Archive for September, 2008

2008 Conference presentations on IAMSLIC website

The PowerPoint presentations from the 2008 IAMSLIC Conference in Suva, Fiji, are now available in the Members Area of the IAMSLIC website. Please note that three very large presentation files have not yet been able to be uploaded, hopefully alternate arrangements will be made to add them shortly.

–Steve Watkins

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Friday Field Trips: Navua River Trip

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9/19/2008 Navua River Trip

Ok. So the majority of folks decided their post-conference experience would be the snorkeling on Beqa island, once more leaving via Uprising Resort, but a few of the hardier souls chose the Navua River trip to see a native village and scenic waterfalls as we floated up the Navua River.

After dropping off the undersea adventurers, the final 5 motored to Navua town to catch our boats for the ride up the Navua River. We were joined by the bus driver and 3 more scheduled to be on the trip with us. We set off slowly as a couple of groups joining the tour arrived late. The sun was shining, breeze was cool and the water was amazingly clear. As we approached the village, we heard the distinct sound of a conch shell being blown. We all gathered on the steps up to the village and chose our temporary chief. Filing into the village bure, we all sat down for the traditional kava ceremony. I was quietly assured by a fellow adventurer of about 8 years of age that kava is not exactly the best tasting concoction. Following the ceremony, we toured the village. We got to see village women weaving floor mats and learned about the paints they use for making tapas as well as how they pound the bark.

They used traditional underground cooking to roast the taro. While we hung out in the cooking area, our guide, William, told us the history of the village and how the residents came by the name Danforth. Lunch was served. YUM. And then we all trooped back out (after a bit of shopping) to the boats. We continued our motor trip upriver in search of scenic waterfalls. The Navua River gorge is absolutely gorgeous. By this time, the sun was playing hide and seek with clouds.

We disembarked at a lovely little falls seen easily from the river. The group ambled up to the falls, where we are informed, we can leave our stuff to be watched while we hike up to the real falls. For those who don’t think they can make the hike (and he’s looking at me), we are welcome to wait for the group to come back down. HA. Poor William had to catch another curve when I asked if I would be ok making the hike up barefoot. Off we set to see a waterfall about 100 feet high with a huge pool for swimming. William was kind enough to carry my camera for me so it didn’t get wet. Of course, he got his revenge by taking my picture as I came back down. Lovely man. We spent another few minutes watching brave folk and small children jump off a platform above the lower falls.

We all trooped back down to the boats for the return trip. A short distance down, folks were invited aboard bamboo rafts to be poled downriver for a few minutes. And the sky fell. Yes, the rain came down in a hissing, pouring torrent that did not let up until we crossed the mountains on the bus back to Suva. The Drowned Rat Society crawled back aboard the bus to the retrieve the Beqa Island group at Uprising Resort. The rest of the Drowned Rat Society came aboard the bus and we all rode back to Suva hoping the sun would make one last appearance on our last day together.

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ASFA Partners and Input Centers–Field Trip

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9/18/2008 ASFA Partners and Input Centers

Once again, I rose early with Denise R. and we headed down to the beach for a bit of outrigger fun in the early morning light. After a bit of cleaning up, we were once more treated to a light breakfast, Fiji style. We finished closing the auctions and items were picked up and paid for by the happy winning bidders.

Richard Pepe moderated a session on ASFA partners and input centers to fill us in on new developments and what each center has accomplished in the last year.

After the morning tea, we began the 2nd business meeting for this year’s conference. Business accomplished, we moved on to the passing of the Presidency from Barb Butler to Elizabeth Winiarz. After some gleeful chortling by Barb, we had a presentation by Jan Haspeslagh (traitor that he is) on the 2009 IAMSLIC/Euraslic joint conference in Belgium: mussels, beer, chocolate & lace with a lot of great pictures of the rugged Belgian coast.

We were then handed a lunch and herded onto the bus for the afternoon field trip. Many escaped the net and didn’t join us. The countryside was gorgeous. Montfort Boys’ Town was the first stop on the trip with a visit to their aquaculture area. They raise ducks over the ponds.

The second stop was the Freshwater Prawn Farm which is a joint venture between a New Zealand company and the USP Marine Studies Department.

Finally we were dropped for a bit of shopping at the Pacific Harbour Arts Village. Afternoon tea was at Uprising Resort on the edge of the island facing Beqa (Benga) island. The buffet was set for 55 and we had a round dozen show up. Sigh. Excellent food and really excellent coffee (yeah, beat the tea). We returned to the Holiday Inn sated and satisfied with information, food and fun conversations on the bus.

