the newsletter of the Library and Education Assistance Foundation for VietnamBản Tin LEAF-VN
Bản tin của Hội Hỗ Trợ Thư Viện và Giáo Dục Việt Nam
|Volume 1, Issue 1
Tập 1, số 1
Lien-Huong Fiedler, LEAF-VN President
|History of LEAF-VN
Lien-Huong Fiedler, LEAF-VN President
Sharon E. Hunt, Newsletter Editor
Vinh-The Lam, LEAF-VN Project Director
|Integration of Information Science into Library Education
Programs in Vietnam and Some Asian Countries
Vinh-The Lam, University of Saskatchewan Libraries and LEAF-VN Project Director
|LEAF-VN Members in the News|
|Library Workshops in Hanoi:
1. Workshop Presented by Dr. Gary Gorman; 2. Workshop Presented by Mr.
Nguyen Huy Chuong
Mary F. Nichols, Ph.D., Consultant, Library and Information Center, Vietnam National University, Hanoi
|ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science: First English-Vietnamese Edition|
|THƯ GÓP Ý|
|Ms. Lien-Huong Fiedler, President||703-406-0459
|Mr. Hoang Ngoc Huu,
||email@example.com (office) or|
|Ms. Le-Huong Pham, Secretary||209-575-6234
|Mr. Thanh Pham, Treasurer||202-707-3987|
|Mr. Vinh-The Lam,
|Ms. Nga Nguyen,
|Ms. Sharon E. Hunt,
|Mr. Thach Phan,
Assistant Project Director
|Ms. Sharon E. Hunt, Newsletter Editor||707-575-4847
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On the morning of June 27,
1998, LEAF-VN (The Library and Education Assistance Foundation for Vietnam)
announced its existence to the library community who had gathered in the
Washington, D.C. for the American Library Association Annual Conference.
Brave, yes! And a new concept also! Because this is the first time a non-profit organization for libraries has been formed by Vietnamese natives.
If it were not for a "gift-exchange" by Le-Huong Pham, LEAF-VN would never have come into existence. A thick envelope was in Lien-Huong Fiedler's mailbox in the fall of 1996: a copy of ALA Tu Dien Giai Nghia Thu Vien Hoc Va Tin Hoc Anh Viet: A Vietnamese translation of ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, edited by Heartsill Young. Inserted in the book was a letter from Ms. Pham. She had taken 500 copies of this publication to Vietnam in the summer of 1996 and had been writing letters to ask for a donation for the transportation cost!! This colossal work of over 300 pages of technical translation was accomplished by three individuals who live far from each other: Ms. Le-Huong Pham in California, Ms. Nga Nguyen in Arizona, and Mr. Vinh-The Lam in Canada. Thus it appeared that the cooperation of more individuals could build an enterprise for larger efforts for libraries in Vietnam.
Ms. Fiedler shared her part of the transportation costs and also suggested a new cooperative effort, "A Le-Huong and Lien-Huong Book Donation Program." Having sensed that Ms. Fiedler was serious, in spring 1997 Ms. Pham made a trip to Virginia and the two met to pursue the idea. On the night before Ms. Pham returned to her home in Modesto, California, she jotted down a few names of active librarians in Ho Chi Minh City and Hue. A week later, Ms. Fiedler received a three-page letter listing the names of several librarians with phone numbers and addresses. LEAF-VN was conceived!
Ms. Fiedler spent four days in July 1997 with Mr. Nguyen Minh Hiep, Mr. Le Ngoc Oanh, and Mr. Nguyen Nha at their libraries in Vietnam. Mr. Le Ngoc Oanh was a student at SLIM (the School of Library and Information Science, Emporia State University, Kansas) from 1970-72 along with Ms. Pham and Ms. Fiedler.
At their last meeting, they proposed a name for the non-profit: APROLIDE-VN (The Assistance Program for Library Development for Vietnam). Goals and limitations were drafted for a small-scale support of six university libraries. Mr. Hiep volunteered to be the liaison person for this committee of Vietnamese library supporters. Ms. Fiedler was advised to meet with Prof. Huynh Van Hoang, Secretary General of The Ho Chi Minh Federation of Scientific and Technological Associations (HOFESTA), and Ms. Nguyen Thi Bac, Assistant Director of The General Sciences Library of Ho Chi Minh City, from whom she received great welcome and support.
Having received Ms. Fiedler's report of the meetings in Vietnam and of her survey of the libraries in Saigon, Ms. Pham called Ms. Fiedler to say, "Lien-Huong, it is your idea, why dont you write a letter to invite my friends." Ms. Pham and her friends were the people who had volunteered their services in the library field in Vietnam as early as the 1960s, and again in the 1970s and early 1990s. They called themselves "Hoi An Com Nha Vac Nga Voi!" ("Volunteers Who Eat Home Meals and Carry Societys Deeds," humorously shortened to the "Elephant Ivory Club" and "Pagoda Club").
