The Centro de Estudios de
Población - CENEP is a non-profit institution founded in 1974 which
gathers specialists in various fields of the social sciences and related
disciplines. Their activities include research, technical assistance,
information and communication, training of human resources and
dissemination on population issues and its interrelations with sustainable
CENEP is an academic environment
which fosters the work of its permanent research staff (senior and
junior), visiting researchers, fellowship holders, technicians and support
personnel in order to produce, accumulate and transfer knowledge to
society. Research, the main activity of the Center, is not only aimed at
broadening the limits of scientific knowledge - both basic and applied -
but also at offering reliable grounds for the design, implementation and
evaluation of population-oriented social policies and action programs. The
research is predominantly interdisciplinary and frequently approaches
projects in collaboration with international organizations and/or with
private or governmental institutions from Argentina or abroad.
The Library was created in the
same year the Centro de Estudios de Población-CENEP was founded and, at
first, it only served the researchers and assistants of the Center. It
gradually extended its services -with a highly collaborative,
community-oriented spirit- to a large number of users from both official
and private institutions. The Library has incorporated and maintains a
very important, updated collection of outstanding quality, originally
focused on the Social Sciences and increasingly covering other related
subjects. It contains bibliographic material on several socio-demographic
topics: fertility, mortality and migration. It also covers adjoining
fields such as education and work, reproductive health, employment, social
policies, poverty, childhood, third age, environment, etc.
The management of the Library is
based on modern concepts for the dissemination of information. It insures
the constant development of the collection, responding to the needs and
interests of the new research lines, and creates the necessary conditions
for the integration with other libraries. It furnishes the users with
precise, adequate and accessible information, and fosters the demands and
use of the documents. The Library increases the bibliographic material
through a diversified strategy of purchase, acceptance of donations and,
specially, exchange of publications with over two hundred institutions
worldwide. Additionally, it has access to external data and disseminates
own information through national and international networks.
The main objectives are: in the
medium term, to progress in the retrospective incorporation of databases
material - partially automatizing the 35% of the bibliographic material
not yet incorporated. In the long term, increase the quantity of hours
open to the public and complete automatization. The possibility of
offering photocopies service and of renewing the computer equipment is
also being pondered.
Books and Booklets
The Library possesses
approximately 13.000 pieces of books, booklets, research reports,
reference materials and unpublished materials.
It is a member of the CORE
Depositary Library Program and receives copy of the CIID/IDRC
The bibliographic material
incorporates from 90 to 110 monthly pieces, the higher percentage being
the result of inter-library exchange.
It has about 400 titles of
periodic publications: academic publications, information bulletins,
journals on specific subjects, annuals, etc.
It possesses all the Argentine
National Censuses as well as some of the Argentine provinces and
municipalities, foreign and special. Among other statistical publications,
it has the complete collection of the United Nations Demographic Yearbook.
It also has the "Anuarios Estadísticos Provinciales", the
"Anuario Estadístico de América Latina (CEPAL), the "Anuario
Estadístico de Educación’’(UNESCO) and other "Anuarios
Estadísticos" such as Brazil, Paraguay, Cuba, etc.
Type of Users
The Library receives a variety of
users from researchers and teachers to students, journalists, businessmen
and general public from approximately 160 institutions such as private
universities, national universities, foreign universities, secondary and
tertiary schools both public and private, official institutions,
hospitals, international organizations, media and NGOs. (please see list
During 1999 about 70 monthly
enquiries were received - each enquiry with about an average of six pieces
per user - resulting in a movement of about 5.000 pieces of bibliographic
material per year.
- Consultation of books in the
- Delivery of requested material
- Telephone and email
- Specialized reference
- Inter-library loans
- Reference to other libraries
- Bibliographic search (fee
The Library has free Internet
access through CLACSO (Latin American Council of Social Sciences) only for
the Library staff (not accessible for users) because the cost of telephone
communication is not cheap.
In Argentina the average Internet
access price is around u$s 40, taxes included. Telephone service is also
highly expensive; it amounts to approximately u$s 80 monthly per family.
The restrictions due to both these high costs and the transmission
slowness are related to government regulations.
The Library is a member of the
following networks of national and international cooperation: UNIRED,
IPALCA, APLIC, etc. and, through the RED DE EDUCACION Y TRABAJO it had
agreements with CINTERFOR and REDUC.
Infrastructure and Equipment
The Library occupies 70 square
meters including: reading room, technical processing and modern depots
with mobile shelves.
Hardware and Software
The Library possesses two
personal computers with CD-ROM and Windows 98 for technical processing and
a terminal in the reading room. It utilizes the WINISIS version 1.3 and
the CEPAL bibliographic system for the following bases: POBLAR, SIDEMA,
EYT, AMBI, REVIS, LOGICAT 4.10 with the MARC format for the CENE base, and
ACCESS for inter-library exchange, users, purchases and requests, etc.
