Information and Informatics Division
INFORMATION & INFORMATICS ACTIVITIES
63rd IFLA General Conference and Conference of Directors of National Libraries 4
Draft UNESCO School Library and Resource Centre Manifesto 5
Bibliotheca Alexandrina 9
International Panel on Reading for All 9
African Public Libraries as Gateways to Information Highways 12
IASA Cataloguing Rules for Audio-visual Media with Emphasis on Sound Recordings 13
Conference of the Society of Archivists "Access Unlocked" 14
MEMORY OF THE WORLD
3rd International Advisory Committee of UNESCO "Memory of the World" Programme 16
West African Post Cards (1895 - 1930) 17
Safeguarding Documentary Heritage: An Exhibition of Posters 18
24th International Conference on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) 19
18th Summer University on Communication 21
Background about the Internet 22
Teaching and Learning in the Cyberspace 23
The UNESCO Web Prize 24
Consultation of the IDAMS International Technical Advisory Group 25
UNESCO International Training Seminar on IDAMS 26
UNESCO/UNDP Project For The Strengthening Of Computer Technology And Training
Centre In Azerbaijan 27
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
International conference on Information Infrastructure Development in Asia/Pacific (IIDAP) 28
High Level Development Meeting on Asia-Pacific Information Infrastructure 30
National Conference on the Role of Information in National Development 34
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Caribbean Regional Information Systems (CCCRIS) 36
UNESCO and ALA: A New and Effective Alliance 37
UNESCO-Supported Informatics and Telematics Projects in selected LAC countries 38
OTHER CII ACTIVITIES
International Seminar Vision Plus 3 on Information Design 41
EAFTERM 'East Asia Forum on Terminology founded 43
Database of the German Information Centre for Technical Rules (DITR) 44
British Library's Website is a 'Hit' 900,000 Times Over 44
IATUL 1997 Conference 45
OCLC Develops UNIMARC Conversion Capabilities 45
Telematics for Libraries CD-ROM 46
Public Libraries and the Information Society 46
The International Translations Centre (ITC) Closes 46
TSTT '97, Beijing, China 47
by Philippe Quéau, Director
UNESCO Information and Informatics Division
The power and universality of digital and virtual technologies no longer needs to be proved. The Web is turning into the meta-media, an ubiquitous, integral cross-roads. Now that the time of pioneers and prophets is over, it is time for mastery: political, cultural, social and creative mastery. We must lay the bases for the cyber-civilization which is about to be born. The task is a difficult one. We must pool our strengths to buffer and temper the inevitable chaos of the maelstrom currently being provoked by a generalized short circuit. We must be prepared to found a new sociability and a new virtual city, where common action will take on new forms of efficiency.
Yet again, we must proclaim the absolute, vital importance of good old "content". The US Congress, for example, is putting all its archives online. Museums and libraries are beginning to meet public demand all over the world. But first and foremost, there is one thing that should be quite clear: we are living a change of era. Digitization is the alphabet of the world, and Internet is a universal printing press.
The Web has become a kind of world-town. A place where we work, loiter, and meet up with each other. We are going to have to inhabit this town and make it human, livable, and graspable for the senses. Global social bonds must be created worldwide, at the same time as local social links are disintegrating.
Virtual 3D communities are becoming organized and civilized. We work there, as members of multiple "invisible colleges". We are learning to navigate in landscapes of data, universes of symbols ("meta-worlds"), galaxies of mobile "links". In these endless, fluid environments, we humans are constantly seeking our share, as always. Humans are becoming hybridized with machines and networks, because we think we are in control. We are constantly in pursuit of the new. We are seduced by unimaginable, subtle effects, because we think we recognize them. We wish to invent new arts, networked creatures. Ha-ving tamed photons and subjugated elec-trons by the sheer force of language and the prescience of vision, mankind is preparing for the advent of the next century.
INFORMATION & INFORMATICS ACTIVITIES
SIXTY-THIRD IFLA GENERAL CONFERENCE
AND CONFERENCE OF DIRECTORS OF NATIONAL LIBRARIES
3 - 5 SEPTEMBER 1997
The International Federation of Library Association's (IFLA) General Conference was attended by some three thousand participants from all over the world and provided a good opportunity to promote UNESCO activities in the Library field, in particular, the "Memory of the World" Programme and MEDLIB. In addition, the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) also met within the context of the IFLA General Conference.
The Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) had on its Agenda this year several items relating to co-operation with UNESCO. These inclu-ded "Memory of the World", UNESCO's Assistance Programme for the Revival of the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo and the MEDLIB project. The CDNL meeting was attended by over hundred directors of national libraries, thanks to a generous grant provided by DANIDA, to facilitate the participation of librarians from developing countries in the IFLA Conference.
The purpose of CDNL is to promote understanding and co-operation between national libraries of the world, and to anticipate opportunities and challenges for the development of libraries, book pub-lishing and universal access to information. The meeting applauded UNESCO efforts on publishing a study prepared by a CDNL group on "Legal Deposit and Electronic Publishing" (both in English and French) and making it available both in paper form and on the Web site of UNESCO (http://www.unesco.org/webworld). The "Guidelines for Legislation for National Library Services" prepared for UNESCO by Per Lor, Chairman of CDNL, will also be available both in print and electronic formats in English and French.
The CDNL meeting suggested that UNESCO assist with the preparation of a new set of "Guidelines for Legal Deposit", including audio-visual materials and cover-ing the full spectrum of publications. It also expressed strong interest in partici-pating in the debate on copyright initiatives. Two working groups were set up to examine all issues related to the mana-gement and preservation of electronic publications and the role of national libraries in the "information highways". A number of issues were identified, including: retention of electronic information, uni-versal access, copyright and intellectual property, and ethical aspects.
The discussion on "Memory of the World" focused on how to improve the participation of national libraries in the programme. Participants from Denmark, Finland, Malaysia, Sweden and the United Kingdom commented on the evaluation questionnaire sent out by the Co-ordinator of the "Memory of the World" evaluation team.
At the IFLA General Conference a Draft School Library Manifesto, (see below), similar to the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto, was circulated for comments in view of its submission to the PGI Intergovernmental Council at its next Meeting in December 1998. The purpose of this Manifesto is to promote the role of school libraries in enabling students to acquire the learning tools and learning content that will allow them to develop their full capacities; to continue to learn throughout their lives; and to make informed decisions.
The UNESCO Representatives to the IFLA General Conference briefed the IFLA Executive Board on recent developments at UNESCO and the synergy between PGI (content) and IIP (network infrastructure). They stressed the importance of the ethical and juridical aspects of the information society and of providing free access to public domain information. They also briefed participants about the newly-published World Information Report (see Vol. 25, N°1 of the UNISIST Newsletter) and the Mediterranean Library Network (MEDLIB). The participants agreed that the "autoroutes" of information should favour communication between cultures (ex. the "Bibliotheca Universalis" Project). The Director of the Information and Informatics Division of UNESCO, Mr Philippe Quéau, suggested possible thematic fields having a universal vocation, for example, the "routes" which would permit a regrouping of certain periods of history, nations, regions or cultural ensembles around integrated themes (ex. silk routes, routes of faith, or slave routes).
The representatives of the International Council on Archives (ICA) stressed the need for common standards for digitization and description of images in co-operation with ISO/TC/46 and the "Memory of the World" Sub-Committee on Technology. The representative of the International Publishers Association (IPA) stressed the need for sound numbering systems in the new information environment. Internet, in his opinion, is like a flee market where DOI (Digital Object Identifier) will help find the right item to retrieve. It was also stressed that national libraries, as numbering agencies, could play the role of authentication of digital objects that pertain to the public good.
At the closing session of the IFLA General Conference, Sally McCallum, Chairperson of the Professional Board, in an attempt to evaluate the conference, provided some highlights and statistics: forty open sessions and fourteen workshops were held, covering the whole spectrum of library and information work, ranging from marketing to standards. Over twenty poster sessions provided parti-cipants with room for discussion. The newly elected IFLA officers were also introduced, Ms Christine Deschamps as President of IFLA and Ms Sissel Nilsen as Chairperson of the Professional Board. A farewell ceremony was held to honour former IFLA President, Bob Wedgeworth, and the outgoing officers.
DRAFT UNESCO SCHOOL LIBRARY
AND RESOURCE CENTRE MANIFESTO
"The World Declaration on Education for All" highlights the right of children and youth throughout the world to have access to essential learning tools (such as literacy, oral expression, numeracy, and problem solving) and the basic learning content (such as knowledge, skills, values and attitudes).
More particularly, the "Convention on the Rights of Children" states the right of children to freedom of expression, a right that "shall include freedom to seek, receive and import information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, writing or in print, in the form of arts or through any other media of the child's choice".
Access to information and ideas and to those trained in the management of information services and the teaching of information handling skills are fundamental and interdependent facts of the four pillars of learning enunciated in Learning: the Treasure Within: learning to learn; learning to do; learning to live with others; and learning to be.
The purpose of this manifesto is to define and promote the role of school libraries and resource centers in enabling students to acquire the "learning tools and learning content" throughout their lives; and to make informed decisions.
The school library programme provides learning resources and services that enable students, teachers and administrators to become effective users of information and ideas regardless of format or medium. As an integral component of the educational programme, the school library and its staff provide valuable access to learning tools and learning content and encourage and support practice in the development, selection, retrieval, application, use and interpretation of the whole range of resources available (fictional and documentary, from print to electronic, on-site and remote).
The services of the school library are provided on the basis of equality for all members of the school community, regardless of age, race, sex religion, nationality, language or professional or social status. Specific services and materials must be provided for those who cannot, for whatever reason, use the regular services and materials; for example, linguistic minorities and persons with disabilities.
School librarians provide material relevant to the needs of students and teachers, including materials in appropriate media and modern technologies as well as books, journals and newspapers. High quality and relevance to local and national needs and conditions are fundamental characteristics of the types of materials available through school library services. Materials should reflect current trends and development, as well as the expression of earlier human endeavour and imagination. School librarians also plan units of study with classroom colleagues in order to integrate the skills and strategies for handling information effectively.
Access to collections and services should be free of any form of ideological, political or religious censorship, and from commer-cial pressures. The materials should com-plement, enrich and support the textbooks, teaching materials and methodologies related to the curriculum. Where teachers and librarians work together to present and teach units, student achievement is positively affected in reading compre-hension, in content areas, in information problem-solving, and in the development of computer and information literacy.
The school librarian is the qualified staff member responsible for the organisation and management of the school library who works in concert with the educational, instructional and administrative members of the school community and parents to fulfil its mission.
The mission of the school library is to nurture the process of teaching and learning.
