|In 1999, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library (DHL), as a lead Agency in the UN Library System, initiated an interactive technical assistance programme to support UN Small and Field Libraries. The main goals of this programme are to:
- Enable librarians in UN Small and Field libraries to deliver high-quality service to their users;
- Avoid duplication of work between libraries;
- Develop a solid network that will facilitate resource sharing;
- Promote dialogue among Small and Field Librarians; and
- Encourage the exchange of professional ideas, training, standards, and recommended best practices.
The first stage of this programme will be developed primarily for UN Small and Field Libraries; the second stage, to be conducted in strategic partnerships with UN Specialized Agencies, will encompass a comprehensive library network for all country and field offices throughout the UN System, as well as United Nations Information Centres and Depository Libraries. To this end, discussions have already taken place within the context of the Special Interest Group on Library and Information Services (SIG-LIS) of the Information Systems Coordination Committee (ISCC) *
As it is developed, the programme will make available, on a dedicated Web site, structured databases, manuals for building and maintaining these databases, and guidelines on library operations and policies. The Web site will also serve as a centralized gateway to UN documentation and other pertinent electronic resources available on the Internet.
The goals of the Technical Assistance Programme have been brought into relief by the Millennium Summit Declaration: “To ensure that the benefits of new technologies especially information and communication technologies, in conformity with recommendations contained in the ECOSOC 2000 Ministerial Declaration, are available to all.” (A/RES/55/2, para. 20)
The Small and Field Libraries programme constitutes an integral part of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library’s commitment to building bridges over the digital divide.
* Since October 2001, inter-agency coordination in the field of information and communication technology is being carried out by the High-Level Committee on Management and through a network of ICT managers.
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Prepared by the Department of Public Information (DPI), Dag Hammarskjöld Library (DHL)