This "Pagoda Club" all joined Ms. Fiedler in 1997 to become the LEAF-VN founding members and directors. They all agreed to participate in this non-profit venture in order to further their professions. They also felt that they could marshal the knowledge they had acquired from the western world during their decades abroad to help improve library development in Vietnam.
Who are the six founding members of LEAF-VN? All have a long history of working towards improving libraries in Vietnam. All began as USAID (United States Agency for International Development) scholarship students who were sent from Vietnam to the United States to be trained as librarians to come back home to serve their country.
Ms. Lien-Huong Fiedler, President, is an employee of the Copyright Office, the Library of Congress. Ms. Fiedler attended the Library School in Emporia, Kansas from 1971-1972. After graduation, she remained in the United States.
Mr. Hoang Ngoc Huu, Vice-President, is a Business Analyst at Silicon Graphics, Inc. in Mountain View, CA. Mr. Huu was head of the National Defense College Library in Saigon. He emigrated to the United States in 1975.
Ms. Nga Nguyen, Fundraising Director, is a Senior Library Specialist at The University of Arizona Health Sciences Library in Tucson, Arizona. Ms. Nguyen attended the School of Library Science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and left Vietnam in 1975.
Mr. Vinh-The Lam, Project Director, is Head of the Cataloguing Department at the University of Saskatchewan Libraries in Saskatechewan, Canada. Mr. Lam taught Library Science at Van Hanh University in Saigon in 1974-75 (the first program in library science ever opened in South Vietnam). He emigrated to Canada in the 1980's.
Ms. Suong Thomas, former Treasurer, attended the Library School in Emporia, Kansas from 1970-72. She returned to Vietnam where she worked at Can Tho University.
Ms. Le-Huong Pham, Secretary, is a Cataloger/Reference Librarian at Modesto Jr. College Library, Modesto, CA. Ms. Pham graduated from the Library School in Emporia, Kansas in May 1972 and went to Switzerland for three months to complete postgraduate training. She returned to Vietnam in October 1972 and taught Library Science at Van Hanh University. She emigrated to the United States in 1975.
These individuals have a long history of working together to further library development in Vietnam. In 1974, Ms. Pham, Mr. Huu, Mr. Lam, and Ms. Nguyen, along with Mr. Le Ngoc Oanh (presently director of one of the five selected libraries in Vietnam), were principal officers of the Vietnamese Library Association (VLA), similiar in nature to the American Library Association. Mr. Lam was President and Ms. Pham was Treasurer of VLA. The VLA organized training programs at Van Hanh University in the summer of 1974; in 1975, VLA ceased to exist.
In early 1990, Ms. Pham, Mr. Lam, and Ms. Nguyen contacted each other and started their "Re-building VN Libraries'' with Catholic University's Vietnam Library Education Project (VLEP) headed by Dr. Quynh-Hoa Nguyen. Ms. Pham returned to Vietnam in 1991 as a member of VLEP to learn about the situation of Vietnamese libraries after the fifteen years she had been away from her native land. This led to the Vietnamese translation of the ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science by Ms. Nguyen, Mr. Lam and Ms. Pham. The ALA Glossary was published in 1996 by Galen Press, Tucson, Arizona. In 1996, Ms. Pham was invited by the Federation of Scientific and Technological Associations of Ho Chi Minh City to give a talk on current American library development and at this time also distributed 500 copies of the ALA Glossary to various libraries in Hue, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City. VLEP was dissolved in March 1996 by Dr. Quynh-Hoa Nguyen's decision.
Beginning in the fall of 1997, these founding members came together to form LEAF-VN and began the process of recruiting advisors, and of setting goals, objectives, strategies and legal procedures.
LEAF-VN is Official
LEAF-VN was incorporated on March 31, 1998 under the corporate laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.The LEAF-VN registered office is located in McLean, Virginia. The first LEAF-VN annual business meeting took place on June 24-27, 1998 in Virginia; its first fiscal year started on July 6, 1998. At this meeting, officers were elected and projects were planned and discussed.
On June 27, 1998, LEAF-VN was invited to present its story at the Roundtable Discussion of the American Library Association International Relations Committee's Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific. Ms. Pham and Ms. Fiedler told their story to the American and Asian-American librarians who are members of this subcommittee. To these members, it was an unthinkable task of brave Vietnamese immigrants. LEAF-VN had announced its existence to the world! In August 1998, we became an official member of the Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific and will report our activities annually to ALA.
LEAF-VN is a non-membership, non-profit library and education organization under tax exemption status 501(c)(3). The Board of Directors are its sole members and only directors can vote. However, LEAF-VN has an Advisory Board of Directors and Friends of LEAF-VN, who will become its directors whenever they choose to do so as specified by LEAF-VN's bylaws. LEAF-VN conducts annual meetings which are meetings of the Board of Directors, but Advisory Board Directors and Friends of LEAF-VN can sit in on these meetings as observers.
