Thursday, December 01, 2011

Capacity Focus, 23: Some helpful digital library resources

In exploring digital library resources, I have encountered the Greenstone open source digital library management system software. 

In looking at this, I have come across a key development related resource in New Zealand-based  University of Waikato's Digital Library.

I therefore wish to share some interesting pages here:
 1: Humanity Development Library 2.0, "a large collection of practical information aimed at helping reduce poverty, increasing human potential, and providing a practical and useful education for all," which contains "1,230 publications--books, reports, and magazines--in various areas of human development, from agricultural practice to economic policies, from water and sanitation to society and culture, from education to manufacturing, from disaster mitigation to micro-enterprises." Thus, there are "160,000 pages and 30,000 images," available for distribution in developing countries at the cost of US$ 2 for a CD.

2: As a sampler, The Audio-Visual Communication Handbook from that library, a very helpful, low tech, high-concept US Peace Corps manual. (My mom, an A/V aids expert, would have loved it, there are even instructions on how to make your own slide and overhead projectors!)

 3: The collection of agriculture modules is also well worth browsing.

4: The PAHO/WHO Virtual Disaster Library, is also quite interesting.

 5: The sampler on guidance to hospitals on Disaster Mitigation, is worth browsing.

6: The cluster of programmes and syllabi for Nigeria for various areas of technology at craft and technologist levels is worth examination.
These are of course freely available resources, that seem to have been created by scanning, optical character recognition and refactoring in the Greenstone standard framework. This shows one aspect of a digital library: in effect a standalone reference book collection or encyclopedia that could live in a local server for a school. (And indeed, there is an initiative to provide just that, the eGranary appliance, a sort of updatable web cross section on an up to 2 Tera Byte hard drive living on a local server that provides a main local reference and reduces need to access actual Internet resources.)

Relevant to our needs. END

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