United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library

Metropolitan City Michuhol LibraryWorkshop for UN Depository Librarians in Incheon, Incheon Metropolitan City Michuhol Library, 23-24 June 2009, Republic of Korea

View photographs of the Workshop

In commemoration of the opening of the new UN Depository Library in the region, Incheon Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea, has proposed to host the workshop for UN depository librarians working in the country.

This workshop was co-organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, Outreach Division, DPI and Incheon Metropolitan City.

The objective of the workshop was to assist and support ten UN depository librarians in the Republic of Korea in transforming their libraries from being passive collectors of UN documentation to become active participants in promoting information on global issues.  

The goals of the workshop:

  • Bringing together all UN depository librarians in Korea
  • Strengthening a national network of UN depository libraries
  • Inviting librarians from the Incheon metropolitan  area interested in the United Nations
  • Cooperating with UN relations team, Incheon Metropolitan City Office in promoting UN priorities
  • Encouraging dissemination of UN information and knowledge-sharing
  • Building a network of partners interested in disseminating UN information on global issues in the region
  • Facilitating outreach activities of depository libraries
  • Developing mutually beneficial capacity-building programme.

A total of 43 participants from nine UN depository libraries, nine public and university libraries in the area and twelve programme officers and interns from the UN Relations Team, Incheon Metropolitan City Office, attended the workshop.

The UN delegation was chaired by Mr. Eric Falt, Director, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information, and included facilitators (speakers) from the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, Mrs. Lorraine Waitman, Chief of Library User Services, and Mr. Anatoli Sidorenko, Coordinator, UN Depository Library Programme.  The delegation of the Incheon Metropolitan City included Mr. Ha Hyeng Kwak, Director General, International Cooperation Department and Mr. Byung Jin Khang, Chief, UN Relations Team. Ms. Mirinae Yoon, Programme Officer, Incheon Center for International Cooperation and Exchange, was a host facilitator at the workshop.
Presentations covered discussion of the evolving role for libraries and new directions for depository libraries as partners in promoting global issues and sources of information about these issues. The workshop included presentations on specific research tools related to UN documentation and other UN information resources along with hands-on learning sessions.  Group discussions on possible cooperative actions and outreach activities that could be the basis of an action plan were a valuable part of the programme. 

A highlight of the event was a ceremony of the official opening of the new, state of the art, Incheon Metropolitan City Michuhol Library, combined with dedication of the UN depository library on its premises. Participants were greeted by the Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City, Mr. Sang-soo Ahn, and given a tour of the impressive facilities at the Michuhol Library. Mr. Eric Falt, Director, Outreach Division, DPI, officially opened the workshop, spoke on behalf of the UN at the opening of the Michuhol Library and presented a gift to the UN depository library from Mr. Ban Ki-moon,  Secretary-General of the UN.
In their feedback on the results of the workshop the participants have found it very useful, especially practical hands-on sessions on United Nations databases, advanced search skills, tips and technique on the effective UN information retrieval

Outcome and Recommendations:
Participants shared ideas about possible outreach activities.  The focus was on ideas that would promote interest in global UN issues and encourage the use of UN information for purposes of multiple groups.

Some of the ideas put forward include:
* Closer and more frequent cooperation among depository libraries in Korea
* Lectures or speakers coupled with displays
* Student debates
* Book displays
* Tie library events to other public efforts (examples: Seal the Deal, Earth Day and UN special days) and invite participation around a theme.
* Partner with other institutions that share a theme – publishers and other libraries
* Work with Model UN participants
* Programmes for young children

Support to be provided from UN:
* List of UN days, commemorations and other events
* Posters or other public relations materials on desired themes
* Interactive online training, when available.
* Provide a web guide to key UN publications and online services
* Review the dissemination of materials to depository libraries in order to  ensure a more timely and targeted approach.
This is the sixth workshop since 2006 that has discussed with depository libraries a change in the role of UN depository libraries to include a greater partnership role.  The immediate feedback from all workshops has been favorable. The UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library will follow up with participants to determine what impact the programmes have had in their management of the collections, their promotion of the information resources and if there has been a resulting increase in contact and cooperation with UN offices in the regions covered.   

After review of the depository library programme and the discussions from these workshops the DHL would work on an action plan that will suggest possible changes to the distribution methods, propose improvements in the communications with depository libraries and increased and targeted partnerships.