Digital Preservation as a Site of Contestation: National Heritage, Memory, Politics and Power — Beyond Technology and Management

OK, so one more last post.  🙂  This one was just too important, and had to be blogged about.

Since I have left the LIS profession in South Africa, , as explained in my previous post, I had no intention of attending IFLA this year. However, I was persuaded by my former boss, mentor, colleague and friend, Peter Lor, to attend this outstanding satellite conference, and I am SO glad that I did.

This conference was hosted superbly by the University of the Western Cape and the IFLA Library Theory and Research section, and was a thrilling and refreshing professional inquiry into the politics and contests around digitization, particularly with regard to Cultural Heritage, and many of the presentations touched on themes I had raised in my book.

The programme gives an idea of the vitally important topics covered, and the abstracts and background of the presenters is here. The quality of the papers and people was outstanding! It is likely that the full papers will be published later in a special edition open access scholarly journal, and they definitely should be, but that will take some time. I will provide the link later on when this is finalised.

We also had a chance to visit the wonderful Mayibuye Centre Archives  located at the University of the Western cape.

On day two, we visited the unique District Six Museum and the presentations then followed at the Homecoming Centre.

I could not imagine a more perfect combination of  cultural heritage sites for our overseas visitors, and the University of the Western Cape (especially Sally Witbooi and Genevieve Hart from UWC), and Peter Lor really did us proud. I express my profound gratitude to them all, and all the wonderful delegates I met and engaged with during the lively discussions. For me, this was the perfect, warm-hearted closure to this path that I have followed for the past 14 years. Thank you to all!

Some images from the day at the District Six Museum:

100_4341 100_4342

100_4344 100_4345  100_4349

Beautiful people, as you can see.  🙂

And in the image below, the mastermind behind it all, Peter Lor, to whom I will always be grateful for the opportunities he gave me, that lead to the ideas developed in my book and Masters’ thesis. On his left is the Chair of the IFLA Library Theory and Research section, Anna Maria Tammaro (and with whom I had some wonderful discussions):

Peter Lor

So on that really heart-warming note, I have closure and fond memories of this time in my life. From me, thank you, and Goodbye.


Posted in Archives, Cultural Heritage, Libraries, Museums | 2 Comments

Masters thesis: Adapting the Model for Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage in Cape Town

My Masters thesis has finally been concluded – for those interested:

Full title: Adapting the Model for Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage in Cape Town: investigating user attitudes and perceptions in libraries, museums and archives.

Abstract:  Adapting the Model for Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage in Cape Town: investigating user attitudes and perceptions in libraries, museums and archives”,  by Kim Baker, investigates the attitudes and perceptions of general public adult  users of the City of Cape Town public libraries, Iziko Museums of South Africa, and the Western Cape Archives and Records Service in Cape Town towards cultural heritage, information literacy and  learning in order to adapt the Model for Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage for Lifelong Learning to the Cape Town context. A generic Model for international use was developed for the book Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage: Developing a model for lifelong learning. (Baker, 2013). The adaptation of the generic model is a necessary preliminary step before designing courses to teach information literacy and cultural heritage to the general public in a given local context and in an integrated manner, with public libraries, museums and archives collaborating and co-operating to provide the training together. The investigation was conducted by means of survey questionnaires, which applied within-method triangulation of quantitative and qualitative questions, and a combination of Yes/No answers, Likert scale questions and multiple choice questions. The survey questionnaires included the demographic categories of race, gender, age group, home language, level of education, religion and employment status in order to gain an understanding of the demographic profiles of users necessary to the application of training in cultural heritage to different cultural groups. Questions were grouped into sections, with Section A asking questions pertaining to understandings of cultural heritage, Section B investigating whether users had access to the Internet at home, and if so, how much bandwidth was available to them; Section C explored information seeking and evaluation (information literacy) patterns, and Section D explored learning behaviours and preferences. Section E explored whether users of the public libraries also used museums and archives, why or why not; whether users of the museums used public libraries and archives, and why or why not, and whether users of the Archives used  public libraries, and why or why not. At the public libraries, 480 respondents across the branches of Central Library; Athlone;  Milnerton;  Moses Mahbida; Grassy Park; Belville; Harare; Somerset West; Brackenfell and  Town Centre, Mitchell’s Plain, completed the questionnaires. At Iziko Museums, 220 respondents across the sites of the South African Museum,  and the Slave Lodge completed questionnaires. At the Archives, which has only one site, 25 respondents completed the questionnaires.