The following key goals which relate to the development of information, literacy; education (teaching and learning) and culture should make up the core of school library services:
The school library fulfils these objectives by developing policies, selecting, acquiring ressources, providing physical and intel-lectual access to appropriate sources of information, providing instructional faci-lities, and by employing trained staff and expertise related to teaching and learning processes.
It is recognised that "the role of school librarians will vary according to the educational objectives of the schools, teaching methodology, the national legal framework, financial situation, etc."
It is possible, nevertheless, to identify three general knowledge factors which are essential for school librarians to be able to develop and operate effective school library programmes. They are as follows:
In an increasingly technological environ-ment, school librarians need competencies for planning and teaching different information handling skills to teachers and students. These competencies are gained through courses during initial training (theoretical and practical) and through continuing education opportunities, on-site or through distance education.
The school library shall in principle be free of charge. It is the responsibility of local and provincial/state and/or national autho-rities. It must be supported by specific legislation or policies related to education. It must have adequate and sustained funding for trained staff, materials, technologies and facilities. It is an essential and integral component of any long-term strategy for literacy, education, information provision and economic, social and cultural development within a nation.
To ensure nation-wide library co-ordination and co-operation in the development of legislation, policies and plans, based on agreed standards of service the school library should participate in the national library and information network. This network takes into account the information needs of citizens and government and represents school, college and university libraries as well as national, regional, research, public and special libraries.
VII. Implementing the Manifesto
Decision makers at national and local levels and the library community at large, around the world, are hereby urged to implement the principles in this Manifesto.
+ For more information about Libraries, please contact Mr A. Abid, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 22.214.171.124. Fax: (33-1) 126.96.36.199. E-mail: email@example.com
Alexandria Library in Egypt under Construction (Autumn 1997)
The Second Phase of the construction of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Library Building is progressing satisfactorily with scheduled completion foreseen for Spring 1999. Measures have been undertaken to ensure that the Alexandria Library is equipped with modern information tech-nologies, to enable it to serve as a "virtual library" of the future. An Internet Server has been purchased for the Library from UNESCO Regular Programme funds ($20,000) on which a website, developed by the International Executive Secretariat, has been made available.
An Audio-Visual Round Table Discus-sion was held in Alexandria, Egypt (16-18 February 1997), in which technical experts from Egypt, France, Germany, Lebanon and the United Kingdom participated and made suggestions and recommendations on the setting-up of the audio-visual and multi-media section of the Library (A/V collection development policy). This Round Table was followed up by a Seminar on Audio-Visual Materials and Services which was held in Alexandria in late1997. The Library Information System was reviewed at that time, taking into account the needs of the Library. A detailed feasibility study on the System is now being carried out by the French firm CAP GEMINI. This should be completed in 1998.
+ For more information about the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, please contact Mr Richard Holmquist, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 188.8.131.52. Fax: (33-1) 184.108.40.206. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERNATIONAL PANEL ON READING FOR ALL
ASWAN, ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT
24 - 25 NOVEMBER 1997.
Increase international efforts to promote reading, this was the message of the first meeting of the International Panel on Reading for All held in Aswan, Arab Republic of Egypt, from 24 to 25 November 1997. The meeting was chaired by Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, First Lady of Egypt. Mrs Mubarak presented the Egyptian Reading for All Programme which aims at promoting the habit of reading among children in order to enable them to take part in the rapid development of knowledge world-wide. The main philosophy of the programme, which is considered as a cultural investment in children and young people’s potential to build the society of the future, is based on the conviction that the right to read is intimately linked to human rights. The project aims at developing children’s talents and power of imagination and to contribute to universal culture while maintaining their national and cultural identity.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Frederico Mayor underlined that the ideals of equality and the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind as set forth in UNESCO’s Constitution are central to the Organ-ization’s action in the field of books and reading. Underpinning these efforts is the provision of basic education for all which must give top priority to those whose needs are patently the greatest and to reaching the unreached. Eliminating illiteracy among both youth and adults is one of UNESCO’s major objectives. The right to read is a corollary to the right to knowledge and, as such, one of the fundamental freedoms of every citizen. For this reason, UNESCO, since its creation, has actively supported international and national programmes for alleviating "book hunger" with the under-standing that promoting reading calls for the combined efforts of educators, librarians, authors, translators, publishers and booksellers alike.
The Panel members underlined the crucial role of an eminent key personality for co-ordinating the various institutions involved and activities carried out. They stressed the importance of reading for the development of self-responsible citizens in a democratic state based on universal human rights. The important contribution of reading programmes for fighting illiteracy and the problem of school dropouts was highlighted. Common to all programmes is the lack of adequate funding. It was underlined that the establishment of a reading policy, rather than limited reading programmes, need to be developed in order to adequately reply to the challenges of illiteracy. It was also underlined that reading promotion cam-paigns should not be limited to mere book distribution programmes, but that they need a global approach at the political, educational, scientific and cultural level. This includes adequate administration and co-ordination infrastructures with strong decentralised methods and the involvement of civil society and non-governmental organizations. The training of parents and teachers in reading is of crucial importance if children are to be reached by literacy campaigns. The importance of public library systems was stressed and the relevance of UNESCO’s Public Library Manifesto highlighted.
Several experts referred to the possible impact of the new information and communication technologies on reading and its promotion. They recognised that the use of the Internet which, so far, provides information mostly in text form, necessitates reading skills and could contribute to reinforce them. The role of public and school libraries as gateways to the Internet needs to be reinforced in developing as well as in developed countries.
The international community and UNESCO in particular have a long and proud history of promoting reading as a crucial element for development. In keeping with the Constitution of UNESCO, which assigns to the Organization the task of advancing "mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples", and within the context of international efforts to eradicate illiteracy and develop and promote reading habits, the first meeting of the International Panel on Reading for All was hosted by the Egyptian authorities in Aswan, Arab Republic of Egypt, from 24 to 25 November 1997 and chaired by Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, First Lady of Egypt.
The Members of the International Panel
The Members of the Panel express their gratitude to the Egyptian authorities for the generous hospitality.
+ For more information about "Reading for All", please contact Mr Axel Plathe, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France . Tel: (33-1) 220.127.116.11. Fax: (33-1) 18.104.22.168. E-mail: email@example.com
AFRICAN PUBLIC LIBRARIES AS GATEWAYS
TO INFORMATION HIGHWAYS
A School Library in Timbuktu, Mali,
which will be an important user of the telecentre.
Nakaseke Library Assistant, Public Libraries Board Managers and Jeannette Vogelaar of UNESCO 'Learning without Frontiers' in front of the new Public Library and Telecentre building in Nakaseke, Uganda.
A proposal for five rural multipurpose community telecentres pilot projects in Africa has been developed within the framework of support for the African Information Society Initiative (AISI), proposed by UNESCO, the ITU and the IDRC under "Democratization of Access" component of the "Harnessing Information Technology for Development" (HTD) priority of the UN System-Wide Special Initiative on Africa.
Rural Multipurpose Community Tele-centre (MCT) pilot projects are currently being initiated in Uganda (Nakaseke sub-county, near Kampala) and Mali (Tim-buktu), the first two of the five African countries participating in the project; the others being Benin, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Each pilot project will last about three years, with UNESCO's component emphasizing public libraries as gateways to information highways and support to education in Africa; and are carried-out under a $650,000 Funds-in-Trust grant from DANIDA. The purpose of these demonstration pilot projects is to test new technologies and applications, innovative policies, and tariff structures; to demonstrate the impact of provision of such tools on economic, social and cultural development for populations in rural and remote areas.
By enabling users to share the costs of facilities and support, the telecentres will offer a low-cost means of providing library services through the provision of access to national and worldwide electronic informa-tion banks as well as providing information support for literacy campaigns, basic and non-formal education, information on government programmes, etc. They will also provide facilities for the generation and exchange of community-based information.
Other services and facilities envisaged are access to the Internet for businesses, NGOs, farmers and the public interested in online banking, market information, promo-tion of their projects, as well as basic office administration services such as telephone, typing, printing and fax. Depending on location and demand, other applications such as telemedicine and formal distance education programs could also be added.
Long-term sustainability of the MCTS's is expected to be achieved through fees-for-service paid by the private sector, NGO'S, the public, and in particular, governments, which will be able to improve the efficiency and quality of public services and a savings in delivery of, for example, education and healthcare.
The pilot projects are to be carried out partnership with the public sector as well as private sector stakeholders and are expected to produce best-practice models which can then be generalized at the national level. Development Agencies -- governmental as well as non governmental -- and private sector suppliers of relevant services and equipment are invited to become partners in this program.
+ For more on Telematics activities, please contact Mr John Rose, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 22.214.171.124. Fax: (33-1) 126.96.36.199. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
IASA CATALOGUING RULES FOR AUDIOVISUAL MEDIA
WITH EMPHASIS ON SOUND RECORDINGS
The International Association of Sound and Audio-visual Archives (IASA) Cataloguing Rules for Audio-visual Media With Emphasis on Sound Recordings is in preparation and due for release at the end of 1998. This work is designed to be compatible with the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. (2nd ed.), and the International Standard Bibliographic Description (Non-Book Materials) and to be able to be used in MARC or other cataloguing systems.
It aims to address cataloguing pro-blems, solutions and concepts in particular for content and physical description of: audio formats (published, unpublished and broadcast); multimedia formats (including interactive CD-Roms with audio content); jukeboxes or mass storage systems; and moving image formats where these are a natural extension of audio formats (e.g. music videos, musical performances on laser disc), or related to audio (e.g. FM simulcasts).
Cataloguing of a wide variety of content will be addressed. These include: music and literary recordings in all genres, oral histories, interviews, radio pro-grammes, wildlife and environmental sounds, ethno-graphic recordings and actuality.
Emphasis on appropriate information to include for different types of content will be highlighted. In addition, options and alter-natives will be presented to assist in guiding archives and libraries to decide on and select suitable approaches for cataloguing their collections, and for their clients' needs and meeting institutional responsibilities.
It is intended that this work will not duplicate existing standards such as the FIAF Cataloguing Rules for Film Archives (1991), or the Rules for Archival Description (Bureau of Canadian Archivist, Ottawa, Canada, 1990) but, again, will be compatible with these and will focus freshly on matters pertinent to audio visual archives and in particular sound archives. For instance, special attention will be given to demonstrating analytic or multilevel cataloguing of individual items or 'tracks' on published, unpublished and broadcast items.
A pre-publication draft is available for comment by interested persons and organisations:
CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY OF ARCHIVISTS
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
15 - 19 SEPTEMBER 1997
The theme of this annual conference was "Access unlocked?" and a number of the papers presented by the Archivists and information specialists gathered together focused on the implication of information technology for access, and how it is best achieved. The highlights of the Conference included how to cope with the challenges; how to work at the same time both with traditional historical archives and electronic records; quicker access to information offered over the Internet as opposed to the time required by archivists to catalogue material and provide regulated access to it; and the fact that archival depositories will probably not exist in their present form in the future.
