Case Studies on the Introduction of CD-ROM to University Libraries

CD-ROM (Compact Disc, Read-Only Memory) is a high density storage medium on which electronic data are etched by laser onto a compact disc master. A single CD-ROM can hold still images, motion video, audio, and digital data. With its vast storage capacity (a single CD-ROM can store as much data as 1,500 floppy disks or 200,000 printed pages of text), ease of mailing, and tolerance of harsh environmental conditions, CD-ROM offers a practical solution to the information isolation experienced by researchers, information professionals, and scientists in many developing countries.

These case study authors live in areas where high costs and technical difficulties deter online access and searching. They demonstrate that CD-ROM can bring the following gains:

  • user-friendly, interactive online searching of databases by library staff and end-users;
  • current citations, with abstracts that often provide sufficient information to negate the need for source documents;
  • selected citations and abstracts that can be used for national digests of relevant material;
  • an enhanced image of library staff due to their dramatically improved ability to deliver current information and to demonstrate computer skills; and
  • demystification of microcomputer technology for staff and end-users.


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--> Case Studies on the Introduction of CD-ROM to University Libraries CD-ROM (Compact Disc, Read-Only Memory) is a high density storage medium on which electronic data are etched by laser onto a compact disc master. A single CD-ROM can hold still images, motion video, audio, and digital data. With its vast storage capacity (a single CD-ROM can store as much data as 1,500 floppy disks or 200,000 printed pages of text), ease of mailing, and tolerance of harsh environmental conditions, CD-ROM offers a practical solution to the information isolation experienced by researchers, information professionals, and scientists in many developing countries. These case study authors live in areas where high costs and technical difficulties deter online access and searching. They demonstrate that CD-ROM can bring the following gains: user-friendly, interactive online searching of databases by library staff and end-users; current citations, with abstracts that often provide sufficient information to negate the need for source documents; selected citations and abstracts that can be used for national digests of relevant material; an enhanced image of library staff due to their dramatically improved ability to deliver current information and to demonstrate computer skills; and demystification of microcomputer technology for staff and end-users.

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--> CD-ROM has proven appropriate to these authors because it reduces the need for online links and it operates under difficult conditions, such as heat, humidity, dust, and unstable power supply. The authors did find, however, that while there is a relatively low capital cost for the equipment, the cost of sustaining the subscriptions to the databases is still a problem. These case study authors demonstrate how they have used CD-ROM as a powerful tool to develop local computer literacy by providing the opportunity for hands-on use of a sophisticated system. They also describe how CD-ROM has been used to develop both local and pan-African databases and digests of relevant information.

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--> The CD-ROM Service for the University of Dar es Salaam by John M. Newa Dr. John Newa is Director of Library Services at the University of Dar es Salaam. He has worked on the promotion and development of information centers in Tanzania. Since 1990, he has been concerned with the introduction and application of information technologies in libraries. Background and Context of the Project The University of Dar es Salaam was the first university for Tanzania. The United Republic of Tanzania was the outcome of the political union in 1964 between the former British Protectorates of Tanganyika (independent in 1961) and Zanzibar (independent in 1964 following a bloody revolt against the Arab Sultan). It is located on the Indian Ocean between Kenya and Uganda in the north, Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire in the west, Zambia and Mozambique in the south. The country has a population of about 27 million and is growing at the rate of 3.1 percent (1991).1 People use Kiswahili as the national language. English is a second language and the language used in institutions of higher learning. Tanzania is ranked second from the bottom worldwide in terms of its gross domestic product and its economy is mainly agricultural-based. It was reportedly growing at the rate of 3.6 percent in 1992. The industrial sector is increasing and accounts for 40 percent of the national economy. Through the International Monetary Fund's policies of structural adjustment, the economy is said to be improving, although the man on the street says life is getting more difficult. The country recorded a literacy rate of over 80 percent in the late 1980s. The policy of Universal Primary Education—introduced in the early 1970s and calling for all girls and boys to have a basic seven years of primary education—is in place.

