5 ICAHIS 2005
Maintained by
Antoinette Lourens
5th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists
University of Pretoria , Onderstepoort,

4 - 7 July 2005

Running wild , running free :
Capturing, harnessing and disseminating knowledge flows in support of animal health

Abstracts : Papers
Link to Poster Abstracts
Monday 4 July 2005
10:45 - 13:00 Session 1: Library Products and Services
  • 1. MURPHY, S.A. Patching the publicity disconnect: promoting information resources and services to Ohio veterinary professionals
    (Veterinary Medicine Library, Ohio State Univ., USA)
    Veterinarians, like other health professionals, must commit to a program of lifelong learning to maintain knowledge of scientific developments in their field. Continuing education courses, conference attendance, and participation in local veterinary associations offer some opportunities to maintain and update clinical practice skills. Keeping abreast of the scientific literature offer others. Most veterinarians, however, when queried, report preference for consulting a textbook or a colleague when confronted with a situation which requires additional information to resolve. Most do not consider using the collections and services of a veterinary medical library [1,2]. Barriers to veterinary information access, in general, mirror those identified in research on outreach to human health professionals: lack of time; cost; lack of an appropriate source to satisfy an information need, at that time of need; and geographical isolation. [3,4]. With only 32 veterinary medical libraries in North America, the reality is most veterinarians live beyond a reasonable driving distance from a veterinary medical library, hindering their access to the highly specialized information these libraries collect and retain.

    In 2003, a study by the Ohio State University Veterinary Medicine Library of the information needs of Ohio veterinarians identified a publicity disconnect: veterinarians would use the library more, but were unaware of the collections and services the library offered [5]. Further previous research on information needs assessment for library outreach has determined that patrons sometimes suffer from "not knowing what they are missing." An introduction to new information sources, "can awaken an awareness of previously unknown and deeper, possibly more significant information needs" [6]. To address both the publicity disconnect and update veterinarians knowledge of information resources, the library has developed a focused marketing plan. Designed to be implemented in concert with the release of the library's new document delivery program for veterinary professionals in October 2004, the plan includes activities intended to promote not only the library's collections and services, but also online information resources such as PubMed and Consultant, which are available for all veterinarians, regardless of their geographical location. The plan is also designed to use multiple methods and formats, to respect the individual learning styles of the adult learner. This paper will assess the overall success of the marketing plan and other library activities in removing barriers and facilitating access to the veterinary medical literature in Ohio.

  • 2. SHRIGLEY, S. Providing current awareness and information support services during a national crisis : the role of the Pirbright Library during the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the UK 2001
    (Library,Institute for Animal Health Laboratory, Pirbright, UK)
    The Institute for Animal Health Pirbright Laboratory is a centre of excellence for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) research and houses the World Reference Laboratory. Most scientific activities take place in secure bio-containment facilities and a challenge for the library is to provide access to information retrieval sources for the scientist at the bench. In February 2001 a case of FMD was confirmed in the UK: the resultant outbreak spread to most of the country and lasted until September. The UK was finally declared FMD free in January 2002 by which time more than 2,000 premises had been infected and 6 million animals slaughtered. Conservative costs were estimated at £3 billion for the public and £5 billion for the private sectors.

    The Laboratory is responsible for providing a diagnostic service: by the end of 2001 over one million samples had been tested – a normal workload of about 400 per week peaked to 70,000. Staff were involved in helping to trace its source; giving advice to government, vets and members of the public; and carrying out risk assessments on transmission and airborne spread of the virus. The International Vaccine Bank at Pirbright produced about half a million doses of emergency vaccine for a possible ring vaccination programme. To help with these functions, extra staff were seconded to Pirbright from many laboratories around the world. Media interest was intense: the outbreak featured daily in newspapers and television reports for several months.

    This paper describes the valued support which the library gave to all the Laboratory’s activities during this outbreak and discusses the problems in locating resources and maintaining an up-to-date information service for clients working under difficult conditions. For many years an in-house database relevant to research on FMD and many other animal viruses exotic to the UK has been maintained. This has a web-based interface and is used to compile an electronic selective dissemination of information (SDI) current awareness service. It contains bibliographic records for journal articles, monographs, book chapters, conference proceedings and abstracts, reports and ephemeral items. It was an invaluable tool in enabling vets, scientists and other staff to have instant access to urgently required papers and reports and was used in the preparation of responses to questions raised by the many official enquiries into the outbreak.

