29 May 2009

Pretoria Vet Sciences library reaches out with accessible tools

Earlier this year, this blog reported several discussions on future library services in agriculture.

One of the approaches advocated was to transform libraries into more proactive spaces where information and knowledge are exchanged, often using new tools and approaches.

The Veterinary Sciences Library at the University of Pretoria offers us some good examples of what can be done, in a pragmatic way:
  • The home page gives lots of search and navigation options (catalogue and google)
  • They use Dspace for the South African National Veterinary Repository
  • The Veterinary Science Dean supports open access and his Faculty staff also contribute to the university repository
  • The library pages can be bookmarked on services like Delicious using an 'addthis' widget
  • The library's newsletter Infomania has a range of views and stories, as well as practical tips beyond 'pure' libraries
  • They engage in several special projects and international networks linked to their mandate
  • Their blog reports on major developments in the library services. The postings on service plans (for 2009) and achievements (in 2008) are especially useful - and offer transparency.
As we look at ways to enhance the accessibility of agricultural information, such cases can help us identify the large and small pathways we can all adopt.

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