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--> Yet the total number of children enrolled in secondary schools is less than 10 percent of primary school graduates, and the number of those who struggle and make it to the universities hardly reaches 0.05 percent. In recent years deliberate efforts have been made to increase the amount of science and technology in the curriculum at all levels of education. Scientific and technological training is given more emphasis in the Teachers and Technical Colleges, as well as in the several vocational institutes spread all over the country. The government, through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, is making deliberate efforts to prepare the country for the 21st century when scientific and technological information developments will be critical for national socioeconomic development. At the national level, the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) is responsible for the adoption, development, and dissemination of scientific and technological information. The target of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education is to raise the national expenditure on research and development (R&D) from the present 0.2 percent to 1 percent by the year 2000. Besides creating the scientific and technological infrastructure in R&D institutions, COSTECH is in the process of creating three databases: a directory of scientists and technologists; a directory of scientific and technological institutions; and an inventory of scientific and technological equipment. The need for adequate scientific and technological information (STI) is felt in the research institutes of all sectors, including agriculture, forestry, health, industry, wildlife, and fisheries. However, I feel that the greatest need for the provision of STI is in the institutions of higher learning, especially the universities that are expected to support teaching, research, and consultancy activities. When the CD-ROM project was first being prepared in 1991, the STI infrastructure at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and throughout the country was still underdeveloped. There were only a few international vendor agencies for STI hardware and software in the country: among them, IBM, International Computers Limited (ICL) and Wang. There were two electronic mail nodes: one at the Medical Library in connection with the HealthNet Project and another at COSTECH. At the UDSM, besides the University Computer Centre, there were personal computers in only some departments. The library had two computers. There was also a ground station for communication using a low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellite connection between the Department of Electrical Engineering and Essex University, in England. As far as CD-ROM services are concerned there was one CD-ROM workstation each at the United States Information Center Library (for the Books in Print database), at the British Council Library (for the British Books in Print database), at the Demographic Unit of the University of Dar es Salaam (for the POPLINE database), and in the Department of Crop Science at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (for a few databases from the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux).

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--> As the CD-ROM Service project was getting under way in 1993, an electronic mail node was installed at the University Computer Centre, with connections to various departments of the University. For a variety of reasons, including the lack of email technicians and the need for a secure location to place the equipment, the library did not get its email connection until May 1995. Until then the University Library used the Medical Library and Computer Centre email nodes for sending and receiving messages. The University Computer Centre expected to install an Internet connection via leased line to South Africa in November 1995; however that proved too expensive and the Computer Centre is currently waiting for the arrival a satellite dish that they will use to connect to the Internet. At this point the University of Dar es Salaam is in the process of adopting a technology information policy that will encompass the various university operations, including administration, student administration, finance, and the automation of the library. Project Description The University of Dar es Salaam academic community was facing the problem of availability of and access to current information for its teaching, learning, and research activities. Our scholars and researchers were isolated from their colleagues in the region and overseas. Limited resources made it difficult to acquire and provide current information resources, including the maintenance of adequate periodical subscriptions. The lack of information technology resources and the poor telecommunication infrastructure ruled out online connections with information databases in the region and abroad. For all of these reasons, we decided to introduce CD-ROM service to the University. We had heard about the successful introduction of CD-ROM at the medical library in Zimbabwe and wanted to provide our own library users with the same benefits: especially convenient and relatively inexpensive access to current scientific, technological, and socioeconomic information. The financial support provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York allowed for the purchase of two CD-ROM workstations, their accessories, a laser printer, and initial subscriptions to two CD-ROM databases. The Institute of Scientific Information's (ISI) Science Citation Index and the Social Science Citation Index were selected for their breadth in providing for the teaching, learning, and research needs of a large section of the university academic community. We hoped that this broad appeal would give the new service good publicity. The CD-ROM service started operation with two donated engineering databases provided by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)—Engineering Index Page One and Compendex Plus—and the Distance Education Database from the International Centre for Distance Learning (ICDL), donated by the Commonwealth Association for Distance Education. The Library also decided

