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A plan for the establishment of a national bibliographic network for Kuwait in the light of international and local standards

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posted on 28.10.2010, 11:41 authored by Nahla Al-humood
This research was carried out in order to gather information on the current situation and practices of libraries in Kuwait so as to investigate the possibly of designing a model for establishment of a national bibliographic network in the State of Kuwait. As context for the research, background is provided on national bibliographic networks in developed countries and in the Arab World, together with consideration of the role of a national library in such a network. In order to gather data, three questionnaire surveys (for library administrators, cataloguers and automation specialists) were distributed to all types of libraries in Kuwait. Information was sought on the composition and training of staff, the nature and extent of library resources and databases, the degree of automation of systems and services, and the nature of co-operation and resource sharing. Opinions were also sought on the feasibility of establishing centralised cataloguing and the implementation of a national bibliographic network. Follow-up interviews were also carried out, and professionals in both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were consulted for advice on practical solutions and recommendations for an effective national bibliographic network. The findings of the questionnaire surveys indicated some deficiencies that Kuwait libraries face: the absence of a leadership role by the national library; lack of a deposit law for national publications that would ensure a collection that would provide central focal point for a national information infrastructure; coverage by the national bibliography is neither comprehensive nor adequate; there are no formal systems of co-operation for resource sharing; implementation of standards for bibliographic services has been ineffective; many libraries still lack automated systems; lack of professional staff was noted by all sectors. Nevertheless, respondents were positive in their concern for needing strong leadership, adequate financial support for the national library, and expressed a desire for co-operation, which was felt to be possible even under the current circumstances. Based on the findings of the survey and experience described in the literature, it is concluded that a national library is the most appropriate body to develop and maintain the bibliographic databases that would be the centre of national bibliographic network. A model for such a network is presented, discussing the links to different libraries in the country and the duties and responsibilities of the national and other libraries in attaining successful functioning of the network. Recommendations are made for the functioning of the proposed national bibliographic network.



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© Nahla Al-humood

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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