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SPRI Review 2004: Library and Information Service

Library and Information Service

Academic staff, research and undergraduate students from the University, as well as visiting scholars from around the world, continue to make good use of the Institute's renowned polar library. During the year the library received over 300 visits from external readers. Staff and volunteers carried out a stock check during the summer, which has led to a greater consistency of approach to the classification of open shelf material. A new edition of the "Universal Decimal Classification for use in polar libraries" is also being planned.

A total of 1574 items were added to the library, including 883 books and other monographic materials. By the end of the period covered, SPRILIB held 168,252 records, with 2,752 records added during the year. Three issues of Polar and Glaciological Abstracts were published by Cambridge University Press and records sent for two updates of the Arctic and Antarctic Regions CD-ROM published by the National Information Services Corporation. Funding from the British Antarctic Survey enabled us to continue our input to the Antarctic Bibliography at AGI. Approximately 500 items were contributed during the year. The Antarctic Bibliography is now searchable at

During the final illness of William Mills, Librarian of the Institute since 1989, and until the new Librarian, Heather Lane, took up office in November, the library office staff and bibliographers shared responsibility for maintaining the library service. It is tribute to their hard work that the library continued to run so efficiently over this difficult period. Shirley Sawtell, the library's Information Assistant, presented a paper at the International Polar Libraries Colloquy, entitled 'Polar research - let us share: the contribution of the Scott Polar Library over the last decade, with special reference to the work of William Mills, Keeper of the Collections.' Hilary Shibata, the library's Antarctic bibliographer, attended the 30th Annual Conference of the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centres (IAMSLIC) in Hobart in September, which included the first Southern Hemisphere session of the Polar Libraries Colloquy.

Towards the end of the year, Helen McLagan joined the library for six weeks from the National Library of Australia and helped to analyse the coverage of international indexing and abstracting services for the periodical titles in the SPRI collection. Percy Hammond and Jean Cruttwell produced a comprehensive report on the map collection, and continued work on the map catalogue.

In addition to support for specific projects (listed under Research Grants), external funding for general polar information and library services during the year has come through generous support from:

Ministry of Defence grant in aid (DSNOM) £35,000
NERC British Antarctic Survey £20,000
Royal Society grant in aid (for WDC-C) £11,000
The Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute £10,000
Jephcott Charitable Trust £10,000
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Polar Regions) £ 5,000
Thriplow Charitable Trust £5,000

Visiting scholars using library facilities for extended periods during the year included: Professor Sudhir Chopra (University of the West Indies); Ms Carine Ayele Durand (Université de Nice); Judy Hall (Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa); David Neufeld (Parks Canada); Prof. Larry Rockhill (University of Alaska); Dr Hiroko Takakura (Tohoku University); Bernadette Hince (Australian National University, Canberra); Patricia Anne Elwood; Karin Andreassen (University of Tromsø); Jessica Shadian; Meredith Hooper; Prof. William Barr (University of Calgary, Arctic Institute of North America).

Heather Lane