Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation
Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation

Minutes of the Meeting
Town and Country Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Approved by CONSALD at the 12 October 2000 meeting in Madison Wisconsin

I. Preliminaries II. LC-New Delhi Report III. LC-Pakistan Report IV. Newspaper List V. SALNAQ
VI. DAL Report VII. DSAL Report VIII. Round Robin IX. Election Results X. Attendees

I. Preliminaries

  • Irene�s retirement dinner will be held at the Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India on Friday the 10th at 5:00.
  • Suzanne McMahon announced that Narindar Aggarwal of the University of Illinois will retire this spring. CONSALD will organize a present to send to Narindar.
  • Ved Kayastha announced his South Asia Video Directory which was published in August of 1999. It is currently only available in print format but anyone wanting a copy should contact him.
  • The Executive Committee will meet after the meeting to appoint new officers.
  • The AAS Budget Report for CONSALD shows a current balance of $1,268.06. It was decided that for future meetings, coffee money will be taken out of this fund.
  • After some discussion and corrections, minutes from the previous two meetings (AAS and Madison, 1999) were approved.

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II. LC-New Delhi Report

Carol Mitchell reported on the following:

  • Lygia Ballantyne has gone to Mongolia and has hired a representative there. So far, things are going well. Shipments have been made from Mongolia. 
  • Regular acquisitions trips are undertaken by the selection officers in the Delhi Office, including recent trips to Rajasthan. 
  • Carol discussed the selection profiles. If anyone is receiving too many titles, they should re-evaluate the selective vs. representative categories. It was noted that selective books do cost more. She suggested that perhaps there needs to be refinement in the language profiles. For example, should literary criticism be divided into two levels? Should social sciences be broken down further? In addition, should there be more refinement in the English language profiles? Some discussion ensued: 1) David Magier wondered whether the language profiles should be refined or if there should be an option for separating selective, representative, etc. for the languages; 2) Merry Burlingham said that faculty are asking for more discrimination (levels) in the language profiles, particularly for cost saving; 3) Mel Thatcher thought that if there was a more refined list one could make more specific choices in the languages and that this would benefit those who don't have full language representation in the profiles, etc. After discussion, Carol said she would make a proposal to LC for more refinement in the profiles.
  • Regarding rejections, the Delhi Office can tell you what was rejected in a particular profile and why. 
  • The Delhi Office welcomes more feedback from participants, either directly or through responses to the circulars. Some discussion regarding the circulars ensued. Currently, the circulars are sent out for anything over $50. Suzanne McMahon asserted that the circulars are helpful. 
  • The Delhi Office is seeing more and more non-print materials these days, particularly GIS, maps and other by-products of larger GIS projects. In general, these are expensive items. Some discussion: 1) David Magier asked if LC would ask vendors/publishers of these materials about consortial purchase possibilities; that is, can LC work out joint licensing agreements? 2) Philip McEldowney wondered about the networking possibilities for such items; 3) Carol Mitchell responded that more networking/cooperative purchasing agreements may come in the future but right now, the majority of things are coming out on CD which are difficult to acquire consortially; she is encouraging web-based products in India; 4) Ved Kayastha asked about how to purchase map like products�does one have to buy the whole package, or can one purchase parts, etc.; 5) David Magier wondered again about the possibility of consortial possibilities for these large map purchases. 
  • Carol reported that instead of DVDs, VCDs are what's being produced in India these days. She asked whether people would be interested in them and said that they could buy samples and then ascertain their usefulness. Some discussion: 1) Allen Thrasher said that Ron Inden has been talking about the prevalence of VCDs over video; 2) Monica Ghosh wondered what the technical requirements of the VCD would be -- can we view them on a computer or a DVD player? 3) Ved Kayastha said he would accept some VCDs to test in the DVD players he has; 4) Carol told of old movies being put onto DVD in London. 
  • Carol talked of a proposal to change the content and/or add content to the LC webpage. The changes might contain space for current lists of receipts, serial lists, financial spreadsheets, etc. There is currently no timeline for such a webpage, this discussion was preliminary to a proposal. David Magier wondered if LC could put the serials list on this website instead of having it on the U of Chicago server. Carol said that there would be no serials list sent on disk this year. It was noted that last year's serials list has yet to make it onto the Chicago page. Information on serials seems to be a priority for this website. Philip McEldowney said it would be helpful to have monographic information also on this website -- for example, which titles acquired by LC, which participant they're going to, etc. He asserted that we need more timely information on selections made in Delhi. Carol said that email works well for this type of information exchange, but by mounting acquisitions data in web format, participants will get the information themselves. David Magier thinks that we should have some data field showing where within the profile certain titles fall. Bibliographic data also seems a priority more than information regarding cost, etc. Perhaps LC could put some information regarding rejections into a field. Mel Thatcher wondered if the profiles could be put on the site with the availability to adjust one's profile. David Magier thought that it would be helpful to see an interface between the profile and the bills on the site. Participants could search by their number or a specific profile number. The database will include information on selected and rejected titles. Carol responded that it would be helpful if one could generate reports from the site. In sum, the priorities for the proposal seemed to be: serials, monographs, and profile displays with options for changing them. 