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Keeping Track of Our Heritage

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9/17/2008 Keeping Track of Our Heritage

Wednesday morning already. A bright, clear day, or at least we think as we peer through the shutters on the windows. The Guin Auction bidding has picked up pace and folks are bidding happily on the many fine items donated for the cause.

State of the Nation’s Marine Protected Areas by Dr. Rikki Dunsmore

Having an area designated as a Marine Protected Area does not always mean that the area is truly protected. Many of these areas are still designated as multi-use. Very few areas are no-take areas that actually prohibit fishing and protect the environment. Kind of disheartening to think that folks spend all that time getting areas designated and the area may not necessarily be protected as they think.

MagicJack by Joe Wible

Use your computer as a telephone. The only available numbers are in the U.S. and Canada, but then you can call from anywhere in the world using that number. The service is an annual subscription.

Story Place by Suzie Davies

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is bringing the story of the reef to the people and bringing the people to the story. By tying aboriginal literature to the story, they are expanding how people learn about the reef and using traditional knowledge to care for the reef.

Pacific Islands Climate Change Portal by Peter Murgatroyd


Reefbase Pacific Information Portal: Livelihoods, Fisheries and Biodiversity by Pip Cohen and Asenaca Valemei

Information portals are becoming more important for sharing online information and creating common knowledge areas.

During the morning break, we took time to have a group photo, in between the very important task of bidding on Guin Auction items and eating the delicious spread of food. Of course, the group photo resembled herding cats into a cage for a trip to the vet, but we got there and actually have a couple of decent photos to show for the effort.

Lunch was another sumptuous spread of various ethnic delicacies, but there was a lot of attention on the Guin Auction.

Information Commons: an Overview by Elizabeth Winiarz


Learning Commons Planning: One Size Does Not Fit All by Jan & Mary Heckman

Many universities are now developing areas known as information commons for students to have comfortable places in the library to enjoy finding information. Comfortable seating, low lighting and other extra electrical outlets are hallmarks of these areas. Increasingly, libraries are also allowing food and drink inside the library in these areas to encourage student use.

While these presentations may seem to be very similar, there was enough difference in the true heart of the topics to make both well worth paying attention.

The Aquatic Commons and OceanDocs by Suzie Davies and Steve Watkins

The Aquatic Commons is continuing to evolve as more participants are contributing to the effort.

Afternoon tea had many discussing the information commons ideas as well as the Aquatic Commons digital library efforts. Folks were also busy guarding their favorite items in the Guin Auction. As the break came to an end, final bids were fast and frantic. As the auctioneer, I missed the IAMSLIC IOC Memorandum of Understanding brainstorming session in the afternoon. The auction raised $716 for the Guin Fund this year. Not a bad amount for about 50 items.

The day closed early as we all returned to hotels and rooms to prepare the the banquet in the evening.

The banquet was held in the dining hall on the University of the South Pacific’s upper campus. The staff had spent a bit of time decorating. Beer & wine were flowing freely (when do they not at IAMSLIC conference banquets) as we celebrated the ending of another fine conference. A few of the more adventurous male attendees chose to wear their sulus. Hm. Who won the pool on when the first one would fall off?

Before dinner, we were treated to contemporary South Pacific dancing by dancers from the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture. The last dance had us all up and dancing along to get us in the party mood. Dinner was a scrumptious buffet of Fijian, Indian and hybrid dishes.

Shortly after dinner, the dancing started. Several of the less party animal types left at this point. So, we missed the excitement of disrobing, albeit accidentally, later in the evening. Shoot, I could have paid for my trip to Belgium with that money.

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Problems with ILL email requests

Apparently our campus has recently made changes to the software that attempts to identify spam email messages and as a result, most of the ILL requests submitted via the Z39.50 Distributed Library or the Union List of Marine and Aquatic serials have not gone through correctly for the past week or so. I believe this was happening because the system has been inserting the requesting library’s email address into the “From:” address in the outgoing emails. Therefore, the email looks suspicious to the spam filters because the name of the sender is not someone with an account on the server from which the email is being generated (it appears to be a third party). I have changed the scripts in the Interlibrary Loan module so that ILL requests will now be coming from which is a real user on the server. The requesting library will still receive a copy of each request they submit, but it will be in the “Cc:” field instead of the “From:” field. Hopefully this will solve the problem, but please contact me at if you are still not receiving email copies of requests you have submitted.