    The lessons learned and the preparation of contingency plans for any future exotic disease outbreak are also outlined

  • 3. HADEBE, Z C . Client relationship marketing in the provision of animal health information : implications for Librarians.
    (Library, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Zimbabwe)
    Client marketing like strategic planning and marketing is a business process that we need to adopt as information providers, as we are, after all, operating in a business environment. With the advent of ICT (Information Communication Technology), libraries are experiencing enormous changes, which have affected the entire concept of what a library is and what it does. For us operating in the framework of an academic setting, libraries will always be necessary as a resource whereby students, faculty and staff gain knowledge. How well we maintain this level of necessity is in our hands. Therefore it is necessary for us as librarians to develop and maintain a relationship with our clients, given that there are few areas of our library and information service work that have changed more than our attitudes to customer service. Easy availability and instant access to information has raised our customers’ expectations for information to an enormous extent both in terms of delivery as well as quality of information services and products.

    This paper will further describe how we develop a relationship with our customers, concentrating on the following aspects: knowing who our customers are, developing a service culture, and the importance of communication as the key to relationship development. .

  • 4. VERSTER, E. Programme for agricultural information service (PRAIS) in the SADC countries
    (Library and Information Services, University of the Free State)
    The paper briefly discusses the origin, design, implementation and development of the Programme for Agricultural Information Service (Prais), which has its target groups located in the in the SADC countries. It identifies the key factors which have led to the success of the service which include enthusiastic response to initial questionnaires, positive feedback from clients, the constant flow of search requests and the increasing number of clients repeating requests for new information. It touches on the issues that will impact on the future functioning and of PRAIS: absolute commitment by management of institutions, additional capacity building, the absence of technological and information infrastructure, strategic decisions on target groups, the utilization of different types of information sources, and the development of networking and partnerships.

    Finally it gives an overview of the running of the service: the type of requests received, how it is responded to, which countries generate most requests, what type of client is responsible for the largest percentage of requests.

    The publishing of a newsletter as means of disseminating relevant information is discussed. It concludes with some response from clients.

  • 5. SIFE, A.S. and CHILIMO W. Effectiveness of Sokoine National Agricultural Library
    (Sokoine National Agricultural Library, Tanzania)
    Sokoine National Agricultural Library (SNAL) was established by Act of Parliament No. 21 of 1991. SNAL has a dual mandate, that of being the University Library as well as a National Agricultural Library of Tanzania. SNAL’s overall goal is to develop and maintain library and information services in agricultural sciences and related disciplines. As a university library, SNAL aims at supporting efficiently and effectively teaching, research, extension, consultancy and other academic activities of SUA. As a National Agricultural Library for Tanzania, SNAL is also a center for the national agricultural library network, a national bibliographic and documentation center and a legal depository library of published and unpublished materials on agriculture and related fields.

    The Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) consists of many academic units that include four faculties: Agriculture, Forestry and Nature Conservation, Science and Veterinary Medicine.

    This paper examines the capacity of SNAL in disseminating veterinary information. Electronic information resources available at SNAL are assessed with the aim to examine the coverage of veterinary information in comparison with other agricultural related fields offered by SNAL. Major electronic information resources include CD-ROMs, e-journals and OPAC. Additionally, the information needs and seeking behaviour of veterinary scientists and students at SUA are identified in order to establish the extent to which SNAL meets their needs. The capacity of human resources at SNAL to provide veterinary information to their users will be discussed as well.

    Tuesday 5 July 2005
    09:15 - 10:30 Session 2 : E-Resources
  • 6. LWOGA, E. T. African web-based animal health information
    ( Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania)
    The quantity of research information being made available on the World Wide Web in various disciplines is increasing tremendously. This study examined the coverage of animal health information published on the Web from Africa. Challenges and opportunities of publishing and disseminating animal health information online in Africa were also examined.

    Websites and online databases which offer agricultural information were included in the analysis, but the main focus was on research, education and extension information in the core areas of animal health. Content analysis method was used to determine what agricultural academic indexing and abstracting databases have in terms of quality researched animal health information published from Africa or about Africa. Well-known databases, such as AGRICOLA, AGRIS, CAB Direct, PUBMED, AGORA and HINARI were investigated.

