Issue 71 (Fall 1999)

Fall 1999, Issue #71

The APLIC-International Communicatoris published several times yearly by the Association for Population and Family Planning Libraries and Information Centers, International. Mailing address: c/o Family Health International Library, P.O. Box 13950, RTP, NC 27709 USA. ISSN 09-9847
Gretl Cox, Librarian, John Snow Inc., 1616 N. Ft. Myer Dr. 11th Floor, Arlington VA 22209. Phone: (703) 528-7474. Fax: 703/528-7480. E-mail:
Diane M. Rubino, Gender, Family, and Development Program Population Council/USA, 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York, NY 10017. Phone: 212/339-0657. Fax: 212/755-6052. E-mail:

Table of Contents

President’s Message
Peggy D’Adamo, Johns Hopkins University

When I sat down to think about APLIC-I and what to address in this message, I was struck by the many changes that have occurred recently in the organization. APLIC-I seems to be standing at a crossroads, here at the dawn (or predawn) of the new millenium. On the one hand, long-time active members like Libby Evans of UNC and Jean Sack of JHU have moved on to new positions and new challenges outside the field of demography and population studies in the last couple of years. Libby served for many years as the APLIC-I secretary while working at the UNC library. Jean was our energetic and enthusiastic organizer, acting at different times as Vice President, President, and newsletter editor during her time working at JHU.

On the other hand, some of our newer and younger members are in a state of change as well. Both of the current APLIC-I co vice-presidents have been forced to resign as VPs by situations at their own institutions. Nika Bareket of University of Michigan will be resigning from her position effective the end of November. She wants to spend more time with her child and hasn’t been able to convince the university to let her work half-time. So she’s decided to become a full-time mom for a while. Tonya Allen has found that her responsibilities at Penn State make it impossible for her to continue as VP as well. So, we are left without vice presidents or conference planners. We thank them both for the work they did.

But, the board jumped in enthusiastically and has volunteered to take a new approach to conference planning starting with the next conference in 2000. We are working as a committee to organize the entire event. Each current board member has been assigned a responsibility and the entire board will be responsible for the success of the conference. We have already started approaching speakers and discussing field trips. Anil Kumar will be planning another great APLIC-I banquet.

Because APLIC-I seems to have annual surplus of about $2000, the board made an exciting decision to use half of the funds for four travel scholarships of $250/each for current active APLIC-I members, and the other half for up to 10 free conference registrations for any APLIC-I member who will be attending his or her first conference in LA.

So, we invite all APLIC-I members and anyone other interested in the topic of “Knowledge in the Digital Age: Preservation, Communication and Training” to look over our agenda and plan to attend. If you are an APLIC-I member who has never attended a conference, this is an excellent opportunity to have a chance to attend the LA conference for free. And if you’re a long-time member who needs some travel assistance, you can apply for a travel scholarship. This should be a great conference.

Peggy D’Adamo

APLIC Officer, Board of Directors, and Committee Chairs (1999-2000)

President: Margaret A. D’Adamo, Center for Communications Programs, Johns Hopkins University

Vice-Presidents: Vacant

Past-Presidents: Anne Ilacqua, Population Studies and Training Center, Brown University and Lisa A. Newman, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania

Recording Secretary: Wendy Brand, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Treasurer: Anil Kumar, Population Communications International

Class of 2000:
Bill Barrows, Family Health International
Samantha Wheeler Marrs, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Katherine Willson, The Future’s Group International

Class of 2001:

Laurian Carroll, Management Sciences for Health
Susan Jamison, PATH (Seattle)
Diane Rubino, Population Council

Class of 2002:

Maryann Belanger, Office of Population Research, Princeton University
Julia Cleaver, INTRAH
Eleanor Gossen, Center for Social & Demographic Analysis (Albany)

Committee Chairs:

Archives: Edith Ericson
DUPS Program: Lisa Newman, Bill Barrows
Membership: Lisa Newman
Newsletter: Gretl Cox, and Diane Rubino
Publications & Web Task Force: Lisa Newman, Wendy Brand
Publicity: Maryann Belanger
APLIC Distribution list (email): UNC

Fall 1999 Board of Directors Meeting Summary
Wendy Brand, University of Wisconsin

The Fall Board of Directors meeting was held September 16th and 17th, 1999 in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. While Hurricane Floyd was dumping over ten inches of rain in the area, the Board discussed many issues of importance to the organization. The bad weather made it impossible for a number of Board Members to make it to Philadelphia. The following people were able to attend, some experiencing their first hurricane: Peggy D’Adamo, Samantha Wheeler Marrs, Lisa Newman, Kay Willson, Diane Rubino, Wendy Brand, Eleanor Gossen, Anil Kumar, Anne Ilacqua.

