Focus on the Pacific/Virtual World Delivery of Services and Materials

 

9/16/2008

Last night as I was organizing pictures, I realized that I had not been letting you all know just how fine the weather has been during the conference. We had a couple of days with intermittent showers, but Tuesday showed us Fiji’s sunny face with humidity not quite as high, although temperatures were a bit higher.

At O-dark thirty I left the house with my host, Denise R. and we went out on an outrigger canoe for team practice at 6 am. Paddling out to meet the sunrise was delightful. I participate in dragonboat racing in Portland, so thought I would do well. Not quite. I’m a rank beginner, although, I could get into outrigger back home. We’ll see.

After showering and changing, we joined the conference for breakfast, once again a fabulous spread with coffee and tea. I know the tea is probably just black, but the cooks really know how to make tea. I could almost be convinced to switch my drinking allegiance to tea on a permanent basis.

The conference lecture hall is an almost open air design with shutters that can be opened to allow a cross-breeze and multiple ceiling fans to keep the room cool. So, we were all quite comfortable. Just the little desks attached to the chairs needed to be very carefully balanced.

 

So, one of the things I love about the IAMSLIC conferences is the guest speakers from outside the library world. These speakers are generally passionate about their topics and incredibly knowledgeable about the topic on which they are speaking. Randy Thaman was no exception.

Sinking Island Arks: The Need to Protect Island Biodiversity for Sustainable Island Life by Randy Thaman

The love Mr Thaman felt for the people around him as well as the piece of the world he has chosen to inhabit was more than evident in his talk. He let pictures speak for him, but the rhetoric was invigorating and hopeful that the island ecosystems can be saved and loss of species can be slowed to the usual background rate of extinction.

Once again, break followed breakfast quickly and we all trooped out to the covered walkway for a spread of biscuits with jam, finger sandwiches, samosas and egg rolls with coffee, tea and juice. I have failed to mention that during these breaks, I am running the Guin Auction. Each break, I return to the Guin Auction to find more items laid out on the tables with bids. The Guin Auction has had some great items added this year, including a reproduction cannibal fork.

Access to Pacific Marine Information for the Pacific Islands Countries and Territories : Panel Discussion

Each of the panel members described their libraries and many had pictures of before and after as their libraries are quite young and just recently seen as a valuable addition to the agency or school where it is housed. Many of the pictures were typical of faculty or researcher offices around the world with materials stacked willy-nilly on any available flat surface.

And lunch already. Again a lovely spread of various dishes from the variety of ethnicities that inhabit Fiji. And all are delicious. Conversation flows so well during these breaks and many new friendships are being cemented as well as networking among colleagues. The exchange of ideas for problems and sharing solutions is an invaluable part of attendance at these conferences.

Coming Full Circle: Changes in Scholarly Communication and the Role of Liaison Librarians by Sally Taylor

Information repositories are a growing phenomenon on University and College campuses around the world. These repositories are virtual collections of materials written by students and faculty at the university. Ms Taylor presented ways to market these repositories to students and faculty as both a good thing for hosting publications and useful for doing research for ongoing projects. One of the primary ways to sell the repository is through the subject area liaison librarians.

Infinite Possibilities for Learning in a Virtual World: Second Life by Peter Fritzler and Anne Pemberton

Ok, so Second Life could be fun. I’ve resisted downloading the software for years, though I’ve had an account for a while (Lyonesse Fhang). The possibilities for researchers and for learners is truly infinite. Now, if we could just get the virtual world work and research recognized in the real world.

Biodiversity Heritage Library Supporting Encyclopedia of Life by Cathy Norton

The scope and vision of the Encyclopedia of Life is astounding. The project continues to grow and all are invited to contribute information and references to the project. Yes, we heard about this project last year as well, but a good thing is worth repeating especially as hearing the information again reinvigorates the desire to contribute. And, truly, the audience is not quite the same as last year.

Internet Tools and Toys by Dorothy Barr

Some neat little tools and toys and share information. RSS feeds, social tagging and virtual worlds are part of reality for students. We need to adopt these tools to keep up with current information as professionals and to keep up with tools that students are going to be asking for help with.

Vendor Updates: Elsevier and Proquest

Proquest/CSA gave updates on their products and showed some of the new tools they have developed for researchers. Unfortunately, while Elsevier supported the conference as usual, they did not send a representative. So if you see your local representative, please thank them for their support and have them check with their office to see if they can attend next year’s conference in Belgium.

USP Central Library Reception and Tour

The usual spread of food was available for Tea Time at the University of the South Pacific’s Main Library. We enjoyed a brief tour of the library’s website and were then taken on whirlwind tours of the 3 floor library and got to see the Pacific Collections which includes rare books and artefacts from the Pacific Islands (all of them).

Unfortunately, the rest of the evening did not exist as I was exhausted and my tummy was still full, so when I laid down to rest for just a bit at 7 pm, I did not get back up until Wednesday morning.

Lenora A. Oftedahl
StreamNet Regional Librarian
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

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