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Jeannette Rankin Library Program

Products and Services from the United States Institute of Peace Supporting International Conflict Resolution

October 25, 2000

Ellen Ensel, Computer Systems Librarian

Good morning. I’m delighted to be here to discuss with you products and services from the United States Institute of Peace. For some of you, this will be an introduction to the work of the Institute; for all of you, I hope to provide more information and an update on the Institute’s activities, in particular, the partnership the Institute’s Library has established with the Government Printing Office (GPO).

First, I want to be sure all of you have picked up the blue folder packet, with a stapled set of web page printouts on one side, and print publications and forms on the other side. The audio-visual element of this presentation will be a web page display, without benefit or hindrance of a live Internet connection, but in the packet I have provided you with printed publications designed to give you a sampling of the type of work done at the Institute. [Publications include: the Guide to Specialists, the USIP Press Catalog, a flyer for the National Peace Essay Contest, a fact sheet about the Institute, a list of free publications available and a form to sign up for the print and electronic mailing lists.]

Briefly, let’s look at the mission statement of the Institute found on the web.

"The United States Institute of Peace is a nonpartisan, independent federal institution created and funded by Congress to strengthen the nation's capabilities to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflicts. Established in 1984, the Institute meets its congressional mandate through an array of programs, including grants, fellowships, conferences and workshops, library services, publications and other educational activities."

This mission statement is spelled out in various ways in the products the Institute creates, both in print and digital format, and the services it provides. Restated elsewhere, the Institute’s mandate also emphasizes research and its implementation, as in the Institute’s Training or Rule of Law programs. The U.S. Institute of Peace, like the Smithsonian Institution, is listed as a quasi-independent agency in the U. S. Government Manual, published by GPO.

USIP participates in the federal depository system through some of its printed publications, specifically the bi-monthly newsletter PeaceWatch and monographic series of reports called Peaceworks. The Institute produces other print and digital publications which are not currently part of the depository system, and it is those items I plan to concentrate on today. The Library’s digital publications are also the subject of the partnership with GPO, which I mentioned before and which I will discuss later.

The handout of web page printouts will walk us through some parts of the Institute’s web site and the digital publications. Let’s begin with a web site index. It does not actually exist as a web page because the Institute’s web site will be undergoing re-organization and re-design. I created one for you as a guide to follow. As you can see, the web site is organized by department or program. This is largely because the generation of content is decentralized; each program is responsible for the content on its portion of the web site. I, for example, am the webmaster for the pages listed under Library & Links.

USIP Web Site Index (Note: this web site index has been superceded by the redesigned site. Please refer to the site map for current information 3/28/2003)

Highlights/Main USIP page

Current Issues Briefings and New Resources
Events and Archives
Webcasts (Audio and Video)
Newsroom and Archives
On the Wire and Archives
Special Reports and Archives
Guestbook
/index.html

Publications

USIP Press Catalog
Recently Published Books
PeaceWatch (Newsletter) and Archives
Peaceworks (Monographic Series) and Archives
Special Reports and Archives
/pubs/index.html

Research Areas

Research and Studies Program
Bosnia in the Balkans (now Balkans Initiative)
Religion, Ethics and Human Rights (now Religion and Peacemaking)
Rule of Law
Virtual Diplomacy
/research.html

Education Program

National Peace Essay Contest
College and University Faculty Seminars
Summer Institute for Secondary School Social Studies Teachers
Curriculum Materials
Featured Resource
/ed/index.html

Training Program

Training Program Activities
Contact Information
/training/index.html

Grant Program

Types of Grants and Grant Cycles
Grant Applications
Funded Projects
Grants Database
Grant Products
Staff and Contact Information
/grants/index.html



Fellowship Program

Types of Fellowships
Fellowship Applications
Current Senior Fellows
Current Peace Scholars
Former Fellowship Projects
Contact Information
/fellows/index.html