The Board also had some visitors. Sansiri Chulerttiyawong and Kusol Soonthorndhada, a professor and librarian from Mahidol University, Thailand visited on Thursday to find out about APLIC-I. On Friday Lisa Newman’s sons visited while their school was closed because of flooding. When the sun came out on Friday we saw what a beautiful campus the University of Pennsylvania is. The Board would like to thank Lisa for hosting the meeting, and we won’t hold the weather against her.

Membership Report

Lisa Newman reported that we have 101 members, which is about average. A number of long time members did not renew this year for unknown reasons, but a number of new members from Europe joined. Please forward to Lisa any people you know that would benefit from APLIC-I membership and she will be happy to send them membership information.

Treasurer’s Report

Our new Treasurer, Anil Kumar, presented the treasurer’s report. The transfer of funds from former treasurer Gera Draaijer was completed in May of 1999. The organization is financially very healthy, with a balance of $29,115.08 as of June 30th, 1999. In lieu of paying $150 for an independent audit, Anil presented a detailed list of receipts and payments for the Board to review. The Board also voted to change the fiscal year to a calendar year (December 31st) so that a full treasurer’s report could be presented at the Spring Board meeting.

The Board discussed various ways to use our current surplus of money and it was decided to use it toward subsidizing the costs of five active members and five first time attendees for the 2000 Conference in Los Angeles. Details of how to apply will be in the upcoming membership renewal packet.

DUPS Program

Lisa Newman presented the DUPS report. Nine lists have been posted since March of 1999. About 25% of APLIC-I members are subscribed to the DUPS list.


Editor Diane Rubino reported that three issues were published in the last year. Gretl Cox has taken over for Jean Sack as co-editor. If you have any ideas for articles for the Communicator, please contact Diane or Gretl.

APLIC-I Brochure

Diane Rubino and Laurian Carroll have been busy updating the APLIC-I brochure. Diane presented a draft text and the Board made a few editorial adjustments. Peggy D’Adamo and Anil Kumar are going to approach their organizations about producing the text into an actual brochure.

APLIC-I Survey

Lisa Newman presented a draft of a survey of the APLIC-I membership that will ask about the staff, services, holdings, etc. of member organizations. Questions will be added about member use of the email list, DUPS Program, Union List of Periodicals, etc. Eleanor Gossen volunteered to help put the information into a spreadsheet or database format for easy updating, and possibly formatting for the Web. Look for the survey in the upcoming membership renewal mailing.

APLIC-I Archives

Archivist Edith Ericson is still looking for materials to add the archives. If anyone has APLIC-I publications, records or photographs that they feel would be appropriate for the archives, please contact Edith.

1999 Conference Report

Peggy D’Adamo presented a report on the 1999 conference. Thirty-seven people attended and feedback from attendees was quite positive. Thanks to Peggy for planning an excellent conference.

International Relations Committee

This is a newly formed committee created to foster increased activities with members and other organizations in the developing world. If anyone is interested in assisting or has any ideas, please contact President Peggy D’Adamo.

Samantha Wheeler Marrs reported on behalf of Susan Pasquariella. Susan held a two day workshop on web site preparation for the European Association for Population Studies. She reported that Eastern European countries are setting up web sites with national population data. She also gave a presentation at an African Telecom Summit on using technology as a capacity building tool. She also announced that the POPIN web site now features a multilingual thesaurus of population terms online as well as IPPF country profiles.

Samantha also reported that the Alan Gutmacher Institute hopes to develop a web site clearinghouse for reproductive health information. She also noted that she is organizing a member initiated session at PAA on using distance learning and Internet technologies for demography training in developing countries.

Board of Directors Vacancies

Nika Bareket is leaving her position at the Population Studies Center University of Michigan, and Tonya Allen resigned as Vice President. This leaves the organization with no Vice Presidents to become President in 2000. The Board proposed that Peggy D’Adamo serve as President for a second year and that the Vice Presidents will not be replaced. The nominating committee, consisting of Lisa Newman, Grelt Cox and Anne Ilacqua, is gathering names to create a slate of officers and directors for the Spring elections. If anyone is interested in a position on the Board, please contact Lisa, Gretl or Anne.