The surveying was conducted using the convenience sampling method. The data was analyzed using Microsoft Excel 2010, by means of non-parametric, descriptive statistics and presented in graphic format. Following the interpretation of the results, and as a result of this study, recommendations were made for the adaptation of the Model of Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage for Lifelong Learning to apply to the context of Cape Town.

Image credit: Kim Baker

Iziko Slave Lodge, Cape Town.


The next phase of this work was to have been to write and publish an open access book on how to design courses and implement them. Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to continue with this work, as it is not financially sustainable, (all of this work and research for the past 3 years has been self-funded). In addition,  a completely new and wonderful direction has emerged in my personal life,  which I am now pursuing instead. I thus left the LIS profession in South Africa in December 2014 after a review of my circumstances, and have now moved on to new endeavours.

For those employed in the profession, who may be interested in the above study, a PDF copy of the thesis (file size 14.4 MB) can be downloaded here.

I have noticed that this Blog is still receiving quite a bit of traffic, mostly from overseas, but also some locally, and while this will be my last post to this Blog, I will leave the Blog up for a while still, until the traffic drops off.

Posted in Archives, Cultural Heritage, Information Literacy, Libraries, Lifelong learning, Museums | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stanford Open Knowledge MOOC – Overview


I have completed the  Stanford Open Knowledge MOOC, and am repurposing an earlier article I wrote, to be my final digital project for the Creating Track of the course. I would have loved to do something more creative, like a video, but have run out of time, so this article will have to suffice. The courseware has an overwhelming wealth of data, so I am only pointing to what I experienced as the highlights.

We  discovered the wonderful Alec Couros, who is a dynamic and fluid communicator on all things Open Knowledge, and his inspiring talk is here.

We were introduced to the Seek > Sense > Share framework of learning, and Siemens’ Model of Connectivism, which is beautifully compatible with the Model for Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage for Lifelong learning that I developed in my book. I was thrilled to discover that my searching and development beyond the traditional library models is supported by these fluid models of open, contextual learning.

I learned neat things such as how to synch all your Digital bits into one electronic business card at the site, and was guided to a far better RSS feed programme than I had been using.

The module on participatory digital citizenship, journalism and science, which bypass the traditional gatekeepers (and in many ways, barriers) of and to knowledge, opening the way for all people to participate was really excellent, and also shed new light on the subject of digital identity.

Henry Jenkins enthused and inspired in his lecture here and this critique by Fuchs was an an excellent counterpoint to Jenkins, opening the way to consider a variety of perspectives on the subject, which is reflective of the differing experiences of people.

Participants in the MOOC shared links and comments in the OKMOOC Diigo Group,  the Twitter #OKMOOC platform, as well as in the OKMOOC Google Community. It was this connecting, sharing and linking that greatly enhanced the learning experience, and I met many wonderful colleagues and made new connections.


Connected Learning is what a MOOC is all about. I created the above image for the Open multimedia searching exercise, where we learned how to search for images and media, and find out what rights were granted (if any) in re-using the image.  I found this image through Google images, advanced search, using the search term “open culture”.  The image is available under a Creative Commons licence to Share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and Adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially). The original image was created by Sweet Trade Photography, entitled “The world is made up of different cultures” and I used Picadilo to modify the image and add the caption.

One of my all time favourite people, Lawrence Lessig, made his appearance in the course (no course on Open Knowledge would be complete without Lawrence!), and thoroughly enjoyed his TED presentation, which was included in the courseware here.

John Willinsky joined the course, adding his insights into open access in the academic world. His seminal paper on this is here and his video lecture is here. In addition, he gave a really great reply to my question in the Ask an Expert section of this module.

Next, we were introduced to Open Science, a part of the Open arena that I had not come across before, and I was most impressed by Tim Gouwer’s video lecture here.

We then entered the OER (Open Educational Resources) field, and while on the one hand, we have the enlightened Cape Town Open Education Declaration, at the same time, we have the depressing development that the South African government is considering a Single Texbook policy for schools in South Africa, which is really difficult to understand when there is a wealth of freely available open education resources that can be downloaded from the Internet.

The course then covered areas I am somewhat familiar with, being a former librarian, including Archives, Databases and Encyclopedia: evaluating open collections and reference resources;  Scholarly publishing and communication and Information Literacy and how to deal with data overload and create filters.