It was pointed out at the Conference that more and more archival institutions are building web sites to provide service. A considerable part of the reference work is shifted by the web from the archivist to the
user. How will researchers use archives in the future and will they use finding aids, and in which way? It would be useful to know more about this in designing web sites. It was stressed that most of the web sites have a public relations approach, providing a brochure-type information. Some are providing access to materials either through finding aids or through digital texts and images. The expectations of the surfing reader seem to range from instant access to everything everywhere to full service and rapid response. E-mail enquires, including from foreign countries, are increasing in number.
The UNESCO Representative to the conference, Mr Abdulaziz Abid, gave a presentation on the "Memory of the World" programme which was followed by a discussion on the nominations for the "Memory of the World" Register and the funding of the programme. Participants remarked that quite a number of modern archives are nominated for inclusion in the Register, e.g. the colonial archives of Benin, Senegal, Tanzania; documentary films nominated by Nigeria; etc. Some participants expressed concern that while "Memory of the World" is of particular interest to developing countries, there might be a danger that people with no
access to Internet are left further behind.
The representative of the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), Ms Gail Eagon informed the UNESCO Representative about possible future co-operation. CHIN currently offers more than twenty databases of interest to the heritage community, including inventories, the Guide to Canadian Museums and Galleries and the Heritage Forum, an interactive journal permitting heritage professionals to search and contribute to a repository of articles, reports, references and Web links related to current professional information: (http://www.chin. gc.ca/Resources/e_resources.html).
Ms Eagon was particularly interested in the technical aspects of the programme, especially standards and databases. She offered to look at the UNESCO Web site and make comments regarding possible co-operative work with a view to integrating access to "Memory of the World" databases. CHIN is developing an intel-ligent interface which guides and assists searching of heritage information on the Web, respecting the selected point of view of the searcher, and yielding results that are within the desired context and interest level of the user.
Further, the Slave Trade Archives Project was discussed with Michael Cook, University of Liverpool, Centre of Archives Studies. M. Cook has been employed on many occasions as a UNESCO consultant in different parts of the world. He was for some time the Director of the National Archives of Tanzania and then Director of the Archival Training School for English Speaking Africa at the University of Ghana. He expressed great interest in the Slave Trade Archives project and readiness to co-operate in preparing the detailed workplan for the project, under the "Memory of the World" programme.
+ For more information about Archives activities, please contact Mr Axel Plathe, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France . Tel: (33-1) 188.8.131.52. Fax: (33-1) 184.108.40.206. E-mail: email@example.com
THIRD INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE OF
UNESCO "MEMORY OF THE WORLD" PROGRAMME
29 SEPTEMBER - 1 OCTOBER 1997
This Meeting was organized by the Uzbek National Commission. Thirty people, including twelve persons from the International Experts Committee attended. Mr Philippe Quéau, Director of UNESCO Information and Informatics Division gave a welcome address on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Frederico Mayor, summing up the conceptual background and the main achievements of the "Memory of the World" Programme. A Progress Report of the programme was given, as well as a presentation of the "Memory of the World" Web Site, including extensive descriptions of the nomi-nated documentary heritage to be submitted to the International Advisory Committee. Ten PC workstations with access to Internet were available for on-line consultations by the Committee. Mr Dietrich Schüller, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Technology, presented a study entitled "Safeguarding the Documentary Heritage" (subtitled "A guide to Standards, Recommended Practices and Reference Literature Related to the Preservation of Documents of All Kinds").
A general discussion was started when the representative of the International Council on Archives (ICA) Mr Johan Van Albada, put forward the suggestion to extend the label "Memory of the World" to all archivistic and documentary heritage, this heritage being - per se - part of the actual "Memory" of the World. This point raised a concern by several participants that this would in fact empty the "Memory of the World" programme of its significance, which should be aiming at the "jewels of the crown". During the debate that followed, the UNESCO representative mentioned the initiative to promote a vast "Global Information Commons" in order to enhance accessibility to public domain data, that would be based on a world wide network of national repositories or servers of information.
The second day of the meeting was devoted to the nomination process to the "Memory of the World" Register. During the discussions for nominations, a number of questions arose about how to apply criteria. These included:
A need to review and assess the nature and scope of selection criteria was generally felt, and particularly the question of "universal value" of works is not always fully understood. What is the essence of "universality"? Is this concept similarly appreciated in different cultures? A survey of pending requests and projects proposals was made and the "Memory of the World" projects were singled out for use of the label.
With a view to introducing the concept of networking "Memory of the World" related institutions, Mr Quéau presented the "Heritage Net" project proposal which had been put forward by the Institute of Archaeology of Kazakhstan at the request of CII/INF. This Central Asian country "cultural network" gives an idea of a template for national and regional Internet nodes among cultural institutions (Museums, Libraries, Archives, Research Institutions). "Memory of the World" should take advantage of this concept to create networks of servers. This idea was well accepted by the Committee. In addition, it was suggested that advantage should be taken of year 2000 to celebrate the millennium with a view to promoting the goals of the "Memory of the World" (for instance celebrating the year 2000 with a special exhibition of circa year 1000 manuscripts).
WEST AFRICAN POST CARDS (1895 - 1930)
(Woman) Island of Gorée, Senegal
Those who really know the richness of old illustrated post cards of Africa, pub-lished at the turn of the century, are few. Caretakers of history, these post cards give evidence of the life of societies and their evolution. Going far beyond the virtues of just a picturesque and exotic environment, they actually build up a scientific and artistic documentary heritage. Today, scat-tered throughout public and private collections, mostly out of Africa, they remain out of sight.
The "Memory of the World" pro-gramme of UNESCO together with the association "IMAGES & MEMOIRES", share this precious array of more than thirty-two post cards covering sixteen West African countries, members of the ECOWAS system.
+ For more information about the Memory of the World Programme, please contact Mr A. Abid, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 220.127.116.11. Fax: (33-1) 18.104.22.168. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAFEGUARDING DOCUMENTARY HERITAGE
AN EXHIBITION OF POSTERS
3 - 8 NOVEMBER 1997
Examples of the exhibition posters (original dimension 100 x 80 cm)
Loss of instantaneous records by chemical decomposition (hydrolysis)
© Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences
The Nürnberg map (1541), an important early cartographic document, is an example of damage by ink and copper corrosion; furthermore the paper fibres have become brittle as a result of the use of
glues and resin stains
© Austrian National Library
Documents are indispensable for the progress of culture and civilisation. They are the most significant artefacts of our cultural heritage, the lasting testimonies of thoughts, events and artistic composition, and enable us to build new creations upon the old. An exhibition of posters, an initiative of the Austrian National Com-mittee for the "Memory of the World" Programme, was held at UNESCO House in Paris from November 3 - 8, 1997, to draw public attention to factors which threaten the preservation of documentary information in all its forms.
Whereas the point of conserving paintings, sculptures, monuments and even landscapes has been understood by an international public, hardly anyone is aware of the vulnerability of documents. Paper containing acid disintegrates, irreplaceable records can no longer be played, films rot and fade, magnetic tapes loose their surface and alter a few years, and because of changing hard and software, electronic documents can no longer be read.
The situation is serious: if our efforts to preserve our existing knowledge are not intensified, we shall lose a considerable part of our collective knowledge within the coming decades. Future historical research could run the risk of not being able to report on the immediate past with any degree of reliability because, paradoxically, it is the most recent information on the latest carriers which is the most at risk. At the dawn of the age of information, UNESCO aims to ensure access to information as a basic democratic right.
In 1996, a document was published, prepared within the framework of the "Memory of the World" Programme, under the title 'Lost Memory---Libraries and Archives Destroyed in the Twentieth Century'. This was an attempt to list in collaboration with the International Council on Archives (ICA) and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) major disasters that have destroyed or caused irreparable damage during this century to libraries and archives, whether written or audio-visual.
This document is not meant to be a sort of funerary monument, but is intended like the exhibition to alert public opinion and sensitize the professional communities and local and national authorities to the disappearance of archival and library treasures of inestimable value, and to draw attention to the urgent need to safeguard endangered documentary heritage all over the world. Librarians and archivists work hard to anticipate and prevent disasters affecting their holdings. Yet, even as the end of the 20th century approaches, it appears that documentary heritage housed in the world's libraries and archives always remains at risk.
This exhibition can be lent. It consist of twelve panels (80 x 100 cm; texts in English and French) and is packed in a wooden box for safe transportation. Only shipments costs are at the expense of the receiving institution.
+ For more information about this exhibition, please contact Mr Axel Plathe, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France . Tel: (33-1) 22.214.171.124. Fax: (33-1) 126.96.36.199. E-mail: email@example.com
THE 24TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON COMPUTER GRAPHICS AND INTERACTIVE TECHNIQUES (SIGGRAPH)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.
3 - 8 AUGUST 1997
The SIGGRAPH 97, the world's largest computer graphics and interactive techniques conference, was held at the Los Angeles (California) Convention Center from 3 - 8 August, 1997. More than 40,000 people attended the event. It included a technical papers programme, a three-day exhibition, and special activities focusing on art, computer animation, networked communities and interactivity. UNESCO was represented at the conference by the Director of the Information and Informatics Division, Mr Philippe Quéau.
The main topics covered by the SIGGRAPH 97' technical conference were:
Web-related panels played a major role in the various sessions including VRML, Java, 3D API (Application Program Interface), GUI (Graphic User Interface), avatars and on-line virtual world design, facial animation, artificial life and motion capture applied to web-based communities, 3D-sound and music on the net, creative on-line-journalism (new topics, new forms and formats). Avatars are more and more used as representatives of self for gaming, Internet chat, and other real-time 3D applications (groupware, distributed simulation).
WebTV was another hot topic. The Web will be coming more and more into the home through TV. Advances in 3D graphics combined with TV quality reso-lution for the Internet will enable low cost access to very detailed virtual worlds accessible on-line.
Virtual reality confirmed its poten-tialities in education and science appli-cation, to present complex theories in a simplified and interactive format. For instance, in Project ScienceSpace (University of Houston), Newtonian mechanics, electrostatics and molecular structure are taught in an immersive virtual environment allowing learners to experience the phenomena in real time. One objective of this project is to investigate whether sensorially immersive, construc-tivist learning can remediate typical misconceptions in the mental models of reality held by students. Another is to study whether mastery of difficult subjects, such as relativity and quantum mechanics, is enhanced through learning-by-doing.
A technological show "Electric Gar-den" focusing on simulation, interactive games, force-feedback interfaces, optical input devices and scientific applications was organized. Highlights included:
The following highlights of the Indus-trial Exhibition may be mentioned:
Virtual shopping: Compuserve's Vrcade, a new generation of web-based on line shopping services (http://www.compu-serve. co.uk/shoppingcentre).