    The criteria used to determine the African animal health web-based information included the content available on the web site, the accessibility of sites in terms of how easily and quickly are they navigated, the usefulness of the available information, the target group, the ease of locating information once the site has been accessed , and how current and up-to-date the information is.
    The results indicate that the representation of African animal health information on the Web is inadequate. It was observed that the current ICT (Information Communication Technology) infrastructure, awareness, literacy and expertise in many African countries do not enable them to disseminate animal health information on the Web. This results in the Web being dominated by animal health information from developed countries.

    Despite the challenges faced by African researchers in publishing their research findings on the Web, most animal health scholars were collaborating well with some international organizations in disseminating animal health information on the Web. This paper recommends that researchers in Africa should fully utilize Internet services to publish and disseminate animal health information on the Web.

  • 7. AGABA,D.M. Assessment of the utilisation of Makerere University electronic information resources by academic staff: challenges and prospects
    (Veterinary Medicine Library, Makerere University,Uganda)
    This paper is a result of a study that was conducted to investigate the utilization of Electronic Information resources by the academic staff at Makerere University (Uganda). Such resources that have been introduced and are currently available for use by academic staff include : electronic journals, CD-ROMs, Internet search engines, scholarly databases, electronic books and use of electronic mail in communication, to mention but a few. Some of these resources have been made available through PERI, with funding from Sida/Sarec for the science based faculties since 2002. The study was therefore carried out to establish whether academic staff in the faculties were aware of the availability of these resources, the types provided by the University Library, factors affecting their utilization, problems faced in the utilization of these resources, and offer recommendations for the way forward.

    The study was qualitative in nature but quantitative research design was also used to establish frequencies and percentages. Questionnaires and interview schedules had questions aimed at generating information on the utilization of Electronic Information resources provided by the University. Data analysis was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).

    In this paper, findings of the study revealed that the University provides most of the Electronic Information resources that are vital for research and teaching. Although most of the academic staff are aware of their availability, findings indicated that they have not gone ahead to use them. Reasons cited for non-use of these resources include lack of facilities, poor accessibility to theses services and lack of time. Those that have used the resources mentioned a number of factors that affect their utilization and these include among others: poor facilities, location of some Faculties, poor bandwidth and limited publicity. The majority of the non-users were interested in the utilization of Electronic Information resources.

    Findings further revealed a number of problems that were being faced by most users. These included poor computer communication systems, inadequate facilities, poor publicity, lack of computer skills and lack of time.

    The paper presents conclusions and recommendations on how best such Electronic Information resources could be utilized by the Academic staff of Makerere University from all the teaching faculties.

    This paper will be presented in the following sections: introduction, literature review, methodology, findings and recommendations

  • 8. CARRIGAN, E.,WILSON, M.D., HIGHSMITH, A. Enhancing the use of electronic resources on a university library's website; herding electronic resources into subject groupings
    (Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University, USA)
    The integration of five separate websites from the campus libraries at Texas A&M University in 2002 resulted in the creation of a unified listing of all electronic resources, with well over 20,000 entries. This was the first time we were able to provide library users with a single, comprehensive list of electronic resources. But it quickly became clear that it was not very usable.

    In June 2002 the University Libraries Web Implementation Team (WIT) identified a diverse group of library staff to “explore the possible alternatives for providing intellectual access to the subject content of web-presented resources.” Expertise and library experience across the group spanned library public services, technical services and systems. This group became known as the WIT Subjects Group.

    The goals for this group were to develop a system that would:

  • Support keyword and subject access to web-listed resources and to our website as a whole
  • Support mapping to broader subject groupings, both dynamically created or predetermined
  • Provide a framework and guidelines for the addition of metadata to all locally developed content or external links
  • Make full use of the specificity and richness of existing content data
  • Maximize the use of existing content data with automatic updating capabilities to avoid labour intensive maintenance requirements It took over a year to develop and release the system for subject presentation of web resources. Efforts are continuing to improve the maintenance process and to refine the actual visual presentation of subject searching results.

    This paper describes the investigation and evaluation of possible alternatives for the subject presentation of electronic resources; the selection and modification of a system for subject presentation; the implementation of the system including maintenance workflows and continuing challenges; communication and training efforts; and, plans and hopes for the future.

  • 11:00 - 13:00 Session 3: E-Resources (cont)
  • 9. KING, P. Seamless library services using the Open URL syntax
    (Kresge Library, Scripps Research Institute, California, USA)
    With the rise of the Internet, scientists expect to be able to access all library services from anywhere they can carry their laptops, and to go from database to full-text article in one session. The impact of these expectations on the traditionally separate services of a library catalog, on-site collection of printed resources, document delivery system, database searching, and current awareness will be discussed. A key component to the integration of these library services is the OpenURL syntax, which forms the basis of communication among disparate systems from a variety of vendors.

