Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ahead at full speed

At the University: Last Friday was an interesting day. When I approached my building to unlock the door at 7:50am, I saw a note posted in Amharic pasted on the edge of the doors and forming a seal. I spoke to the Univ police and they said they would send someone else to look at it. That took about an hour. Evidently, they found the door opened during the night and wanted to make sure the interior of the offices was okay. My office was fine and hopefully all other offices were as well.

Then I finally got to start the Database Review with 3 librarians. I had asked if I could do this the first two weeks and nothing was said. The University receives probably 50 databases through donation or arrangment with NGOs. I observed that most of the staff here were unaware of these resources which might be extremely helpful in their work. So the 4 of us met in my office for about 1.5 hours to check on the databases and we searched under the keywords of Ethiopia and Horn of Africa and tried boolean operators, truncation, and nesting. Each resource has to be opened with the User ID and password in order to deter non-educational use as was recommended by the vendors. It was fun and I learned some things and hope they did as well.

Also, the US Embassy called twice. There are new staff there and they want to see what resources the library here has and perhaps what they need. This week I shall be trying to organize a list of online and print sources and perhaps prioritize them. I also briefly spoke with the director of the main Library about getting suggestions for this list. The result is that I have a meeting with the embassy folks in 8 days and can't wait. I would like to invite them here to visit our library, the main library (where I worked 7 years ago) and perhaps the National Library where I worked 10 years ago. One of the problems with online resources is that there seems to be a lack of training for users, from what I have observed. Thus, library patrons continue to use the card catalogs and print indexes.

Other: Visited St. Mary's Church in Arat Kilo as they have a special millenium exhibit. These pieces on display reflect the history of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. I joined in with some Ethiopian friends and of course the tour was in Amharic. A deacon found me listening from a distance and took me on a personal tour in English. There were paintings of saints and religious events, photographs, historical items, church books and musical instruments and much more. It was very colorful and packed with items. It was very nicely done and quite educational. The other group had a lengthy tour and we left with the tour still going on after more than 2.5 hours! Attended the Flower Show to see plants and flowers raised by loal gardeners as well as flower arrangements. I should have entered something!

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Hi Marie--it sounds like you are busy and making a difference with your colleagues. I hope that all is well and you stay safe.