18TH SUMMER UNIVERSITY ON COMMUNICATION
28 AUGUST 1997
The 'Ligue de l'Enseignement' and the CREPAC of the Aquitaine region of France organized in Hourtin, France on 28 August 1997 the 18th Summer University on Communication. This annual meeting provided a high-level consultation among political leaders and influential professionals in the field of communication and information.
The Summer University provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the maturing process regarding the deve-lopment of the information society, and the necessity to surpass the simple level of observation of the development of new technologies, to begin to ask fundamental social and political questions.
The Prime Minister of France, Mr Lionel Jospin, opened the Meeting by pointing out the necessity for France to fully participate in the development of Internet. His speech was recognised as a clear sign of the new awareness in French political circles of the fact that the new information and communication techno-logies are now structurally part of the emerging society.
The Director of the Information and Informatics Division of UNESCO, Mr Philippe Quéau, participated in the conference, particularly in three debates. The first dealt with "Political Regimes and the Development of Internet." Mr Quéau stressed the attachment of UNESCO to the values of freedom of expression and the free-flow of information. He recalled the importance of the ethical notion; as well as the recent initiatives of the Organization regarding Infoethics; and underlined the need, to enable free expression, to maintain a positive policy of development of access to public documents and governmental archives. "A citizen", he said, 'in order to speak knowledgeably on a subject, must have access to the source of government information."
The second debate centered on "The Public Space in the Cyber Society", and the right of citizens to have access to information in the Public Domain, and the modernisation of public administrations. In his intervention, Mr Quéau mentioned UNESCO's promotion of a "public world-wide domain of information" ("Global Cyber Commons") as well as the organization's will to develop on-line governance and the sensitisation of Member States to these new possibilities.
The third debate was titled "Values and Utopias, what is in store for us in the Information Society?". It focused prin-cipally on questions on the impact of the new information and communication technologies on our society and even on civilisation itself. What new values will appear? What are the risks and challenges for our conception of the world and way of life? In this regard, the UNESCO representative stressed the importance of the civilizational break of the "virtual society". He compared Internet to the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg, and said that the numerical language was a kind of new alphabet. Therefore, major economic, social, political, cultural and philosophical changes will occur, having considerable impact. A new universal ethic is indispensable at a time when the "globalization" of the economy and numerical techniques appears to be rapidly increasing, without a profound grasp of what is in humanity's interest, after the "end of ideologies".
BACKGROUND ABOUT THE INTERNET
Internet has become a major topic of discussion, and the subject of a lot of misinformation. Internet is not a thing that exists in one specific place. Instead, it is a collection of interconnected computer networks that allows information to be exchanged around the world. Internet is not even new - the first networks were implemented by the U.S. military in the 1960s. Today, more than three million computers are connected through Internet. While not yet the "Information Super-highway," Internet is currently providing the means to exchange more information, more effectively, than has ever been possible before.
The following introduces the available functions and their value:
+ For more information about the Internet, please ask for "A Short Internet Guide" published by UNESCO/CII/INF; contact Mr Axel Plathe, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France . Tel: (33-1) 188.8.131.52. Fax: (33-1) 184.108.40.206. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE CYBER-SPACE
Computer view of a virtual school showing
a classroom, a library, and teaching materials
Permanent technical innovations in the rapidly developing world of information and communication technologies (conver-ging with the media) are paving new ways for education and training, for these crucial components of sustainable development. Information highway facilities, combined with multimedia technology, are more and more widely used and are to be recognised as new media, on its own, for education. Virtual courses, virtual universities, virtual laboratories are emerging in all parts of the world, opening access to knowledge and skills by connecting knowledge seekers directly to sources of learning located at thousands of kilometres from each other.
What we describe below is based on a pilot project. This project is aimed at developing and providing a means, a virtual school (with an all-round ‘pedagogical engine’ inside), to the learners’ and teachers’ community world-wide. Virtual reality technology is one of the most promising ways to bring a complete educational environment to the screen. It offers a full variety of educational methods for both students and teachers, as well as techniques and strategies ranging from correspondence-like courses to collabora-tive ways of learning knowledge and skills, and to the creation of teaching-learning materials.
Imagine entering the main hall of the virtual school where there are moving and chatting avatars, of course, participants and trainers from all corners of the world. Then enter the library, select an interactive multimedia book and start learning, say water quality control methods, languages, or the use of a data analysis programme package. One can join a teacher and a group of students in a classroom for listening to explanations about a specific subject-matter. Here one will follow the instructions of the tutor, open the workbook on the desk, process the pages to learn, perform exercises under the control and supervision of the teacher. One may speak to the whole audience or one may initiate a private conversation with the teacher or another student. A teacher can also be contacted for an individual consultation. In the virtual reality space one not only sees ‘simple’ images of real objects, but also moves freely in virtual buildings, classrooms, libraries, laboratories and workshops. One can even manipulate complex objects, like a car engine by de- or re-assembling parts of it, in order to acquire real skills.
All teachers have their own specific methods of presenting particular subjects. In the virtual school, they will find sophisticated authoring tools for creating training materials for classroom present-ation and for individual learning alike. With the help of this ‘creator’, new multimedia course-ware content can be developed as easily as existing work-books can be personalised.
These examples may already show the enormous power of the new technical solutions and of the related innovative educational applications. Against all similarities to the real school, the role of both the teacher and the student will substantially change, will be rather diversified. We still have to learn how all cyber-space provided facilities can be used to transfer knowledge efficiently into practice. The final goal is the appropriate use of information and communication technologies in education. The economical, technological and educational constraints and limits as of today have also to be emphasised, as well as the specific importance of the training of trainers for introducing innovative educational tools and methods.
+ For more information about CyberSpace Teaching and Learning, please contact Mr Peter Hunya, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 220.127.116.11. Fax: (33-1) 18.104.22.168. E-mail: email@example.com
THE UNESCO WEB PRIZE
UNESCO has recently created UNESCO Web Prize as a part of its Prize for the Promotion of the Arts in order to better reflect the present day cultural, artistic and technological realities. This new prize will be awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements particularly of young artists, designers and programmers in creating websites in UNESCO's fields of competence (education, sciences, culture and communication).
UNESCO invites the creation of websites in the two following categories:
Websites on a free theme related to inter-national co-operation in education, science, culture and communication; the creation of contents related to UNESCO's priority groups (women, young people and the least developed countries) and related to multilingualism and multiculturalism is particularly encouraged.
Websites on a given subject related to cultural heritage campaigns and to inter-cultural dialogue. A minimum of basic documentation consisting of texts, images and audiovisual documents will be made available to any person participating in the competition.
The UNESCO Web Prize, amounting to $10,000, will be awarded annually to two laureates. All projects will be submitted to an international Jury. The provisional deadline for the submission of nomi-nations is 30 April 1998; projects should be submitted by 31 July 1998. The announcement of the winner(s) will be made in autumn 1998.
+ For more information about the Web Prize, please contact: Mr Axel Plathe, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France . Tel: (33-1) 22.214.171.124. Fax: (33-1) 126.96.36.199. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Consultation of the IDAMS International Technical Advisory Group
UNESCO Paris, 22 - 25 September 1997
The 10th Consultation of the Internationally Developed Data Analysis and Management Software Package (IDAMS) International Technical Advisory Group (ITAG) took place at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, from 22 through 25 September 1997. Members of the ITAG reviewed the status of the IDAMS Programme and noted the translation of IDAMS 4.0 into French and Spanish as well as the continuing design and development of the IDAMS/WINDOWS pre-release. They noted with appreciation the extremely important contribution of ALECSO to disseminating IDAMS.
The following Recommendations con-cerning IDAMS activities in 1997-1998 were elaborated at the Advisory Group Meeting:
As to the software and its docu-mentation, Release 4.0 should continue to be distributed. Distribution of the French and Spanish versions should start. The preparation of the Windows version of IDAMS should continue, including an outline of the modernised User Manual.
UNESCO INTERNATIONAL TRAINING SEMINAR ON IDAMS
UNESCO HEADQUARTERS, PARIS
24 - 28 NOVEMBER 1997
Participants at the IDAMS Training Seminar, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 1997
The International Training Seminar: Introduction to IDAMS took place from 24 through 28 November 1997 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, gathering eight participants from six countries and four participants from the International Labour Organization. As is customary in IDAMS training seminars, there was no registration fee. All other costs (travel, board, lodging) were at the charge of designating institutions, with the exception of four participants from African countries who received small grants from UNESCO to cover their board and lodging expenses. The extended course (five days instead of three) provided better conditions for individual and group consultations, and also for preparatory discussions on national and international projects.
+ IDAMS is distributed free-of-charge by the UNESCO Secretariat upon requests from institutions, and it can also be obtained from official distributors. For more information about IDAMS and the International Training Seminar, please contact Mr Peter Hunya, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 188.8.131.52. Fax: (33-1) 184.108.40.206 . E-mail: email@example.com
UNESCO/UNDP PROJECT FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING CENTER IN AZERBAIJAN (AZE/94/002)
This UNESCO/UNDP project has assisted in strengthening the Baku Scientific and Training Centre (BSTC) which is functioning under the co-ordination of the Informatics Scientific and Production Incorporation (ISPI), the national co-operating agency for the project. The project has a great impact on bolstering training capability to meet growing needs for human resource development in the Azerbaijan informatics sphere at the most opportune time, when the Government of Azerbaijan is enhancing its efforts to bring social and economic reforms to the nation in a transition period towards a market economy. This is the first outcome of supporting activities jointly carried out with a financial contribution (US$400.000) of the UNDP and co-operation by UNESCO as the Executing Agency. An Azerbaijan Government contribution has been provided of Manat 960,444,000.
The main results of the Project may be described as follows:
Experience gained in the project reveals that BSTC could still absorb more external inputs and play a constructive role and active part in the continuing process of change and reforms throughout the national informatics community. BSTC staff has exhibited a high degree of assimilative capacity, receptiveness to new ideas, new management ethos and adoption of newly emerging computing techniques. As the Project ends, BSTC has become a competitive training organisation with increased capabilities, but needs further professional improvement and financial support to carry out its mandate effectively on a sustainable basis. Aware of these circumstances, a second project AZE/96/ 007 "Establishment of Sumgait Computer Centre for Training and Information and Telecommunications Services" has been launched in 1997 by the UNDP and UNESCO as a follow-up devoted to capacity building at the Sumgait branch of BSTC, with the goal of aiding an Azerbaijan free economic and trade zone.