  • Carol reported on the Integrated Field Office System (IFOS), the replacement of the Integrated Order, Distribution and Acounting system (IODA). This intent is to be more transparent than IODA. There is a better cataloging turnaround time using this -- dealers are doing the initial bibliographic inputting. There are some workflow problems, particularly with serials. Serials unit is clearing up backlogs, however. It is hoped that reports in the future will be more flexible as to the data the Office is able to generate.
  • Regarding serials, Carol says that the Delhi office is up to date on electronic claims. She repeats that there will not be a serials list diskette this year. Chicago needs to be urged to get last year's data onto the website maintained there. The Office plans to have a serials database on the web would be much more dynamic than the disks.
  • Regarding cataloging, the Delhi office has hired three new staff members responsible for the following languages: Oriya, Bengali, and Telugu. 
  • The quarterly and annual budget reports will continue. The quarterly reports have about a one month lag time and the yearly reports are based on LC's fiscal year. Ray Lum asked if we could pay LC electronically/using a credit card. James Gentner doesn�t see why we couldn't but he will check on it and let us know. 
  • Carol has made a study on the cost of books through the LC program. This report will be put on the web by Philip McEldowney. In brief, the cost of books has not gone up since 1996, due to the parallel rises in inflation and the valuation of the dollar. Some average costs: 
English title=$8.80
Humanities title=$11.00 (includes art books)
Business/economics title=$6.64
Religion title=$4.95
Literature title=$3.60
Hindi title=$4.79
Hindi literary criticism=$2.47
Bengali title=$1.34
English title from Nepal=$4.13 (the price increase resulting from better selection)
English title from Bangladesh=$6.01
Sri Lankan English title=$4.40 
Carol gave examples of how LC gets bargains compared to other dealers. Irene asked if the LC overhead was included in the figures mentioned and Carol responded that it wasn't but that in many cases LC received significant discounts that made up for differences in overhead, for example the English language discount offered to LC is 26% which equals out the overhead costs.
  • The MIPP project has been suspended by the Indian Government. The GOI says they will do the project themselves. Irene Joshi wondered at which point it had been suspended. Carol says it ended in Calcutta and that the project will finish up by the end of April when LC completes filming in Alighar. Although the project is suspended, the cameras are still there and we are allowed to film so they are looking for some new filming projects. Overall, we need to regroup and reprioritize. 
  • Regarding shipments, Carol reminded us that LC will not ship without money in the shipment deposit fund and that they will not shift funds from category to category without permission. They will airmail items if requested; participants were reminded that this would deplete their shipping funds and may lead to supplemental bills. They are not going to ship two slips with the books anymore. They will go down to one slip and then eventually go exclusively to labels instead of slips. Merry Burlingham wondered if this would increase the label size, etc. but Carol assured that the size would not increase, just the amount of bibliographic information on the slip. So, there will be slips in the preshipment and then just the labels with the books. Philip McEldowney wondered if the pre-shipment could be sent electronically. In the future, this will be a part of the Office's web pages.
  • James Gentner announced that starting April 3rd there will only be MLC for belle letters from India. From now on, participant libraries will have to cutter belle letters themselves. David Magier asked if we could get a formal memo on this new procedure to forward on to our respective cataloging departments, etc. 
  • During the New Delhi Book Fair, country representatives from Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka attended a Conference at the Office. There was a good exchange between the folks making selections and LC reps regarding information about the recipient libraries, etc.. They also used the Book Fair to compare vendors' work with what's available generally. 
  • The Delhi office has some new automation staff. 
  • The Office continues to seek ways to improve communication between the Delhi staff and the participants. She says that there's already good communication between Delhi and the other field offices. 
  • The proposed field office internships did not get any funding. It was reminded that there are LC fellowships generally. Some discussion: 1) Ved Kayastha wondered why no one from the Delhi Field Office was visiting the U.S.; 2) Judy McDermott said she would look into it as they already do that for the other field offices; 3) Carol said to make sure to meet with folks when coming through Delhi; 4) Irene Joshi suggested that it would be best to have them (FSN staff) come to Madison, not to the AAS. 
  • Ved Kayastha said that he would like to see circulars for Sage publications like those coming for OUP. Carol responded that they can purchase from specific publishers, even above/beyond profile (that is, all OUP or all Sage publications, regardless of one's profile).