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--> to acquire two additional databases, ERIC and TROPAG, which we believed to be of more general interest to the larger section of the academic and research community at the university and in other R&D institutions in the country. Within its interlibrary loan program, the library had provision for document delivery through coupons purchased from the British Library Lending Division in Boston Spa. This provision enabled the Library to provide a modest document delivery service emanating from the CD-ROM database searches. In order to cope with the increasing demand from the CD-ROM service, the document delivery financial allocation had to be more than doubled. The library was also maintaining a total of about 800 current journal subscriptions, 40 percent of which came through the assistance of the Swedish Agency for Research and Economic Cooperation (SAREC), 20 percent through AAAS's support within the sub-Saharan Africa program, and 40 percent from the library's own resources. The photocopying service of the library was also improved by the purchase of additional heavy-duty machines. The photocopying machines had been purchased with funds from SAREC within its Library Support to Tanzania Libraries Programme. As originally intended, the CD-ROM service has provided the academic and research community at the university, in particular, and in Tanzania, in general, access to current information and has relieved the isolation of scholars and scientists in the region and abroad. In brief, the service provides scholars and researchers with the capacity of 15 different and updated CD-ROM databases in their subjects of interest and provides document delivery to most items requested. The databases include subjects in Science and Applied Technology, Social Science and the Humanities, and Law. Document requests from database searches were met by services from the British Lending Library and recently from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology through the AAAS. Our assessment is that the document delivery service, in terms of documents requested and time it takes to get the documents, has not been found satisfactory by our CD-ROM service users. When we acquired the CD-ROM service, the only other operational service I knew about was at the Medical Library, which was part of the HealthNet project. My visit to the Department of Crop Science at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in the company of a team of experts from BOSTID indicated that the facility was not being used. I am also informed that about 1993 a CD-ROM facility was introduced at the Uyole Ministry of Agriculture, Research and Training Institute. It is not known which databases were donated to the Institute but I guess these might be products of the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux. Again the state of its functionality and extent of use is not known. COSTECH acquired one CD-ROM workstation about 1993, which became operational in the same year, using patent databases from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Application Bibliography. When I visited the facility recently, the CD-ROM drive was out of order. The Ministry of Trade and Industry Registry Office is also reported to have one CD-ROM workstation.

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--> BOX 1 The Art of Proposal Writing The personal contacts who gave us information on the technology—and where and how to get it—made a large difference in the quality of the proposal. The lobrary had earlier contacted Dr. Patricia Rosenfield at the Carnegie Corporation of New York. She suggested that we meet with Wendy White of the U.S. National Research Council, who was scheduled to visit Tanzania in 1991 as a guest of COSTECH. The project proposal for the CD-ROM service was revised with her help and expertise before we submitted it to Carnegie. When you are new to proposal writing like we were, it is very helpful to have someone come along and help you compose answers to the reviewers' criticisms! Foe example, we thought that we had to address the reviewers' comments by changing our proposal to agree with them. We didn't know that we could challenge the reviewer by giving our justification for why we proposed to do things a certain way or to use a certain product vendor. The Office has also received a wide range of patent CD-ROM databases. However the facility is not yet operational awaiting the training of staff. So as far as the general academic and research community is concerned, the CD-ROM at the University Library was the first facility with a reasonable degree of usage. Since our CD-ROM facility has been operational, there has been keen interest to spread the technology to other institutions in the country. As seen above the CD-ROM service has since been introduced in other information institutions in the country. The UDSM Library service has built upon the library's and the university's interest to acquire more personal computers. Since then the Library has acquired six computers, which are used in a variety of operations, including the creation of three local databases, in education, environment, and biodiversity. Under the UDSM Library's coordinating role for the SAREC Library Support Programme to Tanzania, we have also acquired four personal computers for other universities and research institutes. As will be seen below, the tempo generated is now helping us make a credible case for the library's partial or complete automation. Project Experience and Implementation Correct decisions concerning how to go about writing an acceptable and externally-funded project proposal, the handling of the grant, and the acquisition of hardware, software, and databases have been critical to the effective and efficient operation of the CD-ROM service. The story of how we learned about the technology, what it could do for us, and how and from whom to acquire it has been given above and in Box 1. Because we had little expertise and experience at the UDSM Library on appropriate equipment and databases, contacts with other African librarians

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--> in the region and individuals abroad at meetings organized by the AAAS and the U.S. National Research Council were very helpful. Still, our lack of experience resulted in heavy reliance on vendor recommendations for hardware and software and little control over the versions and price paid. We decided to use the ICL local agent as a vendor for the hardware and software, so as to ensure the availability of spare parts, service, and consumables. Lengthy and cumbersome customs procedures were avoided by asking the Carnegie Corporation to make direct purchases from the vendor's parent company in London. A two-year service contract with the local vendor at the time of purchase solved the problem of installation and maintenance. The local back-up service has proved to be critical to the smooth operation of the service. Yet I have heard criticism from the Director, AAAS Library Program for sub-Saharan Africa, that the price paid for the UDSM's CD-ROM hardware was the highest in Africa. I swear that it was not caused by the Library Director's demand for kick-backs! It could be a factor of international and local vendors' price mark-ups, or a result of the country's customs duty structure for computer products imported into the country. The first two CD-ROM workstations were actually bought directly by the donor from ICL London and sent to the UDSM Library. We faced a number of problems before the service got under way. First, the cost of the entire package from the local vendor was comparatively high. Then, the installation of the facility took longer than our donor could understand. We had peculiar local problems of security and high humidity. It took about six months for the Estates Department of the University to fix security grills and provide air conditioning for the CD-ROM facility. That was to ensure that the equipment was safe from possible theft and could not be damaged by the high Dar es Salaam humidity. So, although it took us longer than expected to become operational, we have had no serious problems in the safety and operation of the facility. The purchase of CD-ROM database subscriptions has also been problematic from the outset. First of all, the CD-ROM databases selected were very expensive by our standards. In addition, financial transactions with database dealers overseas were long and difficult to execute, partly because of financial regulations at home and partly because of some irksome conditions set by the vendors. For example, the vendors required that we sign lease agreements before purchase and delivery. The database vendors contacted would not accept UNESCO coupons. Because of that initial experience, we have in subsequent years paid our database subscriptions through a London-based book agent who accepts payment in UNESCO coupons. We also learned that, in some cases, the CD-ROM databases actually belong to the publisher and were only being leased to us: we would have to return one disc before an update would be issued or if we had to cancel the subscription at a future date. 2 From the beginning we realized that it was our responsibility to have a few database subscriptions that were rather popular, rather than rely completely on the grant. We chose a department with high visibility—Reference—to house the CD-ROM service. This department was fortunately headed by a very able, effective, and efficient

