About Us

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Librarians without borders

By Rani Moodley

“Librarians without borders” is a non-profit organization that was established in February 2005 to provide training in information retrieval and to improve access to information resources and assistance to people worldwide especially the developing countries. It also provides training in the use of computers to conduct research effectively [1,2].

The US Medical Library Association and Elsevier Foundation teamed up with “Librarians without borders” in 2007, to develop online searching skills among librarians in Africa, Asia and Latin America. They have been doing marvelous work training professionals and librarians who then cascade these skills to their colleagues and students. Take a look at this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73mmEKsa1MU

Lenny Rhine, Emeritus Librarian of the University of Florida says, “To effectively utilize the Internet in developing countries as a tool to access current health information, users need legal access to biomedical information, sufficient hardware and bandwidth, training to identify, filter and use the e-resources.” [3].

Access to information is fundamental in supporting teaching, learning and literacy. The Internet has revolutionised access but the information that is readily available is not always reliable, relevant, dependable and trustworthy. As information sources are increasingly moving online and are available “out there”, students need guidance in searching, selecting and evaluating the sources they use.

The concept of the embedded librarian is one which a number of overseas libraries have explored to provide value added services. Their librarians do duty in “student spaces” and within the faculties they serve. This is for a limited number of hours each day or week. Their presence places a librarian “on the spot” to assist with information retrieval, training and in publicising the resources of the library where the need is. How effective this is, depends on a number of factors.

How far are we in providing this exceptional service to our users at UKZN Library?  Please vote in the poll.

Interesting links
Slide presentation on the embedded librarian http://www.slideshare.net/weelibrarian/embedded-librarians-acrl-2011-7523331

Voting Results
  • Yes, we need them "on the spot" - 30% votes
  • No, keep them at their desks - 0% votes
  • Does it matter as long as you can find one when you need one - 69% votes

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