+ For more information please contact Mr YonNam Kim, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel.: (33-1) 220.127.116.11; Fax: (33-1) 18.104.22.168; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ASIA & PACIFIC
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INFORMATION
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IN ASIA/PACIFIC (IIDAP)
16 - 18 SEPTEMBER 1997
The International Conference on Information Infrastructure Development in Asia/Pacific was jointly organized by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan, the University of Library and Information Science and UNESCO. About fifty participants, representing twenty countries, including Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mongolia, Korea, Fiji, New Zealand, and Singapore participated in the Conference.
This important conference made parti-cipants aware of the need for each country in the Asia Pacific region to develop the required NII to support the kind of development that national leaders have envisioned for their countries. Experiences were reported by some countries that described the importance of having the necessary information policies and strategies to guide such development of NII. As the Chairperson for the Conference, Ms Delia Torrijos of UNESCO, pointed out, in formulating such policies for each country one can follow the neo-liberal or dirigiste model or a combination of both, whichever best suits the country conditions.
The opening session, chaired by Ms Tamiko Matsumura, Professor at the University of Library and Information Science, and Vice-President of the PGI Council, included welcome addresses by the newly-appointed Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (MON-BUSHO), and Mr Philippe Quéau, Director of the Information and Informatics Division of UNESCO. The opening key-note address "Information Infrastructure in Developing Countries" was given by Mr William G. Padolina, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines. In his speech, he gave a review of National Information Initiatives (NII) in Asia/Pacific. While quoting Professor Nicholas Negroponte (MIT-USA): "Bits are not edible, computers are not moral", he stressed the crucial importance of Information Technology (IT) for development and their "liberative nature". He noted the emergence of a "global culture" superimposed on govern-ments; and expressed strong concerns on how the IT would be made accessible to "the voiceless and the powerless". During his presentation he made several references to UNESCO’s action in the region and the PGI’s Asia role, stressing the interest of projects like "Communities Learning Centers".
The Technical Sessions on Information Contents: Information Generation, Publi-shing and New Media and Electronic Resources Development and Management gave deeper insights on the new economies of electronic publishing and information delivery that new technologies provide and how they impact on the way information will be processed, delivered and accessed in the information age. It also showed that the roles of traditional information institutions will have to adapt to these dramatic and rapid changes, if they are to survive. The presentations and discussions in these two sessions gave some suggestions on certain initiatives and directions that will be needed for the information world of tomorrow.
A Technical Session on Human Resource Development for the Information Society looked more critically at the rapid and profound changes that impact on the various stages of the information chain and allowed one to think more carefully about the sort of human resources required by an information society and how they can be provided the necessary education and training.
The Technical Sessions discussions and deliberations dealt mainly with the segments of societies that have varying levels of access to information infra-structure and services, although these are at different levels of development. More needs to be said, however, on how access can be provided to a vast number of the world population that are deprived, disadvantaged and unreached; those that are information poor; those that have virtually no access at all. Mention was made of the work initiated by UNESCO on improving information service delivery to rural areas. One Technical Session on the social and legal aspects of digital information raised some fundamentally sensitive issues dealing with the philosophical underpinning of universal access.
During the final session, the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Commu-nication, Information and Informatics, Mr H. Yushkiavitshus, presented the closing keynote address: "Information Highways, will they have Traffic Lights?", which summarized all the undertakings of UNESCO in the information, informatics and communication fields.
Ms Torrijos in her closing remarks stressed that "the issue of copyright should somehow be coupled and tempered with the underlying principles of fair use, through appropriate policy and that it be recognized as a political issue that requires a political solution, so as not to further exacerbate the emerging problem of access to only those who can afford to pay for access". She went on to say that "political leaders and key players should carefully consider social and legal implications of access to information at this stage, to give us the opportunity to shape the kind of society that we want in the years to come, a society that is more caring of others, more humane, more just, ethical and less impersonal".
Developments in Singapore, Japan and Korea in producing the network backbone and the applications and services that will be carried and transferred through information networks were presented at the Con-ference. Those initiatives give lessons for interested countries to learn from, especially because most of the strategies used to address the complex problems and contentious issues are just evolving.
The excellent paper presentations and discussions provided new ideas, and enlightened on contentious issues and how they can perhaps be resolved in respective countries, to give the necessary impetus and confidence to take initiatives. UNESCO and other organizations are involved in catalyzing and stimulating developments, but all these will have a greater impact if action is also taken at the national level.
HIGH LEVEL DEVELOPMENT MEETING ON
ASIA-PACIFIC INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE
2 - 4 JUNE 1997
The High Level Development Meeting on Asia-Pacific Information Infrastructure (A II) was organised by the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) from June 2 - 4, 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand. The objective of the Meeting was to discuss the report and recommendations of the Expert Group and the Action Plan on AII. The meeting was attended by sixty participants from APT Members, Associate Members, Affiliate Members, eligible non-members, international organizations and others.
Delivering his welcome address, Mr Jong-Soon Lee, Executive Director of APT said that the main purpose of convening the High Level Development Meeting was to decide the Action Plan on AII including selection of Pilot Projects. Mr Lee said that some projects concerning development of AII have already been implemented and some are under implementation. These include projects on HRD Human Resources Development, technology transfer, use of new technology, etc. Mr Lee added that in planning and implementing APT projects, APT has taken special care to focus its activities on clearly defined objectives. He also highlighted the importance of close co-operation among the APT family and stressed that the private sector play a major role in promoting establishment of Information Infrastructure.
The inaugural address was delivered by H.E. Mr Direk Chareonphol, Deputy Minister, Transport and Communications, Royal Government of Thailand. In his address, Mr Direk said that since the introduction of the concept of Information Superhighway, goals have been identified and several development activities have already commenced. Some countries have come up with a well defined policy on Information Infrastructure. These are all welcome signs for the region. The establishment of Information Infrastructure depends heavily upon concerted efforts from all concerned. The governments have to create the necessary policy environment; the private sector is required to provide the technological support and necessary funding; and the users should enhance applications to make telecommunication and information services more popular and more cost effective.
The key note address was delivered by Dr Pairash Thajchayapong, Director of NECTEC, Thailand. Dr Pairash said that dynamic technological advancement is a strategic instrument for any government to develop a sustainable development model. In economic terms, it can be instrumental in providing a competitive advantage to a nation. In social terms, it can be equally instrumental, if not more, to enhance people's quality of life. Dr Pairash also gave details of the national IT policy of Thailand. The national IT policy called "IT 2000" contains three pillars of IT development. They are: the National Information Infrastructure (NII) that is available, accessible and yet affordable (the 3A principle); the Human Resources Issue; and the Government's role as the adminis-trator and the facilitator.
AII is the advanced information infrastructure which Asia Pacific countries should establish in order to achieve sus-tained social and economic growth. This information infrastructure will not only be indispensable to the transition from an industrial to an intellectually creative society, but also will play a significant role in resolving the problems which the region is facing as a whole, for example, economic development disparities, social issues such as education, medical care and environ-ment.
Future APT activities may center on: encouraging the creation of national bodies on Information Infrastructure in its Member countries; promoting establishment of intra regional and inter regional optical fibre links for providing backbone of Information Infrastructure; implementing Pilot Projects, encouraging information sharing and interconnection of these projects among participating countries; organising semi-nars, workshops, training programs, study visits, study group activities and expert missions as required; encouraging closer involvement of APT affiliate members and other members of private sector for facilitating establishment of AII.
The Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC) has been working to enhance GII development by strengthening the role of private sector, promoting the involvement of developing countries and facilitating activities and policy options that foster effective information infrastructure applications. GIIC has proposed a set of key common issues on development of the GII that serves the interests of both developed and developing nations in the rapidly expanding information society. These are: Development of Global Trade and Investment in Information Infrastruc-ture; Competition in Telecommunications; Interoperability Promoted by Appropriate Standards; Rights of Information Access by Use, Privacy, Data Security and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR); Focus on Key applications: Electronic Commerce; Pro-motion of Diversity of Content.
Regarding progress on the AII in certain countries of the region , the following may be noted:
Australia has made significant advances in establishing its information infrastructure. In January 1997, with the commissioning of a new international submarine cable network JAURAUS, Australia's first direct optical fibre link with Asia has come into service. The 2800 km cable provides a superhighway link to major Asia destinations.
Bangladesh is upgrading and modernizing its telecom network for providing more facilities to its subscribers and for expanding services to rural areas. 80% of switching and 55% of transmission systems have been digitalised in Bangladesh. In addition to satellite links, optical fibre will eventually constitute the highway to the global information infrastructure. Internet, mobile and radio trunking services are being provided by private sector.
In China, the State Council has set up a leading group on "Informatization" which is composed of a vice premier of the state council and leaders of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), the Ministry of Electronics Industry and the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television to co-ordinate issues occurring during the progress of informatization. The MPT is now focusing on the construction of national public communication digital network which will constitute the principal network of the national information infrastructure; accele-rating the development of information services and information application network.
India operates a very large network which is constantly being upgraded to provide a variety of quality services. India has about one million PCs and the target for the year 2001 is 10 million. Internet services are available in 20 cities and are being extended to an additional 10 cities.
Iran is working to achieve international standard for information infrastructure by utilising fibre optics in urban, inter city and international areas. New technologies will be introduced. A country wide data network "Iranpac" has been registered with the ITU. "Iranpac" is connected to France, USA and Korea.
Japan is a world leader in information infrastructure and already possesses a well developed network. The Telecommu-nications Council Communications Policy Subcommittee, an advisory body to the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications has prepared "the interim report on vision 21 for info-communications". In the interim report, the five principles of the role of the info-communications administration are: Presentation of a clear vision; Deve-lopment of Info-communications Infra-structure; Promotion of Dynamic Com-petition; Ensuring social fairness; and Global viewpoint. The network infra-structure will be further enhanced. Each home will be connected to an optical fibre network before 2010 and a multimedia satellite network will be introduced to cover the whole world. Wide ranging applications of Info-communications tech-nologies are to be promoted.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea is vigorously promoting the establishment of an Information Infrastructure and a number of projects have been undertaken under the KII project. An optical transmission pro-ject will cover 80 cities in the near future. Currently 6,500 subscribers are connected to the network and the number of subscriber agencies is likely to reach 10,000 at the end of 1997. After the completion of the first stage (1995-97), the next stage will focus on wireless data communication and satellite communication.
Lao PDR has developed its policies for integrating the establishment of the information infrastructure in national economic development. The policies for development of Information Infrastructure are included in a "Plan of Action for Telecommunication Development by the year 2000 for sustainable development of the country". Future plans for implement-ation of information infrastructure include the growth of switching capacity and transmission channels, use of L6Star satellite, introduction of optical fibre for providing new services etc. The country has also planned to introduce multimedia services and the use of PCs and Internet is expanding.