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--> BOX 2 The Benefits of CD-ROM ''Now that we have an efficient CD-ROM Service in the Library, there is no valid excuse for one not to register for a Ph.D. locally nor to produce scholarly publications, or go overseas for literature review." Chairperson, Appointments Committee for Academic Staff at the UDSM, June 1993. scholar and professional who had great personal drive. This has proved to be an asset to the service. Effective March 1994, we formed a CD-ROM Service committee whose membership includes two end-users (people of senior academic ranks in the faculties of Engineering and Science) and four library professionals (the Director, and the Heads of the Reference, Periodicals, and Readers Services departments). In a concrete way, the university teaching and research community have reacted very positively to the project. (See Box 2.) Since the CD-ROM service became operational more and more users have turned up. The CD-ROM service is now the most important part of the library for teaching staff and postgraduate students and researchers. The library's 1994/95 Annual Report indicates that there has been an average of 53 searches per month and a total of 1,540 since the service started in October 1993. The image of the library staff has also been significantly boosted among university professors, students, and committees. The CD-ROM service has frequently been cited by the Higher Degrees Committee as reason for academic staff and postgraduate students to enroll in the university. Since the CD-ROM service became operational, the Appointments Committee for Academic Staff no longer accepts complaints about lack of access to scholarly publications. Everyone on campus is expected to use the new service to improve their own scholarship. Promotion and Publicity for the CD-ROM Services We widely publicized the CD-ROM service within the university community and outside. We initially announced the service in various university committees, including faculty boards and the Senate. We sent circular letters to all heads of departments within the university and to all academic staff members, and we posted notices on all bulletin boards. We sent similar letters announcing and explaining the service to other universities and research institutes. We prepared special publicity leaflets and spread them all over the campus and outside. The 1993/94 Library Guide and University Prospectus and subsequent annual editions have included a sizable section on the CD-ROM service. Word of mouth still plays a very important part in African communication channels. Since the 1993/94 academic year the service has featured prominently in all freshman and postgraduate orientation programs. I have spoken about the service in various forums, including the Senate, the Committee of Deans, Faculty Boards, and

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--> other academic gatherings to both announce and explain the service and its benefit for teaching, learning, and research. The Library CD-ROM Committee took part in a number of departmental seminars as well as in postgraduate research seminar programs. So far the library has organized two Exposition Days for the CD-ROM service that were very well attended by both the university and external community. We organized the first Exposition Day when the service was just getting under way. We held the second Exposition Day during the university's Silver Jubilee week in July 1995; it was officiated by the former President and Chancellor of the University, Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere. The mass media, including newspapers and television, widely covered the event. Recently we decided to place one of the three CD-ROM workstations in the public area near the public catalog. The visibility of the facility may attract more users. We trust that these marketing and promotional efforts will improve and increase the use of the CD-ROM service. Outreach Activities In fact we are already providing outreach service to users in sister universities and research institutes. We have given access to a number of external users. In connection with other Library Current Awareness Services, we provide searches for users from outside the University. We have desktop publishing equipment on order that will allow us to produce and disseminate an information bulletin to users in the university and outside. The major limitation that we are facing now is poor and slow communication with institutions that do not have email or other telecommunication facilities. Thus in addition to providing traditional library products and services, such as bibliographies and newsletters, we plan to use the CD-ROM service as a launching pad for direct and aggressive services, directed at answering specific needs of S&T practitioners and researchers. This will include SDI (selective dissemination of information), retrospective searches, assistance in question formulation, bibliographies on demand, question and answer services, referral, photocopying, and citation tracing. These are in addition to the document delivery service. Results, Impact, and Benefits of the Project We put a monitoring system in place when the service was launched. We keep records for users and their particulars, as well as records of searches. We are in the process of installing a system that can do that automatically. Currently all is done on daily record sheets which are cumulated weekly, monthly and yearly. Table 1 shows usage according to the broad categories of staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students, and others. Table 2 shows the number of searches requested according to the database.