Library and Links

Library Program Collections and Services
Library Staff and Contact Information
Internship Opportunity
Digital Library Project
Peace Agreements
Truth Commissions
Annotated Web Links
Lists of Links to Related Web Sites
/library/index.html

About the Institute

Description of the Institute
Guide to Specialists
Congressional, Media and Public Relations
/aboutus/index.html

Building for Peace

Introduction and Brochure for Capital Campaign
/building/index.html

Publications and Supporting Web Links

A glance at the home page of the web site two weeks ago [ Oct. 12, 2000 USIP home page: / ] shows an emphasis on Yugoslavia’s elections and right away, points to several products available from the Institute. Specific Institute events, webcasts and publications are featured: a Peaceworks monograph entitled Women in War and Peace: Grassroots Peacebuilding is available here as a PDF file; several Special Reports (which are not depository items, by the way) are listed, the latest being The Role of the Ambassador in Promoting U.S. Human Rights Policy Abroad. We link to the audio and video from webcasts of current issues briefings from here.

For a more complete overview of the publications available, we can look at the publications web page [ USIP Publications: /pubs/index.html ] Here we have the online version of the USIP Press catalog (the print version is in your blue folder). The Institute does, in fact, have its own press which publishes books; two of the most recent are featured here. These are not free, though, unlike the other publications online. The latest monograph in the Peaceworks series is here, and I’ve reproduced some pages from the PDF file for you in the handout. You’ll find our mission restated, our Board of Directors listed, other titles in the Peaceworks series cited and related publications listed. I’ve also reproduced the first page of the August newsletter PeaceWatch in your handout.

In the print/PDF version of the Peaceworks, we have tried to capture the thematic scope of the series and related materials available. The concept of related items is one that the web can handle well and one that I think the Institute’s web site tries to take advantage of. Let’s look at the latest Special Report [ The Role of the Ambassador in Promoting U.S. Human Rights Policy Abroad: /pubs/specialreports/sr000830nb.html ] . This link takes us to a newsbyte, aimed at journalists or students who need a quick overview; and then links to the full report with related links [ The Role of the Ambassador in Promoting U.S. Human Rights Policy Abroad: http://www.usip.prg/pubs/specialreports/sr000830.html ] . The newsbyte and the html version of the report also link to a PDF version of the report, the first page of which is reproduced in your handout. From the full report, we can link to a web page that I produced, [ U.S. Human Rights Policy: Web Links: /library/topics/hr.html ] This is one of several pages of annotated web links that complement Special Reports written by program officers and researchers on staff or fellows and research assistants in residence in the Fellowship Program. All annotated web pages that support reports link back to those reports and thus illustrate further the concept of interrelation. These web pages typically include links to general resources, government agencies and international organizations, selected documents, media and news sources, maps and guides. The categories of links for each page are usually determined by the nature of the report.

The human rights links page is part of a larger category of topical resources pages [ Topical Resources: /library/topical.html ] produced by the Library. Another category is that of regional resources [ Regional Resources: /library/regions.html ] . In line with the timely emphasis on Yugoslavia’s elections, this page of annotated web links is on [ Supporting Democracy in Yugoslavia: /library/regions/dem_yugo.html ] . The categories here are atypical, mostly because the report concentrated on funding sources and recipients. The principle remains the same, however; the annotated web links page, intrinsically connected to the report, will nevertheless remain online as a publication in its own right while complementing the report. This is one of the categories of digital publications produced by the USIP Library.

Digital Library Collection

A look at the [ USIP Library main web page: /library/index.html ] provides an overview of the mission of the Library and its efforts toward building digital resources. A more detailed description of this effort is found on the [ Digital Library in International Conflict Management web page: /library/diglib.html ] including documents related to peace agreements and truth commissions.

Digital Library Collection: Peace Agreements

First, we’ll look at the [ Peace Agreements Digital Collection: /library/pa.html ] , which currently contains 45 agreements covering 19 regions or countries. We’ll look at one regional page for the peace agreements as an example of what we hope to do in our partnership with GPO.

