School 2018: Nairobi, Kenya
Fifth CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries, held at the University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya from 8th to 12th October 2018
The school was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and was hosted by the University of Nairobi. The purpose of the school was to deepen the participants’ understanding of digital libraries, expose new trends in scientific publishing, and emphasize a set of principles related to open access, both for data and publications.
Sharing The Knowledge: The fifth CERN-UNESCO School on Digital libraries
by Esra Ozcesmeci
"Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity,
and is the torch which illuminates the world."
This beautiful quote from the famous French chemist seems to have inspired some key missions of CERN: the dedication to training and international collaboration besides physics research. One recent example is the CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries that took place in Nairobi, Kenya from 8th to 12th October 2018. Aiming at enabling better information access for African researchers and making African research more visible to the rest of the world, the School represents an important opportunity for CERN in terms of contributing to the global exchange of knowledge, skills, and culture.
After Rwanda, Morocco, Senegal and Ghana, Kenya was the fifth host country of the Digital Library School. It was organized by CERN in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). About 35 librarians and library system managers from Kenya, Cameroon, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe convened at the University of Nairobi to acquire new skills for running digital library systems and a better insight into the technologies helping the circulation of academic production within libraries. The training was a mixed programme of theory, practical exercises and active participation with contributors coming from CERN - Scientific Information Services (A. Holtkamp & J. Vigen) & Information Technology department (J.-Y. Le Meur) - the National Library of Uganda (S. Kaddu), Tind Technologies (G. Lastacoueres), Elsevier (I. van Stadt) and EIFL (S.K. Too).
The 5-day training covered diverse topics. It focused on the principles related to open access and open knowledge, with the clear goal to facilitate access by libraries to a more comprehensive literature and also to get the African repositories well-filled with all the local academic production. Practical solutions for setting up and running digital libraries have also been shared among all attendees. Participants were exposed to different approaches to run the open source digital repository platform Invenio, born at CERN. Complementary hands-on sessions were proposed, one using the service Zenodo, and the other using the service Open Access Africa (OAA). OAA has been deployed and launched for this workshop by the CERN spin-off TIND, where the platform will be offered for free for a two years duration. Multiple other good practices and useful tools were presented and tried-out, like the ORCID & DOI attributions, the OpenRefine holding pen software (Google), the GROBID extraction tool and more.