The Board of Directors are: Ms. Lien-Huong Fiedler (President), Mr. Hoang Ngoc Huu (Vice-President), Ms. Le-Huong Pham (Secretary), Mr. Thanh Pham (Treasurer), Ms. Nga Nguyen (Fundraising Director), Mr. Vinh-The Lam (Project Director), Ms. Sharon E. Hunt (Assistant Secretary), and Mr. Thach Phan (Assistant Project Director).
LEAF-VN was formed to further the intrinsic values of books and libraries: the core of cultural development and international understanding.
Mission: The mission of LEAF-VN is to help the Vietnamese people achieve excellence in education by providing assistance in the development of the country's library systems and services.
Goals: The goals of LEAF-VN are:
1. Providing assistance in the development of library infrastructure through the implementation of international standards of information organization, retrieval, and exchange; and
2. Providing assistance in the development of library collections to adequately support the learning, teaching, and research functions of educational institutions which house these collections; and
3. Providing assistance in the development of library professionals capable of maintaining and continually developing international standards-complying library systems and services.
Although the Board of Directors decided on a non-membership organization to eliminate unnecessary work, each founding director has recruited his or her friends. Medical doctors, bankers, attorneys, and librarians from the Library of Congress and universities offered their help. They are from Modesto, Santa Rosa, and San Jose California; Tucson, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; McLean, Reston, and Falls Church, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Bethesda, Maryland; New York City; Boston; Chicago; Seattle; London; Hanoi; Ho Chi Minh City; Hue City; Can Tho City; etc.
The Vietnam Embassy in Washington, D.C. has been informed. Dr. Mary Nichols, a LEAF-VN Advisor, went to Hanoi in August 1998 as a Consultant at the Library and Information Center, Vietnam National University and has informed many library and education administrators there.
LEAF-VNs Homepage, the work of LEAF-VN Vice-President Mr. Hoang Ngoc Huu, has fetched quite a few new and active associates, besides its main goal as a reference tool for Vietnamese librarians.
In October 1998, Ms. Sharon E. Hunt, an independent medical librarian/consultant, was recruited as Newsletter Editor. A Newsletter Committee has been established and the newsletter is planned to be published at the organization's homepage twice yearly.
In November 1998, Ms. Suong Thomas resigned as Treasurer and Mr. Thanh Pham of the Library of Congress was appointed LEAF-VN Treasurer.
Future Directions (Lien-Huong Fiedler,
Yet, it seems like we will start from the beginning. As the person in charge and the initiator of this non-profit enterprise, I am responsible for requesting funds to support the planned projects. I have to supply "The Beef." "Where is the beef"? A TV commercial for fast food has become a symbol for me and the Board of Directors. Librarianship is my profession, so asking for money seems the most difficult task I have ever confronted. Perhaps LEAF-VN academic librarians should replace their passive roles with strategies and proposals in their race to build "Electronic Doorways of the Twenty-First Century."
We need funding, money, and supplies because we want to help Vietnamese libraries as we help our own familys members. We know their needs and we feel their desperation. When this ultimate goal was expressed on the first day of LEAF-VNs annual meeting, Ms. Tran Thi Cam-Lai was very moved and applauded the idea. Ms. Cam-Lai then willingly volunteered to be the "Liaison Person" for Hue libraries. She came to the U.S. last summer for library surveys and seminars and stayed in Virginia during the week of June 24-27. So LEAF-VN fortunately gained another active associate. That family feeling is also shared by Mr. Ralph Oman, a Vietnam veteran and a former Register of U.S. Copyrights, "..... I would like very much to help. You know of my strong affection for the people of Vietnam, who have suffered so many adversities over the past 50 years."
Sharing our collective smartness, persistence, and devotion to our causes, LEAF-VNs directors seem tireless. They will continue to work enthusiastically until every university and every school in Vietnam owns a library for their own use. Books, computers, and data networking will be flourishing. Then one can truly believe that, "Vietnam is one of the most literate civilizations on the face of the planet," as stated by an American scholar, Alexander Woodside, in his 1976 publication, Community and Revolution in Modern Vietnam.
And one will never hear the following complaint again:
LEAF-VN Project Director
1. Translation of the Concise AACR2 by Michael Gorman
This project has been endorsed by Dr. Michael Gorman who gave his permission to the translators and also promised to write an introduction when the translation is published. It then received strong support from the American Library Association International Relations Committee's Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific at its meeting in Washington, D.C. on June 27, 1998. The Subcommittee has unanimously passed a motion to ask the American Library Association, which holds the copyright of the Concise AACR2, to waive copyright and other related fees concerning the book. Ms. Le-Huong Pham, LEAF-VN Secretary, sent a letter to ALA several months ago to seek permission for the translation. LEAF-VN still has not heard from the ALA. A reminder will be sent to the ALA again in January 1999.
