Building Libraries for African Children

Last December I published a post about an inspiring documentary featuring librarians In Northeastern Kenya who walk hundreds of miles with camels to deliver books to children. This year, along with part of that post below, I’m including ways you can help build African libraries.

In the US the African Library Project coordinates book drives here and partners with African schools and villages to start small libraries.

In Africa, some of the African Library Project’s partners include Peace Corps volunteers and school administrations.

Former Peace Corps members and others request books that are organized into libraries serving local African communities. One such Peace Corps volunteer was my sister-in-law Ginnie Humphreys who served in Lesotho about a decade ago.

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What is Metadata?

Working both as a librarian and as a computer network manager, one of the most annoying things in my job(s) was learning a second vocabulary for computing.

Every field of study has its jargon. So, at the end of this post, I’ll tell you how I think librarians and computer programmers came to use such different words for such similar things. But first, a look at library metadata.

Library science is the study of all existing fields of knowledge. For lack of a word, let’s call that the study of “meta-knowledge”. Metadata is a way of describing the meta-knowledge that librarians work with.

Librarians who create metadata

Catalogers are technical services librarians who work with the print materials, digital files, and media that come into a library. Catalogers create metadata for “documents” provided directly to patrons or for public services librarians to use in answering questions from their library patrons.

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What’s Going On at the Library?

“Know your customers” is an old adage in marketing. Yet, how much do you know about librarians or library markets? Do you still think libraries are just building filled with nothing but dusty books, magazines and newspapers? Well, here’s some news for you. This year’s 29th Computers in Libraries Conference, will be held April 7-9, 2014 at the Washington Hilton in Washington,...
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Delivery of Library Books to Library Patrons

Source: New York University I can still vividly recall the bookmobile arriving every week.  I was in second grade at a small country school. That county library system bookmobile made me the bibliophile I am today! But are American libraries missing the boat for sticking with the bookmobile for delivery of books to their patrons? The Speedy Bookbag service A Bookstore in China called Kuaishubao...
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The Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is asking developers to submit demos, code, and design ideas to help advance toward “the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all.” The digital library movement This is newest and most ambitious of many attempts to build a public digital library on the Internet....
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