    A solution that has been implemented in the small special library of a non-profit research institute will be presented as an example. The library's decision to abandon use of proprietary linking solutions provided by database providers, and instead rely solely on SFX (the OpenURL resolver tool from Ex Libris) is reviewed. The extraordinary usefulness of this tool is discussed, particularly the ways in which it simplifies the researcher's access to full text, reducing the time and effort spent on this important and necessary part of their work. It relieves the researcher from having to learn the complexities and peculiarities of multiple publisher web sites, from having to fill in forms, and from having to re-enter search strategies to run new jobs in related databases.

    The most popular menu options in the distributed SFX product are highlighted. Additional customized options that may be offered on the SFX menu are also reviewed. Attention is paid, as well, to ways in which the tool might be made even more useful by extending its integration with even more library products (such as current awareness alert tools). The Library Community can play an important role in making suggested improvements become reality by educating, lobbying, and encouraging their vendor partners to enhance their products and improve their inter-operability with OpenURL resolvers.

  • 10. BABALOBI, T. Towards a development and use of internet web and information communication technologies for veterinary medicine education in Nigeria
    (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
    Various professions, such as accountancy, medicine, engineering and law, have developed and utilized the potentials and capabilities of the Internet for the development of electronic resource database/libraries, utilizing the Web Communication Technologies (WCT) and computers/computer networks of various Information Communication Technologies (ICT), in professional education, training, research and practice.

    The veterinary medicine profession, over the past decade or so, has also utilized these facilities. However the development and use of ICT/WCT and electronic libraries for veterinary medicine is mainly limited to the developed countries such as the USA, UK and European countries. It remains largely an “African Dream”. This can be ascribed to the low adaptability/affordability of the Internet culture and a low level of awareness of these electronic facilities.

    Nigeria has five officially recognized veterinary faculties, with three others in the offing. The availability of self-owned Internet links by these universities is a recent phenomenon. However many academics utilize private commercial Internet facilities, a relatively expensive venture. None of the veterinary faculties in Nigeria is engaged in corporate utilization of the WCT/ICT facilities in veterinary education. Although the theme of the 2001 Congress of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, was Advances in Information Technology: Impact on the Veterinary Profession, only one paper presented was strictly relevant on the theme.

    Apart from the apparent lack of awareness, there are three major limitations to the development and use of ICT/WCT/veterinary electronic libraries/ resource bases in veterinary medicine in Nigeria. These are the need for training/retraining of veterinary informatics personnel, acquisition of relevant hardware/software, and the development of sufficient relevant electronic libraries. Multilateral assistance is needed to overcome these limitations and actualize this desirable need to develop and apply ICT/WCT and electronic libraries for veterinary medicine education, research and practice in Nigeria.

    Wednesday 6 July 2005
    14:00 - 15:45 Session 4: Knowledge Management
  • 11. SWANEPOEL, D. and SNIJDERS, A. Reconstructing knowledge about livestock management in southern Africa before colonisation.
    (Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute Library, SA)
    In the absence of written history before the 15th century for southern Africa, information is derived from rock art, oral history, archaeological findings and observations of plant and disease names. Explorers, trekboere (migrant farmers) and European hunters encountered indigenous people before European intrusions while Arabian and Asian contacts occurred in the central and eastern regions.
    Khoisan people lived predominantly in the western, southern and south-western regions, existing as pastoralists without cropping and no winter cereals. The first domestic livestock were sheep, followed by goats while cattle came considerably later.
    Indigenous breeds will be described in this paper and their importance in the lives of the peoples of the region discussed.

    Hunter-gatherers were the source of information of poisonous, edible and medicinal plants as well as the breeding cycles of game.

    Pastoralists applied the principle of transhumance to exploit seasonal variations in grazing, trace elements, food resources and diseases. Transhumance assisted in reducing environmental impact especially significant in marginal areas. The pastoralists recognized disease vectors, diseases and disease association with game, toxic plants and plant toxicoses.

    Livestock management was so successful that Khoi beef and mutton was the main source of supply to the VOC, the Dutch trading company that established the food replenishing station at the present Cape Town. The loss of Khoi cattle was one of the main causes of the virtual disappearance of these pastoralists.

    The paper will explain how knowledge about these practices was transferred and the difficulties in reconstructing the knowledge since it was not recorded on paper. Many of these principles are re-implemented today, supported by scientific research .