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--> TABLE 1 Usage Statistics, 1993–1995   Staff Postgraduate Undergraduate Others Total 1993 18 42 2 5 67 1994 195 404 126 27 752 1995 104 338 251 28 721 Since May 1995, the library has embarked on a project to evaluate the CD-ROM service, particularly the various CD-ROM databases held by the library. We identified senior academics and postgraduate students who had used the service and asked them to evaluate the databases in their various aspects, including the amount of information and its usefulness, relevance, currency, and coverage of the Africa region. From this evaluation and others to be conducted in the future, we will determine whether or not the CD-ROM service is having the desired effect. Unfortunately because of a change of the Librarian in charge of the CD-ROM service in the Library, this important report is not yet out. We are bearing in mind Erick Baard's injunction that: "A correct assessment of an information technology innovation should include an examination of its requirements as regards physical and social infrastructure, its possible effects on new environments, and finally the nature of the limitations to information utilization which it is designed to alleviate."3 TABLE 2 Searches by Database Database 1993 1994 1995 Compendex Plus 32 154 199 Social Science Citation Index 9 154 199 Science Citation Index 8 65 51 Tropag and Rural Economy 8 41 21 Educational Resources Information Center 4 93 51 Agecond 6 46 16 Arts and Humanities - 11 - International Centre for Distance Learning - 6 - Public Affairs Information services - 33 12 Life Sciences - 47 56 Social Science Index - 20 - POPLINE - 10 35 Applied Sciences - 22 12 Current Citation - - 4 Current Contents - - 4 Biotechnology - - 5         TOTAL 67 702 721

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--> TABLE 2 Literature Search Statistics (January–June 1995) Database 6 Months Statistics MEDLINE 714 British Medical Journal 88 Lancet 69 New England Journal of Medicine 7 AIDS 95 Paediatrics 13 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 12 Viral Hepatitis 45 Year Books 11 American Journal of Public Health 34 Family Physician 26 AIM 67 POPLINE 36 Infectious Diseases 48 TABLE 3 Categories of Reprints for Medical Library (September 1992–April 1995) Category of Reprints Number of Reprints Topic requests from UNZA Med. Lib. 66 Special requests from UNZA Med. Lib. 159 Clinical information file, UNZA Med. Lib. 947 TABLE 4 Reprints by Broad Subject Category Subject Number of Reprints Cancer 66 Cholera 62 Diabetes 53 Diarrhea 82 Hepatitis 63 HIV/AIDS 35 Hypertension 91 Malaria 36 Maternal & child health/nutrition 43 Measles 85 Meningitis 52 Ophthalmology 42 Sexually transmitted diseases 53 Trauma/wounds 39 Tuberculosis 92

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--> TABLE 5 Distribution of Reprints User category Number of Reprints University of Zambia 586 University Teaching Hospital 703 Health practitioners 762 TABLE 6 Percentage Distribution of Reprints User category Percentage distribution University of Zambia 50% University Teaching Hospital 60% Health practitioners 65% TABLE 7 Health Practitioners Distribution of Reprints Geographical location Number of reprints Within Lusaka 410 Outside Lusaka 352 TABLE 8 Method of Reprint Distribution outside of Lusaka Method Number of reprints Print 176 Email 176