I was really impressed that Stanford then took into account the digital divide, and included a module on Global perspectives on Equity, development and Open Knowledge and was also highly impressed with Susan Murray’s answer to my question regarding African scholarship, specifically, in the Ask an Expert section for this module.

The section on Student Publishing was very interesting and I was able to share the excellent Peeragogy website which:

“is a collection of techniques for collaborative learning and collaborative work. By learning how to “work smart” together, we hope to leave the world in a better state than it was when we arrived.Indeed, humans have always learned from each other. But for a long time — until the advent of the Web and widespread access to digital media — schools have had an effective monopoly on the business of learning. Now, with access to open educational resources and free or inexpensive communication platforms, groups of people can learn together outside as well as inside formal institutions. All of this prompted us to reconsider the meaning of “peer learning.”

As I have now run out of time, I skipped ahead and completed the final module on The Past and Future for Open Knowledge and can only agree that the Future IS Open Knowledge.

In summary, I found this course to be outstanding, and I would highly recommend it to anyone in any field who works with information. The only caveats I would add is that one does need a LOT of time, and also bandwidth to watch all the videos. I commend Stanford for making their videos low resolution to accommodate the limited bandwidth quotas and speeds that some of us have to work with.

Although I have been tracking Open Access for a long time – being one of the first to present a paper mentioning Open Access in Cape Town back in 2005 (and the feedback I received from the top library leaders of the time was that the paper was “too radical”) !!! – I still learned a whole lot more about the developments in this area around the world. I LOVE globally connected learning and networking,  sharing  ideas and knowledge and co-creating with colleagues from all around the world, it is the BEST way to learn, to get broader perspectives than just one’s own narrow locale. So, if you would like to experience a complete paradigm shift into a whole new, better way of living, working and lifelong learning, I would highly recommend enrolling in this course when they next run it.


Posted in Lifelong learning, Open Knowledge | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Australian Library Journal review of my book

There is another great review of my book, by Helen Dunford of the Tasmanian Polytechnic, in the Australian Library and Information Association’s (ALIA) Australian Library Journal. This one is also, I am happy to see, an open access review and thus can be read by anyone.


The review can be read here.

Posted in Archives, Cultural Heritage, Information Literacy, Kim Baker, Libraries, Lifelong learning, Museums | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Journal of Information Literacy review of my book – Volume 8 Issue 1 June 2014

A very positive review of my book Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage: Developing a Model for Lifelong Learning has just been published, open access, in the highly regarded Journal of Information Literacy.


The full review can be read here.

Posted in Cultural Heritage, Information Literacy, Kim Baker, Lifelong learning | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

44th ACURIL conference – Libraries, Archives and Museums: Gateways to Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage– Nassau, Bahamas – my experience

I could write another book, easily, on my experience of the 44th ACURIL conference held from 8 – 12 June 2014, in Nassau, Bahamas, so bear with with me, as this is going to be a long post.


When Dorcas Bowler, President of the ACURIL (Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries) contacted me at the end of last year to request me to be a keynote speaker at this conference, I almost could not believe it. The work I have been doing in this area is new – or a new combination – plenty of people have researched and worked with either Information Literacy or Cultural Heritage, but not the two in combination. As with anything new, it takes a while before people catch on to it, and I was amazed there was going to be a full conference entirely around this theme! That the Caribbean has embraced this is absolutely thrilling to me, and they are pioneers in this area, setting a trend.


Image above: Dorcas Bowler, President of ACURIL 2013 – 2014

Several logistical arrangements later, including all the paperwork for a Transit Visa to travel via the UK, I was on my way, and nothing could have prepared me for this incredible experience, an absolute highlight, and unforgettable.

The conference took place at the stunning Melia Nassau Hotel, Cable Beach, New Providence,  in the Bahamas, and when I arrived, exhausted from the long journey, I was warmly welcomed, and ushered to my room – the special room, for special guests. I was almost overwhelmed by their kindness, friendliness and hospitality. It started at the airport, where there was a lively band playing local music, and the normal dreary and dismal business of passing through border control and customs was made far more enjoyable by the lively music. Everyone, no matter how tired from their journeys, was smiling, and tapping to the beat. Now THAT is enlightened.