The technical processing programs
utilized follow the international recommendations of the PGI - Programa
General de Información de la Unesco y la IFLA - International Federation
Library Association. The automatization of the material reaches all the
pieces related to Argentina as well as all those related to the rest of
the world received after 1990. At the same time the retrospective
incorporation of the bibliographic material gradually advanced having
The bibliographic description as
well as the headings of both personal and international authors are done
in line with the Reglas de Catalogación Angloamericanas AACR2 revision
Key words are obtained from the
thesauri POPIN (3rd. ed. 1993) and the databases SIDEMA, POBLAR and CENE.
The ILO Thesaurus (1991 ed.) is utilized for the EYT database and the OCDE
Macrothesauro (5th. ed. 1998) for AMBI and REVIS.
restoration and dissemination of information in the CENEP Library
In Argentina, historically, it
doesn't exist a preservation-conservation culture neither in libraries and
archives nor in scientific-educational and cultural environments.
Argentina has a lack of cultural
and information policies; the few restoration and conservation efforts are
isolated and, in most cases, are individual attempts or small groups
Policies tending to foster
preventive -rather than restoration- measures should be implemented given
that preventing deterioration is the most effective way to preserve
documents and, at the same time, cheaper than restoration.
Restoration works require a lot
of time and they should be trusted to competent specialists which makes it
a very expensive activity.
The CENEP premises are located in
a seventh floor -it occupies three adjoining apartments- built for family
housing purposes but adapted for office operations. The library depot is
located in a sector originally used as bathrooms, kitchens and corridors.
Soon after a fire broke in the
Center in mid-1994 in which, fortunately, no loss of bibliographical
material was suffered, it was decided to move the depots and to put into
practice some security measures that had previously been omitted by lack
Thanks to the financial support
of IDRC and The Ford Foundation different measures were adopted regarding
the depot infrastructure and, later on, the bibliographic materials
Those related to infrastructure
took into account the appropriate temperature (from 16 to 20 degrees), and
the appropriate percentage of humidity (around 55%). Illumination and
ventilation were also improved in the following way:
- Permanent closing of all
blinds to avoid sunlight
- The upper glasses of all the
windows were replaced by metal fabric so as to allow ventilation and
to avoid rodents and insects.
- The original ceiling was
isolated with metal cover to avoid possible leakage given that in the
upper floors bathrooms and kitchens are located in the same area.
- The illumination system was
renewed and fluorescent lights were placed with special switches that
don't produce sparks. An external light was also installed in order to
check that the depot is never closed with the lights on.
- Finally the existent metallic
bookcases were adapted to the new space available and many of them
were transformed into sliding shelves.
Regarding the bibliographic
material, a team was hired -advised by a restoration specialist- who,
during three months, were in charge of cleaning and re-location. The tasks
carried out were:
- Each piece was cleaned with a
dry cloth and brushed with special brushes.
- The smoke stains were
minimized by treating them with erasing elements - although some
traces were impossible to eliminate.
- The erasing remains and other
waste substances were vacuum cleaned.
- Finally, the treated pieces
were placed in plastic boxes in a temporary location and then taken to
the new rebuilt depot.
Our priority is the preservation
of the contents given that CENEP Library is not a "treasure
library" with the exception of some special collections such as the
Censuses of Argentina 1869, 1895 and 1914 and of the City of Buenos Aires
1881, 1887, 1910 and 1936. We do not possess many pieces which value
forces us to keep the original support.
When the material has
deteriorated we replace the original for a good photocopy since photocopy
paper is alkaline and acid-free.
It is well-known that binding is
a good resource for conservation purposes and in view that the Library has
a high quantity of "grey literature", we permanently proceed to
bind such material with plastic covers -avoiding hard covers and, thus,
extra weight, given that we are located in a seventh floor.
Transfer of damaged documents to
new supports is a good conservation measure. However, contrary to what is
currently believed, electronic supports are not a permanent protection
device and, moreover, compatibility of the support with newer reading
equipment is not guaranteed. In our library we are gradually transferring
the files to more modern supports.
In this way we avoid the natural
attrition of all computer support and, also, assure the availability of
the contents by continuously adapting to new, more advanced technologies.
- CENEP. 1997. Información y
comunicación. IN: Reseña de actividades CENEP 1993-1995. pp,
- Chen, C. 1997. Las
tecnologías multimedia. IN: Informe mundial sobre la información
1997/1998. pp. 217-238.
- Kobel, Anne. 1999. www.ar
? : World Wide Web Argentina. IN: Contribuciones, nº 2 (1999)
- Texidor, Silvia. 1997. Políticas
de información y manejo de la colección EYT. 3ª. Reunión del
Comité Técnico de la Red Latinoamericana de Educación y Trabajo
25-27 de junio de 1997.
- Texidor, Silvia. 1995. Unidad
de información. IN: GREBYD/Noticias, vol.6, nº 9 (sept. 1995).
- Weber, Hartmuth. 1997. Técnicas
de preservación de archivos y de libros. IN: Informe mundial
sobre la información 1997/1998. pp. 358-370.