2000 Conference Planning

Knowledge in the digital age: preservation, dissemination and training is the theme of the 33rd Annual APLIC-I Conference which will be held March 20-22, 2000 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in Los Angeles, California. Due to the resignation of both Vice Presidents, there is no one individual to plan the conference. A committee has been formed and volunteers are needed to perform various duties, such as introducing speakers, taking notes at sessions, helping with registration, etc. If you are interested in helping out or have ideas for speakers, please contact Peggy D’Adamo.

Membership Renewals

Membership Renewals will be mailed out this week!

The membership renewal also contains a conference agenda and conference housing information.

Send all renewals and fees to:
APLIC-I Treasurer
c/o Demography Library
Population Studies Center
University of Pennsylvania 3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6298


Knowledge in the Digital Age: Preservation, Dissemination and Training
Peggy D’Adamo, Johns Hopkins University

APLIC-I’s 33rd annual conference will take place from Monday, March 20 through Wednesday, March 22, 2000 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, California. The conference will precede the PAA Conference which will be held at the Westin as well.

Speakers will discuss preservation in conjunction with dissemination of information and preservation in the context of the small library, how to plan and execute a preservation project in a small library, how to prioritize materials for preservation, and the relationship between preservation and the virtual library. We can expect to hear about recent trends in the field of preservation and what can be anticipated for the future.

This year’s conference is being planned collaboratively by the APLIC-I board and promises to be an interesting event. Speakers so far include Josefina J. Card, Ph.D. Dr. Card is the founder and president of Sociometrics Corporation, Sociometrics is a research and development firm which has specialized in social science research applications since 1983. She will discuss Sociometrics’ Social Science Data Library (SSEDL), a rich source of high-quality health and social science data sets. SSEDL is a working example of preservation and dissemination of data via the web.

Other confirmed speakers include Sunny Fox of Population Communication International,, and Anne Gilliland-Swetland, Assistant Professor, Dpt. of Information Studies, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA, Dr. Gilliland-Swetland does research and teaches in the area of archival metadata development for electronic record-keeping, preservation, and access systems and will talk about collection development, preservation and the virtual library. PCI was founded in 1985 and combines entertainment and broadcasting to empower people worldwide. In the United States, PCI works with professionals in the entertainment industry to recognize the positive contributions they can make to increasing public awareness of important social and public health issues.


Monday, March 20th
9:00 am – 2:00 pm Tour of the Getty Center Library
4:30 – 6:00 pm APLIC-I Board Meeting
Tuesday, March 21st
8:30 – 9:30 am Continental Breakfast, Registration, Announcements
9:30 – 10:30 am Keynote Speaker
10:30 – 10:45 am Coffee/Tea Break
10:45 – 12:00 pm Josefina J. Card, founder and president of Sociometrics Corporation
12:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch (on your own)
2:00 – 3:00 pm Breakout Sessions
3:00 – 3:15 pm Discussion and Summary
3:15 – 3:30 pm Coffee/Tea Break
3:30 – 4:30 pm Third Speaker
4:30 – 5:00 pm Announcements, Wrap-up
7:30 pm APLIC Banquet (place to be announced, cost: $35
Wednesday, March 22nd
8:30 – 9:30 am Continental Breakfast, Registration, Announcements
9:30 – 11:00 am APLIC Business Meeting
11:00 – 12:30 pm Anne Gilliland-Swetland, Assistant Professor, Dpt. of Information Studies, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA
12:30 – 2:30 pm Lunch (on your own)
2:30 – 3:30 pm Fifth Speaker
3:30 – 4:00 pm Wrap-Up

APLIC-I: The First Generation
Lisa A. Newman, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania

Several months ago I agreed to rewrite the history portion of the APLIC-I brochure which was in the process of being revised. I realized, then, how little I really knew about the founding members and early meetings, so I contacted Susan Pasquariella (UN), a member for 20 years, to see if she could help, or point me in the right direction. She passed my request on to Bates Buckner (University of North Carolina). Bates was kind enough to send me some detailed notes on the early days of APLIC, as she experienced them, and she referred me to the “Proceedings of the Third National Conference on Population Library & Information Services” (CPC, 1971) for more information. The narrative below relies heavily on these two sources and a very abbreviated version may be found in the newly revised APLIC-I brochure.

