DISA recently hosted another intern - this time from the African Union (AU) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Stephen Mayega is a cataloguer in the AU Archives and the purpose of his internship was to better understand the digital cycle of creating, managing and preserving digital data. The African Union has a large collection of AU reports going back to the 1960’s and their aim is to digitise and make these available to all their members through their website.


Stephen Mayega

All AU reports are published in 4 languages, English, Portugese, French and Arabic. This provides challenges for content management and creation of metadata. The ability to create metadata once, in English, with translation into the other languages would be a huge time saver. Drupal, with its powerful taxonomy module, was demonstrated to Stephen, as an extensible and scaleable content management system. In addition Drupal is able to operate in mutiple languages simultaneously - a really important consideration for a multi-language collection.  The entire process of digitisation, including hardware and software requirements, were covered in a week of intensive theory and practical exercises.

Stephen’s internship was sponsored by the American Embassy Mission to the African Union Commission.

Mobile technologies: information on the move 

Brisbane, Australia 11 - 13 May 2011

This conference, hosted by The University of Southern Queensland in collaboration with Athabasca University, the Open University, Thompson Rivers University and Emerald Group Publishing, aims to explore and share work carried out in libraries around the world to deliver services and resources to users ‘on the move’ via a growing plethora of mobile or handheld devices.


The conference will bring together researchers, technical developers, managers and library practitioners to exchange experience and expertise and generate ideas for future developments.


We are seeking papers on the following themes:


1.     Emerging mobile technologies (including platforms, devices and software)

2.     Delivering new mobile services to users

3.     New mobile applications (technical)

4.     Mobile users (e.g. studies of requirements and/or behaviour)

5.     Development of content for mobiles (including OERs, commercially published, user-generated etc.)

6.     Privacy and mobiles

7.     Copyright issues for mobile delivery


Please submit your abstracts (up to 300 words) to M-Libraries-Conference@open.ac.uk by November 1st. These will be subject to peer review and authors will be notified by 14 January 2011.


We expect that papers may include research reports, demonstrations of technical developments, practical case studies or reviews. Posters are also invited.


Papers or presentation

Papers or presentations should last no longer than 20 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions.


Poster sessions

Posters will be displayed throughout the conference and time will be allocated in the programme for poster viewing.

Conference proceedings will be published online.


Contact Information

General enquiries: mlib3@usq.edu.au                
Programme enquiries: m-libraries-conference@open.ac.uk         

Website: www.usq.edu.au/m-libraries


Why not join the m-libraries Facebook Group?  www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7719700810




The Itafa Amalinde Heritage Trust (formerly the Durban Heritage Trust) has published a very useful guide to the architecture and history of Durban. The covers, especially the back cover (below right), give a hint of the diversity of images in the guide book.



Designed and edited by Brian Kearney, the guide is a compact 64 pages, with accompanying maps, and covers a wide range of topics by way of an introduction to the people and places of a city rich in cultural heritage. The guide brings to notice the fragility of this richness and introduces the reader to the diversity and interest which characterises the city. Noteworthy buildings are listed and natural history, religion, technology, trade, recreation and sport are some of the topics covered in the guide, well illustrated with photographs.

The guide is currently available only in physical format at a cost of R80.00 including post and packaging. Orders can be e-mailed to David Bennett  david@burvest.com.  Further details are available here.


Metadata is an important pillar of digital information management. However the sheer number and complexity of metadata standards can be a obstacle in choosing a standard that is right for the purpose and the community for which it was intended. In South Africa, many standards are not considered due to the time, energy and resources required for implementation. This is a pity as the richer the metadata, the easier it is to apply software tools to manipulate and massage the data for discovery by search engines. Even worse is that I still encounter archivists and librarians in this country that do not see the relevance of using internationally standardised schemas to describe their resources at all!

Jenn Riley, a metadata Librarian from Indiana University has complied a wonderful resource for selecting and comparing standards. In the release recently she said:

A new resource,  Seeing Standards: A Visualization of the Metadata Universe, is intended to assist planners with the selection and implementation of metadata standards. Seeing Standards is in two parts: (1) a poster-size visualization plotting standards based on their applicability in a variety of contexts, and (2) a glossary of metadata standards in either poster or pamphlet form.


Each of the 105 standards listed is evaluated on its strength of application to defined categories in each of four axes: community, domain, function, and purpose. Standards more strongly allied with a category are displayed towards the center of each hemisphere, and those still applicable but less strongly allied are displayed along the edges. The strength of a standard in a given category is determined by a mixture of its adoption in that category, its design intent, and its overall appropriateness for use in that category.


The standards represented are among those most heavily used or publicized in the cultural heritage community, though certainly not all standards that might be relevant are included. A small set of the metadata standards plotted on the main visualization also appear as highlights above the graphic. These represent the most commonly known or discussed standards for cultural heritage metadata.

Take a look - it is really a very helpful resource.

image1Call for papers

May 2010

The University of Melbourne Library is pleased to announce a new, annual, fully peer-reviewed scholarly publication: Grainger Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

See www.msp.unimelb.edu.au/index.php/graingerstudies/index for more information.

Contributions are now sought for the first issue, which will be published at the time of the re-opening later in 2010 of the conserved and refurbished Grainger Museum, located on the Parkville Campus of the University of Melbourne (see www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/grainger/ ).

The scope of Grainger Studies is wide-ranging, and includes:

  • folk song and other aurally-transmitted musical traditions
  • the processes of music composition and improvisation
  • racial theories, of people and music
  • music education
  • piano pedagogy and performance
  • ‘free’, electronic and experimental music
  • community music-making
  • pre-Bach music and its performance
  • Australia’s musical development
  • the music of Australia’s neighbours including South-East Asia and the Pacific
  • the music of England and other English-speaking countries
  • clothing design and reform
  • architecture
  • museums and collecting
  • the languages, art and culture of Scandinavia
  • Anglo-Saxon language, history and culture
  • language development and reform
  • vegetarianism, health, sexuality and body image.

Scholars, advanced post-graduate students, museum curators and researchers in the above fields are encouraged to submit articles of up to 5,000 words in length.  Longer contributions will be considered on merit.  The style guide for authors is available at www.unimelb.edu.au/culturalcollections/research/styleguideuniofmelbcollections.pdf

Contributions received by Friday 18 June 2010 may be considered for inclusion in the first issue.

Authors with ideas or suggestions for contributions are encouraged to contact one or both of the editors:

Dr David Pear in London david.pear@cantab.net or Dr Belinda Nemec in Melbourne bnemec@unimelb.edu.au