Anyone who has submitted an ILL request in the past week should probably resubmit it if you have not heard from the owning library. Chances are that the email never got through to them, especially if you never received a confirmation email yourself.

My apologies for the problems and the inconvenience.

Warm regards,

–Steve Watkins

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More Fiji photos

To view a more complete set of photos on from the IAMSLIC conference, including those posted by Lenora Oftedahl, Joe Wible and myself, use this link:

For photos of Joe’s and my dive trip on Namenalala Island prior to the conference, see:

–Steve Watkins

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Voting results – election of officers and bylaws amendments

Voting closed on Wednesday, 17 September, for the election of IAMSLIC officers and the consideration of four amendments to the Bylaws. The results are as follows:

IAMSLIC President-Elect 2010-11: Marci Croy-Vanwely

IAMSLIC Treasurer 2008-10: Sandra Abbott Stout

Amendment 1.  Shall Article VI – Regional Groupings of the IAMSLIC Bylaws be amended as follows:
Section 4: Maintaining Regional Status.
The DELETE: “REGIONAL GROUP”, INSERT: “MEMBERSHIP DATABASE MANAGER” will provide a membership list annually to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will review the list every two (2) years to determine if regional status for any Regional Group should continue.

Yes: 107
No: 6

Rationale: The annual census numbers are provided to the Executive Board by the Membership Database Manager. This change to the Bylaws simply reflects the change in reporting responsibilities.

Amendment 2. Shall Article VII – Officers of the IAMSLIC Bylaws be amended as follows:
Section 4: Expenses of Officers DELETE: “, THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR” and the Proceedings Editor.
Officers of the Association DELETE: “, THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR” and the Proceedings Editor shall not receive compensation for their day-to-day services to the Association. The Executive Board may, however, set an amount annually to support officers’ DELETE: “AND/OR THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR’S” and/or the Proceedings Editor’s attendance at the annual business meeting of the Association, the amount to be not more than thirty percent (30%) of revenue derived from membership dues during that fiscal year.

Yes: 106
No: 6

Rationale: IAMSLIC ceased publishing a newsletter with issue number 107 in February 2008.  This change to the bylaws will reflect that IAMSLIC no longer has a newsletter editor.

Amendment 3. Shall Article IX – Other Official Positions of the IAMSLIC Bylaws be amended as follows:
DELETE: “Section 1: Newsletter Editor. There shall be a Newsletter Editor responsible for the preparation of the IAMSLIC Newsletter. The Newsletter Editor shall be appointed by the President, with the approval of the Executive Board, and shall serve at the pleasure of the President.”

Yes: 105
No: 6

Rationale: IAMSLIC ceased publishing a newsletter with issue number 107 in February 2008.  This change to the bylaws will reflect that IAMSLIC no longer has a newsletter editor.

Amendment 4. Shall Article III – Membership of the IAMSLIC Bylaws be amended as follows:
Section 3: Dues.
Dues shall be established by the Executive Board, and shall be payable to the Association INSERT: “OR REGIONAL GROUP” on or before February 1.

Yes: 102
No: 11

Rationale and Impact: Voting “YES” will retain the federated regional group structure implemented in 2006 in which Regional Groups can collect dues in their native currency and retain 70 percent of their membership dues income to allocate as they see fit.  Voting “NO” will eliminate the federated structure and return IAMSLIC to its former method of operation.

Congratulations to our new officers and many thanks to the Nominations Committee for all of their efforts and to Jen Walton, our second candidate for President-Elect.

–Steve Watkins

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



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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Pictures from Fiji

Just to let everyone know, that I’ve been slower on the uptake for taking pictures this year. Some might say that I am still taking too many, but those are the one with the most blackmail pictures.  How else am I to afford attending conferences?  Just kidding.

As usual, I am trying to upload photos to Flickr (  Just look for e4salmon as a user or “IAMSLIC 2008” as a tag.

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

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Ruth Gustafson is our new President-Elect

Great news– Ruth Gustafson is willing and ready to take on the role of IAMSLIC President-Elect and Conference Convener for the 2009 Joint IAMSLIC-EURASLIC conference.  Ruth is taking on this role with short notice so I hope that many of you can come forward to help with program planning and details.  Thanks Ruth!


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