Pacific librarians come together
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CTA. 1989. Pacific librarians come together . Spore 21. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45061
October 1988 a major impetus for cooperation emerged, when CTA, together with USAID, IRETA (the University of the South Pacific's Institute for Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture), and SPC (the Eighth South Pacific Commission) sponsored a sem
Agriculture provides a common bond across the 30 million square km of the Pacific and its six million people. In the past decade, Pacific libraries and information centres have come to be recognized as i mportant agents in the process of agricultural development. In October 1988 a major impetus for cooperation emerged, when CTA, together with USAID, IRETA (the University of the South Pacific's Institute for Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture), and SPC (the Eighth South Pacific Commission) sponsored a seminar at the USP Alafua campus in Western Samoa. This meeting aimed to foster linkages to improve regional access to information via regional library networks, and was the third such meeting funded by CTA The participants (representing the major agricultural libraries of the region, the Land Grant colleges consortium of the northern Pacitic, the USP School of Agriculture Library, and the IRETA network with its agricultural liaison officers) were concerned with reaching specific agreements, despite differences, and discussing methods by which information, particularly in electronic form, could be shared throughout the Pacific. Five major areas of concern surfaced during the week: cataloguing standards, database production methods, constraints on data transfer, methods of database exchange and improvement of user services. Each library's current operations and future plans were shared with the group, and group discussions then led to recommendations on areas that need to be addressed to facilitate regional sharing. Several specific actions were taken by the group. Agreement on indexing procedures and vocabulary, as well as agreement on the details for physical exchange of data and materials, were finally reached. The participants accepted common bibliographic database standards and specifications, which will allow data to be transferred between the various database management software in use within the Pacific region. It was felt that the international library community freauently ignored the region, and thus there was much discussion as to how to influence groups such as the Library of Congress and the Dewey Decimal Committee. Three documents will also result from the meeting: a comprehensive index of all issues of important regional agricultural journals, with each participating library indexing specific journals; a regional directory of agricultural institutions and personnel; and a comprehensive regional union list of agricultural serial publications. The final recommendation was the constitution of a Standing Committee on Agricultural Information Networking in the Pacific (SCAINIP) to provide a continuing forum for cooperative development of agricultural information services in the region. Regular communication between members of the Standing Committee is also being established in the form of a 'round robin' letter. For further details, contact: Paulette Foss IRETA Agricultural Information Network USP Alafua Campus Private Mail Bag Apia -WESTERN SAMOA