    During most of the 20th century, western thought and practices dominated and traditional practices were rejected as inferior or not applicable. Today, however, the value of Indigenous Knowledge is recognized and the necessity of documenting it is an important goal of scientific research in South Africa.

  • 12. LAWRENCE, R. Knowledge management practices in Australia.
    (Knowledge Resource Centre, Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Australia)

  • 13. VAN WYK, J Communities of practice within an information service organisation
    (Academic Information Service, University of Pretoria, SA)
    The global economy of the modern world, also called the New Economy, is characterised by globalisation, growing customer demands, greater competition and continual advances in technology. This has forced organisations to rethink the way(s) in which they operate and do business. Knowledge has become one of the most important assets that can enable organisations to be among the top players. Knowledge in organisations can be explicit and recorded, or can be tacit (i.e. in people’s minds). In the past, organisations (also academic libraries) were good at creating, disseminating, organising, recording and retrieving explicit knowledge ( also called information). It is the tacit knowledge (expertise, know-how, skills, etc.) of their staff and clients however that gives them the edge above their competitors. Some tacit knowledge can be recorded (made explicit), but a big part of it can never be recorded, documented or captured.

    This has created a very real need. How can tacit knowledge, which is very valuable to organizations, be disseminated and embedded in the organisation for future use? The answer lies in the utilization of Communities of Practice. Communities of Practice have been utilized with great success by organisations in the business and manufacturing sectors, but can these Communities be applied with the same success in academic libraries, or is it a run on the wild side? To investigate this problem, a literature study of the concept of Communities of Practice was done. In the discussion of the results of the literature study, an overview was given of what Communities of Practice are, the advantages of Communities of Practice, their relationship with knowledge management and learning organisations, how knowledge is managed through Communities of Practice, the stages through which they develop, and the factors that are critical for their development.

    After the literature study, these aspects were applied to Communities of Practice in the Academic Information Service of the University of Pretoria as a case study. Results of the study showed that Communities of Practice have a definite and valuable role in the management of knowledge in the AIS as an academic library that is a learning organisation, but they seem to be very vulnerable human institutions which should be well nurtured, as they are very much dependent on the support of top management, information technology infrastructure, enthusiasm of their members, trust between members, time and rewards, and incentives to participate.

  • 16:15 - 18:00 Session 5: The Web
  • 14. ZIMBA, H.F. and HARUN, M. Digital collections: introduction and development of a model for the collection and dissemination of scientific and technologic information in veterinary medicine and other fields.
    (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique)
    This paper will describe the Digital Collections project of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique.
    The main aim of the project is the introduction of a standardized methodology for the collection of scientific and technological information in veterinary medicine and other fields, in support of the democratization of the access to information and the joint endeavours of the academic community and the production sectors by creating a national network for information exchange. The implementation of this project will increase accessibility to public information produced by institutions, researchers and others on veterinary medicine in Mozambique. The system to be introduced will function as a web site, which means that anyone will be able to access the information no matter where he/she is located in the world, as it will only be necessary to have a computer with access to the Internet.

    For documents without copyright restrictions the full text will be available and for other cases, references showing the location of the source will be available.

    The end results of this project will be :

  • 1) a gateway to scientific information
  • II) a decentralized web system( site) with different access levels to ensure the safety of the information
  • III) a virtual library and/ or digital collection with the full text of theses, monographs, articles, reports and other documents
  • IV) a reference list of databases of national and international academic and research institutions, researchers, and entities dealing with veterinary medicine
  • V) a model to generate and disseminate digital contents which can be used in other similar institutions
  • VI) the collected database will help with determining veterinary scientific production and
  • VII) as a means to determine the information needs of the user community by applying web metering methods that will be part of the web information system.

  • 15. BREYTENBACH, A., GRIMBEEK, E., GROENEWALD, R., HARMSE, N. HAUPT, S. and SMITH, C. Herding tacit knowledge; the opportunity for real teamwork to digitise information resources in support of learning, teaching and research at the University of Pretoria.
    (Academic Information Service and Telematic Learning & Education Innovation, University of Pretoria, SA)
    The paper will outline the factors leading to and including the establishing of a digitisation project at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria as a shared endeavour of the Department of Telematic Learning and Education Innovation (TLEI), the Academic Information Service (Library) and the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria.