Malaysia is developing its National Information Infrastructure (NII) of the next century. Towards achieving this target, efforts are focused on six key deve-lopmental areas of network infrastructure: application development, content deve-lopment, legal and security implications, technology development, standardisation, and human resource development. The Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) is a mega project by the Government envisioned to launch the nation into the multimedia industries and information age of the future. Physically, a specially designated area of 15 km by 50 km wide, a massive corridor, is offered to the world community as a test-bed to harness and optimise the full benefits of broadband multimedia and information technology in the next millennium.
A Maldives country paper was circulated to the members of the Meeting. The paper highlighted the situation of Maldives telecommunications and the progress and problems in the implementation of a national information infrastructure. The main problems on the infrastructure level to implement a NII include: telecom infrastructure not fully developed; optical fibre not commercially justifiable due to geography; international connection is via satellite which limits the bandwidth capability that is required for multimedia. Due to the prohibitive high cost it is not possible to have international access via optical fibre. To promote an information infrastructure the public and businesses will be encouraged to use computer and data processing more widely. People need to be educated of the benefit of using information systems and relevant applications need to be developed. Maldives feels Internet will remain the infrastructure closest to the AII and will look at ways to extend the service to a wider population.
Mongolia has prepared a Technology Plan beyond the year 2000 for introduction of Information Infrastructure by providing information highways and other digital services. By the year 2000, a government information network will be constructed to link the central and local government organisations. Public administration is expected to be the leading user of the infrastructure for conducting administrative operations and delivering public services.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea has restructured its telecommunication sector, now under a monopoly operator for an exclusive period of five years and a regulator will take charge of policies and also provide direction for a National Information Infrastructure. The thrust of the regulator would be to promote competition and to restructure the sector in the interest of the national economy. By September 1997, a national workshop involving all stake-holders for an NII is being scheduled as a basis for a committee to provide directives for the National Information Infrastructure.
The Philippines presented the major information infrastructure issues for the country, which were identified in a series of consultations held in different fora organised by the Department of Transport and Communications. These issues inclu-ded Universal Access; Timing and Financing; Government Operations, Pro-grams, Services and Coordination, Infor-mation and Content products and Cultural Development; Consumer Aware-ness and Learning; Research and Development; and Competition and Regulation.
Sri Lanka has taken several steps for enhancing its information infrastructure. The switching, transmission and access networks are being continuously expanded and private companies are augmenting the efforts of Sri Lanka Telecom by providing cellular, paging, mobile and other services. Sri Lanka feels that a sound and reliable network for the Asia Pacific region should be developed for enhancing economical, technological and political co-operation among the member countries.
In Singapore, the Singapore ONE (One Network for Everyone) Pilot network and services were launched in June 1997. Various high speed multimedia services and applications for government, home, education and business will be provided progressively via the open network platform of Singapore ONE to reach the users via local access networks. Singapore has already established a nation-wide network for cable which will be completed in 1998 covering 800,000 homes.
Tonga has facilitated the development of the information infrastructure in data applications and the network supporting them. A project is currently being imple-mented for expansion and upgrading of the telecommunications network. This accele-rated network expansion aims at encouraging applications through the private sector, government and non-government involvement in tourism, educa-tion, trade, medical care and disaster management. A policy review of the telecommunication sector is in progress. A Working Group has been set up by the Government to advise on key information policy issues. Licenses have been given to two Internet service providers; and a study is being undertaken for establishing a national Intranet system.
Thailand is substantially expanding its Public Telecommunication networks utili-zing the State of the Arts Technology. The launching of Thaicom III in April 1997 was a major step in efficiently expanding Thailand's Telecommunications Infrastruc-ture. The IT 2000 Policy issued in 1996 has resulted in the creation of the Information Superhighway Test-bed. The IT Policy has also resulted in the launching of many important Information Infrastruc-ture Projects such as the Thailand Software Technology Project, and the Government Information Infrastructure Services Projects.
The Cook Islands
In the Cook Islands, a new Cellular Network "Kokanet" has been commis-sioned; and internet is being introduced. The number of small computer networks is also increasing. Linking up of these networks will provide a strong information infrastructure for the country.
Fiji is steadily developing its network. In addition to conventional services, wide area paging, Internet, electronic commerce and data services have been introduced and these services are rapidly expanding.
NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE ROLE OF INFORMATION
IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
24 - 26 AUGUST 1997
The National Conference on the Role of Information in National Development was held in Kathmandu Nepal from 24 to 26 August 1997. This Conference drew the participation of high-level Nepal officials, technical and professional people, and a large group of users or representatives of users in rural communities. The discussions were useful in understanding this issue, and the present situation, and in formulating practical and do-able recommendations. The Crown Prince and the Minister of Information and Communication of Nepal both expressed full support for effective follow-up actions.
The Minister of Information and Communication of Nepal expressed interest in setting up MCTs (Multi-purpose Community Telecenters) in Nepal for strengthening the rural development programme, especially in terms of using ICTs for improving government services delivery and developing ICT applications appropriate to the needs of the community.
The UNESCO representative, Ms Delia Torrijos, spoke about the development of National Information Infrastructure and Services (NIIS) and the role of Information in national development. She spoke about ICT's potentials to vastly expand choices for people to access education, political participation, health care, government services, cultural and community services;
to be informed of what is happening in other countries. She said that this vital subject must be brought to the national consciousness of every citizen of Nepal regardless of their position in the social structure. ICT is urgently important and necessary for the development of the nation. This is not to deny, however, some troubling side-effects. ICTs can have some negative effects, e.g. propagation of violence, pornography and hatred; encouragement of new types of exclusion and of control of power, which one must be aware of and guard against. Rapid development and use of new ICTs are having a dramatic and profound impact on all aspects of life everywhere.
Experience has clearly shown that a country which has managed and used information for development, which has harnessed information and communication technologies through a healthy partnership and cooperation between government and the private sector, that country managed to establish stable democratic institutions, sound economic and social structures and developed a well educated and informed population to ensure that the fruits of progress are enjoyed as widely as possible by all segments of its society.
The organisation of this national conference, therefore, had been catalysed and supported by UNESCO in its desire to bring all the development actors in Nepal together in this same forum to discuss the status of the country's national information infrastructure and services, and see how adequate/inadequate they are in supporting the country's national development goals and programmes, with the view of formulating the required strategies for the development of NII that will support the transformation and development of Nepal. For this purpose two studies were commissioned which served as background documents for the Conference.
This conference is UNESCO's contribution to its continuing effort to promote dialogue and exchange of information on the role of ICTs in decision-making to foster economic, social and cultural development for the benefit of all peoples and nations, without discrimi-nation, injustice or marginalisation. To accomplish this, individuals, groups and communities will need to develop not only new tools of analysis, but also very different mentalities and attitudes in order to adapt to the "new" civilization based on information and knowledge.
Several Resolutions and Recommen-dations of the National Conference on the Role of Information for National Develop-ment were put forward. These include: a Review of all sectoral policies for the generation of information, including, sub-sidies and incentives for creating more supportive environment; a Review of in-country capabilities for improving, and/or strengthening the creation of technical/-scientific/developmental information, jour-nalism and creative arts; and creation of all materials based on an effective feedback mechanism making them available in simple lay person's language for effective delivery and utilization at the rural level.
Regarding information collection and processing: the following areas need to be addressed:
Government support for marketing and quality control of publications; Government formulation of a comprehensive develop-ment policy to establish a public and school library system equipped with necessary qualified personnel and facilities; a legal depository law to be formulated and enacted; an effective mechanism for implementing the copyright and intellectual and patent laws to be established.
Concerning information dissemination/dis-tribution: Government review of the existing policies in mass media in support of manpower development; modernization of equipment, research utilization, and privatization of government media structures; Government consideration of providing compulsory free air time in the broadcast media, and among private media, for PSAs (public service announcements); Government rationalization of tariff structures to provide special rates for transfer of development information during off peak hours, and for Intranet service providers; government consideration of a nodal agency to oversee the implementation of policies and programmes, standard-ization and maximum of utilization of computer and IT sector in development; Government recognition of the important role of libraries, information and documentation centers not only as depository and processors of information but equally, as gateways to information access and utilization; Government assurance that all technical and extension personnel will have the opportunities to enhance interpersonal communication skills; and Government consideration of establishing public information centers that can broaden access to information.
+ For more information about activities in the Asia-Pacific region, please contact Ms Delia Torrijos, INF Regional Adviser, 920 Sukhumvit Road, Box 967, Bangkok 10110, Thailand. Tel: (662) 391.05.77. Fax: (662) 391.08.66. E-mail: email@example.com
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
CARIBBEAN REGIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS
The Consultative Committee on Caribbean Regional Information Systems (CCCRIS) has witnessed a highly productive and intensive period of activities since its inauguration in 1988, under the chairmanship of Mrs. Carol Collins. The major focus during the first phase was the implementation of a Project titled "Information for Decision Making in the Caribbean Community", which received financial assistance from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
This project carried out between 1993 and 1996 supported research into information seeking habits and needs of a group of selected development actors or agents. To ensure its impact for sus-tainability, research attention was given to ownership of information, commercia-lization of information products and services, and marketing and promotion of regional information products and services.
These sets of integrated activities gave input for guiding service delivery, human resources development curriculum, for furthering the integration regional inform-ation systems and networks, and for support to information policy formulation. In this regard the Project objective set the framework to determine those factors and parameters which would embody character-istics of efficient management of inform-ation services for decision making and development in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Work Programme 1997-2000
At the 2nd CCCRIS/CARSTIN Meet-ing held in Castries, Saint Lucia on May 16th, 1996, it was noted that high information activity had been common-place in the Region, with untold pressure for financing. In the context of this latter statement and the achievement of this Project, Information for Decision-Making in the Caribbean Community, a major objective was achieved with the develop-ment of an information product, Info-Locator, which came on stream in March 1997, and which was the result of research by CCCRIS that identified and described the information resources of actors in the Caribbean Information Services Networks and marketplace. This Product experienced a tremendous amount of marketing drive to achieve the desired impact. The product was marketed on the CCCRIS draft home page, in Caribbean Week, and in the newsletter of the Association of Inde-pendent Information Professionals (AIIP).
It is against this background that the ambitious Work-Programme activities for the 1997-2000 period will continue to maintain the momentum with the current developments in information technology. It is important for this phase to recognize the implications and relevance of rapidly changing technologies, as this present century draws to an end. These developments will push the Caribbean Region into "globalization" in which we will witness a level of interaction with each other in an environment that is both electronic and digitally information-based.
The focus of CCCRIS’ programme of activity for the period 1997-2000 will emphasize those polices and mechanisms that must be put in place to ensure the application of these technologies in all sector activities, given their potential for people empowerment, capacity building and institutional strengthening. CCCRIS will work towards putting systems and mechanisms in place to ensure that the Caribbean people in the various sectors are equipped with the skills and expertise to become even more innovative and to exploit these new technologies for our human development and survival.
