Establishing a Digital Library Infrastructure in Afghanistan

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4 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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Establishing a Digital Library
Infrastructure in Afghanistan









Atifa Rawan and Yan Han

University of Arizona Libraries

Living the Future Conference

Tucson, Arizona,

May 2, 2008



Afghan Academic Library Initiatives


Since April 2002
-

University of Arizona’s involvement in
rebuilding Afghanistan academic libraries.



2005
-

Invitation to participate in Digital Libraries Alliance
(DLA)



Digital Libraries Alliance goals in Afghanistan:



Build capacity for libraries and librarians.


Work with open source digital library platforms.


Provide and enhance access to scholarly information resources.


Open content that will benefit all Afghanistan higher education
institutions.



Creating Afghanistan digital libraries and an ILS using
open source software for Afghanistan academic libraries.

University of Kabul Campus and
Surroundings
-

2002

Damaged Libraries and Books


2002

Creation of Afghanistan

Digital Libraries


Overview


Afghanistan Digital Libraries


Integrated Library System using open
source software for Afghanistan academic
libraries


Collaboration


Digitizing unique resources and setting up
digitization infrastructure

Overview:

Afghan Higher Education Libraries

Since 1979 the education
system has been virtually
destroyed
:



Schools and colleges have
been closed, looted, or
physically reduced.



Student bodies and faculties
have been emptied by war,
migration, and economic
hardship.



Libraries were gutted.


Kabul University was

demolished by 1994;

completely closed down

by 1998:



Kabul University Library’s
collections are mostly
damaged or destroyed.



Current holdings:



60,000
-
70,000 English
titles


2,000
-
3,000 Persian titles


2,000 Persian theses

Creation of the First Digital Library:

Remodeling
of the College of Agriculture Electronic Library
-

2004

Afghanistan Digital Libraries



WSU/USAID Grant Project

Website contents
:



Integrated Union
Catalog


Databases & Articles


News & Events


Reference Guides


Digital Collections


Search


Links


Services


Contact Us

Afghan e
-
Quality Alliances

ANGeL
-
Afghan's Next Generation e
-
Learning


Kabul University



Contents (continued)


Databases & Articles
:




General,
Multidisciplinary


Free e
-
Books


Subject Areas:


This
sections
allows
users
to select
full
-
text
articles from a
variety
of open
access and
password
-
protected
journals in
various
disciplines.


Building an Integrated

Library System (ILS)


Using an open source software



Using Koha: open source ILS software chosen for its
functionality, maturity, and support



Components: acquisitions, cataloging, catalog (search and find),
circulation, and member management



Primary function is to access library materials



Presently implementing ILS for four academic universities in
Kabul: Kabul University, Polytechnic University, Kabul Medical
University, and Kabul Education University.



Further development of ILS will eventually support over 40,000
students and 2,000 faculty in Afghan higher education.

Searching the

Integrated Union Catalog

Integrated Union

Catalog

Searching the Catalog:

Basic Search




A basic search



Boolean search



Truncation

can
be
used to get

expanded
search results
(e.g. econom*).



Personal
account

Searching the Catalog:

Advanced Search

An
advanced search

can
be performed

by
:
title
, author, or
subject.

Boolean
logic
operators
also can be
used to expand a
search by using the
operator
OR,
or limit
the search by using

the
operator
AND.


Search words can

be in
English
or

in
Persian/Dari
.

Searching the Catalog:

Search Results

There are 10 search
results for keyword
botany
.
Results are
displayed in a short
bibliographic format,
indicating such fields

as: title, author, call
number, date, and
publisher.

Sample Bibliographic Record


Title




Author



Abstract



Descriptors
(subjects)

Why an Open Source ILS?


Koha


open source ILS software chosen for its
functionality, maturity, and support:



Software architecture


open source LAMP software bundle,
which is popular, stable, and predominant.



Staff skills and competencies in open source software.



Full
-
featured open source ILS components, such as multiple
branch support and users management, critical for union
catalog.