    The paper will examine the following topics: the aim of the project and the role played by the growing need for organizing and retrieving digital materials in support of learning, teaching and research; the project plan including the development of metadata templates and standards; the management of the project including collaboration and shared responsibilities of the role players.

    The role players include

  • a) the lecturers of the Faculty in making tacit knowledge explicit;
  • b) the Department of Telematic Learning and Education Innovation in the gathering of distributed teaching information, preparation and scanning of documents and preservation and archiving of the digital objects;
  • c) the role of the Academic Information Service (Library) in the applying of metadata, selecting a thesaurus, and designing the database and user interface.

    Future plans for optimising the use of the digital archive will be discussed including skills development training in the effective searching and application in WebCT and the development of tutorials on using digital objects in learning, teaching and research.

  • 16. COATES, L. Portal business; the conception, production and marketing.
    (Zoological Society of San Diego Library, USA)
    10 years ago the title for this talk might have been "Creating the Virtual Library and Developing a Program of Bibliographic Instruction", but today such terminology seems oddly antiquated. As libraries have evolved, librarians have adopted business models to compete and survive. As we create unique information products, design efficient information delivery systems, negotiate licensing fees and promote our information resources to patrons, we have adopted practices developed in the world of business. All truly great companies are adaptive to the marketplace, and the same holds true for successful libraries.

    It is no longer possible to define today's library activities on the basis of past practices. Challenged with providing information to a diverse and extremely dispersed staff, the Zoological Society of San Diego Library established a zoo and conservation web portal to anchor our services.

    Today's consumer wants convenient, one-stop shopping, and our niche portal serves as a gateway to both international and local resources, providing quality pre-evaluated links.
    It is considered good business practice to have multiple revenue streams, and the best companies are capable of inventing new ones and creatively developing existing ones. Our library regularly adds unique information products tailored to our staff's specific needs.
    Products include an historical time line of Society events; a zoo and conservation news service; a customized journal page; standardized and annotated animal fact sheets; a referral page to regulations and guidelines; an animal training, enrichment and husbandry section; web tutorials; indexes to ZOONOOZ and staff articles, and a Society archives finding aid.

    Our marketing campaign consists of yearly keeper training for new employees, and a yearly information update focusing on information literacy, new web and technology developments. Hour-long information modules are also available "on demand" to various departments.

    In this era of technological change and near-instant communication, adaptiveness like this is necessary for libraries to compete and survive. As Darwin noted, "It's not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one that is most adaptable to change."

  • 17. LOURENS, A., COETSEE, T., BREYTENBACH, A. and VAN DER WESTHUIZEN, E. Webportals for animal health; capturing and harnessing information and knowledge for the e-environment
    (Academic Information Service, University of Pretoria, SA)
    In South Africa there is only one veterinary school where students can qualify as veterinarians, namely the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria. With the new emphasis on production animals introduced into the curriculum, reflecting the country’s primary food needs, the importance of creating one-stop sites for relevant information on economically important animals became evident.

    The growing interest in goats and ostriches and the infectious diseases of production animals as well as the economic importance of poultry farming in rural communities led the Service Unit Veterinary Science (Library) of the Academic Information Service (AIS) to create portals on these topics for the benefit of its primary user group and also the wider community.

    Definitions of portals and subject gateways will be described and features pertinent to them will be listed.
    Aspects that have to be considered when designing such portals will be discussed.

    The development of 4 web products will be described, including problems and pitfalls. Future developments will also be considered.
    Ostrichweb, Goatweb, Poultry Web and Animal Infectious Diseases web were compiled by 4 information specialists, and one member of the team handled the electronic publishing aspects including the final layout and design.

    These products are enhanced by using facilities of the university portal, UPportal, such as Virtual Groups, so that the information gathered and made accessible will not be static or become outdated. Members of these Virtual Groups share knowledge and expertise as they form a Community of Practice.
    The role of the information specialist will be explored. One of its important facets is the relationship between the information specialist and the subject expert or lecturer. This is crucial in providing an academically reliable site.
    Another important role of the information specialist is that of enabling optimum retrieval through the effective use of Metadata. Other aspects of the role include: initiating the website, identifying the need, ensuring cooperation with the lecturer or researcher, co-facilitating the Community of Practice, gathering the relevant documents to be placed on the site, supporting the documenting of the tacit knowledge and storing it, and adding value for the user by indexing the information.

    The use of these portal products by a variety of user groups as well as future plans concerning content and access will be discussed as well.