Upon arrival in my room, this was my view:


No words need to be said! I did not have long to gaze at it though, as I needed to sleep to be fresh for my first keynote presentation at 10.30 am the next morning.

Monday, 9 June 2014

After listening to the opening remarks and presentation, it was my honour and privilege to give my first keynote presentation.  My presentation was well received, and I had several delegates speak to me about it afterwards.

The PowerPoint which guided the presentation is here:

Baker K – ACURIL – 9 June 2014 – 1 – Theory and practice of IL and CH in LAMs

Following that, I could relax and listen to the regional speakers from all around the Caribbean, and that was an absolute privilege, as I came to understand more about a region I had previously not known much about. I moved around the Special Interest group sessions, and found each of them lively and informative. They have special interest groups in: Academic Libraries; School Libraries: National and Public Libraries and Special libraries, which is a good grouping of interests as it allows for the various specialities of each of these to be covered. They also have Special Interest groups which are looking at creating Virtual Communities of Practice – ACURIL Special Libraries Virtual Community of Practice, ACURIL Archives and Documents Management Virtual Community of Practice, and ACURIL Information Technologies Virtual Community of Practice. This is an excellent idea and way of harnessing the technology available to us now.

The afternoon sessions consisted of several content area roundup meetings, and I was so impressed with how well developed and mature the Caribbean library sector is. Content areas included: Agriculture/green libraries; Continuing education and professional development; Cultural Heritage (Hallelujah!!!!); Health Sciences and Evidence based practice; Law and Social Sciences and Virtual Reference services.

Following a day of lively discussion, the Official Opening of the conference took place that evening, and what an opening it was!!!

Dr Berthamae Walker was the Mistress of Ceremony, and the proceedings began with the singing of their beautiful National Anthem, followed by a parade of flags, brought in by the young Bahamas military servicemen and women, where flags from each of the countries attending the conference were presented an placed at the podium.

100_3601    100_3602

Mrs Dorcas Bowler, President of ACURIL gave her Welcome address, followed by a moving salute and tribute to the Information Specialists and Cultural Icons of the Bahamas.

The Minister of Education, Science and Technology, the Honourable Jerome K. Fitzgerald then blessed the conference with a prayer and gave his opening remarks. It was such a pleasure to hear such an enlightened Minister speak – he just radiated integrity, good governance, and concern for the wellbeing of his people, and it especially warmed my heart and soul to hear that the Bahamas have made Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage part of their government policy, and a top priority for the further development of the Bahamas.

The evening wrapped up with a vote of thanks from one of the cultural icons of the Bahamas,  Mr Charles Carter, and we were treated to a stunning performance of “Junkanoo Rush out”. It was beautiful, very, very powerful, and impossible to sit still! Junkanoo is one of THE key parts of Bahamian cultural heritage. I have included a short video clip here to give an idea, but watching it on YouTube is nothing like experiencing it in real life – the sheer power and vibrancy goes through your very bones. This IS cultural heritage, live!

From the evening:


This short video clip gives the feeling of it, live.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The morning began with some fascinating presentations : from the most engaging and endearing Director of the National Library of Aruba – the “Green Education Project” (how their National Library is driving a programme to get communities growing their own healthy organic food, and adhering to responsible environmental practices); a fascinating presentation on “Universal Modernism and the Architecture of Access” by Adowa Adusei, an overview on “Cultural Heritage and the role of libraries in the Bahamas” by the College of the Bahamas and “Conserving the Intangible Cultural Tradition of Ramlela in Trinidad: the role of Libraries, Museums and Documentation Centres” by the Alma Jordan Library, Trinidad and Tobago.. I enjoyed the high quality presentations, which were a refreshing display of original conceptual thinking, something very much needed in this profession. The Caribbean is definitely a world leader in original thought and implementation in our profession, and I definitely add them to Singapore as a well developed example of best practice.

Following these excellent presentations, I thoroughly enjoyed attending and observing the 1st ACURIL General Assembly where the business of ACURIL was discussed. It was very interesting to observe the professionalism of this Library Association.

After a break for lunch, I gave my second presentation, which was more informal, as the theme for this session was intrinsic to the Caribbean, and so I shared my experiences and observations from the survey research I have recently been conducting in Cape Town South Africa, which I was happy to hear was of great interest to delegates.