Current use: two public libraries in New Zealand with 30,000
-
patron base and some public libraries in the United States.



Software stable and most bugs have been fixed.



Koha support


mailing list by Koha developers and users as a
communication tool to ask and answer questions.

Overview of ILS Options


Current market dominated by
commercial ILS vendors.



Open source systems offer a
viable solution. Open source
characteristics: undeveloped,
few products available, full
features not provided.



Decision to build ILS with
“OPEN” concept: open access,
open source, and open
standards.



Decision influenced by:
globalization and users’

behavior and expectations.



Current open source ILS
software:


o
Koha


full
-
featured ILS
developed in New Zealand in
2000.







Underlying architecture


Linux,
Apache, MySQL, and Perl (LAMP)
stack.


o
OpenBiblio


short history; still in
beta 0.1.0 version since 2002.


Underlying architecture


LAMP
(Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP).


o
WEBLIS


based on UNESCO’s
CDS/ISIS database; developed by
Institute for Computer and
Information Engineering in Poland;
ILS features include cataloging,
catalog (search and find), loan, and
report modules.


Underlying architecture


requires Windows/Windows
-
based servers (Xitami/Microsoft
IIS and ISIS database).


o
Gnuteca


developed in Brazil; some
ILS features such as cataloging,
catalog, and loan; software interface
written in Portuguese.

Major Challenges


Arabic/Persian language support



Koha version 2.2 cannot correctly handle East Asian language
records, including Arabic/Persian records.



Language support crucial for Afghan universities.



Persian/Dari is one of the official languages of the



Koha generates Web
-
based GUI via Perl templates, which use
HTML “meta” tag with Western character set (ISO
-
8559
-
1) to
encode characters.



IE and Firefox use “meta” tag to decode characters with predefined
character set.



We identified and updated Koha software


Templates modified to allow characters to be encoded in Unicode to solve
problem.


Most of Editors (e.g. Notepad, TextPad) do not support editing right
-
to
-
left
(purchased a new editor (UEDIT) for this purpose)



In ILS, Persian/Dari characters can be entered into the cataloging module
and displayed correctly in GUI.

Major Challenges (continued)

Hardware support:


Considerations:

o
Afghanistan still developing
its infrastructure: electricity,
transportation, and
communication.

o
IT companies such as Dell,
HP, and IBM have very
limited services and support
in Afghanistan; hardware
procurement is difficult.

o
Viruses in Windows platform
(lack of current anti
-
virus
updates).


Temporary solution: extra parts
and redundant servers.


Linux: Debian.


Enhancements:



Koha interface in bilingual:
English and Persian/Dari.


Supporting new ISBN
-
13
(effective on January 1, 2007)
and ISBN
-
10.


Some bugs fixed.


Collaboration

E
-
Quality Alliance

Other Universities and Institutions

Other Organizations

Collaboration:
eQuality

Alliances

Atifa Rawan and Yan Han at Heart University Campus
-

2006

Herat University Medical Library
-
2006

Herat University


Old and New Campus
-

2006

More Consultations and Technical Support

Short
-
Term Training


Staff and faculty training started from April 2002.



Training included library staff and faculty (including Medical
University faculty and staff).



Provided individual training sessions as well as group sessions.



The last two training workshops (2006
-
2007) included use of IT
classroom and Included specialized ILS and databases training for
Kabul University Library and IT staff.



At Kabul University, participants were from several provinces

represented academic institutions such as Herat, Kabul,
Mazar
-
i
-
Sharif,
Bulkh
,
Khost
,
Nangarhar
, Kandahar at the workshop. The
participants included library coordinators, library staff, technical
staff, and faculty members from the following institutions in Kabul:




Kabul University


Kabul Medical University


American University of Afghanistan


Kabul Polytechnic University


Kabul University of Education

Small Group Training


2002
-
2003

University of Education and Kabul University Library Staff and Faculty

Training at Kabul Medical University and College of Agriculture


2004

Faculty of Agriculture Training
-

2005

More Training Sessions for Provincial Faculty and Staff, 2006
-
2007

Digital Library Training Provided by Atifa and Yan
-

2006
-
2007


Long
-
Term Training


Plan to offer online library and information
science course


2
-
year certificate program at
Kabul University’s Department of Computer
Science.