    Thursday 7 July 2005
    10:00 - 10:45 Session 6: Role of the Information Specialist
  • 18. BURFORD, N. Benchmarking; pathway to knowledge sharing
    (Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University, USA)
    This paper explores the possibilities of benchmarking technical services operations and collections in veterinary libraries. According to the Medical Library Association website, "benchmarking is a structured improvement process you can use to determine and implement a 'better way' to do a job, a technique that provides you with a common measuring stick to evaluate process performance." Benchmarking studies are most often undertaken to improve direct client services such as reference and interlibrary lending; these are areas in which performance (and improvement) are most visible to both clients and management. Collections are areas most often measured in surveys by numbers alone: number of monographic titles owned/added/withdrawn, number of serial titles, total number of volumes, etc. A technical services operation involves much more than those final tallies; there are a myriad of processes in a single library's technical services department, and despite similarities in means and ends, processes differ from library to library. Benchmarking is a means of identifying best practice in those processes to improve performance.

    One of the first steps in benchmarking technical services operations is narrowing the scope of the initial benchmarking project. Most sources advise potential benchmarkers to select a process using the following criteria: is important to stake-holders, faces external competition, emphasizes librarian's skills, and can be improved. Bindery processes, while important to preservation of printed material, are already out-sourced to commercial binders, are less obvious to stake-holders, and do not need a librarian's skills. Cataloging processes are somewhat idiosyncratic, since they are tied to the automated library system used in a library, but meet some of the above criteria. Collection development is an area that meets all of the criteria.

    This paper focuses on the intersection between collection development and acquisitions. Specifically, how do libraries identify, select and acquire materials (in all formats) in veterinary medicine? How well do approval plans work for print materials in veterinary libraries? What other methods are used to identify and acquire veterinary resources? Possible measurements include: total amount of veterinary materials added, number of materials acquired through approval plans, number of materials acquired through other means, and number of staff/librarians involved in process of discovery.

  • 19. KOK, V. T., KRIZ, H. and FANG C.S. Library management issues, then and now.
    (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia, USA & Wright State University Library, Ohio, USA)
    This paper presents an overview of the shifting issues in library management, from pre to post electronic access to information.

    Beginning in the 1940s through the 1970s, research libraries were faced with information explosion and the rapid growth rate of their collections. The issues confronting library administrators during that period were mainly physical managements involving shelving and weeding of materials, storage space, users’ in-house access to the collection, and preservation of the print materials.

    From 1980s to date, due to rapidly evolving information technology, advent of information in electronic format, electronic delivery of information and high user expectations, the issues facing library management has shifted outside the confines of the physical environment to the following:

  • Setting up technology infrastructures to provide seamless remote access to information for users. Thus, library administrators find themselves in relatively unfamiliar arenas, such as grappling with new issues of licensing, authentication, digitization, user instruction within electronic environments, and changing skill and competency requirements of librarians and staff.
  • Developing ways to reach technophile users who are sophisticated in their ability to use technology, are accustomed to the convenience, speed, and gargantuan retrievals from Googles and are unconcerned about the accuracy, legitimacy, and currency of their information sources.
  • Convincing users who have unshakable faith in the internet being able to provide all needed information sources, that libraries not only can supply the information they need but the information supplied by the libraries are from sources that are valid, uncorrupted, and as complete, current, and authoritative.
  • Reallocating financial resources to absorb the costs of upgrading and replacing hardware and software that continuously become obsolete as new technologies emerge almost yearly.

  • 11:15 - 12:00 Session 7: Role of the Information Specialist (cont)
  • 20. SIMUI, M. Enhancing access to animal health information; the role of Information Specialists.
    (Veterinary Library, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia)
    This paper is a product of a larger study conducted between 2002 and 2004 on the state of libraries and use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in research and academic libraries in Zambia. It examines the role of information professionals in enhancing access to animal health information under prevailing conditions. Animal health is an integral aspect of the agricultural sector, which has potential to contribute to the economic growth of the country. Sources of information on animal health include libraries, personal collections, colleagues and the Internet.

    The paper explores existing information services that facilitate access in order to meet the diverse information needs of different user groups ranging from farmers, researchers, lecturers, students, to extension workers and wildlife workers.

    It discusses challenges and opportunities in facilitating access to animal health information in the information age. Some of the factors contributing to the poor state of libraries include lack of appreciation of their place in research, services and development by policy makers at national and institutional levels. For instance, a number of government departmental libraries are left to become dilapidated and are only resuscitated when some externally funded projects include conditions to reorganize the library services. Other challenges include unqualified staff employed to manage the libraries, l ack of skills (ICT), poor IT infrastructure, and poor linkages of information systems.