The afternoon continued with presentations of excellence, and I learned so much from them.  They were: from the College of the Bahamas, “Information Literacy in the Bahamian context: Exploring its history and offering suggestions for partnerships between libraries, archives, museums and cultural heritage  organizations”;  from professor Fay Durrant of Jamaica, “Perceptions of the role of library/information specialists in Media and Information Literacy (MIL) education for use of government services”.

I particularly loved the presentation from the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, St Maarten, “Cultural Heritage and information Literacy on St Maarten: the role of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library”, which showcased an outstanding example of how a library has taken action to capture oral history and the memory of the Elders of the Island, and produced a DVD by Laura Bijnsdorp entitled “Back in the day: Sint Maarten”.  I was delighted to be given a copy of this DVD, which I would simply love to show to South African cultural heritage workers as a fine example of what can be done. The link to more information about the DVD is here.

A planned cultural evening was rained out, but nothing dampens the spirit of the Bahamians, so instead there was a lively party with music in the conference room, and all who attended danced and celebrated. I was seen also to be dancing and getting on down, and we had a wonderful time!

100_3627     100_3628

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The keynote speaker for this morning was Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, of Nassau, Bahamas, and I could have listened to this lady for days. She is a cultural icon of the Bahamas, with incredible memory of all the history and culture of the Bahamas, and has written several books to preserve this memory. I was honoured to be given a copy of her book “How to be a True-true Bahamian”, which is a delight to read, and gives one a unique view of Bahamian life, culture, history and heritage. Her presentation was entitled “Cultural Heritage in the Bahamas and the Caribbean: the ties that bind”, as the title suggests, she spoke to how the culture of all the indigenous people in the Caribbean links them together as one people.

Following this, there were further meetings of all the Special Interest groups mentioned earlier, and these were a pleasure to observe.

Following lunch, we had more excellent presentations:  “Heritage collections as a means to teach Information Literacy”, from the Director of User Services, Special Collections, National Library of Jamaica, and from Marion Bethel, author and lawyer, a fascinating presentation of “Womanish ways, Freedom, Human Rights and Democracy: Documentary on the Women’s suffrage movement in the Bahamas 1948 – 1962”.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

We all dressed in green on this day, as it has become a tradition of the ACURIL annual conference to dress in green to show solidarity with their colleagues in Haiti.

I gave the keynote at 9.00 am, focusing specifically on the Model of information Literacy and Cultural Heritage for Lifelong Learning, and a copy of my presentation which guided the talk is here:

Baker K – ACURIL – 12 June 2014 – 3 – Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage for Lifelong learning model

I also dressed in green, and this is a picture of me with two colleagues following question time at the end of my presentation.


Following this, the second ACURIL General Assembly took place, and I again attended as an observer. I was again so impressed with the maturity and professionalism of this library association. There was some vigorous debate at times, but no one was silenced, and all views were heard and considered before final decisions were made.

There were further excellent presentations, which I will not describe further as this blog post is long enough as it is, but the full conference programme is available here .

The final official closing ceremony took place, with a banquet in the Ballroom, and the showcasing of all the cultural icons in the Bahamas. Also, several members of ACURIL were honoured for their achievements, and recognised as ACURILean Stars. I was honoured again, after all that had already been done for me, to be presented by the outgoing President of the ACURIL, Dorcas Bowler, and Dr Luisa Vigo-Cepeda, Executive Secretary of ACURIL, with a thank you gift of a set of exquisite book holders decorated with shells from the ocean.


It was interesting that the ACURIL president serves for one year – understudying in the previous year as Vice President, setting the theme for the upcoming year, and preparing for that one conference before handing over the baton after their conference. I consider that an excellent practice, as it gives many more people the opportunity to serve, and with so many ACURILean Stars, there are many who deserve the opportunity! It also allows each president to fully own their theme and conference, without handovers taking place in the middle of events.

ACURIL is outstanding – they demonstrate how to combine being professional, with being human, and they are wonderful, warm, generous and friendly people. It was like being part of a family for a week, and I loved ACURIL so much, that I have joined as a non-voting international member, and will always be a member as I feel connected to them for life.

