CSUS Library at Cote d'Ivoire

By Terry Webb, Library Administration

I have been part of the partnership project between CSUS and six post-secondary institutions in Cote d'Ivoire, Africa that has been going on for thee years. This summer I traveled to Cote d’lvoire to discuss ways of future collaboration. There is a lot that can be done to help the academic libraries that are behind in their book collections. They are most interested in building their collections and automating their circulated systems. They are interested in developing online resources and full text databases. Many students have email access but not through their own schools. Ric Brown is meeting with all persons who went to Cote d'Ivoire and is seting broad guidelines of what to do with them in the future. He will have more to report later.

The workshop I was part of was about "exploiting information technology to promote economic and social development in Cote d’Ivoire." The participants included university-level librarians, faculty, and administrators. Workshops were adapted to the specific needs of each of seven academic libraries, and the sessions were lively and well-received.

Cote d’Ivoire libraries are far behind U.S. libraries in book collections, instructional services, and the number of computers and servers available to faculty and students, but the levels of resident technology and expertise in Cote d’Ivoire institutions are much closer to those of U.S. libraries. This narrower gap could allow Cote d’Ivoire libraries to move forward more quickly in developing original, online research databases specifically tailored to Cote d’Ivoire’s economic, educational, political, and social development needs.

The audiences appeared to support this approach, and some key potential projects arose that could move Cote d’Ivoire libraries forward in the foreseeable future. The projects include providing Cote d’Ivoire libraries

Stay tuned--there may well be further developments concerning Cote d'Ivoire.