    The Internet provides access to a wide range of information available for free and at a cost on the web. Information professionals are equipped with skills that are relevant and could be applied to the electronic information environment. These include identifying, evaluating, selecting, acquiring, organizing, storage, retrieval, and disseminating information. This paper describes some efforts towards harnessing free information resources and making them easily accessible by creating simple link collections of resources on the web, and document delivery by email and print copies to users.

  • 21. VAN DER WESTHUIZEN, E., RANDALL, E. and DU PISANIE, M. Exploring new information habitats: the Information Specialist as guide in the e-Research environment.
    (Academic Information Service, University of Pretoria)
    A strategic focus of the Academic Information Service, University of Pretoria (AIS) is to develop and implement an effective Information Service for Research.

    The university’s mission statement states that it strives to be the leading research university in South Africa and the AIS would, therefore, play an important part in helping it to achieve this aim. The need to increase research output as well as obtaining an optimum postgraduate throughput rate is the foundation of this Research Strategy.

    A focus group was formed in 2004 to investigate all facets of such an information service for research, consisting of the leaders of 3 service units of the AIS, covering 1)the Humanities,2) Natural Sciences/Agriculture and Engineering and the Built Environment, and 3)Veterinary Science.

    As the project developed it became clear that the role of the Information Specialist and the competencies needed in the Information Service for Research focus would be a central feature.
    Within the rapidly evolving e-Research environment with its cyberinfrastructure the following facets were identified as impacting on the role of the Information Specialist:

  • E-information developments including building e-resource collections and the use of metadata for optimum retrieval, digitisation projects and institutional repositories
  • Scholarly communication and e-Research support
  • IT support and skills
  • Relationships, networking, communication and facilitation of knowledge networks (COPs/ Communities of Practice)
  • Flexibility in an ever-changing information and research environment
  • Training skills (both giving training and receiving training), not only in database searching but also in e-publishing and managing own reference databases

    The importance of the SARIS (South African Research Information Service) project for the enhancement of access to global information for researchers in South Africa will be highlighted.

    The findings of this focus group and developments based on these findings will be discussed, the implementation actions described, and the successes and failures shared.

    Information Specialists’ willingness to change and accept or adapt new roles in this Information for Research focus will also be featured.

  • 22.BROWN, F. and DOZIER, M. Developing information skills training to meet the changing needs of veterinary education.
    (Veterinary Library, University of Edinburgh, UK)
    Over the past ten years there have been many developments in both educational methods and information provision. Educationalists have been moving from didactic teaching to more student centred learning whilst information providers have been making more products available electronically and online. In veterinary medicine education in the UK there has been an increase in the use of case-based and problem based learning. Students are encouraged to participate in more group work and are expected to find their own references for some essay work. In many Veterinary Schools the Final Year of the course has become lecture-free, with students participating in clinical rounds each week and producing assessed work for each round. More recently veterinary medicine is following the example of human medicine with the development of evidence based veterinary medicine and personal portfolios. Furthermore, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the professional body for UK veterinary surgeons, in its Guide to Professional Conduct states that “veterinary surgeons are expected to continue their professional education by keeping up to date with the general developments in veterinary science” The RCVS website adds to this that such continuing professional development “should be seen as the continuous progression of capability and competence”

    Aims of the paper
    This paper uses the example of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Libraries at the University of Edinburgh. It examines the changing course structure in veterinary medicine and shows how information skills training has developed to provide students with transferable skills which they can take into their veterinary career. This is particularly relevant as the profession is increasing the emphasis on continuing professional development. The paper investigates how staff in the Veterinary Libraries have collaborated with colleagues in the Medical Libraries, using the example of information skills training for medical students to tailor training for veterinary students. The paper will discuss how Library staff liaised with the Veterinary School to integrate information skills training into the undergraduate curriculum. The paper will also discuss information skills training of postgraduate students and staff in the Veterinary School. The paper will show how the Veterinary Subject Guide on Library Online (http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/resbysub/vet.shtml) was developed to assist ease of access to resources for students.

    Finally, it suggests that a 21st century veterinary library must develop to meet its clients’ needs and provide them with the transferable skills they require in 21st century veterinary medicine.

  • 12:00 - 13:00 POSTER SESSION