2. Translation of Abridged 13th Edition of Dewey
Decimal Classification (DDC 13)
For the past several months, Ms. Le-Huong Pham has compiled documentation on the available Vietnamese versions of the DDC Summaries. Contacts have also been made with responsible librarians in Vietnam to get a feel for the need for DDC and developments in the translation of DDC 13. Official contact with the OCLC Forest Press, which holds the copyright of DDC, will be made some time in the New Year when OCLC Forest Press has a new director. In the meantime, Ms. Le-Huong Pham has started building a collection of Vietnamese-language technical dictionaries. So far, 36 titles of these dictionaries have been bought.
3. Professional Training in the US
Cost estimates for Library Science graduate studies for international students have been sought from a number of American library schools, e.g., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Simmons College in Boston, etc.
4. Book Donation Program
Some preliminary activities are now underway.
Ms. Nga Nguyen has obtained from Dr. Alpert a list of medical journals that he is thinking of donating to Vietnam. These will occupy around 10 shelves with about 30 linear feet.
Through Ms. Mary Wolfskills, Ms. Lien-Huong Fiedler has received two boxes of fiction books for young adults from Ms. Gloria Branker. For more book donations, Ms. Branker suggested that LEAF-VN contact her brother, Mr. Byron W. Branker, in Bronx, New York City. Another potential source of book donations is Ms. Sara Stone, who contacted Ms. Fiedler for a meeting for further discussion of this topic.
Storage space has been rented in the San Jose, California area in anticipation of the incoming books collected through the Program.
5. Fund-Raising Program
LEAF-VN President Lien-Huong Fiedler has been very active in this effort. An Initial Letter and Proposal Draft to the Henry Luce Foundation was circulated among LEAF-VN Directors for input. Ms. Chris Fiedler, LEAF-VN's Financial Consultant, gave an instructional review with sound advice. Contact was made with Ms. Helena Kolenda, Director, New York Office, The Henry Luce Foundation on December 14, 1998. Ms. Kolenda provided advice on the process of proposal submission.
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of Information Science
into Library Education Programs
in Vietnam and Some Asian Countries
Head, Cataloguing Department
University of Saskatchewan Libraries
LEAF-VN Project Director
The Economic Stage
Many Asian countries, especially those in East and South East Asia, have enjoyed an unprecedented economic growth during the past two decades. Even Vietnam, which started its "DOI MOI" (Innovation) policy only eight years ago, has seen its GNP jumping from $9.6 billion US in 1991 to $20.3 billion US in 1995.1 This economic development has resulted in a significant increase in the use of home personal computers (PC's) in these countries. This increased use of PC's has also been furthered by the fact that many major computer companies have set up production plants in the area. Another factor in this development was the introduction of the Internet. The combination of all these factors together with steady government policies have set the stage for tremendous changes in the library environment in these countries. These changes occur most obviously in academic libraries which are totally funded by their governments. Major university libraries in China, in Hong Kong, in Malaysia, and in Singapore all have state-of-the-art library automation systems.2 All these changes have had a direct impact on local library schools' curricula.
In South Asia, Pakistan is revising its library education to include information studies within the curriculum. There are currently six universities in Pakistan offering post-graduate programs in library and information science. In April 1995, a curriculum revision meeting was held in Islamabad with representatives from all Pakistani library schools. Included in the new curriculum are various information science-related courses: e.g., Fundamentals of computerized information storage, retrieval and dissemination; Introduction to computer hardware and software; Telecommunications; Networking; Machine-readable databases; Use of microcomputers in libraries; Database design and maintenance; MARC-UNIMARC-ISBD-CCF; and Management Information Systems (MIS). Instructors for these information science courses are drawn from three sources: computer science teachers, working librarians, and library school faculty.3
In Thailand, the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, School of Liberal Arts is now offering distance education programs in information science, which are the first ones in the region. There are a four-year bachelor's degree program, a two-year bachelor's degree program, and a one-year certificate program. The objectives of these three programs are three-fold: 1) to graduate students in information storage, retrieval, and handling; 2) to equip information workers and other interested persons with knowledge of information storage, retrieval, and handling; and 3) to promote research in the field of information science. All of these programs have a component of information science with majors both in general information science and in office information science. Prior to graduation, all students in these programs are required to take up residency at the University in order to participate in pre-graduation programs. These programs include: 1) professional seminars conducted by experts to discuss the latest developments in information science; 2) small group activities intended for students to acquire problem-solving and communication skills; and 3) practical training offered at the Office of Documentation Services and the Office of Computer Services of the University.4
In China, where a big jump in the number of library schools has been witnessed since the "Open Policy" started in 1978 (from 8 schools in 1978 to 55 schools in 1996), changes are also underway. The first indication of changes came with the renaming of the library schools. More than half of the schools or departments (26 of them by March 1995) have changed their names to "information management," "information resource management," "information technology and decision making," etc. As the next step for Chinese library schools, it is recommended that they integrate into their traditional curriculum the following components: information management; information technologies and their applications; information processing and access; communication and telecommunications; management and the use of subject information resources; and user studies and information marketing.5
The Situation in Vietnam
Currently, Vietnam has library education and training programs offered at three levels: intermediate (or diploma), bachelor's degree, and master's degree. Intermediate-level programs are offered at fifteen provincial schools of culture and arts. Bachelor's degree programs are provided at three locations: 1) Department of Information and Library Science, Hanoi University of Culture; 2) Department of Library and Information Science, National University of Ho Chi Minh City; and 3) Department of Library Science, College of Culture of Ho Chi Minh City. The only master's degree program is offered at the Department of Graduate Studies, Hanoi University of Culture. Recently, with the introduction of information technology in almost every aspect of national economic development under the "DOI MOI" policy, the growing need to innovate library education have been felt by the Vietnamese library leadership. There have been some suggestions to integrate information science into the library education curriculum.6 In fact, some integration has already begun. The bachelor's degree library education curriculum at the Hanoi University of Culture now includes an important segment relating to information science. More specifically, the following courses are currently offered: 1) search, retrieval, and dissemination of information (120 hours); 2) physical and technological infrastructure of library and information centers (60 hours); and 3) automation of library and information center activities, with the focus on database creation using CSDL and CDS/ISIS (105 hours).7
Vietnamese library schools are taking steps in the right direction and are very much in harmony with library education developments in the region. They can learn from other Asian countries' experiences. Of particular importance is the Chinese experience, since Vietnam and China still share the same political and social ideologies and both governments are fully committed to modernization and moving their countries into a strong market economy.
1. Global Development Finance 1997. Vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1997: 568.
2. Wilfred W. Fong, "Library and Information Technology in Southeast Asia," Information Technology and Libraries 16, no. 1 (Mar. 1997): 20-26.
3. Khalid Mahmood, "Information Technology Education in Pakistani Library Schools," Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 38, no. 3 (summer 1997): 200-210.
4. Chutima Sacchanand, "The Information Science Programs of the School of Liberal Arts, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU), Thailand," Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 37, no. 2 (spring 1996): 191-199.
5. Dong Xiaoying, "Transition of Library and Information Science Education in China: Problems and Perspective," International Information & Library Review 29 (1997): 1-12.
6. Vu Van Son, "Doi Moi Dao Tao Thu Vien Hoc Va Thong Tin Hoc Nham Dap Ung Yeu Cau Cua Thoi Ky Qua Do Chuyen Sang Xa Hoi Thong Tin (Innovating Library and Information Science Education to Respond to the Needs of the Transitional Period Toward Information Society)," Thong Tin & Tu Lieu (Information & Documentation) 2 (1997): 8-11.
7. Bui Loan Thuy, "Van De Dao Tao Can Bo Thong Tin Tu Lieu O Vietnam (Training of Information and Documentation Cadres in Vietnam)," Thong Tin & Tu Lieu (Information & Documentation) 2 (1997): 12-15.
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Lien-Huong Fiedler, LEAF-VN President, has been appointed to serve as a member of the American Library Association International Relations Committee's Subcommitte on East Asia and the Pacific for a two-year term which began at the end of the Annual ALA Conference in June 1998. Ms. Fiedler attended the ALA Midwinter Conference on Jan. 30, 1999 to report on the Vietnamese translation of the Concise AACR2 and to attend a luncheon to celebrate Dr. Lee's retirement.
Dr. Kenneth Iserson, a LEAF-VN Advisor and the Director of Galen Press, Ltd., was featured on the Discovery Channel on January 7 and 9, 1999 in a show entitled "Buried Alive: Secrets from the Grave." The idea came from his book, Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies?
Vinh-The Lam, LEAF-VN Project Director, attended "NIT '98: the 10th International Conference on New Information Technology" held in Hanoi on March 24-26, 1998 and presented a paper on "Library Development in Vietnam: Urgent Needs for Standardization," as part of his duty as a director of LEAF-VN. This presentation was considered to be LEAF-VN's first activity for its Library Training Program and is available at LEAF-VN's homepage. On March 26, 1998, he presented "Cong Nghe Thong Tin Trong Nen Kinh Te Thi Truong" (Information Technology in the Market Economy) at the Faculty of Economics and Management of Hanoi University of Technology. On April 2, 1998, he presented "Nhung Van De Quan Trong Hien Nay Trong Nganh Tong Ke" (Current Issues in Cataloging) at a one-day seminar at the Graduate Library of the National University of Ho Chi Minh City. This presentation was organized and aided by LEAF-VN's supporters in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Mr. Lam collected information, documents, and related materials on Vietnamese library systems and education systems during his trip which will help LEAF-VN directors to prepare a "Need Assessments" document for developing assistance programs for Vietnam. His article on his trip to Vietnam, "Two Weeks in Vietnam: Making Some Contributions to and Witnessing Some Achievements of Library Development" is accessible at the LEAF-VN Homepage. Vinh-The Lam is also included in the National Museum of Civilization of Canada's Website for its current exhibition on Vietnamese Canadians. The Website contains a photo of Mr. Lam as well as an audio piece of an interview.
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1. Workshop Presented by Dr. Gary Gorman
Dr. Gary Gorman, currently of the Charles Sturt University in Australia and Editor of Asian Libraries (MCB University Press) and Associate Editor of LCATS (Pergamon/Elsevier), recently presented a series of lectures to librarians in Hanoi. He specializes in comparative studies of information services in the Asian region and in collection management issues. In September-December 1998, Dr. Gorman was invited by the Hanoi Cultural University to present a lecture, and extended his lectures to include the Library and Information Center, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, and the National Center for Science and Technology Information and Documentation, where he conducted a series of workshops on emerging trends in the information profession, using the Australian experience as a paradigm.
Topics addressed by the lecturer included "Principles of the Information Profession in a Changing Environment," touching on such areas as the "Five Laws of Librarianship," "The Changing Library Environment: Libraries and Library Services in the Electronic Era," and "Information Quality and Librarians as Gatekeepers." Dr. Gorman gave an introductory lecture that offered a "philosophy" of library service and pointed out that the real challenges were not technical but managerial, particularly with the process of change. He argued that the quality of information is no longer reliable and that librarians must monitor the information. The second day was devoted to "The Continuing Relevance of Collection Development and Collection Management" in which he gave a brief explanation of the evolution of library collection development and pointed out that libraries should continue their traditional role rather than being displaced by electronic resources. Collection management should include scholarly communication, and assess its impact on the move from "collection management" to "content management." The topic of "Cooperative Collection Development" was reviewed, addressing two primary aspects of cooperative collection management: cooperative collection development and cooperative collection assessment. Two days were devoted to "Electronic Resources and Libraries" which covered the application of Internet in the library: indexing, retrieval, and markup languages, as well as web documents, search engines, and electronic publishing. Interactive multimedia were included in addition to virtual libraries and digital libraries.
The final lecture was on "Policy and Human Resource Development for the Information Society." Many countries such as Malaysia and Thailand have developed strategies to improve information technology and telecommunications infrastructure. The lecturer argued that too much emphasis has been placed on infrastructure development and not enough on human resource development, especially the training of information processors through the development of information literacy skills and the training of information distributors, specifically library and information professionals. He concluded that in the area of "Policies for an Information Society," two principal policy models exist: of these the neo-liberal model popular in the West is less suitable than the holistic model adopted in East-Asian economies.
2. Workshop Presented by Mr. Nguyen Huy Chuong
Mr. Nguyen Huy Chuong, Director of the Library and Information Center, Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU LIC), gave a presentation of his views on the present problems of and projected solutions for the Library and Information Center. It was pointed out that the personnel is understaffed, lacks qualification and training, and is poorly paid. The attitude toward libraries is changing and it is now understood that they are a place to get information. Some leaders attend workshops with new interest; they are taking an international view due to contacts abroad and want to help modernize the system.
In 1985-86, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) organized a local association which has done many useful things in the area of library management. However, the budget is not sufficient to meet the needs of improving access to books, renovating old buildings, improving working conditions, and making adequate book shelves; there is no regulation on dispensing funds. There is no place to store books in stacks so they can be easily accessed. Most copies of books are obtained from the National Library. There is no unified classification system and the diversity of services in libraries remains, contributing to a lack of cooperation among them.
Many libraries remain a department of the university whereby the leadership has little decision-making power and depends on the university. They should be independent, with the leaders of universities stressing the importance of libraries. There are difficulties in merging libraries and the teaching methods are by lecture. Students are not accustomed to independent research and must have a qualified research methods faculty. Libraries should become a major part of the learning process. Research and development is a major component of the modernizing process.
New computer technology is a priority for the modernizing of VNU LIC's library. At present the equipment and quality are low while the capacity is not powerful. Many librarians don't know the importance of computers and networking. Director Nguyen Minh Hiep of the Graduate Library, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, has established a Local Area Network (LAN) with UNESCO's database CDS/ISIS system. This system is outdated. The recent trend is toward an independent organization with a computer department, financial department, and training and professionalism the same as other independent units of a university, such as exists in the United States.
Also, there is a move toward strengthening the association of libraries: North, Central and South should be unified. There is no national association, no institutional association, and therefore there is a lack of cooperation with no common system. Cooperation takes a unified system and a strong national association to lobby for funding. Vietnam's libraries need the assistance of the American Library Association.
New strategies are the development of an information technology infrastructure and a unified criterion for classification to make it easy for users to search databases. The quality of book storage requires improvement in a traditional way and there needs to be an increase in the collection of audio-visual materials. The library should be automated with improvement in the quality of traditional services. Development of services which provide information based on traditional services and on modern information technology resources should be increased. Internet resources providing the latest and most complete information should be utilized.
In 1999, the Library and Information Center, Vietnam National University, Hanoi will have a new building with plans of creating a central Information and Technology Center connecting through a Local Area Networking system. Plans are to connect all branches in Vietnam with the networking center to distribute information and produce electronic publications.
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This three-year translation project by three LEAF-VN
founding members involved volunteer project members from the United States,
Canada, France, and Japan working together to translate the Glossary
with specialists then reviewing the translated definitions for accuracy.
The American Library Association waived the usual fee and royalty payment
agreement. Several non-profit organizations and benefactors helped with
expenses such as for special computer programs. Dr. Kenneth V. Iserson,
Director, arranged for Galen Press, Ltd. of Tucson, Arizona to publish
the book gratis as a service to the medical and library professions.
In June 1996, Ms. Le-Huong Pham visited Vietnam and handcarried 500 copies of the Glossary for distribution. She met with Mr. Phan Gia Ben who distributed copies to the libraries in Hue and areas down to the southern part of the country, and with Mr. Nguyen The Duc who distributed copies to the libraries in northern Vietnam located above Hue. Galen Press will distribute additional copies in the United States and internationally for mailing costs only upon the request of librarians with Vietnamese book or media collections.
Although the Glossary will need to be updated continually, Project members hope that this first and necessary step will become a valuable document helping to prepare Vietnamese library and information specialists for the 21st century.
Galen Press, Ltd.
P.O. Box 64400
Tucson, Arizona 85728-440
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Third Triennial Vietnam Symposium
April 15-17, 1999
The Vietnam Center will hold
its Third Triennial Vietnam Symposium at Texas Tech University, April 15-17,
1999. The conference, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam Center
and Vietnam Archive, will cover a variety of scholarly topics on the United
States and Allied involvement in the Vietnam War as well as topics relating
to Cambodia and Laos.
A general call for papers has been issued for the symposium. Topics for papers can include any topic relating to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, or the involvement of the United States or any other nation in the Vietnam War. Papers representing all points of view are welcome. Time period for papers may include pre-war Indochina, aftermath of the war, veterans' topics, POW/MIA or any other relevant topic. Papers relating to Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian history, culture and language are also encouraged. It is the Vietnam Center's established policy to encourage active participation by graduate students; proposals by them will receive favorable consideration. Individuals interested in presenting papers are encouraged to submit a one-page outline proposal to Dr. James R. Reckner at The Vietnam Center; Texas Tech University; Mathematics Building, Room 004; Lubbock, TX 79409-1045. (Source: 1999 Calendar of Events; Thach Phan)
Other Websites with information on international conferences and
American Libraries: the magazine of the American Library Association Datebook
The Publishers' Yellow Page: Conferences & Seminars
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THƯ GÓP Ý
chị Liên Hương và nhóm LEAF-VN,
Là một cựu nhân viên giảng huấn của Đại học Y Khoa Huế, trước và sau 1975, tôi xin hân hạnh được đóng góp một số kinh nghiệm và cảm nghĩ về vấn đề sách báo và thư viện.
Bạn cứ thử vào thăm một gia đình trung lưu ở Huế thì sẽ thấy người Huế "mẫu mực" như thế nào, vì hầu như nhà nào cũng có ít nhất là một vị thầy giáo. Bước ra đường, đâu đâu cũng thấy bóng dáng học sinh, đặc biệt mấy cô nữ sinh Đồng Khánh (nay đổi là trường Trưng Trắc) với áo trắng tung bay trên cầu Trường Tiền, đã là biểu tượng nghìn đời của xứ Huế. Một thành phố không phát triển về kỹ nghệ, có lẽ vì địa thế xa xôi cách trở, khí hậu khắc nghiệt, tài nguyên thiên nhiên không phong phú, nhưng lại sản xuất rất nhiều trí thức, và nghề thầy giáo có vẻ như là "cha truyền con nối" ở chốn Cố đô. Đại Học Huế được thành lập năm 1957, càng giúp gìn giữ truyền thống này.
Xứ Huế chịu nhiều thiệt thòi hơn nhiều vùng khác vì ngoài vị trí không thuận tiện, thường bị bỏ quên, so với Sài Gòn hay Hà Nội, lại còn bao lần bị tàn phá vì chiến tranh. Sách báo, nhất là các loại sách giáo khoa càng hiếm quý. Hầu hết sinh viên các phân khoa Đại Học chỉ dùng giáo trình do các giáo sư giảng dạy và do một nhóm sinh viên ghi chép và in lại cho các bạn. Thường chỉ có các giáo sư hay sinh viên nào cần nghiên cứu hay làm luận án mới hay lui tới thư viện để tìm tài liệu sách báo. Sách báo đa số là cũ, nhất là sách thường là xuất bản từ 5-10 năm trước. Đối với ngành Khoa Học Xã Hội, các sách báo cũ vẫn có giá trị, có khi lại rất quý, nhưng với các ngành Khoa Học Tự Nhiên và Thực Nghiệm, nhất là Y Khoa thì nhu cầu cập nhật hóa sách báo rất quan trọng. Đầu thập niên 70, đã có một số chuyên viên về thư viện được đào tạo tại ngoại quốc trở về làm việc tại Đại Học Huế, nhưng khả năng của họ chưa được xử dụng đúng mức. Một số đã bỏ nghề và chuyển sang ngành khác làm việc
Kể từ năm 1975 khi chiến tranh chấm dứt, nhưng đời sống lại thiếu thốn về nhiều mặt, nên nhu cầu về sách báo giáo khoa, ngay cả trong môi trường Đại học, càng xuống hàng thứ yếu. Tuy nhiên mỗi lần một nhân viên có bà con hay bạn bè ở nuớc ngoài gửi cho một cuốn sách chuyên môn tương đối mới, thì cả bộ môn (department) xúm nhau lại, chia nhau đọc từ chương này đến chương nọ. Kể từ năm 1985 trở đi, thư viện Y Khoa Huế đã có nhận được, qua các nhóm thiện nguyện, một số sách giáo khoa mới cũng như các ấn phẩm định kỳ, nhưng chưa đều đặn. Mới đây mạng lưới "Internet" đã vào Huế, nhưng trang thiết bị điện tử còn quá yếu, nên cả mấy trăm sinh viên phải chia nhau vài ba máy điện toán.
Với truyền thống hiếu học nói chung của dân Việt Nam, và của dân Huế nói riêng, vấn đề phát triển thư viện là nhu cầu cấp bách, nhất là với phương tiện truyền thông trên thế giới nói chung và ngành thư viện ngày càng đổi mới rất nhanh. Một đặc điểm nữa là dân Việt Nam rất có khiếu và rất thích học sinh ngữ, một phần cũng vì hoàn cảnh phải tiếp xúc với người ngoại quốc trong nhiều giai đoạn lịch sử. Bằng cớ là trong hai thập niên vừa qua, cả mấy thế hệ người Việt di tản ra nước ngoài, đã hội nhập dễ dàng và rất thành công trong các ngành chuyên môn, ở khắp năm châu, bốn bể. Tưởng cũng nên nêu ra ở đây là năm 1996, có một sinh viên thuộc ban Sư Phạm Anh Văn thuộc Đại Học Huế đã đạt điểm số rất cao trong kỳ thi TOEFL là 660.
Tôi hy vọng rằng với tôn chỉ hoạt động của Hội LEAF-VN, các bạn sẽ nhận được nhiều sự ủng hộ của các nhà xuất bản,các thư viện đại học, các cơ quan công tư, trong vấn đề thu nhận sách giáo khoa, những ấn phẩm định kỳ thuộc đủ mọi bộ môn, cùng những thiết bị điện toán, dù mới hay cũ, nhưng vẫn còn ở tình trạng khả dụng, để giúp đỡ và phát triển ngành thư viện cũng như ngành giáo dục của Việt Nam.
Vấn đề khó giải quyết nhất là không đủ tiền cước phí chuyên chở để đưa các loại sách báo hiện đại, cũng như máy móc và một số nhu liệu tối tân khác, quá thừa thãi ở đây về quê hương bên kia bán cầu.
Tôi nghĩ rằng các hội viên của LEAF-VN, với bao khối óc đầy khả năng và kinh nghiệm cộng với những trái tim đầy nhiệt tình, sẽ là một nhịp cầu để rút ngắn khoảng cách về thông tin hiểu biết giữa dân tộc Việt và các dân tộc khác trên thế giới, để giúp các sinh viên Việt Nam phát triển kiến thức của họ một cách nhanh chóng và sẽ đạt tới mức ngang bằng hay hơn các sinh viên trên thế giới. Mong vậy thay!
Chúc các bạn gặt hái nhiều thành quả mỹ mãn.
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The LEAF-VN Newsletter: the newsletter of the Library and Education
Assistance Foundation for Vietnam/Bản
Tin LEAF-VN: Bản tin của Hội Hỗ Trợ Thư Viện và
Giáo Dục Việt Nam
is published twice a year. It is available online at the organization's
homepage at <http://www.leaf-vn.org>.
Please submit articles and news items to:
Deadline for submission of articles for Volume 1, Number 2 is June
Sharon E. Hunt
Sharon E. Hunt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vinh-The Lam (email@example.com)
William Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Le thi Han (email@example.com)
Please submit articles and news items to:
Deadline for submission of articles for Volume 1, Number 2 is June 15, 1999.