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SPRI Review 2008: Library and Information Service

Library and Information Service

The Library received over 750 visits from external readers, in addition to providing services to students and academic staff from many departments of the University. Undergraduate use of the library increased once again, with the continued popularity of the Geography 2nd and 3rd year glaciology and Arctic peoples courses. Library staff also provided induction sessions and training in the use of electronic resources on demand for all new postgraduate students. During 2008, the Library hosted visits from the graduate trainees working in a range of libraries within the University, from the Desk Officers of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Polar Regions Unit, the Friends of Norwich Cathedral, students from the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the McKinsey & Co. leadership programme and the Canadian High Commissioner James Wright and his senior staff. The Librarian again provided tours during the Alumni Weekend, which proved very popular.

A total of 2330 monographic items and issues for 530 periodical titles were added to the library during the year, with items from a further 170 electronic titles recorded. The sections of the library catalogue accessible via the web as SPRILIB (Antarctica, Ice and Snow and Russian North) were also updated to include material published up to the end of 2007. Records were again sent for two updates of the Arctic and Antarctic Regions CD-ROM published by the National Information Services Corporation. Working in cooperation with the World Data Centre for Glaciology, records of items relating to the current International Polar Year were submitted quarterly to the IPY Publications Database,, also hosted by NISC. Input continued to the Antarctic Bibliography, searchable free of charge on the web at A notable acquisition during the year included a beautiful atlas of Siberia: "Siberia: Atlas of Asiatic Russia", published in 2007 by Dizayn and edited by famous ethnographer and archaeologist A.P. Derevyanko.

Carving in walrus ivory of an igloo with man and woman by an Iglulik artist, Nunavut, Canada
Image as described adjacent

A second tranche of funding provided by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation enabled Library staff to continue preparatory work on the Data Migration Project. Much was done during the year to bring library records into line with international cataloguing standards and to identify areas requiring further attention, such as the development of name authority files.

The Librarian, Heather Lane, continued to be involved in discussions on information policy during the International Polar Year and the work of the IPY Education, Outreach and Communication subcommittee, contributing to the design of the IPY web site and in the further development of the IPY Publications Directory. Plans were also put in place for the Institute to act as the repository for the electronic IPY planning archive, at the request of the international Joint Committee. At the meeting in Edmonton, Alberta in June, the Librarian was elected Chair of the Polar Libraries Colloquy, to serve for two years. Mrs Lane also continued as Chair of the Cambridge University Bibliographic Standards Advisory Group and continued as the School's representative on the General Board Committee on Libraries, as well as joining the Journals Coordination Scheme Consultative Committee for the School of Physical Sciences. In April, our Russian Bibliographer, Isabella Warren attended the COSEELIS conference which took place in Oxford. Jeremy Wong continued as the library's representative to the user group of the print-on-demand company, Lightning Source.

Volunteers continue to play a crucial part in researching and maintaining the Library's collections. Percy Hammond and Jean Cruttwell continued their valuable work cataloguing the collection and updating their Access database. Janine Lettau, Ailsa MacQueen, Jonathan Pinhey, John Reid and Maria Shorthouse all provided time and expertise on a variety of projects during the year. Jack Williman spent time with us for his Duke of Edinburgh bronze service award, helping out in both the Library and Museum.

In addition to research grants received for specific projects, the Institute received, during the financial year, sums for the general support of information and library services. Thanks are due to the following supporting bodies.

Ministry of Defence grant in aid (DC-ICSP) £35,000
Royal Society grant in aid (for WDC-C) £11,000
Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation £15,000
CO Polar Regions Unit £5,000

During the year, the Library also hosted a number of scholars visiting the Institute for extended periods, including: Professor Bjørn Basberg (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Economic History Section); Dr Peter Dann (Research Associate of Melbourne University, Australia); Professor David Day (Centre for Pacific and American Studies, University of Tokyo); Bryan Lintott (Gateway Antarctica. University of Canterbury, Christchurch. New Zealand); Brian Lymbert (Antarctic Treaty); Dr Bruce Minore (Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, Thunder Bay, Ontario); Jennifer Newton (Department of Anthropology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks); Professor Petri Pellikka (University of Helsinki. Department of Geography).

Heather Lane