Three (3) major emerging technologies will be of direct relevance to CCCRIS’ programme of activities for the next triennium. They are: the Internet; Intra-nets; New Interactive Communications Technologies. CCCRIS will re-structure itself and incorporate the necessary degree of functional capacity into its organizational structure. It will respond to a wider market and also involve more of the Region’s information professionals. This will require specific levels of funding, which is CCCRIS’ main concern in the immediate term.
UNESCO AND ALA: A NEW AND EFFECTIVE ALLIANCE
An Agreement between the Latin American Archives Association (ALA) and UNESCO was signed recently, to design and carry out an application based on the software CDS/ISIS Version for Windows.
The National Archive of Colombia, headquarters of ALA, is the institution responsible for the implementation of this agreement, whose main objectives are: to prepare a workplan including a design of an application for automation of archives collections, testing of this application, technical processing and user services; a Beta version of this application will be tested in at least three countries of the region, backed with technical document-ation and the corresponding user´s manual based on Word for Windows.
A document will be produced to update the above mentioned application, which includes: training for personnel working in the Archives of the region and members of ALA, as well as advanced courses for staff responsible for management of automated archives systems. Also, technical support activities are planned; experiences and methodological aspects of RAMP studies are going to be taken into account in the final version of technical documents now in preparation. This long expected applica-tion, will certainly help in solving archive problems in public and private institutions of Latin America and the Caribbean.
+ For more on regional information activities in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, please contact Mr. Isidro Fernández-Aballí, CII/INF Regional Adviser in Latin America and the Caribbean CRESALC, Avenida Los Chorros, Apartado postal 68394, Caracas 1062 A, Venezuela. Fax: (582) 286.04.60. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNESCO-SUPPORTED INFORMATICS AND TELEMATICS
PROJECTS IN SELECTED LAC COUNTRIES
The Project "Hiper-Historias Multime-diales. Aplicaciones en Niños Discapaci-tados", in which Paraguay also participated, included the following activities: a) basic and development research of advanced multimedia/hypermedia systems, virtual worlds and in particular their application to hyper-stories; b) development of multime-dia hyper-stories adequate for their use by handicapped children and development of space/timing relationships; c) contribution to the training of human resources in the development of software; d) generation of guides for the systematic building of hyper-stories as well as models and associated methodologies. This activity is directed in Argentina by the Laboratory of Research and Training in Advanced Informatics, Department of Informatics, Faculty of Exact Sciences of the National University of La Plata, Argentina.
A Pilot Project on "Access to Telematics Facilities in the Eastern Caribbean" provi-ded training to seventy-two specialists in Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent & the Grenadines. These specialists work in Environment, Education and Health. An evaluation for this project is being under-taken in co-operation with the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI). The project has had contributions from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Pan-
American Health Organization (PAHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and International Council for Scien-tific and Technical Information (ICSTI).
A project has been developed on "Informatics equipment to a training school for technicians in informatics maintenance", in co-operation with the Engineering School of the National University of San Andres (La Paz). This project resulted in the creation of the Internet Training Laboratory for the training of students and professors of the Engineering School. In addition, an INTERNET Node Service was established in the School of Technology of the National University of San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca, focused to provide INTERNET services to the community of Sucre.
In the framework of the 2000 initiative, the Conference on "Education in the Information Age" (Cartagena de Indias, 9 -11 July 1997) was organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Global Information Infrastructure Commis-sion (GIIC) and University of Los Andes. The main issues discussed related the use of technology in education. UNESCO has contributed a paper for in the decision-making bodies of this Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) initiative.
The VI UNESCO Informatics School activity took place in Arica, Chile, from 14 to 17 October 1997. It was jointly organized with the University of Tarapaca. Participants from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Perú attended. UNESCO supports the school courses with four professors from the region. In addition within the framework of the XXIII Latin American Conference of the "Centro Latinoamericano de Estudios en Informatica-CLET" (Valparaiso, Chile, 10-16 November 1997), UNESCO promoted and organized the TESIS'97 competition among Latin American researchers.
The First Centro-American Teacher Training Course on InterNet Resources was organized in San Jose, Costa Rica, 26-30 August 1997. This course was held in partnership with Germany, and the National Academy of Sciences and the University of Costa Rica. There were thirty-one parti-cipants from eight countries in the region: Belize, Cuba, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Mexico.
UNESCO has begun preliminary activities for the establishment of a UNESCO Chair at the National University of Asuncion (UNA) and at the Catholic University of Asuncion (UCA). To this end, the following activities are being carried out: a) UNESCO assistance to the Manager in Systems Engineering at UNA supporting this activity through the organization of one-week seminars with professors from the region (Brazil and Chile); b) Elaboration of a research project in the field of computational mathematics and parallel process/high performance distri-bution, between the Computer Sciences National Center (UNA) and the Department of Theorical Informatics, Informatics Institute, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. UNESCO supported the preparatory meetings for the project elaboration and collaborated in the identification of possible financing sources, c) elaboration and realization of a co-operation project between the Engineering School of PUC-Chile and the School of Sciences and Technology of UNA. This project is in its final phase.
In co-operation with the INEI (Instituto Nacional de Estadí sticas y Informatica), an international course took place in Lima, in parallel with the XV Session of the Ibero-American Conference of Informatics Authorities (Lima, 27-31 October 1997). UNESCO-supported international experts delivered this course for countries in the Andin Pact.
SAINT LUCIA/SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
The Pilot Project on "Access to Telematics Facilities in the Eastern Caribbean" provided training to seventy-two specialists in Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent &
the Grenadines during 1997. These specialists work in Environment, Education and Health. An evaluation for this project is being undertaken in co-operation with the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI). This pro-ject has had contributions from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the International Council for Scientific and Technical
Courses and workshops for professionals in the field of informatics are being carried out in Uruguay. This activity is co-organized with INCO (Science Computer Institute, Engineering School, University of Uruguay) under the auspices of local enterprises. Two one-week courses and a workshop were held during the period August-November 1997.
+ For more information on informatics activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, please contact Mr Claudio Menezes at the UNESCO Office in Brazilia, SAS Quadra 05, Bloco H - Lote 06, Edificio CNPQ/IBICT/UNESCO, Caixa Postal 08563, 70070-974 Brasilia D.F., Brazil; Fax: (55-61) 322.42.61; Tel.: (55-61) 223.86.84; E-mail: email@example.com
OTHER CII ACTIVITIES
VISION PLUS 3 ON INFORMATION DESIGN
Persuant to Resolution (4.15) adopted by the 28th session of the General Conference in 1995, over 160 information design specialists gathered in Schwar-zenberg (Austria) for the Vision Plus 3 International Seminar on Information Design, the third in the series. All of these seminars have been held under the patronage of UNESCO. The Austrian National Commission, whose Secretary-General is a Board Member of the International Institute of Information Design has been active in promoting this Summer Institute and in assuring UNESCO involvement.
Many of the participants at the Seminar appreciated UNESCO's stance on freedom of expression in the age of new information and communication technologies. Several participants supported a proposal for a virtual university of information design. The UNESCO Representative suggested that a small discussion group be organized on e-mail to discuss problems, resources, approaches and a set of actions that can be immediately taken towards an eventual setting-up of information design courses.
Several institutes and professional organizations also sought assistance for the preparation of an international poster contest on the theme of the 50th Anniversary of Human Rights. One first suggestion was to involve some of the schools in the preparatory work of the contest, particularly the rules and explanation of the theme. It is possible that a Round Table on the Theme Information Design And Empowerment may be organized at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in the near future.
For Vision Plus 4, which will be held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA in March 1998, the proposed theme is 'The Republic of Information'. Underlying this are such issues as cultural freedom, social responsibility, a concept of information in global communication, globalization itself, and how information design can contribute to defining and achieving the New Republic.
A Vision Plus 5 Seminar is foreseen for the same year, to be held in July 1998, again in Schwarzenberg (Austria) mainly in response to calls to keep a European perspective. This forum will focus on 'Design and Didactics,' and on information design for educational objectives, an activity that UNESCO may wish to support, particularly given the connection to the 'Learning without Frontiers' Programme.
+ For more information please contact Mr Carlos Arnaldo, CII/INF, UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France; Tel.: (33-1) 22.214.171.124; Fax: (33-1) 126.96.36.199; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
1997 Editions of the following CD-ROMs have just been issued:
This CD-ROM includes 11 databases. It gives access to more than 100,000 bibliographic references in a variety of subject areas, including UNESCO documents and publications, plus details on approximately 9,000 research institutes and information services worldwide and details from 4,500 periodicals and 900 specialists in the social sciences. It includes UNESCO and IBE thesauri.
Price: 300 FF
This CD-ROM contains 900,000 biblio-graphic citations of translated books in all domains covering more than one hundred countries and more than 200,000 authors recorded by UNESCO since 1979.
Price: 300 FF
This CD-ROM provides valuable inform-ation on national governmental organi-zations, research and information centers, professional and trade associations, networks, training and education centers, databases and databanks, journals, reference publications, audiovisual aids and experts from 170 countries, United Nations organizations and regional and international institutions.
Price: 250 FF
For use on PC with (at least) DOS 3.0 Windows 3.xxx or Windows 95 and 640 K RAM.
* Can be ordered from UNESCO National distributors or by Internet http://www. unesco.org/publishing or directly to UNESCO Publishing, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France. Fax: (33-1) 188.8.131.52.
EAFTERM 'EAST ASIA FORUM ON TERMINOLOGY FOUNDED
Today terminological activities are increasing at national or language community level to such an extent that networks at regional level are becoming useful or even a necessity. In line with this trend the East Asia Forum on Terminology (EAFTerm) was founded in Beijing, China on 4 August 1997, with the assistance of terminology organizations at the inter-national level closely co-perating with Infoterm (International Information Centre for Terminology, Vienna, Austria).
Given the fact that China itself is a multilingual country and that a number of other countries (and languages) use Chinese characters in their writing system, terminology plays a crucial role for knowledge transfer in China and in the East Asian region. Thanks to UNESCO' assis-tance, terminology science and its methodology was introduced in China at the beginning of the 1980s by Infoterm. In the meantime China not only has caught up in terms of theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the field of terminology, but also in terms of large-scale terminology work projects and programmes at national level or within many subject fields.
China has recognized that the future of global information infrastructures are only the 'mechanism' for transporting and distributing 'contents'. Terminology has a pivotal function in what have become known as the 'contents industries'. Language engineering plays an important role within this new framework, and 'language technology' provides the tools for creating 'language resources', such as speech data (speech corpora), text corpora including the respective lexicons, and last but not least terminological data --- whether mono or multi-lingual, whether comprising linguistic or non-linguistic data. In this connection terminology applications (in the sense of applications of terminology theory and methods as well as of terminological tools and data) are gaining in importance.