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--> numbers, distribution by percentage, distribution by geographical location, and method of distribution. The total number of reprints received by the Medical Library by April 1995 was 1,172. Another 234 reprints were received in May 1995, bringing the total to 1,406 reprints. In terms of distribution of reprints, there were times when they were distributed multiple times, thereby pushing the statistics high. The email provided an avenue to request and transmit literature search requests. Furthermore, both the email and post were used to distribute reprints to users outside Lusaka. Our vision is to provide access to the CD-ROM databases to health care workers outside the university by using a leased line. The greatest need for this service is at the periphery health facilities and yet most, if not all, of the databases cannot be networked over a wide area because of the copyright rules that govern them. Serious thought should be given to waiving some copyright regulations to third world countries if information is to be shared equally among all health care workers. Zambia Health Information Digest (ZHID) The ZHID is a creation of the Medical Library and the Ministry of Health (MOH), with a grant from THF and IBM International Foundation. It is an offspring of the CD-ROM technology component of the Communications for Better Health Project. The first issue was launched on 1 February 1995 at a ceremony held at the Medical Library. Its contents include appropriate and relevant health information designed for all levels of health care workers (presented in the form of abstracts culled from the Ovid MEDLINE and AIM databases), articles on the management of common medical conditions, feature articles on other medical conditions, and institutional profiles. The digest is produced quarterly and circulated to 1200 health facilities and institutions throughout the country. The MOH plays an important role in the distribution of the digest. The digest is also distributed on the Internet using the ZAMNET gopher. It is our intention to distribute it locally using the local Fidonet email system as well. The launching issue of the digest attracted positive comments from the local readers and from as far away places as Brazzaville, Columbia University, and Geneva. The hardware on which the digest is being produced came from a cooperative grant between THF and IBM International Foundation. The launching attracted dignitaries from Zambia, the United States, the Republic of South Africa and received positive media attention. The University of Florida Health Sciences Center Library provides full text articles of the Ovid MEDLINE abstracts that are included in each issue of the digest. The provision of the full text articles by the University of Florida is a continuation of the aid which is being given to the UNZA Medical Library. The CD-ROM project did not start in a vacuum; rather, it built upon the HealthNet project that had just been introduced to the UNZA Medical Library. Part of the technology

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--> (a 286 Olystar Computer) had already been installed by SatelLife. THF added on a CD-ROM player, providing one work station for CD-ROM activities. This took place in July, 1992. The pressure on the one computer, which was used for both email and CD-ROM activities, mounted as more and more people became aware of the improved health information services being provided by the UNZA Medical Library. Efforts to get more equipment from donors met with some hitches as we failed to provide convincing justification for the acquisition of additional equipment. This did not surprise us because statistics maintenance was poor at that time. After a lengthy two years of negotiating with donors, THF working in collaboration with the IBM International Foundation, donated two 486 IBM file servers, each with a 540 megabyte hard disk; one laser printer; one dot matrix printer and color monitors. With the availability of this equipment, we ventured into publishing the ZHID. This project went on smoothly because all that was required to be done was a few lessons in the use of Wordperfect 6.0 and how to use the graphics, both programs that we had acquired with the arrival of the file servers. The project proved a great success and is still running strong. The cooperation from the Ministry of Health, THF, and the IBM International Foundation motivated us to such an extent that we aimed to do everything as correctly as possible. The Results, Impact, and Benefits of the Project The reaction of the clientele to both the CD-ROM and the ZHID projects was amazing. Initially the Library staff took advantage of the visit of Dr. Leonard Rhine, Medical Librarian at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center Library1, to market the CD-ROM services. In October 1992, he conducted three half-day seminars on Automated literature searching at the Library. The participants in the seminars were drawn from among medical students, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) health care workers, and research and teaching staff from both the School of Medicine and the University's Great East Campus. The UNZA Medical Library and Main Library staff were also active participants in the seminars. The publicity leaflets for the seminars were put up before the arrival of Dr. Rhine. From that time onwards, most of the Medical Library clientele became aware of the new technology in the library. They were booked for thirty minutes each to do literature searches, but they complained that time was too short. The time allocation provided for a maximum of 15 searches a day. Some requests for literature searches arrived by email from the periphery hospitals—even though the technology was not adequately marketed outside of Lusaka. However, my involvement in the evaluation of the HealthNet project provided an opportunity to introduce the CD-ROM activities in the Southern Province of Zambia. The comments from the readers of the digest both from the printed copy and from the Internet were full of praise for the initiative taken and for the quality and

