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European Association for Health Information and Libraries
Association Européenne pour I'Information et les Bibliothèques de Santé


News from Europe

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The Finnish Council Member for EAHIL, Pirjo Rajakiili from Helsinki, was appointed as the new Director of the National Health Sciences Library in Helsinki, from the 1st of March, 1999. Pirjo Rajakiili previously worked here between 1973-79 following her graduation. After that she became the Chief Librarian for the Finnish Sports Library, where she expanded the activities of the library to cover a wide range of services to various sectors of society.

From the Sports Library she moved to head the Library of the National Public Health Institute between 1991-99, during which time she also became EAHIL Council Member for Finland.

The National Health Sciences Library in Finland comprises, in addition to the National Library, of the Library of the Medical Faculty of Helsinki University. This faculty library also include some 30 collections managed by 12 departmental or clinical libraries. As is usual in Finland, this medical library is a combined library for the university and the university teaching hospital.

The administration is led by a board of 12 members, besides the Director of the Library. Pirjo Rajakiili is facing many new challenges, since the library community at the University of Helsinki has been under revision and reorganisation and she now starts with a new model administration. The Library building is also rather new, having been completed at the beginning of 1997.

Liisa Salmi

Kuopio University Hospital Medical Library



Nouvelles de Finlande

Pirjo Rajakiili d'Helsinki vient d'être nommée Directrice de la Bibliothèque Nationale de Médecine de Finlande. Elle est entrée en fonction le 1er Mars 1999. Pirjo Rajakiili, membre délégué au Conseil de l'AEIBS pour la Finlande a travaillé dans diverses bibliothèques rattachées au gouvernement avant d'être nommée à ce poste.

La Bibliothèque de la Faculté de Médecine de l'Université de Finlande à Helsinki, ainsi que 12 autres bibliothèques départementales ou cliniques sont rattachées à la Bibliothèque Nationale de Médecine de Finlande. L'ensemble des bibliothèques de l'Université de Finlande ontété ré-évaluées récemment. C'est dire que la tâche pour Pirjo Rajakiili sera de haut intérêt mais certes peu facile.

Le bâtiment dans lequel se trouve la Bibliothèque Nationale de Médecine est récent et n'a été terminé qu'en 1997. La Bibliothèque Nationale de Médecine est administrée par un comité de 12 personnes en plus de la Directrice.

Liisa Salmi


Barcelona: SLA Mediterranean Conference - February 26-27, 1999

Manuela Colombi

The Special Library Association organized a conference in Barcelona with the title: "Management of the Library in the Electronic Era". The meeting was held in cooperation with the Sociedad Espanola de Documentacion Informacion Cientifica (SEDIC), DOC6 Consultants in Information Resources, both from Spain and Cenfor International Books from Italy. It was a two day conference with plenary sessions and one round the table discusion, with a summary . The themes focused on the most important management issues a librarian has to take care of. The first day concentrated on copyright issues in the digital environment.

The first speech was by Nuria Gallart from the Universitad Autonoma de Barcelona, who presented the European Directive on copyright for electronic publications. In many cases the exceptions allowed by the copyright law will not be transfered to the new law. The librarians will face difficult times, if national laws adopt the directive as it is. The second speech was given by Emanuela Giavarra, copyright advisor to EBLIDA (European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations). Mrs Giavarra made an analysis of the relationship between copyright law and licences. As copyright law will increase the rights for rights owners and diminish the exceptions, access to information will be better regulated by contract law. So the time has come for librarians to discuss licences with the publishers. The presentation then focused on the major topics to be considered when discussing a licence: parties, recitals, interpretation of the agreement, rights granted, clauses.

Mrs Giavarra made a second speech about the opportunity to build library consortia. Again she presented a framework to have in mind for organizing a good consortium. Who are the partners, what is the purpose, what materials are covered. Should the consortium be a legal entity or just an agreement between parties, how should it be managed. In building a consortium one has to decide also what happens if things go wrong and the agreement comes to an end.

The afternoon session was devoted to the preservation of digital documents with a speech by Alice Keefer. There are problems in conserving new forms of documents, due to the rapid change of technology. This topic is of major interest for public libraries which have the duty of preservation. It is interesting to notice that old papyrus and manuscripts have been saved because of being kept unused in some hidden places. What will we do with our CD-ROMs in fifty year time?

The roundtable saw the participants discussing in groups copyright, licenses and consortia. The second day saw a four handed presentation by John Akeroyd from the South Bank University in London and Miguel Jimenez from the library of the Universitad Autonoma of Madrid. They discussed the theme of introducing new systems for the management of libraries. A system has to be as good and complete as possible, has to be flexible and include as many services as are needed. One has to take care that from a situation of multiple interfaces for a plurality of applications one has to stream towards an unified service. Miguel Jimenez gave the framework to conduct needs assessment and how to find the best product, considering technologies and prices.

Miriam Drake, Library Director of the Georgia Institute of Technology, faced the topic of maintaining such a service: budgeting, technological support, staff and customer training. This presentation was a good introduction to the last session by Ellis Sada, from the Catholic University in Milan, who spoke about training in the electronic era. Starting with the consideration of the environment in which a library has to work, the presentation focused on the mission of the library and the need of cooperation among librarians and professors. Moreover, not only the end-user has to be trained but also and firstly the librarian. To be useful the training should adopt the methodologies which best fit the required results.

The conference was very much appreciated: due to the restricted number of participants discussions could take place among attendees and speakers. We hope to have the possibility to meet at the second Mediterranean conference, may be in Italy.


back to TOC EAHIL Newsletter 47; May 1999


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