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III. LC-Pakistan Report

Jim Armstrong reported on the following: 

  • Jim talked about the state of the State of Pakistan. He says that there has been increased security in Pakistan in recent months. 
  • The IFOS program is in use in the Islamabad office, but it is not as advanced as the one in Delhi. 
  • The change in government has had little effect on publishing in Pakistan -- publishers and authors continue to self-censor rather than face government censorship. Jim said he was unable to point out secular publishing trends. He feels that the overall publishing environment in Pakistan is quite stagnant. In addition, the distribution between cities in Pakistan is poor, etc. 
  • Although the Islamabad office has been making approximately 10-12 acquisitions trips a year, they continue to depend on book dealers throughout the country with whom they have blanket orders. 
  • The Islamabad office has been trying to do some retrospective purchasing in Afghanistan over the last four years. This is a difficult venture -- they have to smuggle the books into Peshwar, sometimes they're discovered and the books are destroyed, etc. Jim also reiterated that the Taliban is quite averse to any book publishing. 
  • In regard to Iran, the office has a dealer in Dubai who makes direct shipments to the office. 
  • The office has been doing some exchange of materials in Central Asia but these ventures are "dependant on the diplomatic pouch." 
  • The IFOS system has slowed the ordering process in Islamabad. 
  • The cataloging in Islamabad is a slower rate than last year. 
  • Jim hasn't seen electronic documents and/or software being produced in Pakistan, although there is a big pirated market for goods primarily from Singapore. This pirated stuff has proved to be a big problem including materials from OUP, etc. 
  • Official publishing in Pakistan is showing a decline except for the census which is bringing out district level reports (over 155 of them). LC is routinely getting multiple copies of these reports. 
  • Jim generally lamented the retrograde state of publishing in Pakistan. 
  • Some discussion followed Jim's presentation: 1) Ved Kayastha said he would like to see more division in the religion profile from Pakistan, that is, he would like to see a division between Islam in general and Islam in South Asia, etc.; 2) David Magier asked if academic publishing in Pakistan was also on the decline to which Jim answered yes�he feels that the academic stuff is subpar, etc. 
  • Jim welcomes any feedback from participants.

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IV. Newspaper List

Irene Joshi didn't have much to report on the status of the Newspaper List as it has been out of her hands for the past one and a half years. She's going to explore other venues for it before she retires. If all else fails, she will put it up as a text file only on the web. Some discussion ensued about who might continue and maintain what Irene has developed. David Magier said that DSAL might pick it up; James Simon said that perhaps CRL could devote resources to it as well. 

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It was reported that David Nelson is no longer in charge of SALNAQ. Philip McEldowney and Alan Grosenheider will co-edit the online version. Philip wondered how SALNAQ should continue? He suggests articles, minutes of meetings (SAMP and CONSALD), questions and answers regarding bibliographic questions, etc. Alan said that there is a possibility of incorporating CONSALD reference questions on SALNAQ, that there is an archiving possibility and that reviews of reference materials might be included in SALNAQ. Suzanne McMahon said that minutes from meetings should go to the respective pages (CONSALD, SAMP, etc) and that we might include project proposals, faculty research briefs, etc. Other suggestions were trip reports, translations, lists of notable titles outside of LCCAP, etc. Some discussion about the periodicity followed -- should it be twice a year? Annual? Ongoing? Some further discussion: 1) Carol Mitchell thinks we need to have publishing deadlines in order to get submissions; 2) David Magier wondered how we would get people to participate -- would this be the responsibility of the editor?; 3) Philip wondered how much editing the editors should do; 4) David thinks we should try to include the larger community, not just CONSALD members; 5) Amy Wells thinks we need to define what will appear and when up front and that perhaps we should time submissions around conferences; 6) Irene wonders if we could link up with SALG and others. 