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--> BOX 3 Some Comments on the Inaugural Issue of ZHID The introduction of the ZHID is highly welcome and commended in that it will not only keep health workers abreast with new developments in health but will also instill the spirit to do some research. (Clinical Officer in Kasama) I was so impressed with your educative material, especially for health workers in remote health centers of the country. Please keep it up. (Environmental Health Technician, Nakonde) I wish to congratulate you for the introduction of ZHID. Surely it will go a long way in changing some attitudes and methods in the manner clients are treated and thereby improve the health standards of Zambian citizens. (Health worker in Samfya) I wish to congratulate you most warmly on the first issue of ZHID. It is most impressive and I particularly like the variety of information included: the institutional profile is an excellent idea, which I hope will be picked up by other countries. (WHO Librarian,Geneva) usefulness of the publication in promoting health information provision. (See Box 3.) Some comments were made against the UNZA Medical Library for excluding some departments of the MOH and other health institutions. Another indicator of the success of the digest was reflected by the number of local and international researchers who brought their reports to be published in the digest. The impact of the digest on the Medical Journal of Zambia is that the editors have been motivated by the progress made on the digest to such an extent that they have regrouped and are working out new strategies for reactivating the publication. Publicity of the ZHID was done in grand style with the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Katele Kalumba, officiating at the launching ceremony of the digest. The occasion attracted media coverage that lasted more than one week. The launching was followed by a workshop on Problem Solving For Better Health (PSBH), which took place in Ndola, the Copperbelt Provincial capital. The participants in the workshop came from all over the country, thereby giving an opportunity for the digest to be introduced across the country. The method of disseminating the digest to all health facilities, using the MOH, provided yet another form of publicity. In short, the digest was self-selling. It has not been easy to measure the impact of the CD-ROM services in the absence of carrying out an impact assessment survey addressed from the point of view of the student performance from the time of the introduction of the service. The other way of measuring impact would be to find out the increase in medical research and publishing activities among health care professionals in the School of Medicine and the UTH. However, the Post Basic Nursing student projects have

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--> greatly improved in quality in the past two years. The 1994 projects were even applauded by the Research and Ethics Committee of the School of Medicine after a seminar at which they were presented to the School. As the UNZA Medical Librarian, I give yearly lectures to the Post Basic Nursing students on library services and literature search strategies. Recently, I started to do the same for the School of Nursing students at the UTH. Analysis of Lessons Learned The main constraints we faced in implementing the project were the poor staffing levels at the professional ranks and the lack of appropriately trained persons to manage the projects. I, as coordinator of the project, had to learn computer skills as a matter of urgency in order to get going with the activities. In addition, the support staff were requested to work with me to move the projects forward. This on-the-job training worked for our library but I would suggest that it is better to start with the training before implementing the projects. One lesson learned from this experience is that it pays to include support staff in traditionally professional projects. We found that many of the medical library staff had a natural instinct for the technology. For instance, the fastest learner we had was a library attendant. Once this person was trained, she then went on to train others, including the library users, to do their own CD-ROM searches. If I were to start this project again, I would probably not do it much differently. The idea that intrigued me most was the need to be able to build on the existing projects instead of re-inventing the wheel. (See Box 4.) The other thing that I found useful was the use of relatively low budgets in implementing all the projects. In some cases, the projects were parasitic in the sense that they had no budgets at all, but relied totally on the existence of the other projects. An example of this is the AIM project which has no budget of its own and is dependent on the CD-ROM project for sustainability. BOX 4 National AIDS Resource Centre (NARC) This latest project is still in its infancy. In spite of the fact that the proposal is still under consideration by donors, some local HIV/AIDS literature was pulled from the UNZA Medical Library and UNICEF databases and put on the ZAMNET gopher. The Tropical Disease Research Centre (TDRC) Library has also prepared some abstracts that are still to be installed. The NARC coordinating center is the UNZA Medical Library and the TDRC Library is a satellite center. The participating centers are the HIV/AIDS information producing institutions which are on the email. Data collection will be done by email, whereas the AIDS database will be resident at the UNZA Medical Library. The ZAMNET gopher will be updated regularly.

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--> We were also able to build on the electronic communications initiatives of the University's Computer Center. In 1991, through the Computer Centre, we got hooked to a Fidonet system and installed a HealthNet satellite ground station. We started using electronic communications for the following purposes: Library Partnership Program The first use we made of email was to request literature searches. To do this, we found a partner in the United States—the University of Florida Health Sciences Center Library—to carry out the searches on our behalf. SatelLife facilitated the partnership. In June 1991, the first request (for information on meningitis) was sent to Florida late one afternoon. By the following morning, we had received a long list of citations, complete with abstracts. Dean Kopano Mukelabai of the School of Medicine at the University of Zambia acknowledged this giant break-through in the provision of health information by inviting me to address a meeting of the Eastern and Southern African Chairmen of Paediatrics Departments, in August 1991. HealthNet News SatelLife introduced an electronic newsletter that we disseminated to health care workers linked to the Fidonet system. A snap survey on the impact of the HealthNet News in 1993 showed that it was not widely read by users largely because of the busy schedules of the health care workers at whom the publication was targeted. Literature Searches We used the HealthNet communication system to receive and transmit literature search requests from the health care workers within the country. This aspect of SatelLife's information services was slow to be fully used because the health care workers were not fully aware of the information facilities that were at the Library. By 1994, SatelLife paid for a Grateful Med account to the National Library of Medicine with access to Toxinet, Cancerlit, AIDS, and Alert. The HealthNet Communication Service At the national level, the Library was linked to the Fidonet system but, at global level, communication was limited by Healthsat to those collaborators who were hooked to the HealthNet communications system. Most of the communication was centered on literature searches and to a lesser extent on other non-specific consultations with health care workers and medical librarians.

