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

Section on Library Services to Multicultural Populations

Annual Report 1994

Stan Skrzeszewski
ASM Consultants
411 Rippleton Place
London, Ontario N6G 1L4
Fax: (1-519) 6727932
is Chair of the Section on Library Services to Multicultural Populations.

Earnest DiMattia, Jr.

Ferguson Library
One Public Library Plaza
Stamford, Connecticut 06904
is Secretary.

Standing Committee and Section Membership

The Standing Committee has 17 members from nine countries, two corresponding members, and one observer. Section registration totals 51.


Library Materials in the Threatened Languages of Africa

The Section continued work on this project. Paul Brickhill of APNET (African Publishers' Network) has agreed to undertake the study on this project. Specifically APNET will identify sources (publishe rs) of indigenous publishing in Africa, and what they have published; provide an overview of the current volume in each identified language by broad category such as children's, adult, non-fiction, f iction, etc,; provide a survey of the retention of oral languages through recordings and other AV materials, and of the use of native African languages in the broadcast media, i.e., TV and radio. APN ET has sub-contracted to have field research carried out in Nigeria, and Southern and East Africa. APNET representatives will provide information from 23 member countries. The Section is also plannin g a session to be held jointly with the Section on Africa on this topic for the Istanbul Conference, and the results of APNET's research will be presented there.


Multicultural Communities: Guidelines for Library Service

Marie Zielinska (Canada) and Stan Skrzeszewski, under the auspices of the Section, are undertaking a review and will produce a revised version of the Guidelines. The review will be completed at the e nd of 1995 with publication expected in 1996.

Automated Systems for Access to Multilingual and Multiscript Library Materials: Proceedings of the Second IFLA Satellite Meeting, Madrid, August 18-19, 1993

The proceedings, edited by Monica Ertel and Sally McCallum, were published in the series, IFLA Publications as No. 70 by K.G. Saur. The proceedings reflect the progress made in automation since the f irst meeting held in Tokyo in 1986. Five broad subject areas are covered:
  1. overviews of the field;
  2. multilingual and multiscript applications;
  3. advances in character sets and networking;
  4. multilingual and multiscript bibliographic systems; and
  5. summing up. The overall theme of the publication is that the advent of automation and the advances in technology have allowed the provision of better services to patrons.


The Section's Newsletter, edited by Benedikte Kragh-Schwartz, was published twice during the report period, in May and in November.

Multicultural Review

The Section submits news items on a regular basis to Multicultural Review.

Future Conferences

Istanbul 1995

Benedikte Kragh-Schwartz (Denmark) will convene a pre-conference seminar in Istanbul on the theme, "Library Services to Turkish People Living Abroad". ROTNAC (Round Table of National Centres for Libr ary Services) will co-sponsor the event. Adriana Tandler (USA) and Suzine Har Nicolescu (USA) will identify speakers from the USA; Stan Skrzeszewski and Benedikte Kragh-Schwartz will find speakers fr om Canada and the Scandinavian countries respectively. The Section also plans a joint session with the Africa Section, focusing on resources for collection development. A conference report in the for m of a booklet will be published including the papers, a vendor list and a bibliography.

Beijing 1996

One of the recommendations from the satellite meeting on "Multilingual and Multiscript Automation" held in Madrid in 1993 was to have a follow-up seminar preceding the IFLA General Conference in Beij ing, 1996, with a focus on the development and progress of multiscript automation in the three years from Madrid to Beijing. The Section is planning a one-day workshop jointly with the Section on Inf ormation Technology, based on the items identified in the recommendations from the Madrid Seminar. A proposal for a pre-conference seminar in Beijing is "Across the Language Barriers: Subject Heading s - The Global Unifying System" to be held jointly with the Section on Cataloguing.

Havana Meetings

Satellite Meeting in Trinidad

The Section co-sponsored a meeting in Trinidad, Cuba held jointly with the Round Table on Mobile Libraries with the theme, "Mobile Libraries Serving Multicultural Populations". More than 60 people at tended, with just more than one-half consisting of Cuban colleagues. Papers were presented by librarians from Australia, Canada, Columbia, Cuba, Jamaica, St Martin, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. Mobile libraries were presented ranging from huge semi-trailer units in the Scandinavian countries and in Australia, as well as such vehicles as the bibliohorse or bibliocabballo in Columbia, the b ookbongo or bookboat in Venezuela, to book bicycles in Nigeria. All of them represent the zeal of public librarians as they provide access to library services in all communities, no matter how small or how remote. Also examined were the role of mobile units in promoting reading, and reaching ethnic minorities in rural and isolated communities, and the right of aboriginal people to control and de velop their own library services. The Section extended a special thanks to Robert Pestell (Australia), Chair of the Round Table on Mobile Libraries, for his excellent work in preparing this workshop and a special thanks to the Cuban librarians who acted as hosts in the beautiful city of Trinidad.

Open Session

The Section also held a joint meeting with the Sections of Children's Libraries, Public Libraries and School Libraries on the theme, "Library Services for Young Adults: An International and Multicult ural Perspective". Shirley Fitzgibbons, Chair of the Section of Children's Libraries, was the organizer for this session.