GPO-USIP Partnership

The U.S. Institute of Peace Library is partnering with GPO to catalog digital documents created or compiled (edited) by the U.S. Institute of Peace, beginning with documents created by the Library. This would include the annotated web links pages we saw previously, the peace agreements pages and truth commissions pages. This is a pilot project for a relatively small collection (about 50 web pages) in which GPO will provide MARC records for these online resources. These records will become part of CORC, the Cooperative Online Resources Catalog from OCLC, WorldCat, and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (formerly known as the Monthly Catalog). This will facilitate access and increase awareness of these digital documents while aiding in the organization of web and Internet resources. We are at the very beginning of this project and are in the process of working out the details of how this will be done.

I have been working with Steve Kerchoff from the FEDLINK network; he had been on loan to GPO for the last year. He proposed utilizing CORC to assist the GPO catalogers in their work. Inspired by the example of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Steve suggested I take the metadata I was already putting into the source code of my HTML documents and reorganize it as Dublin Core elements. The GPO catalogers could then harvest the digital document using CORC's automated harvest feature and have a basic MARC record to work from. I want to emphasize that I am not a cataloger and I do not intend to replace the work done by catalogers, but I believe I can provide useful background information for a collection I know well. How might this work? Here’s an example.

This is the index web page for [ Sierra Leone peace agreements: /library/pa/index/pa_sierra_leone.html ] . This is the page that would be cataloged, because this is the page compiled by the United States Institute of Peace.

Preliminary Dublin Core Elements

Some preliminary Dublin Core elements that might be used include the following:

<link rel="schema.DC"

href="http://purl.org/DC/elements/1.0/">

<meta name="DC.Title" content="Title">

<meta name="DC.Creator.NameCorporate" content=" United States Institute of Peace">

<meta name="DC.Type" content="text">

<meta name="DC.Format" content="text/html">

<meta name="DC.Identifier" content="URI/URL">

<meta name="DC.Language" content="eng">

<meta name="DC.Subject.Geographic" content="LC heading">

<meta name="DC.Subject.Topical" content="LC heading">

<meta name="DC.Subject.Keyword" content="Sierra Leone, Lome Accord,

peace, peace agreements, peace accord, agreement, digital libraries,

digital library, international, conflict, conflict resolution,

interstate, intra-state, Revolutionary United Front (RUF), ECOWAS,

Burkina Faso, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Commonwealth

of Nations, United Nations, Togo, Organization of African Unity,

OAU, July, 1999">

<meta name="DC.Subject.NameCorporate" content="Organization/Government named">

<meta name="DC.Subject.NamePersonal" content="Persons named">

<meta name="DC.Relation" content=" Peace Agreements Digital Collection;

/library/pa.html">

<meta name="DC.Relation" content=" Regional Resources;

/library/regions.html"> for regional links

<meta name="DC.Relation" content="Yugoslavia:" Building Democratic

Institutions; /pubs/specialreports/sr990414.html"> for annotated links

<meta name ="DC.Description" content="Peace Agreement Between the

Government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra

Leone (07-07-1999); Statement on Signing of the Sierra Leone Peace

Agreement, July 6, 1999 (07-06-1999)">

<meta name="DC.Date" content="1999-08-19">date created

<meta name="DC.Publisher" content="Washington, DC: United States

Institute of Peace">

 

This is a preliminary selection of those elements we wanted included in the cataloging record. I welcome any and all comments on the use of Dublin Core, including corrections. Of course, the harvesting is not perfect, so there are still several problems and details to be worked out, in collaboration with GPO catalogers and additional guidance from OCLC’s CORC staff. The catalog record represents the collection of peace agreement documents for Sierra Leone. The actual agreement is online [ /library/pa/sl/sierra_leone_07071999.html ] and access to the document would be through the cataloged index page. The agreement, created by the parties to the conflict in Sierra Leone, would not be cataloged separately.