In China it is acknowledged that the 'multilingual information society' can never be achieved without appropriate termino-logy. Furthermore, professional commu-nication at any level will never be fully efficient and effective without high-quality terminology. Quality management for instance, which is largely based on commu-nication and documentation, cannot be efficient and effective without a minimum of terminology work. Multinational companies (including virtual companies evolving via networks) will have to be based to a substantial degree on terminological information, terminology work and terminological tools.
Therefore, China TermNet was founded several years ago in order to organize co-operation in the field of terminology within China. At present a terminology informa-tion documentation center is being esta-blished in Changping, to the North of Beijing. Thus terminology infrastructures are gradually emerging within China and in the East Asian region.
DATABASE OF THE GERMAN INFORMATION CENTRE
FOR TECHNICAL RULES (DITR)
Since June 1997, the Deutsches Institut Für Medizinische Dokumentation Und Information (DIMDI) offers the database DITR. DITR is a bibliographic database in German and English in the field of technical rules and standards. Standards and tech-nical rules are taken from about 200 printed collections of standards. Important refer-ence data to identify a publication are stored in DITR, but not the full text of the standard itself. The database is produced by the German Information Centre for Technical Rules (Deutsches Informations-zentrum für technische Regeln) in Berlin.
The database DITR at DIMDI contains about 100.000 national, international and supranational valid technical rules and standards, especially from the German speaking countries and the European Union. About 4.000 document units describe retracted rules. This portion represents the "historical" data in DITR. The records contain bibliographic fields referring to the original documents, e.g. the standard number, the German and often the English and French title and other publication data. Besides free text for concept searches, key words and the German language terms of the International Classification for standards (ICS) are available.
With the release of DITR an important tool becomes available for those people concerned with technical rules and standards. For the majority of DIMDI users the coverage of standards in the fields of medical devices, occupational medicine, public health, environmental sciences, biotechnology, forestry etc. should be of particular interest.
+ For more information, please contact: Petra Hummel, DIMDI, P.O. Box 420580, Köln, Germany. Tel.: 0221-4724-296, Fax: 0221-411429.
BRITISH LIBRARY'S WEBSITE IS A 'HIT' 900,000 TIMES OVER
More than 900,000 internet users visited Portico, the British Library's website, during June 1997. The total of 919,262 visits or 'hits' for the month is a reflection of the continual increase of material available on Portico, most recently the facility to access most of the Library's catalogues free of charge. Porticio offers Internet users worldwide the opportunity to find out more about The British Library, its collections and services, and have a virtual tour of the new Library at St Pancras, (London), all via their computer terminal. The URL (electronic address) of Portico is http://www.bl.uk/
IATUL 1997 CONFERENCE
30 JUNE - 4 JULY 1997
The (IATUL) 1997 Conference held in Trondheim (Norway) was attended by over seventy participants from some twenty countries. In addition, eleven accom-panying persons took part in an Accompanying Persons Programme. The theme of the Conference was Scholarly Communication in Focus. Abstracts and full text papers are now available on the IATUL Web and may be found under "Publications". Highlights of the Con-
ference included a panel debate on Scholarly Publishing by a group including scientists, a university library director and a publisher. Another innovation was a Demonstration session in the Computer lab, where IATUL Members and commercial organisations were able to display programmes and products. Comments from the participants indicated that these interactive sessions were appreciated.
+ For more information about IATUL, contact Dr Nancy Fjälbrant, Chalmers University of Technology, the Library, S-412 96 Götenborg, Sweden. Tel.: +46 31-772 37 54; Fax: +46 31-16 84 94; E-mail: email@example.com
OCLC DEVELOPS UNIMARC CONVERSION CAPABILITIES
The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) in Dublin Ohio, U.S.A. has developed software to convert bibliogra-phic cataloging records created under the UNIMARC (Universal Machine-Readable Cataloging) format to USMARC biblio-graphic records and vice versa. UNIMARC is widely used, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. OCLC has been working to encourage international library coopera-tion and information exchange. UNIMARC approaches and organizes bibliographic records from a different perspective than that of USMARC: Distinct Character Sets require translation of most diacritics and special characters; Main Entry is emphasized in UNIMARC; Notes Fields are tagged differently; and there are embedded fields in UNIMARC for linking records.
OCLC's UNIMARC conversion project will enable UNIMARC output through subscription and tape services, as well as cataloging system export; batchload capability for WorldCat; output from the OCLC CatCD for Windows software, OCLC Cataloging Micro Enhancer Software for Windows and other micro-cataloging products; and OCLC Conversion services. The National Library of the Czech Republic has contributed to the success of this project providing the majority of the records used to test the conversion software and was the first to have records converted and loaded.
TELEMATICS FOR LIBRARIES CD-ROM
The Telematics for Libraries sector of the European Commission's Telematics Applications Programme has produced a CD-ROM which gives an overview of sector activities since 1990. The CD-ROM includes general programme documenta-tion, full descriptions of all funded projects and actions, and a range of other relevant documents-workshop proceedings, publica-tions, abstracts, etc. The documents on the CD-ROM also contain links to Commission Web sites and those of the projects, so that users with Internet connections can directly move to updated project information, results, downloadable prototypes and on-line services.
The CD-ROM "Telematics for Libraries" is available without charge from: European Commission DG XIII/E-4 - Electronic, Brussels, Belgium.
PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND THE INFORMATION SOCIETY
The forthcoming "Information Society" will have far-reaching effects on life-styles and information needs. The 40,000 public libraries in the European Union will have a major role as a resource gateway. There are, however, many barriers to overcome; some of these are budgetary, others relate to lack of technical facilities and staff expertise. Many libraries operate without a supportive national policy framework or professional vision, and often in isolation. A new study develops a strategy, and defines models and scenarios for the public library community to consider. This study is available (price ECU 40) from the EU sales office, 2 rue Mercier, L-2985 Luxembourg; fax: +352 2929 42759; Internet: http://eur-op.eu.int/_en/general/s-ad.htm
THE INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATIONS CENTRE (ITC) CLOSES
The not-for-profit foundation Interna-tional Translations Center (ITC) was closed at the end of 1997 after 36 years of operation. In spite of strong support from ITC's participating centers, staff support, and an active marketing policy, subscriptions to ITC's principal product the World Translations Index (WTI), have, in common with primary and secondary journals in most disciplines, declined steadily over recent years to a point where production costs were no longer recover-able and all reserve funds exhausted. The fall in demand for WTI is a reflection of the changes that have taken place in the field of translation since the centre's foundation in 1961. An increasing acceptance of English as the lingua franca for scholarly communication, and a reduction in funding for information services are just two factors that have resulted in a significant decline in translations made on an ad hoc basis.
Every effort, however, is being made to sustain the availability of ITC's information resources beyond 1997. In the future, WTI users are advised to contact the following libraries for documents delivery: the British Library Document Supply Centre, Boston Spa, UK (fax +44 1937 546333); The Delft University of Technology Library, Delft, the Netherlands (fax +31 15 2159007); the Technische Informations-bibliothek, Hannover, Germany (fax +49 511 715 936); the Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France (fax +33 3 83 50 47 27). Furthermore, notifiers of European-originated ad hoc translations are referred to EAGLE (fax +31 70 3140493) which has decided to include these translations in the SIGLE database as of 1998. As a consequence of ITC's closure, the World Translations Index and Journals in Translation will no longer reproduced. The complete WTI file (1979-97) is being offered on a CD-ROM as a final venture.
+ ITC can be contacted as follows: c/o BTUD, Postbus 98, 2600 MG Delft, the Netherlands; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
TSTT '97, BEIJING (CHINA)
4-7 August 1997
The Second International Conference on Terminology, Standardization and Technology Transfer (TSTT97) was held in Beijing, China, from 4 to 7 August 1997. Several Vice-Ministers and high-level officials of the Chinese government attended the opening ceremony, which was widely broadcasted on television. This demonstrates the importance that is being given to terminology in connection with the promotion of the transfer of science and technology in the East-Asian region.
Infoterm held its Second Infoterm General Assembly in Beijing on 4 August 1997 jointly with the Conference on 'Terminology, Standardization and Techno-logy Transfer (TSTT'97') and its Fourth Executive Board Meeting at which the President, Prof. E. Oeser and the two Vice-Presidents, Profs. Y. Jiao and J. Humbley were re-elected. The International Inform-ation Centre for Terminology (INFO-TERM) was founded by UNESCO in 1971 as the International Clearing House and Referral Centre for all questions related to terminology.
Document requests from Africa, Arab States, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean should continue to be sent to: Information and Informatics Division, UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732, Paris Cedex 15, France. Requests from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, United States of America, Venezuela and the Asia and Pacific Region should be sent directly to PGI documents resource centres whose addresses are indicated below:
El Coordinador Nacional, RENBU
Universidad de Buenos Aires
Capital Federal, Argentina
Instituto Brasileiro de Informacao
em Ciencia e Tecnologia (IBICT)
SC - Quadra 2 Bloco K
70710 Brasilia DF, Brazil
Madame Suzanne Richer
Banque internationale d’information
sur les Etats francophones (BIEF)
25, rue Eddy
Hull, Canada, K1A OM5
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y
Centro de Servicios de Informacion
Circuito Cultural Universitario
04515 Mexico DF
Servicio de Informacao Cientifica
Junta Nacional de Investigacao
Cientifica e Tecnologica (JNICT)
Av. D. Carlos 1, 126-1 e 2
1200 Lisboa, Portugal
Consejo superior de
Centro de Informacion y Docu-
mentacion Cientifica, C.I.N.D.O.C.
Calle Joaquin Costa, 22
28002 Madrid, Spain
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Mr Frederic J. Glazer
West Virginia Library Commission
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
Mr Isidro Fernández-Aballí
CII/INF Regional Adviser for
Latin America and Caribbean
Avenida Los Chorros
Apartado postal 68394
Caracas 1062 A, Venezuela
UNESCO/INF Documents Supply
c/o The National Library of Thailand
All documents may be consulted at the premises of each of the institutions mentioned above. Copies may be obtained on a cost recovery basis at prices set out by the distributing institutions. All current and out-of-print documents are also available on microfiche, at a price of FF20 per fiche corresponding normally to 96 pages. Orders for microfiches should be sent to: Archives Records Management Micrography Division, UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France.
Below is a list of new publications:
The Newsletter provides information on the activities of the UNESCO Division of Information and Informatics and other related issues. Published twice a year in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish, the Newsletter is distributed free of charge by the Division.
Editor: Philippe Quéau; Assistant Editor: Richard Holmquist; Editorial Assistant: Grace Mensah
Readers are invited to communicate their comments, suggestions or relevant information by writing to: UNISIST Newsletter, Division of Information and Informatics, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) 184.108.40.206. Fax: (33-1) 220.127.116.11. E-mail: email@example.com