Stephen Kizza’s excellent article, providing a refreshing update on the state of specialized libraries in non-Western countries, and particularly in developing countries, has been published in Information Outlook.
Thanks to the good efforts of Dennie Heye of Shell Oil in The Hague, Joyce Fedeczko and Marlene Vogelsang and the other leaders of SLA’s Petroleum and Energy Resources Division, and the kindness of Copyright Clearance Center and Christopher Keneally at CCC, Stephen’s work was given strong attention at the SLA Annual Conference in June. Stephen was not able to be with his colleagues but the slides of his presentation were posted and SMR International’s June 30th post linked Stephen’s paper to other work being done with KM/knowledge services in Africa.
Now the full text of Stephen’s paper is published, and strategic knowledge professionals interested in the role of KM/knowledge services in the international arena will want to take a look. Stephen’s theme, which came through loud and clear when his paper was presented in June, offers much hope to knowledge workers throughout the world: “Despite a lack of computers and information resources and little or no internet access, special libraries in developing countries have opportunities to help underserved populations.”
Stephen begins his paper by defining “developing countries.” In doing so does us all a service, for many knowledge services professionals – for a wide variety of reasons – do not have a clear idea of what we mean when we speak about a “developing country,” and Stephen helps us out by quoting the best sources: “The World Bank,” Stephen writes, “defines ‘developing countries’ as those with low and moderate levels of per capita income. In its 2008 survey, the World Bank (2009) classified countries with per capita incomes below US$ 975 as ‘low income’ and those with incomes between US$ 976 and US$ 11,905 as ‘middle income. The United Nations Human Development Index, which considers indicators such as life expectancy, literacy rates, and standard of living, defines developing countries as those lacking a significant degree of industrialization and having low to medium standards of living.”
Kudos to Stephen Kizza for bringing these important matters to our attention. Well done. Special Libraries in Developing Countries is published in the August, 2010 issue of Information Outlook.