There was only one aspect that marred the conference, and I need to mention it, as it was significant. My book was published by Chandos in the UK, and I was truly grateful to Chandos for being my first publisher – I really loved working with them. Towards the end of 2013, Elsevier bought out Chandos, and thus my book is now being sold by Elsevier. Before the conference, both Dorcas and I tried our level best to get Elsevier to attend the conference in order to be able to sell copies of my book. It was thus very disappointing when they said that they would not be attending. So many of the delegates wanted to buy my book at the conference – they would easily have sold over a hundred copies, and delegates could not understand why the publisher was not there. There will no doubt be some sales following the conference, but nowhere near as many as there would have been had delegates been able to buy a copy at the conference.

As one delegate said to me: “I live on a remote desert island, and I would have definitely bought the book here, but it is very difficult for me to order over the Internet, and thus I will not be able to buy the book now”. She was not the only delegate in that position. The selling of the book for me is not about the money – the royalties are minimal, especially for a first time author in a niche academic field, but it IS about the availability of the book for people who are interested. So that was really disappointing, and a unique opportunity which is unlikely to reoccur was lost.

For those colleagues from the conference reading this, the link to purchase my book from the Internet is here.

Apart from that one negative, in summary, I can say that this was a life-changing experience and professional highlight without comparison for me, and I will be forever grateful to Dorcas Bowler and the ACURIL organizing committee for inviting me, sponsoring me, and giving the most heart-warming, as well as intellectually stimulating experience in years. I am officially in love with the Bahamas and the Caribbean – the people and the place, and they have joined my list of special places previously occupied by Singapore and Buenos Aires. I have also learned so much and have assimilated a lot of new information and ideas. I already have the seeds of an idea for my next book germinating, and the work already done in the Caribbean in Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage has given additional direction and inspiration on what needs to be done next.

The 45th ACURIL conference will be held next year  in Suriname, led by the new President of ACURIL, Mrs Jane Smith, and the theme is: “Collaborative Continuing education: learn, act, inspire – Professional and Personal development opportunities for Lifelong Learning in Libraries, Archives and Museums in the Caribbean.”

In closing,  here are some of my photographs from the trip. If you have the means to travel, I would highly recommend the Bahamas, and in fact a tour of all the islands in the Caribbean, as one of the best holiday destinations ever.

100_3624      100_3757

100_3723       100_3782

100_3580        100_3697

100_3715        100_3620

Posted in Archives, Cultural Heritage, Information Literacy, Kim Baker, Libraries, Lifelong learning, Museums, Open Knowledge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ACURIL conference – Libraries, Archives and Museums: Gateways to Information Literacy & Cultural Heritage

The XLIV conference of the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) is taking place from the 8th – 12th June 2014, in Nassau, Bahamas, with the synchronous theme:

Libraries, Archives and Museums: Gateways to Information Literacy & Cultural Heritage


I have had the very great honour of being invited by the President of the ACURIL, Dorcas Bowler, to be a  keynote speaker at this exciting, cutting edge conference. It is thrilling to this author and researcher that a full conference is being held on this vitally important theme, as libraries, archives and museums move towards convergence in being gateways and catalysts to information literacy and cultural heritage. My own book, Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage: Developing a model for lifelong learning, addressed this very theme last year, and my subsequent research into user attitudes and perceptions in Cape Town, has yielded more data of interest. A full copy of the conference brochure with more information about the conference and its location is available here .

I am filled with anticipation to meet colleagues from the Caribbean to share knowledge, ideas, strategies, and to network. This is THE conference I have always wanted to attend! 🙂

Posted in Archives, Cultural Heritage, Information Literacy, Kim Baker, Libraries, Lifelong learning, Museums | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Libraries in dialogue: cultural heritage in museums, archives and libraries

I gave a presentation entitled “Libraries in dialogue: cultural heritage in museums, archives and libraries” to the LIASA conference in Cape Town this week.

Baker K – Libraries in dialogue – cultural heritage in museums archives and libraries – LIASA 2013

I stopped by briefly into one other session, and heard an excellent paper by Prof.Genevieve Hart of the University of the Western Cape, entitled The public library, democracy and the people.

Posted in Archives, Cultural Heritage, Kim Baker, Libraries, Museums | 2 Comments

IFLA WLIC 2013 conference in Singapore – my experience

0 - IFLA Singapore 2013

I’ve just returned from attending IFLA’s World Library and Information Conference, held in Singapore from 17 – 23 August 2013.

