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61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Section on Government Information and Official Publications

Annual Report 1994

Alfred Kagan
University of Illinois Library
Africana - Room 328
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, Illinois 61801
Fax: (1-217) 2440398
e-mail: kagan@vmd.cso.uiuc.edu
is Chair of the Section on Government Information and Official Publications.

Nina K. Leneman

Section de la Documentation et du Service aux Lecteurs
Bibliothèque Palais des Nations
Room B-254
CH-1211 Geneva
Fax: (41-22) 9170028
e-mail: leneman@itu.arcom.ch
is Secretary.

Standing Committee and Section Membership

The Section has 90 registered IFLA members. The Standing Committee has 12 members from six countries, plus three corresponding members.


The Section continues to have a number of dedicated members who actively promote and develop its programmes and activities. Over the past year the Section co-sponsored a panel and a workshop, planned two Third World seminars, proposed one professional resolution, had one resolution adopted by the Professional Board and began planning for the Istanbul and Beijing Conferences in 1995 and 1996. Spe cial thanks are due to Nina Leneman for carrying off an excellent programme in Havana and editing the Section's newsletter. The Treasurer, Celine Walker (Switzerland) is also due a vote of thanks for securing financial resources crucial to carrying out the Section's series of Third World seminars.


Training Seminars

Continuing the Section's series of training seminars for Third World librarians, the first anglophone African seminar will be held at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, December 1994. The seminar will be co-sponsored by the Regional Section for Africa. Oluremi Jegede is liaison between the two Sections, and Stan Made is local organizer. Plans are underway for the first seminar for Russia and Eastern Europe at the Russian State Library in Moscow in 1996. The Working Group includes Johannes Metz, Siegfried Detemple (Germany), Tanya Ershova (Russia) and Al Kagan. The Section is also consid ering holding a seminar for Arabic-speaking countries, possibly at the Alexandria Library now under construction.


The 1993 resolution from the Section on "Online Access to Government Information was accepted by the Professional Board in November 1993. It was published in IFLA Journal 20(1):75(1994), as well as i n the Section Newsletter, No. 24. During the Havana Conference the Section developed and approved a resolution on restoring cuts to the UNESCO depository programme, the policy of which reduces deposi tory libraries to one per country. The resolution was forwarded by the Coordinating Board to the Professional Board for its consideration.

Future Conferences

Istanbul 1995

The programme will focus on the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. The Section will also provide a speaker for the Division programme on "Collections and Services: Management and Access".

Beijing 1996

The Section's topic will be "Human Rights".

Havana Meetings

Open Session

The Section held a joint meeting with the Round Table on Women's Issues with the theme, "Government Information and Official Publications on Women". Kay Raseroka (Botswana) played an important liaiso n role between the Round Table and the Section. The panel was organized and chaired by Nina Leneman. Lydia Nunoz (Cuba) was local liaison person, and helped with logistics in arranging the session. I n addition to the paper delivered by Mercedes Verdeses Vazquez (listed with the report of the Round Table on Women's Issues), the following papers were presented:

Women in Development: Programmes and Publications of the World Bank and the IDB

Since the United Nations Decade for Women, 1975-1985, the World Bank and the IDB have addressed the topic women in development (WID) seriously. Each organization commenced with the appointment of a s pecialist adviser on WID, which led in turn to the drafting and adoption of plans of action on WID. These advisers also undertook reviews of the reports written by their respective banks. The reviews indicated the rapid progress both organizations made in introducing WID concepts and concerns once they had turned their special attention to the issues involved. Plans of action, written guidelines and further reviews of project reports have been a major contribution to the better understanding by bank staff of these issues. Much of the written reporting on the subject from each organization h as influenced strongly the design and implementation strategies of projects, redirecting the focus of attention of the projects onto women. The development of a widespread application of WID concepts across their operational and research departments has established WID as a basic component of any loan project, so much so in the case of the World Bank that WID has been replaced with GAP, gender a nalysis and policy formulation. The valuable reports generated by the two organizations on WID, for the most part, are not available outside of the organizations.

Las publicaciones de la CEPAL y su presencia en la region Latinoamericana y del Caribe

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) is one of the five regional commissions established by the United Nations. ECLAC was set up in 1948 to coordinate policies for the promotion of economic development in the Latin American region. Later its action was extended to the countries of the Caribbean, and its scope was extended to social development and to the promotion of policies to achieve it. The activities of ECLAC as an intergovernmental forum, as a research and investigation centre on development problems, and as a support and technical cooperation organizati on, originates a great diversity of documents and publications edited mainly in Spanish and English. Direct users of the bibliographic production of the Commission are governmental authorities, minis tries, economic and social planning offices in the region, universities and other academic institutions, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Editing and production of ECL AC publications, as well as distribution policies and mechanisms developed for this purpose are described. The United Nations system of depository libraries, the exchange of publications programme ca rried out by the ECLAC library in Santiago, and dissemination polices are described in detail. Some developments of ECLAC in the field of information, such as the format for bibliographic information storage and retrieval, the database developed to cover ECLAC documentation, and products (printed, on diskette, in CD-ROM format) developed to disseminate this information are also covered.


The Section also co-sponsored a follow-up to its 1991 Mexico City seminar for librarians from Latin America and the Caribbean, with the Regional Section for Latin America and the Caribbean. The works hop was organized and chaired by Rosa Maria Fernandez Zamora (Mexico) with the help of Maria Elena Reyes, Lelia Vazquez, and Barbara Ford (USA). There were eight speakers from various countries who g ave follow-up reports on recent developments in their country.

Official Publications in the English-speaking Caribbean: Advances in the OECS Sub-Region
Information is one of the main resources used in making major decisions and as key actors in the development process governments are responsible for collecting, organizing and disseminating a great d eal of information. Against the background of a 1984 survey on official publications in the English-speaking Caribbean, this paper examines recent developments in the area of official publications wi thin the OECS, a sub-region of the English-speaking Caribbean. The paper makes some observations and recommendations on official publications and notes that change will only come when informed decisi on making becomes a societal norm.

Programas de gobierno y publicaciones sobre la mujer en Cuba

This paper focuses on developmental issues of concern to Cuban women during the last 30 years and on some of the government programmes that have dealt with these questions. It also covers publication s and other products as well as information about the libraries and documentation centres where these materials can be found.

Programas y publicacions de las Naciones Unidas sobre la Mujer

Las publicaciones oficiales en Argentina y Chile

La difusion de las publicaciones gubernamentales en Mexico

Las publicaciones oficiales en Cuba 1992-1994

View from the North of the Current State of Latin American Official Publications

Publicacions oficials Brasileñas: La lucha continua