APLIC-I became incorporated in the early 1970’s. The formation of the association arose out of the early workshops, which had taken the name “national conference” by the third meeting in May 1970. By the second meeting, the proceedings include descriptions of working committees and a steering committee (which became the APLIC Board). APLIC formally became “APLIC” when the PRB had a prestigious Washington D.C. law firm draw up the charter and by-laws for free.

The first meeting was held at the Carolina Population Center on May 15-16, 1968. Appropriately titled the “First National Workshop on Population Library and Information Resources,” 23 participants from 17 organizations attended. Its goal was to identify common aims and problems, establish a uniform subject classification scheme, promote cooperation among population libraries, and devise automated systems to process the growing volume of population information.

At the second meeting, thanks to help from the Population Council, speakers were invited and the meeting was moved to the Carolina Inn. The focus of this meeting was “automated information retrieval systems,” and “forging links between library science and computer science.” Two subsequent conferences, also held at UNC, were in a very elegant meeting space in the Morehead Planetarium. By the fifth or sixth meeting, the decision had been made (and permission obtained from PAA) to hold APLIC meetings in conjunction with the annual PAA conference. POPLINE started soon after, probably in the early 70s.

Our first international training workshop, co-sponsored by APLIC, UNESCAP, and the Carolina Population Center, was held in Bangkok in 1971 or 1972. Many of the founding members of APLIC participated. A publication called “Overview”, produced at the CPC, served as the APLIC journal during the 4-5 years it existed (about 1972-77).

– To be continued in the next Communicator –

New APLIC-I Brochure on the Horizon
Diane Rubino, The Population Council

What’s APLIC-I? What does that group do? I field these questions regularly whenever our esteemed organization is mentioned. Generally, spelling out the acronym is all that is needed to clear the fog about our mission and purpose. But on occasion a more substantial explanation would be desirable. Other times, I’ll come in contact with or hear about someone who would benefit from being affiliated with APLIC-I. Theoretically, I could refer a prospective member to our website, where there is a section appropriately titled “About APLIC-I.” However, even that text doesn’t spell out the advantages of joining or give a clear, broad overview of what we do.

To respond to this need, Lisa Newman (University of Pennsylvania) reached into the APLIC-I archives and dusted off the two previous incarnations of our promotional brochure. After taking a look at the existing stock, the Board of Directors decided it was time for an updated version. Laurian Carroll (Management Sciences for Health) and diane rubino (The Population Council) volunteered to do the wordsmithing. With that accomplished, the brochure is now being laid out and will be available soon. A desktop publishing program will give it a spiffy new look. The text will be accessible both as a downloadable file on our website and as a printed brochure. (Contact Peggy D’Adamo or Lisa Newman for copies.) A dissemination strategy is being developed; please contact Peggy D’Adamo if you have distribution suggestions.

Now when someone asks about APLIC-I, you can avoid the awkward hemming and hawing and offer a concise, professional response.

Fogarty Grant for Training in Malawi
Jean Sack (An active, long time member of APLIC-I, Jean Sack has recently left her post at the Johns Hopkins Population Center and relocated to Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Fogarty International Center of the National Library of Medicine awards grants to North American universities and nonprofit organizations for performing training activities, funding graduate studies for Third World scientists, and accomplishing targeted health goals in partnership with developing countries institutions.

In the Spring of 1999, one of the Johns Hopkins Population Center Associates, Dr. Taha Taha, was awarded a five year grant for international training in medical informatics. Since I had helped with the writing of this grant, I was invited to participate in providing informatics training for the four first Fogarty Fellows from Malawi at JHU this past summer. In October, 1999 I was one of four presenters who traveled to Blantyre, Malawi to present the first in-country medical informatics workshop at the College of Medicine.

This workshop was conducted in accordance with the goals of the grant, which include establishing model training programs in medical informatics for developing country scientists and health professionals in association with other internationally funded research or training efforts in their home country.

Dr. Taha had previous experience working in Malawi, where he supervised HIV/AIDS project activities. The Johns Hopkins Department of Epidemiology has a larger Fogarty Training grant in AIDS research. Michigan State has an on-going Malaria Project in Malawi.