My primary purpose in attending the conference this year was to deliver a paper, entitled Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage for Lifelong Learning: applying the model to develop texttotechno intergenerational literacies to the Literacy and Reading and Information Literacy sections’ combined Open Session on Intergenerational Literacies – text to techno but, as always, there was so much of interest and delight at the conference. A bonus was that this year’s conference was held in Singapore, a place I find to be inspirational, a shining beacon of tolerance of cultural diversity, a thriving centre of creativity, knowledge, development, innovation, enlightenment values, and a role model of hope for the future. I have fond memories of our ILDS (Interlending and Document Supply) conference held at the National Library of Singapore in 2007, where our hosts were wonderful, and it was a pleasure to experience the warm, friendly and efficient hospitality of the Singaporeans again – they have a way of making everyone feel welcome and at home, that is truly unique.

0 - Singapore 2013

One of two absolute highlights for me was the inclusion of Singaporean journalist and media and communications expert, Cherian George, as a Plenary Speaker on 20 August 2013. His presentation was controversial and challenging, highlighting exactly the issues that information and knowledge specialists need to be cognisant of, and engage with. I absolutely loved his presentation, entitled The unknowing of public knowledge (I highly recommend reading it from the link provided), but could see that some colleagues in the audience had some discomfort at this frank and forthright delineation of the powerful role the media has in shaping reality, and he did not mince his words. ALA termed it a “scathing indictment of mass media“. Having come across many of the issues he outlined while researching Chapter 2 – Cultural Heritage within digital information contexts – of my book, where I mined the scholarly output of the Media and Communications field, I was not surprised by what he had to say,  but it was a new and welcome experience to hear these views at an IFLA conference.

At conferences, I tend to “channel surf”, following speakers and topics of interest, rather than attending entire sessions, and there were many speakers and topics of interest to me. The full conference programme is available here and IFLA now has an online, open access library where full text papers can be downloaded.


One session noteworthy for those following the field of cultural heritage, was the UNESCO briefing session, where more information was given on the Vancouver Declaration on Digitization and Preservation that resulted from the UNESCO conference held in 2012 entitled The Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation , which was most interesting. Also of great interest was the update by Ellen Tise on the work being done by UNESCO to rehabilitate and safeguard cultural heritage and the ancient manuscripts in Mali.

The Exhibition Hall was as always, a place of networking with colleagues, and there was a most delightful Singapore Pavilion, among other exhibits which showcased products and services in Asia as a whole, as well as global vendors. I made a special stop by the Emerald stand, as I serve on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal Interlending & Document Supply.

100_3324    100_3330

100_3329    100_3327

On the last day, I indulged in pleasant memories by attending the Open Session of the Document Delivery and Resource Sharing section, followed by the Standing Committee meeting where I was delighted to see some of the friends and colleagues from my time of being a member (2003 – 2011), and Chair of this Committee (2007 – 2009) – fond memories! The new Chair, taking over from my successor as Chair, Mary Hollerich (USA), is Pentti Vattulainen (Finland) and I was especially happy to lend him my support.

The open session was excellent, and I especially enjoyed Margarita Moreno’s presentation on how the National Library of Australia has combined digital preservation of out of copyright material with document supply, using state of the art scanning equipment to provide high quality images and documents (400 dpi and text scanned using OCR, done through the Relais system) that serve to fulfil users’ requests, as well as become part of the repository of digitized cultural heritage. This is a natural and efficient combination and streamlining of functions. I also really enjoyed the Rethinking Resource Sharing (RRS) group’s presentation where they outlined four initiatives of bold collaboration in the USA – Uborrow (using Relais), the IDS project (using ILLiad), the CoKaMO project of providing interstate document delivery (using Greyhound buses which are more cost effective than postal courier services), and the 2CUL project, a collaborative initiative between the Universities of Cornell and Columbia. It is so good to know that the RRS initiative is still going strong.

I took leave of Singapore filled with energy, enthusiasm, motivation, inspiration, and definitely professionally refreshed.

Thank you, Singapore, for being such outstanding hosts for 2013!

100_3309  100_3317

100_3347  100_3360

Posted in Cultural Heritage, Information Literacy, Kim Baker, Lifelong learning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

South African Journal of Library and Information Science review of my book

My book has been reviewed in the South African Journal of Library and Information Science (SAJLIS).

The editorial mention of the review is  here , and the full review by Peter Underwood, in which Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage: Developing a model for Lifelong Learning is described as “a well written and fascinating book” is here.

Posted in Cultural Heritage, Information Literacy, Kim Baker, Lifelong learning | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments