SYReLIB – Future Strategy for Enhancing the Global Connections of Syria’s Academic Community: report to the European Commission TEMPUS Programme

Johnson, Ian M SYReLIB – Future Strategy for Enhancing the Global Connections of Syria’s Academic Community: report to the European Commission TEMPUS Programme., 2009 (Submitted) [Report]

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English abstract

Summary of issues identified The following issues need to be addressed to modernise the universities and their libraries in Syria, to enable them to make a more effective contribution to the economic and social progress that the government now seeks to achieve. 1. The other state funded universities should be expected to introduce both electronic library management systems and Institutional Repositories to publish their research output on the Internet. At this stage in their development, there may be advantages in all the universities in the country using identical systems. 2. Funds will be required to enable the university libraries to employ additional staff to create complete catalogue records for their entire collections, and then to implement rapidly the other services that their automated library systems make possible. 3. Further attention needs to be given to developing the staff numbers and technical capability that is required within the universities to deliver the training in basic computer skills that has been prescribed by the government. 4. Further attention needs to be given to developing information literacy in the universities, enhancing not only teachers’ skills in new pedagogical approaches but also library staff capacity and skills to provide the training and support required for searching for printed and electronic learning resources. 5. The university regulations regarding the electronic deposit of theses in the Repositories may need to be revised to make deposit mandatory and to take account of international copyright legislation. 6. Universities should consider including in their Repositories publications by members of staff and research students that appear in journals published in other universities or countries, taking account of what is allowed by the copyright owner. 7. The role of the Assad National Library as a depository for the permanent preservation of the electronic media produced in Syria, and the cost of implementing such a policy need to be considered, and any necessary legislation implemented. 8. The use of electronic information in the Syrian universities could be further stimulated, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, by subscribing to appropriate online indexes to Arabic publications, such as the ‘AskZad’ and ‘Multidata’ services. 9. The introduction of an Electronic Document Delivery service (such as Ariel®) should also be considered, to facilitate resource sharing between the Syrian University libraries and internationally. 10. There is a need for a consortium of Syrian university libraries to be established, under the aegis of the Ministry of Higher Education, to negotiate licences for electronic journal services and other databases, and to ensure that subscriptions are reviewed and renewed on a regular basis. eIFL is willing to assist with the negotiations. Responsibility for agreeing contracts on its behalf needs to be clearly delegated to a single individual. 11. The private universities should be encouraged to introduce library management and electronic document delivery systems to enable them to participate in inter-library cooperation and enhance the national information resources. The advantages and disadvantages of participation by the private universities in any journal-purchasing consortium should also be considered. 12. The universities should consider migrating their scholarly journals to an electronic medium to make them more widely available through the Internet. 13. Staff capacity in the Universities’ Information Technology Departments will need to increase to accommodate the additional demands that the new library systems will create. 14. Major changes are required in the admission requirements for the undergraduate course in the Department of Library and Information Studies in Damascus University to enhance the professional commitment of the students enrolled. The Department also needs an increase in the resources available to support the course to enable a wider range of aptitudes to be developed by its students, and to develop a curriculum more relevant to the job market’s requirements. 15. The staffing of the University libraries needs to be re-established on a more professional basis, with a senior manager educated in librarianship tasked with oversight of all the libraries within each university, assisted by a cadre of qualified librarians who are recognised as specialists. 16. Consideration needs to be given to the possible development of a Masters Degree open to enrolment by graduates in other disciplines, possibly taught by distance learning through a Virtual Learning Environment. 17. There appears to be a need at national level to coordinate planning of the modernisation of pedagogical practices in the universities, the availability of electronic learning resources and the premises to accommodate them, the development of campus networks to deliver them, and the enhancement of the skills required by teachers, students and library staff to maximise benefits from these new resources. The necessary changes, their inter-relationship, and the sequence for their implementation should be defined and timescales for their completion agreed.

Item type: Report
Keywords: Syria Library development international assistance
Subjects: D. Libraries as physical collections. > DB. National libraries.
D. Libraries as physical collections. > DD. Academic libraries.
F. Management. > FE. Personnel management.
F. Management. > FH. Reorganization.
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GE. Staff.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GI. Training.
I. Information treatment for information services > IA. Cataloging, bibliographic control.
J. Technical services in libraries, archives, museum. > JA. Acquisitions.
L. Information technology and library technology
Depositing user: Professor Ian M. Johnson
Date deposited: 23 Mar 2015 10:17
Last modified: 23 Mar 2015 10:17


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