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Population libraries and information centers in Latin America and the Caribbean: problems and prospects.
In: Focus: international, [edited by] Jane Vanderlin and William Barrows. New York, New York, Association for Population/Family Planning Libraries and Information Centers-International, 1986. 15-33.In the 1960s and 1970s, the following various types of libraries and information centers in population and family planning developed in these ways: 1) official statistical agencies increased and diversified their holdings; 2) international organizations developed or increased their information dissemination; 3) some universities developed research and training programs; 4) various independent research centers were established; and 5) private family planning agencies conducted research on population matters. In the past few years, these developments have occurred: 1) national statistical offices are now conducting censuses regularly in almost all countries; 2) international agencies now have a lower profile and funding has been cut; 3) university programs have consolidated and progressed; 4) independent research centers have had funds reduced, and professional associations have been established; and 5) private family planning agencies have proliferated and official support and national organizations have also materialized. Great progress has been made in terms of 1) growth of information, 2) growth of demand, 3) improved access, and 4) a propitious political climate. The obstacles that remain to greater dissemination of population information concern 1) lack of centralization, 2) scarcity of funds, 3) shortage of personnel, 4) communications problems, and 5) users' habits and language. In the future, there will be a 1) mushrooming growth of information on population, 2) geographical spread of population activities, 3) great need for rapid organization and dissemination of information, and 4) potential for use of modern computer technology. Some suggestions to improve population information in Latin America and the Caribbean include 1) identification of institutions that produce or use population information, 2) classification of major libraries by their holdings, 3) recruitment of new members of the Association of Population Libraries and Information Centers, 4) compilation of a basic list of recommended holdings for different subareas in population studies, 5) compilation of regional holdings lists, 6) consideration of study tours for Latin American and Caribbean librarians to visit libraries in developed countries, and 7) participation of nonlibrarians in population information activities.
POPIN Working Group on Dissemination of Population Information: Report on the meeting held from 2 to 4 April 1984.
Popin Bulletin. 1984 Dec; (6-7):69-79.The objectives of this meeting were: to analyze the general dissemination strategy and functions of POPIN member organizations and assess the methods currently employed to identify users; to select publications or other information output and evaluate how they are being distributed and how procedures for the selective dissemination of information are developed; to develop guidelines for determining the potential audience and reader's interests; to discuss the methodology for maintaining a register of readers' interest; to develop guidelines for establishing linds with key press and broadcasting agencies to ensure rapid dissemination of information; to dientify media and organizations currently involved in the dissemination of population information; to document experience and provide recommendations for the utilization of innovative approaches to serve audiences; and to explore ways and means to meet the special needs of policy makers. Problem areas in population information dissemination were identified at the meeting as well as priority areas in meeting speical information needs of policy makers. Collection of information for dissemination is difficult, costly and time-consuming; there is a shortage of staff trained in the repackaging and dissemination of population information; the direct use of the mass media for information dissemination is still very limited; and financial resources are limited. Priority areas include: compilation of a calendar of events or meetings; conducting media surveys and inventories of population infromation centers and their services and compilation of results; resource development through product marketing and preparation of resource catalogues; and preparation of executive summaries highlighting policy implications to facilitate policy making. Recommendations include: promotion of training and technical assistance in population information activities by the POPIN Coordinating Unit; encouraging member organizations with relevant data bases to develop subsets for distribution to other institutions and, where feasible, to provide technical assistance and support for their wider use; the POPIN Coordinating Unit should alert its members regularly of new technological facilities and innovations in the field of information; organizations conducting population information activities at the national and/or regional levels should be encouraged to provide the POPIN Coordinating Unit with yearly calendars of meetings for publication in the POPIN Bulletin; and the members of POPIN are urged to emphasize the need to incorporate specific plans and budgets for population information activities.