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VI. DAL Report

Amy Wells, the project manager for the DAL project reported on its status. The DAL is a three-year Department of Education funded program to identify and catalog digital resources related to Asia. There are four subject specialists/selectors for each of the areas, including Carol Mitchell for SE Asia and Don Johnson for South Asia (others for Japan and China). So far, the DAL has been developing its infrastructure. For example, they are using the Dublin Core standard, some of the MARC codes, and will use the OCLC site search. They are not digitizing resources but are working on ways to identify them. There will be some standardizations regarding priority for identifying resources across the subject categories. Phase two of the project will create an international scholarly journal. Amy used to work on the "Scout Report" [] and the format from this project may carry over into DAL. The final phase of the project will be a database of free electronic resources specific to Asia. Some discussion: 1) Irene Joshi said that if the selectors were not finding sources, this fact also needs to get public exposure (which could lead to more cooperation, more impetus for resource creation, etc.); she also asked how they would maintain the database for long-term use to which Amy replied that they will incorporate two fields (date of review and date link last verified) to try to address maintenance; 2) Mel asked about how to give feedback which Amy replied was built into the system; 3) Monica Ghosh wondered how the areas would be divided out (in terms of percentages, etc) to which Amy replied each selector was expected to identify a certain number of resources a month; 4) Merry Burlingham wondered about non-roman issues to which both Carol and Amy said there will be no language restrictions but in some cases the end-user will have to have his/her own plug-ins, etc. 

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VII. DSAL Report

David Magier reported on the DSAL project. He distributed a handout which outlines the major sub-projects of DSAL. He explained that the DSAL will encompass a broad continuum of projects and participants, from institutions with their own funding and resources but without server space to those creating new digital resources. The DSAL is housed and under the administration of CRL and it's new project manager is Rebecca Moore. DSAL has purchased a 35-gigabyte drive server so they don't anticipate any limitations on the server space necessitated by the project. David gave explained the handout further:

  1. full text resources 
  2. pedagogical resources -- these are mostly geared towards language instruction 
  3. Official Publications of India -- they have started with the 24,000 pre-Independence titles indentified by Sims but will add in a database of post-Independence documents to be created by Oxford 
  4. in the case of scanning, they will do it from the film] 
  5. statistical data -- they may get permission to re-publish stuff published by the GOI 
  6. cartographic materials -- this will include maps from the British Library; an index to the India Office "Y" class maps; they are using "Mr. CID" 
  7. Mr. Syd?] software for high-resolution, navigatable maps 
  8. photo archives -- of the 250,000 photos from the BL, 80,000 from the Survey of India will be digitized; 10,000 photos from CSSC in Calcutta; photos from a Jesuit archive in Tamilnadu; the AIIS photo archive (125,000+ images) 
  9. periodical indexing -- this has already started and is progressing smoothly. The English records are going into the BAS and David gave the aside that the vernacular record will eventually also go into the BAS
The Dictionaries Project will also have Rebecca Moore as its program manager.

The urls for the projects are:

James Simon pointed out that all the DSAL information would eventually migrate to the server at CRL. 

There will be a "major publicity event" after more input and production in order to get more people involved and aware of the project. 

There was a question about where SAMP might fit into the DSAL project to which David suggested that DSAL could work in collaboration within the greater SAMP project. 

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VIII. Round Robin
  • James Simon reminded us of the SAMP meeting on the 10th.
  • Allen Thrasher reported that the new library technician (who had retired from LC-Delhi) was working out well. He says they have caught up with their shelving at LC. He reports that the South Asian language MLC will be the first stuff to go to the remote storage module. LC has just ordered the IDC census and gazetteer films. They have acquired a number of Urdu manuscripts from a private source. The ILS is now up and working although there is no news on the vernacular capability of the new system. 
  • Ray Lum reported that Harvard has acquired the Daniel Engels collection. 
  • Mel Thatcher reported that the Genealogical Society is filming the civil registration for Indians in South Africa (they�re already done this for Figi). 
  • Monica Ghosh reported that Hawaii's Southeast Asia librarian has retired and that they're looking for applicants. 

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IX. Elections

Philip McEldowney and Alan Grosenheider were elected as Executive Board officers. 

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X. Attendees

Jim Armstrong, LC ; Usha Baskar, New York Public Library ; Bronwen Bledsoe, U of Chicago ; Merry Burlingham, U of Texas ; Tim Bryson, Emory ; James Gentner, LC ; Monica Ghosh, U of Hawaii ; Alan Grosenheider, U of Washington ; Irene Joshi, U of Washington ; Ved Kayastha, Cornell ; Krishan Khera, U of Toronto ; Catherine Lee, UCLA ; Helen Lee, LC ; Ray Lum, Harvard ; David Magier, Columbia ; Judy McDermott, LC ; Philip McEldowney, U of Virginia ; Suzanne McMahon, U of California-Berkeley ; Susan Meinheit, LC ; Carol Mitchell, LC ; Rebecca Moore, CRL/U of Chicago ; Mary Rader, U of Michiganminutes] ; James Simon, CRL ; Mel Thatcher, Genealogical Society of Utah ; Allen Thrasher, LC ; Lynette Wageman, U of Hawaii ; Attray Weels, U of Wisconsin ; Lena Yang, IASWR 

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Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation

Last update - .
Webbing - Philip McEldowney, University of Virginia