I'm just barely recovered from the Code4lib conference, which was both the
best and the most exhausting conference I have ever attended ;-)
Now I'm preparing for something totally different: I've been invited to
spend a week in Kosovo in mid-April giving talks to the libraries there. Not
having been there before I'm not sure what to expect, but all evidence
points to a lack of library technical infrastructure, not to mention
difficulties like almost being in the middle of a civil war.
They need some quick answers, I believe. Simple things that they can do that
will move them forward from where they are. (With a recognition that this
may not be a culture that does things quickly -- I don't know yet.) They
appear to have good net access, and very very few information resources. In
particular, as they are trying to assert themselves as a new country, they
need to be able to do so in their own language (Albanian). So I'm looking
for ideas. I'll throw out a few scenarios, but if anyone can offer
ideas/pointers to code, etc., I'd really appreciate it. The main thing is I
don't want to go there with just "how we do it good in the US."
1. They have digitization projects for their archives, really need software
for management, storage and display (and some help with cataloging).
2. There are digital copies of books in Albanian in OCA and in Google. Can
they put a UI of some sort on these and create a library? (Note: all of the
national libraries' books in Albanian were destroyed during the war with
Serbia; they mainly have books in Serb, which their users can't read.)
3. They have an Aleph catalog, but it looks like they haven't been able to
make it work much beyond the first installation. I doubt if they could run
something like Koha (I have no idea what they have in terms of technical
staff). They need a catalog, but not circulation, acquisitions, or probably
not even serials check-in. And it's got to be very easy, and easy to
translate into Albanian.
Any ideas that you can throw out are welcome. Thanks.
Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
[log in to unmask] http://www.kcoyle.net
ph.: 510-540-7596 skype: kcoylenet