunity to learn more about the people, culture, and the issues that libraries face in this region.
Marshall Breeding Dec 3, 2008 04:24:51 Link to this thread