Information is to an increasing degree based on the use of electronic tools. This development opens new possibilities for users and creates new responsibilities for libraries as information providers. In the past, Middle Eastern and Islamic collections have not been supported by funding bodies in building up tools for providing electronic information for their users in a manner comparabale to other institutions, for example, in technology or life sciences. In order to satisfy information needs of their users, libraries and collections have to coordinate their limited capacities to create electronic tools for making available information on their subjects. The creation of a virtual library is an important step towards achieving this goal.
A virtual library depends on the cooperation of a multitude of institutions but needs at the same time a coordinating institution. In October 2000, the University and State Library Saxony-Anhalt, Halle started a project that aims at coordinating activities of electronic information regarding Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and at laying the foundation for a Virtual Library Middle East / North Africa. The project is sponsored by the DFG.
Aims and scope
The principal aim of the project is the extension of the following services or the construction of the following tools:
- Special Subject Guide for electronic resources relevant for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
- Current Contents Services for scholarly journals
- Virtual Catalogue Middle East
- Database for dissertations
- Database for conferences
Further aims may be added in the future.
The Virtual Library Middle East North Africa supported by a number of participating institutions is designed to function as a centre of information in the field of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. The tools will be constructed in a way that enables external partners to feed their data into the databases. The DFG provides financial means for four positions for 2 years.
The main responsibilities of the four positions are:
The following institutions have expressed their intention to cooperate in the framework of the Virtual Library / Middle East North Africa or have contributed to the project already:
- Deutsche Morgenlaendische Gesellschaft (DMG)
- Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Vorderer Orient (DAVO)
- Institut fuer Orientalistik der Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg
- Middle East Librarians Committee (MELCOM, UK)
- Research Group Contemporary Arabic Studies, Granada
- State and University Library (SUB) Goettingen
- Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund - GBV
- University Library Karlsruhe
- University of California, Los Angeles, Library
- Yale University Library, OACIS for the Middle East
- University Library Bamberg (Orientalistik)
- Landesspracheninstitut Nordrhein-Westfalen
- GIGA - Insitutut für Nahoststudien
- Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
- Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO)
- Lutz Wiederhold: MENALIB - Die Virtuelle Fachbibliothek Vorderer Orient / Nordafrika. in Bibliotheksdienst 10 (2001), 1327-1336
- Lutz Wiederhold, Sibylle Wegener: MENALIB - the Virtual Library Middle East / North Africa, First results of a project started in October 2000
- Lutz Wiederhold: Cooperative Structures for the Collection of Internet Resources on and from the Middle East
- Lutz Wiederhold: Elektronische Fachinformation Islamwissenschaft : gegenwaertige Situation und Perspektiven im Rahmen einer virtuellen Fachbibliothek Vorderer Orient/Nordafrika (Halle : Univ.- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt, 2000), 102 p. (Schriften zum Bibliotheks- und Buechereiwesen in Sachsen-Anhalt ; 81), ISBN 3-86010-607-4
- Sibylle Wegener: Arabic and the WWW