Library and Information Technology Services (LITS)

Generous grants from several sources enabled Sabre in 1996/97 to continue its innovative work in new information technologies. It proved expeditious to launch some of these programs first in Ukraine, thanks to the strong network of local contacts in that country built up by Sabre's partner, Sabre-Svitlo.

Training on the Internet and Related Information Technologies

Sabre continued to develop its capacity for training in the U.S. and abroad, with participants so far from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Croatia and Slovenia. In the U.S. customized sessions, participants experience at first hand the benefits of public access to information and the integration of the Internet in all spheres of a democratic and market-oriented society. Sessions also are used to discuss alternative information technologies and to consult about their possible appli- cations. Abroad, Sabre conducts training sessions in-country for participants with varying interests and levels of experience. They attend a general introductory session and then practice in several"hands on" sessions in actual on-line time.

Specialists in archival sciences at Kyiv's Institute of Archeography viewing Sabre CD-ROM

In many countries where Sabre is active, while computer professionals are sophisticated in their use of Internet-related technologies, there is a lack of training opportunities for the non-specialist. To meet that need, Sabre has devised a module to train specialists to create training sessions appropriate for various audiences. So far, this training has been based in the U.S.

In the summer of 1996, for example, Sabre conducted its first four-week ³Training of Trainers" program for two computer specialists from the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine, referred to Sabre by Kyiv-based America House (United States Information Service). In addition to training sessions at Sabre, there were sessions and meetings at Harvard, MIT and Bentley College. Courses at Boston University were also incorporated. So that the trainees‹Youry Khmelevsky and Nikolai Glibovets‹could try out their skills in training others, Sabre gave them the opportunity to conduct"hands on" training sessions for six students from Ukraine attending Harvard Summer School. With Sabre staff, the trainees also developed a presentation entitled"Ukraine: The View from Cyberspace, a Tour of Selected Sites on the World Wide Web" as part of the special events series at Harvard's summer program.

At the request of a donor interested in restoring educational excellence to the St. Volodymyr the Great Gymnasium in Rohatyn, Western Ukraine, in 1997 Sabre's reference librarian Rebecca Schneider undertook a detailed needs assessment of that secondary school's computer facilities and library collection. The donor was enthusiastic about her report and responded promptly to her recommendations, asking Sabre to procure computers and educational software as well as a wide range of English-language materials.

Also in 1997, Sabre managed two substantial medical book and CD-ROM purchases. Sabre-Zagreb, working with the Croatian Ministry of Science, provided over $45,000 for the purchase of medical CD-ROMs. This led to a U.S.-based training program for CD-ROM and other information technologies in the medical field. With a donation of $100,000 for book purchase from the World Congress of Ukrainian Medical Associations provided by Harry Malynovsky, Sabre negotiated discounts and is providing shipping expertise and warehousing infrastructure both in the U.S. and Ukraine through Sabre-Svitlo.

Czech Document Delivery Project Continues

With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and an anonymous donor, Sabre and the Information Center at the Prague Institute of Advanced Studies continued to refine their pilot document delivery project for biologists in Central and Eastern Europe (³Plantnet"). The Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) has served as the main resource for scientific, technical and medical documents, which are ordered and received via the Internet.

Rule of Law Project Strengthens Law Libraries

Sabre staff continued to assist the Ukrainian Legal Foundation (ULF) in the development of a national law library in Kyiv. The library's collection has become an indispensable resource for law students, teachers, lawyers and parliamentarians as they work to build an appropriate legal system for their country. After working with ULF librarians to shape a profile of needs, Sabre solicited and shipped nearly 4,000 volumes dealing with virtually every major area of law, plus specialized reference works to help the ULF's Center for Legal Terminology, Translation and Dictionaries. In view of the library's role as a resource to policy makers, materials were provided on NATO, nuclear disarmament, and the European Union. Multi-volume sets of U.S. statutes and reports were made available.

The donated materials were obtained mainly from law firms, law libraries, and such publishers as West Publishing, Kluwer International Law, and M.E. Sharpe. Solicitation of donations was facilitated by Internet discussion lists for law librarians. Where possible, Sabre obtained duplicate copies for the ULF branch library in Kharkiv, located at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law Academy.

In other aspects of the project, Sabre also helped to select and adapt a cataloguing system equal to the demands of the new law library; Sabre consultant Andrew Gregorovich of Toronto advised the ULF librarians on adapting the Law Schedule of the Library of Congress classification system. And Sabre reference librarian Rebecca Schneider conducted a series of training sessions in Ukraine to help legal profession- als find law-related materials on the Internet.

The ULF library is now considered a model for law libraries in Ukraine for the breadth of its collections, its cataloguing standards and the professionalism of its staff. The project has been funded by a grant from the ARD/Checchi Rule of Law Consortium, which administers the Rule of Law Program for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Lviv-based Sabre-Svitlo has handled logistical support, including customs matters, for the Sabre/ ULF project.

Sabre's ULF experience provided a base for the provision of similar services in other countries, and Book Program Manager Colin McCullough went to South Africa to investigate expansion of the program to historically black universities in that country.

Halyna Polozova, director of ULF Library (left), with Sabre reference librarian Rebecca Schneider, conducting Internet training for legal professionals held at University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine

Sabre trainees from Slovenia and Croatia in Cambridge for a medically-oriented CD-ROM project

Development of Ukrainian-language Internet Handbook

With a grant from USAID, through the Eurasia Foundation, the Computer Network Center at State University "Lvivska Polytechnica," in Lviv, Ukraine, used Sabre's technical assistance to build a"training of Internet trainers" curriculum. An important outcome of this project was the production of a Ukrainian-language"Beginning Internet" handbook. Victor Kytasty, Director of America House, found the handbook well-written with an excellent pedagogical approach. The handbook is also being printed in the U.S., and is currently available for purchase.

Preserving Archives with New Technologies

A grant from the Ukrainian Studies Fund at Harvard, matched by an anonymous donor, has enabled Sabre staff to explore the feasibility of a low-cost, portable digital camera/CD-ROM module to be used for preserving a variety of archival materials. The pilot project focuses on technical advice, hardware and software purchase, and content indexing.

Internet-based "Ukraine: FAQ" Archive Grows

Sabre's highly rated Internet archive,"Ukraine: FAQ Plus," continued to grow, thanks to staff efforts and support from the Ukrainian Studies Fund, project coordinator Bohdan Peter Rekshynsky, and an anonymous funder. Valuable additions include The Ukrainian Weekly. Two out-of-print books are also now available: The Ninth Circle: In Commemoration of Victims of the Famine of 1933, by Olexa Woropay, and Ukraine in Foreign Comments and Descriptions from the VIth to the XXth Century, by Volodymr Sichynsky.

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