by Margaret Aycock
Gulf Coast Environmental Library, Lamar University
[Editor's note: In response to an objective of the AALL Long-Range Plan for 1990-94, which called for developing "means to coordinate responses to Third World law libraries' requests for American legal materials," Chair Mila Rush set up a special committee in 1992 to investigate what had been done by other groups, to suggest possible ways AALL might respond to these requests, to recommend to AALL the most appropriate and realistic responses, and to develop (with the approval of FCIL SIS members) implementation strategies. Margaret Aycock served on the special committee from its inception and succeeded Susan Van Syckel as chair in 1994.
The materials listed in this bibliography are being donated to the AALL archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.]
Childs, William M. American Donated Books Abroad: A Guide to Distributing Organizations. Washington, D.C.: American International Book Development Council. v, 56 p.
The American International Book Development Council was established in 1985 by the Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation. The organizations whose activities are described in this thoughtful handbook are engaged in distributing American books to overseas institutions and individuals, primarily in countries in the developing world. Most distribute books as their sole or primary activity. All provided information about their activities to the council.
This organization defines "donated books" as books which are distributed to needy institutions without cost to the recipient. A serious concern expressed by the council is that only books which are appropriate to specific needs be sent. This agency recommends that questions of cultural context, content, currency, and physical conditions be answered by the donated book organizations through regular communications to overseas recipients before any shipments are made. Noted in the directory for each participating organization are its sources of books, usual destinations of shipments, kinds of books distributed, and content selection policy.
Civic Education Project. Book and Journal Donations to Central and Eastern Europe. Prague: Trevor Top, 1994. 71 l., 64 p.
This book was produced as a result of a study commissioned and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as the first in a series of projected studies of higher educational institutions in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Over 700 libraries were studied in 1994. Among the conclusions reached was that need varied throughout the region, that donor organizations should focus on the end use of the donated materials, that the donation process should be approached as an integral whole from selection of materials to end use. They concluded that compliance checks, accounting, publicity, consultation with faculty members at recipient institutions, and donations or discounts on alternative technologies such as CD-ROMs could improve the effectiveness of donation programs.
The published report sought to fulfill three objectives: 1) to provide information about current needs in the region to governmental and non-governmental organizations; 2) to offer recommendations to current and potential donors; and 3) to facilitate the exchange of information.
Types of donation programs analyzed were mass regular, mass irregular, financial, and integrative. Drawbacks to each type of program are described in the report.
The study concluded that it was difficult to assess the efficacy of book donation projects in the former Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe in part, because donors, suppliers, partner organizations, and recipients have failed to create mechanisms through which to measure their impact. Recipients continually cite quality of donations as the greatest problem. Defects encountered were age of donated materials, incomplete sets, inappropriate academic level, donated books displayed as trophies, and inadequate length of runs of journals. This excellent handbook includes charts and graphs.
Commonwealth Higher Education Support Scheme. Directory of Available Resources from Organizations Supporting Books, Journals, and Library Development. London: Commonwealth Secretariat, 1994. vii, 72 p.
This publication was prepared for CHESS by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications. The book is divided into general purpose donors, subject-specific donors, and organizations not directly involved in donations, including bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, professional bodies and associations, learned societies, and foundations. The directory describes the organizations, services, and materials offered, policies, modes of operation, and geographical priorities.
Section 2 comprises a list of organizations which donate materials by subject specialization, including law. However, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association is the only organization which is listed.
Donated Book Programs: A Dialogue of Partners Handbook. A book based on the proceedings of the Dialogue of Partners Workshop, September 14-16, 1992. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1993. 104 p.
This guide points out that books are a unique medium for transferring information and ideas. It asserts that donated books programs are an important way of sharing books between countries and peoples at little or no cost to educational or needy institutions. This workshop sponsored by the Library of Congress and held in Baltimore, Maryland, brought together program administrators, funders, book donors, distributors, and recipients. Ninety-five delegates from 44 countries attended. The aim of the workshop was to educate the four key players in the book donation process, namely, recipients, book sending agencies, donors, and funders, about each other's needs, interests, and limitations. Recommendations were made to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of donated book programs and for facilitating a continuing dialogue between partners in donated book programs, improving access to and increasing the flow of donated educational materials.
Other options for libraries considering offering assistance are providing funds to purchase books, arranging for books published in one developing country to be distributed in another, subsidizing print runs of books, purchasing copyrights of titles which can then be printed locally, and developing indigenous publishing capacity. Recommendations resulting from the workshop included recipient-led book programs, communication among players, responsible partnerships, and development, not relief.