All library and information sciences modules are
in both English and Dari languages and available
via ANGeL (e
-
learning system).



Discussion to create a library organization group
in Afghanistan.

Creation of Library and Information Program

at Kabul University



Afghans’ Next
Generation

e
-
Learning
(ANGeL)

Library and Information Science Program



Offer, monitor, and support the delivery of modules and facilitate the certificate
program for Library and Information Science courses using the Afghans’ Next
Generation e
-
Learning (ANGeL) in support of the Library Science certificate
program at Kabul University.



To further facilitate delivery of these modules apply advanced technology
methods developed at the University of Arizona for online courses known as
the SLIC technology (
Semantically Linked Instructional Content)
.
SLIC
technology

presents lectures using video and slide presentations in Dari
language and English.



Complete final assessment of the Library and Information Science program.



Course offerings to be taught and monitored, including 14 modules per course:


Introduction to Library and Information Services



(3 credit hours)


Reference Resources & Services



(3 credit hours)


Collection Development



(3 credit hours)


Cataloging/Classification & Metadata Management



(3 credit hours)


Digitization Efforts




Digital Collection
-

Full
-
text access to
Da

Afghanistan
Kalanay

(Afghanistan’s Yearbook)
volumes,

1933
-
1990




Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage Digitization



NEH Grant

-

Digitizing unique resources and setting up
digitization infrastructure
-

challenges, problems, and
barriers with language and lack of technological
infrastructure
-

including virtual training efforts in the
absence of training on the ground due to security issues in
the country



Digital Collections


Digital Collections



Offers full
-
text access
to
Da

Afghanistan
Kalanay

volumes,

1933
-
1990


Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage Digitization



NEH Grant


The University of Arizona Libraries with the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul
University (ACKU), is collaborating on
Preserving and Creating Access to
Afghanistan Literature from the Jihad Period
to
catalog
, digitize, and
create metadata for a unique collection of documents related to Afghanistan
history, culture, and its development during the Jihad period, 1989 to 2006.


ACKU’s permanent collection is the most extensive in the region covering a

time of war and social upheaval in the country. The project will:


Train staff in standardized
cataloging
, metadata creation, and digitization
processing.


Identify and provide international standardized
cataloging

and
classification (metadata) for 6,000 titles or 15,000 physical unique items.


Scan, digitize, and preserve these 3,000 titles (approximately 300,000
pages).


Facilitate digital access and delivery.


Build a preservation infrastructure at Kabul University that can be a
resource for all 19 universities in Afghanistan.

ACKU
Unprocessed
Collection


Digitization Standards

and Quality Control

Digitization standards


National Archives technical guidelines for digitizing
archival materials.
http://www.archives.gov/preservation/technical/

guidelines.html



File naming: ISO
-
9660 to avoid OS platform and
other issues.


Quality control


Use quality scanners.


Quality control is currently carried out in UAL by us


Wrote programs and used Photoshop to fix imaging
problems

Total Number of Titles and pages Digitized




As of 4/24/2008



Afghanistan
Kalanay
: 1933
-

1990

Pages: 30,950



Afghan Jihad collection:

Titles: 235

Pages: 33,000


ACKU Digitization Challenges


Distance training


Logging


Metadata


Staff (including IT)


Equipment


Limited hardware/software
services in Kabul


Bought hardware (server,
scanners) from Dubai, UAE


Dealing with viruses




Communication


Email (primary)


Skype


YouTube


FedEx (not really working
well
)


Digitization
management


Digitization tracking system


Benefits



Records



Cataloged data is saved in Excel


A program will be used to map data into
MARC


A program in
Koha

can load MARC
records into the ILS

Kabul University Campus 2007

Comments/Questions