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--> In January 1995, we received an Internet account from ZAMNET (see Neil Robinson's case study in this volume.) This development further enhanced access to and provision of our health information services. Some of the things we are able to do with the Internet are listed below: Access to Health Information Databases Through the Internet, the Library can access many unrestricted databases, such as the WHO Library database in Geneva. Because a subscription is needed to access some databases, the Medical Library still needs some assistance to support these charges. Access to the ZAMNET Gopher We have installed the AIDS Bibliography on the ZAMNET gopher. A pointer to ZHID was opened on the Zambia's Worldwide Web homepage in November 1995, and it is accessible to all Internet users around the world. We have plans to have more health information on the Internet as more is generated. Access to Other Databases The world of information both related and unrelated to health opened to the Medical Library users with the installation of our Internet node. We have access to multidisciplinary information through the Internet. Conclusions and Recommendations Good programs have been brought to the Medical Library and implemented to the best of our ability. What we have been doing is just the beginning of a long road to providing health information for problem solving. Although HealthNet became a household name in health information transmission, the project failed because it failed to attract funding after the pilot phase. There is no more health information being transmitted by Healthsat because the ground station was moved from Zambia to a more needy site. In another vein, the Fidonet system which spread all over the country is, in some cases, being replaced by the interactive Internet. Progress and technology are playing a major role in the development of a better health information system. Neil Robinson's case study describes this progression from Fidonet to Internet and explains how ZAMNET is providing service to all levels of users in Zambia. Although CD-ROM usage statistics have shown a steady increase since 1992, the use of the databases outside Lusaka has not improved much. The most frequently used databases continue to attract more and more users, while the less popular databases continue to be underused. The Popline database is proving to be very popular.

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--> The AIM database is regularly consulted, too. The collection of data outside the School of Medicine and the UTH has proved to be slow because of the time and personnel factors. The first NARC HIV/AIDS bibliographies were culled from the AIM database. Since the database is accessible on the Internet, it has a wide circulation, but we have not yet devised a method to monitor usage at the national level. The only statistics available are collected from users who use the database from the library. On average, there are eleven clients who use the AIM database per week, and seven of these requests are made by readers of the digest. Although only two issues of the digest have been released, the feedback from the readers in form of comments and requests for full text articles has been good. The usage and comments on the usefulness of the digest will be monitored continuously through a feedback mechanism built into the publication. The Medical Library will continue to need support from partners to develop these programs that improve information provision to health care workers. The devastating effects of the structural adjustment program on the development of health information and literature can only be alleviated through the sort of assistance we have received and hopefully will continue to receive until the national economy strengthens. In view of the above concerns, I suggest the following: We need to network the CD-ROM for greater accessibility to databases by health care workers who cannot easily come to the library. We need to subscribe to key CD-ROM databases not only for the Medical Library clientele but for other health care workers who depend on us for information services. There are eight other health sciences libraries in Zambia that should be linked to Zambia's Internet service. We need to market CD-ROM databases and other health information services outside Lusaka. We need to purchase a portable CD-ROM workstation that we can use for demonstrations. In order to confer on issues relating to health information provision, Zambian medical librarians should meet at least once a year. We need to continue to improve the coverage and frequency of publication of the ZHID. We need to send medical librarians to all AHILA meetings where much of the professional sharing takes place. We need to subscribe to more databases on the Internet, for example, MEDLINE.

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--> The issues that haunt the UNZA Medical Library hinge on whether health information and literature provision will develop at the same pace as health provision—which is attracting reasonable funding from both the government and donors. Or will these efforts collapse soon after the current crop of Library staff disappear from the institution? I would like to wrap up this story with the following: partnership, intelligent use of available resources, marketing of health information, and willingness not to give up are very important factors in the provision of health information. Better health information leads to better health care. Lastly, our philosophy has been to access information—not to OWN it. Collaboration with others, regardless of geographical or political boundaries, and acceptance of the charging information and communication technologies is the way forward. Note 1.   The Florida Health Sciences Library has a twinning arrangement with the University of Zambia Medical Library.

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