World e-Parliament Report 2010 über Parlamentsbibliotheken

Einem Hinweis auf dem Legal Informatics Blog folgend, stieß ich auf den World e-Parliament Report 2010.

The United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union just released the World e-Parliament Report 2010. The Report, prepared by the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, intends to help legislatures to harness the potential benefits of ICT for their work and establish key goals and priorities for exploiting this valuable resource. While providing evidence of the complexities of e-parliament, the Report suggests ways to overcome some of the obstacles to the effective use of technology in parliamentary settings.

Kapitel 6 des Reports widmet sich speziell den Library and Research Services (PDF 1.3 Mb). Ich zitiere hier aus dem Summary dieses Kapitels (S. 114f.):

Parliaments have always been information intensive institutions. E-parliament has created even greater demand for information and has raised the bar by requiring that information be more current, more complete, and more tailored to the individual needs of members and committees. Libraries and research services have the knowledge and the discipline to meet these requirements, but they must have access to the technology and they must have a staff that understands how to use ICT well and is skilled in its use.

Libraries know how to acquire, integrate, and deliver information in the most helpful ways. They also know how to preserve it and ensure its continuous availability. However, only a few libraries have been able to respond effectively and creatively to the increasing demands of parliaments by integrating technology into their work in new and innovative ways. Those that have are clearly leaders in their field. But many libraries continue to face challenges that stem from inadequate resources for training, limited availability of technology and, in some cases, lack of understanding of the contribution they can make to e-parliaments.

While findings from the 2007 and 2009 surveys indicate that many libraries have been able to adopt new technologies to support their traditional tasks of acquiring, organizing, and managing information resources, many still face problems such as lack of connectivity to the parliament’s intranet and the absence of preservation plans for digital resources. Advances in technology offer a number of possibilities for improving services, for example by managing requests from members online, developing personalized alerting services, creating information management systems that link parliamentary documents with information available on the Web, and using ICT-supported networks to share knowledge and ideas.

The newest technologies present opportunities as well as challenges. It is not yet clear how libraries can benefit from the most recent developments such as wikis, blogs, and YouTube, even as they are becoming more common in the parliamentary environment. This uncertainty makes the exchange of ideas through library networks even more necessary and valuable.

Most parliamentary libraries have basic ICT-supported capabilities such as systems for managing library resources. However, over 40% are not connected to a parliamentary intranet, even though LANs are in place in nearly all legislatures. This severely limits the nature and extent of e-services that libraries can provide, such as online access to information sources that are organized according to the policy issues that the parliament is addressing. Nevertheless, 50% of libraries are able to offer this type of service. Over half subscribe to online journals and databases and over 60% have subject matter experts much of whose work is made available in digital formats.

Libraries contribute to e-parliament in a number of other ways. Many are taking an active role in maintaining an archive of parliamentary documents in digital formats. Over 50% do this already and an additional 30% are planning or considering doing it. These archives include some of the most important parliamentary documents, such as bills, plenary documents, committee documents, and research reports. Libraries also contribute to the website of the parliament, most often by providing some of its content. A significant number are also engaged in updating and maintaining the website, and some are involved in the organization, testing, and design of the site. Two thirds of parliamentary libraries serve the public and a majority of these allow public access to the library’s website.

Only 45% of libraries participate in formal online networks for sharing information with other libraries and research services. This is less than the 59% of parliaments that participate in formal networks for the exchange of information and experiences regarding ICT.

Libraries in parliaments in the low income group continue to face significant challenges. Compared to those in the high income group, far fewer have systems to manage traditional library resources, are connected to the parliament’s intranet, and participate in networks for the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices.


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