The overall goal of the Fogarty International Training in Medical Informatics (ITMI) Program is to build the capacity of biomedical scientists, clinicians, librarians and other health professionals in developing countries to access, utilize and build computer-based tools such as automated libraries, on-line communication networks, databases and analytical software that may best advance biomedical research, public health and clinical practice in those countries. The particular type of grant which funded our Malawi Medical Informatics Course is described at Other APLIC-I organizations might consider applying for these grants if they wish to narrow the gap between health knowledge and needs.

Our Medical Informatics Workshop included training in basic use of computer software and databases; instruction in presentations (PowerPoint); modeling and hands-on use of Internet search engines for biomedical information retrieval; practice with e-mail for communications and research alerts, tutoring in efficient searching, retrieval and saving of references from Medline and other NLM biomedical databases. My colleagues also demonstrated examples of distance education, geographic information systems, and sophistocated internet conferencing software. The four Malawi Fogarty fellows who had spent the summer at Hopkins were our co-teachers along with the Librarian of the Malawi College of Medicine.

Rewards and Perils of Membership in APLIC-I
Jean C. Sack, Medical Informatics Consultant

An active, long time member of APLIC-I, Jean Sack has recently left her post at the Johns Hopkins Population Center and relocated to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Here she describes some of her experiences with and within the APLIC-I community and discusses some ideas on how to overcome the organizational challenges we face.

Solo librarian support: When I joined Hopkins Population Center in the summer of 1993, I was contacted by several members of the APLIC-I board and encouraged to join. My name was swiftly added to Ruth Sandor’s e-mail list and I was invited to attend the Board Meeting, (which was held in NYC that year). New to population librarianship with no overlap with my predecessor, I had many technical questions and issues. By rooming with Gera Draaijer (University Texas), I learned more about the international census collections and shared acquisitions lists. I called five other APLIC-I members in Manhattan and visited their libraries during those 2 ½ days: AVSC, IPPF, Alan Guttmacher, the Population Council, and UNFPA. Many of the items in their research collections were similar and I felt free to contact them afterwards for their expertise. I also gained a respect for the history, value, and depth of our Hopkins Population Center by seeing other collections!

Leadership and change: Because of my interest in professional growth and interaction with APLIC-I via the e-mail lists, I was soon asked to become a member of the “class of 1997.” None of the APLIC-I Board rested on its laurels in the ensuing years. Edith Sontag Ericson proposed and received funding to create a Union List of Serials held by participating members. Lisa Croucher and Cheri Coe helped mount our first electronic issues of the Communicator. Lisa Newman established our APLIC-I website. The following year, Susan Pasquellera implemented the POPIN Gopher and migrated to a useful international web presence. The UNC listserv developed into a powerful document sharing tool while the paper dups lists with items housed at Population Council evolved into a listserv . During this same period, the Princeton APLIC-I members offered POPINDEX for free via the Internet and JHUCCP POPLINE made electronic document delivery a viable possibility for overseas requestors. We all assisted each other in responding to the burgeoning growth of web resources with full-text working papers, a collaborative sharing of collected PAA papers and excellent websites which are soon to be joined with a powerful search engine

Conferences and communications: At each of the six APLIC-I conferences and most of the Board meetings that I attended, I was able to share a room with another active member and consequently develop personal relationships valuable for future communications. Professional networking at conferences also evolved into close personal friendships. The conferences were well-organized and the ideas, resources, and insights were targeted towards issues facing all of us in the APLIC-I community.

Professional development and continuing education: Many of the Board meetings and conferences had more applicable training than other library conference I attended. Roundtable discussions by members offered new insights into areas such as electronic reference sources, government sites, and webmastering. Affiliations with the USAID reproductive health publishing groups enabled some of APLIC-I to attend the Johns Hopkins CCP Internet conferences, AVSC’s Intranet training, and collaborative presentations on CD-ROM authoring and distance education initiatives. Field trips to agencies before our annual conferences were extremely rewarding as well.

Innovating effective documentation and information systems and services: Union lists, directories, dups listservs, conference announcements: Often before I posted a request for a document, I would check the APLIC-I Union List of Serials (which is in serious need of updating!). The membership directory mounted on the web has been invaluable in contacting agencies. Hopefully the POPIN directory will feature more websites and e-mail contacts for this purpose. After deeply weeding our Hopkins collection I was able to share hundreds of discards and duplicates via the APLIC-I dups listserv. Often a conference announcement, job opening, or demographic news was shared on the general APLIC-I listserv (more of this should be occurring!) and enabled us to request conference proceedings, make note of expertise, and follow debates in our fields.