Digital Library Collection: Truth Commissions

Similarly, the related web pages for [ Truth Commissions: /library/truth.html ] would receive MARC records. This main page includes background and descriptions for 13 truth commissions and links to another page

[ Commissions of Inquiry: /library/tc/tc_coi.html ] for descriptions of 12 commissions of inquiry and related bodies. The main page also links to a page listing [ Supporting Documents: /library/tc/tc_supdoc.html ] which in turn links to the full text of charters establishing truth commissions. This charter establishes a commission for [ Chad: /library/tc/doc/charters/tc_chad.html ].

 

Webcasts and Virtual Diplomacy

The Institute is involved in efforts to create a community of interested individuals working for conflict resolution through the use of new technologies. One example is the use of web casts for current issue briefings and other newsworthy events put on by the Institute. This program [ Current Issues: Yugoslavia after the Revolution: /events/pre2002/yugorevo_cib.html ] was held following the recent Yugoslavia elections and was broadcast over the web in video and audio, utilizing telephone conferencing for some of the participants and taking e-mail questions from the web audience. These webcasts are held in real time and later archived in both audio and video formats.

Another effort that examines the use of technology for international conflict resolution is the Institute’s [ Virtual Diplomacy Initiative: /virtualdiplomacy/index.html ] This fact sheet identifies the mission of the initiative "to explore the role of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in the conduct of diplomacy, particularly their effect upon international conflict management and resolution. The Institute's practical objective is to extract lessons and insights for future training of international affairs specialists, whether in government, international organizations, or the private sector." The Virtual Diplomacy Initiative has produced reports, conferences, panel discussions and brought together experts and practitioners to resolve problems.

Other Products and Services

Other products and services from the Institute involve more traditional, but nonetheless, much in demand, programs involving grants, education, and fellowships.

The [ Grant program /lgrants.html ] spends one quarter of the Institute’s budget on grants for supporting research, education, training and "dissemination of information on international peace and conflict resolution." This web page describes the types of grants available and links to a list of funded projects by topic area or region, a database of grants that have been awarded, and a list of books produced from USIP grants. Applications for grants may be downloaded.

The [ Education program /ed/index.html ] web page features some of its major projects, including the annual National Peace Essay Contest for high school students and the annual summer institutes for educators. I’ve included information on the National Peace Essay Contest in your blue folders.

The [ Fellowship program /fellows/index.html ] awards Senior Fellowships and Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowships to individuals to conduct research on issues concerning international conflict and peace. This page describes the nature of the fellowships, projects undertaken, and current fellows and peace scholars.

I’ve included an example of the Institute’s e-mail Pingme mailing list, which is sent out approximately once a week to inform interested individuals of announcements of new Institute programs, events and resources. Instructions for subscribing are at the bottom of the message [To subscribe to the Pingme USIP list, send a message to:

listserver@usip.org. In the body of the message write: subscribe pingme your e-mail address]

The [ Guide to Specialists: /specialists/index.html ] which is included in the blue packet in print form, is also online, although here is an instance in which the print is ahead of the electronic. The print publication is the new guide; the online version is from last year, but will soon be replaced and should have the same URL. This is perhaps the single most comprehensive publication describing the work of the Institute and the expertise of its staff and fellows. It describes six interrelated activities of the Institute (supporting policymakers, training today’s diplomats, educating America’s youth, breaking down barriers, raising public awareness, and applying cutting-edge technology), the Institute’s resources, and many of the programs and web resources I’ve talked about today.

The last web page is that of [ Library Services: /library/libservices.html ] ; I want you to know that the library is open to the public and all of us on staff are happy to help with questions and any other assistance we can provide. I welcome your comments and suggestions for ways in which we can improve our services and products.

Thank you very much.


Updated: March 28 2003

 


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