The study emphasized that the provision of donated books is only a short-term solution to the gap that exists between the demand for and the supply of appropriate reading material in developing countries. The report stated that the most important contribution donated book programs could make would be to develop local infrastructures of libraries, create a literate environment, develop a market for and appreciation of books, and buy and distribute locally produced books.
Specific criteria were set forth for defining a selection policy, for selecting a distributing agency, and for evaluating success. The book includes 26 most commonly asked questions with answers and describes 84 organizations.
Doyle, Robert P., ed. Donation Programs. International Leads. Volume 8, Number 3, Fall 1994.
This newsletter published quarterly by the International Relations Round Table of the American Library Association contains news about international library activities, the international work of ALA and other organizations and people in the field. The Fall 1994 issue sets forth some of the issues involved in donation programs and lists major North American organizations involved in this work. The ALA International Relations Committee recommends inter alia that any book drive or donation program be aimed at the specific recipient which participates in the planning process. A two-page annotated bibliography of directories or sources of information for donation programs is provided. Selected organizations involved in donation programs are described individually in this eight-page newsletter.
INASP Directory 1993. London: ICSU Press and Carol Priestly, 1993. 1 v., 133 p. Index.
INASP: International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publication was established by the ICSU Press, the Publishing Service of the International Council of Scientific Unions as a cooperative network of donors and representatives of scientific institutions. The objectives of the network were set forth as: supporting and strengthening existing programs involved in the distribution, publication, exchange and donation of books, journals, and related materials; encouraging new initiatives to increase the availability of quality scientific literature; and identifying methods that would permit the ongoing and sustainable exchange and distribution of scientific publications. While the directory focuses on scientific information, legal information needs are similar in some respects, and the book is useful for law librarians. The scientific network itself might be seen as a model for a future clearinghouse of organizations donating legal information.
The introduction provides a brief review of the network, its objectives, and current activities. Donor organizations are arranged under broad subject headings. While many of the subject headings have little relevance for law libraries, some do, including Environmental Sciences, Information Technology and Data, and Medicine and Health. Other sections list agencies supporting general library and book development and agencies with some responsibility for library or book development. The index lists the organizations by name, and abbreviations. All of the organizations are involved with book donations and have expressed an interest in being members of the network. Many, however, are involved in other work as well.
Besides providing information common to many directories, services offered, materials offered, the purpose, mission, procedures are also outlined. Donated publications are often named. Statistics provide the numbers and names of countries served, along with number of cartons, and number of offer lists distributed.
Peace Corps of the United States. Information Collection and Exchange (ICE). Free and Reduced Rate Periodicals for Peace Corps Volunteers 1995. Washington, D.C.: Peace Corps of the United States, 1995. 70 p. (Its Publication RE007.) Annual.
In the guide examined, 112 periodicals were listed as being available to Peace Corps volunteers at a reduced rate. Others are listed because of the technical information that they might provide to Peace Corps volunteers. Although the principal users of this guide are Peace Corps staff and volunteers, some of the publications might be useful to acquire at regular library subscription rates or to purchase for background information for librarians considering participating in a library exchange program.
Peace Corps of the United States. Information Collection and Exchange (ICE). Sources of Donated Books and Periodicals for Peace Corps Volunteers for Schools and Libraries. Washington, D.C.: Peace Corps of the United States, 1995. 33 p. (Its Publication RE003.)
Thirty-one organizations are listed. This guide is intended to help Peace Corps volunteers identify organizations that might provide books and other educational materials to their communities. The descriptions apply specifically to Peace Corps volunteers, and might be different for others requesting assistance directly. Most of the organizations are voluntary groups with limited staff and resources which might require special procedures or partial payment for shipping.
However, the practical tips about selecting donor organizations may be of use to foreign recipients or to U.S. law libraries in drafting a description of their services. Recommendations of other organizations are included. A section is devoted to how to effectively organize a book drive.
The Virginia Model Law Books Project: An Initiative of the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar, the American Bar Association Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI), the American Friendship Library Project. Final Report. April 1995. 1 v. (Various pagings)
This publication includes a final report of a successful book drive organized by the Virginia State Bar. It includes documents such as the Memorandum of Understanding between CEELI and the Virginia Bar Association, the time line for the model state drive for books, the budget, guidelines for regional coordinators, plan of action, correspondence minutes, a complete foreign library request list, published articles, committee membership lists, and acknowledgments from the recipients.
It is apparent from the report that the Virginia book drive was very well organized and successful. This report should be reviewed by any law-related organization seeking to begin a book donation program in order to benefit from the experience gained from the Virginia model state drive.
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