Perils of overcommitment: Though my center directors were mostly pleased at the confidence APLIC-I showed in me by bestowing various responsibilities, these took extra time. I usually stayed late hours or worked from my home on APLIC-I obligations because I strongly felt that involvement helped my work. Board Meetings and Conference required at least 7-8 days away from my job site yearly. APLIC-I should develop public relations strategies for its busy members and the new brochure could be sent to our agencies’ directors.

The problems of stagnation might strike a successful group: APLIC-I Board members might become too ingrown or cliquish, and therefore not be as inclusive to new members. A danger of becoming too East Coast oriented could easily be “fixed” by inviting West Coast agency librarians to join APLIC-I and attend the Spring 2000 conference. Unfortunately, we have let the student librarian involvement drop. I especially regret the loss of momentum in possibly involving developing country members in conferences by subsidizing their attendance. How refreshing it was to have Costa Rican and Dutch keynote speakers at earlier conferences and to welcome colleagues from France and Germany in New York. However, the two annual gift memberships to developing country librarians were never properly documented to show effectiveness. The -I in our name stands for International, not the I as in self interest. Encouraging APLIC-I involvement in worldwide professional networking by enlisting new overseas members will be one of my goals while residing in Bangladesh!

Historic involvement with PAA might be in jeopardy: Because many APLIC-I members serve faculty or staff who are part of the Population Association of America, the routine of our conferences hosted (with free hotel space) prior to their annual meeting has been a bonus. We can often attract world class speakers and share costs because they are attending PAA. Those of us who stayed for PAA were rewarded with free publications, collections of research reports, interactions with experts in the population field, and opportunities to actually plan PAA sessions. APLIC-I historically presented leading films and videos in reproductive health for the PAA and successfully mounted computer rooms for the New Orleans and Washington D.C. PAA meetings. Low attendance in the video festival, financing, and the extraordinary effort required to set up the computers led to a decision to drop those services. These “returns” no longer repay PAA’s interest in APLIC-I. I contend that links to PAA demonstrate APLIC-I’s role in these PAA organizations’ research and teaching — we information specialists need to be a visible presence at annual PAA meetings.

Certainly the professional networking, inservice training, electronic document sharing, conference insights, and collaborations to produce new resources made APLIC-I the most essential library organization that I belonged to during these past six years. The personal friendships, on-going overseas e-mailings, and continued two way assistance will be valuable as we resettle at ICDDR,B (Center for Health and Population Research). Of course, I’ll miss the banquets, Irish pubs, Thai meals, long walks with friends, and responsibilities of being directly involved but soon we will have extra bedrooms to share here in Dhaka for APLIC-I!

Listservs and the APLIC-I Community: What’s Your Opinion?
Peggy D’Adamo, Johns Hopkins University

The APLIC-I listserv currently has 79 subscribers, including a few people who do not belong to APLIC-I. The DUPS listserv has fewer subscribers. Although you have to be a member to post a message, at this time anyone who happens to find the information on how to subscribe can follow the instructions and join the listserv.

We have had two postings recently from the same person (not a member) promoting a commercial web site ( This has raised the question of whether we want to allow people to join who have no connection to APLIC or even to population studies and reproductive health issues. We have the capability to set up the listserv so that only members can join. Should the listserv be open to anyone? Or should it be limited to the APLIC community?

We would like to hear from members and listserv subscribers about this issue. If you are a member and a listserv subscriber, please let the board know your opinion on this question. Thanks.

Sociometrics Corporation
Josefina J. Card

Sociometrics Corporation is a research and development firm specializing in social science research applications. It was established in September, 1983, as a corporation in the State of California. Sociometrics’ goals are:

  • to conduct basic and applied research aimed at furthering our understanding of the antecedents and consequences of contemporary social problems;
  • to make recommendations regarding policies and programs aimed at ameliorating the incidence and consequences of these problems;
  • to facilitate data sharing among social scientists; to facilitate public access to the best data capable of shedding light on contemporary social problems;
  • to promote evidence-based policymaking and intervention program development; and
  • to help non experts become more familiar with the tools and benefits of social science and related technology.

Sociometrics’ research has focused on studying the antecedents and consequences of a variety of contemporary social issues, including: teenage pregnancy and parenthood; AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; maternal drug abuse; growing old in America; and children’s, adolescents’ and adults’ physical and mental health status. Research aimed at designing and evaluating programs trying to ameliorate these problems has been another focus of our work. In studying these contemporary problems and their potential solutions, several areas of expertise related to research and training methods have also been developed:

  • the design and operation of machine readable, topically-focused data archives;
  • the development of powerful, yet user-friendly, software for search and retrieval of information in health and social science data bases;
  • the harnessing of state-of-the-art developments in computer hardware and software to facilitate access to, and use of, the best data in a given research area;
  • primary and secondary analysis of computer data bases, using a variety of statistical packages as well as custom designed software;
  • training of, and technical assistance to, novices on the use of microcomputers;
  • the design, execution, and analysis of program evaluations;
  • the design, execution, and analysis of surveys;
  • the collection and analysis of social and psychological data using a variety of modes (mail; telephone; in person interviews); and
  • the collection and dissemination of social intervention programs with demonstrated promise of effectiveness.

For more information, visit the Sociometrics web site.

Social Sciences Electronic Data Library

The Social Sciences Electronic Data Library is a new health and social science resource for researchers, educators, students, and policy analysts. It includes health and social science data tailored to suit the needs of libraries and academic departments. Through grants and contracts from the U.S. Government, Sociometrics has developed one of the largest and best collections of behavioral, health and social science data available anywhere. 80% of SSEDL data sets are not available from any other public source. Special search-and-retrieval software allows you to sift through the archives and create your own custom data sets according to the variables that interest you most.It contains over 300 data sets from over 200 studies, over 165,000 variables, and over two million cases for analysis, research, and teaching on the following topics:

  • Data Archive Topic Areas – No. ofStudies/Variables per Topic Area
  • American Families – 14 studies/20,000+variables
  • AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections – 11 studies/14,400+ variables
  • Disability in the U.S. – 16 studies/15,800+ variables
  • Adolescent Pregnancy/Pregnancy Prevention – 150 studies/60,000+ variables
  • Maternal Drug Abuse – 7 studies/5,000+ variables
  • Aging – 3 studies/19,400+ variables

More information on the Electronic Data Library can be found by visiting the Sociometrics Web site at The purchase price for the Data Library on CD-ROM is $2,995, with updates priced at $995/year. Complimentary Web downloads to up to three IP addresses are included in the purchase price.

Sociometrics has offered APLIC members a discount of 15% on the initial purchase price. In addition, to cover increased administrative costs on the part of APLIC staff in publicizing this offer, they will offer APLIC a contribution of 5% of purchase price, for every sale it generates beyond the initial 5.

If you do subscribe, please include the discount code *APLIC* in your Order Form so that appropriate credit can be given to APLIC. The Order Form can be accessed via the Data Library Web site address given above.

PRIME II: INTRAH Awarded USAID Cooperative Agreement to Improve the Performance of Primary Health Care Providers

Oct. 12, 1999, Chapel Hill, NC: INTRAH, of the School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), has been awarded a 5-year, $88 million cooperative agreement by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve the performance of front-line reproductive health care providers in the developing world.The funding will allow INTRAH to implement USAID’s new Primary Providers Performance Improvement in Reproductive Health Project (PRIME II) which is designed to create sustainable, national systems for training and education in family planning and reproductive health. PRIME II builds upon the initiatives undertaken by USAID in the first PRIME project (1995-1999), which was also implemented by INTRAH.

PRIME II, which was awarded Sept. 30, 1999, will be carried out in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Near East and the Newly Independent States. The project will focus on improving the work performance of primary providers in developing countries, using a systematic performance improvement approach. Since February 1997, the PRIME project has pioneered the use of Performance Improvement (PI) in the international development community. In PI, the assessment and analysis of the root causes of the problem and the identification of cost-effective interventions to bridge the gap between actual and desired performance is critical. Interventions may include both non training interventions (job aids, work environment, motivation and incentives, supplies, supportive supervision, policy changes, etc.) and training interventions.

Although family planning will be the centerpiece of PRIME II, other selected reproductive health prevention interventions will also be addressed, including: postpartum care, birthspacing services, postabortion care, STI prevention and treatment, maternal health, adolescent reproductive health, and improved client-provider interaction and counseling.

Under PRIME II, INTRAH and its partner organizations will provide technical guidance and leadership to USAID, field missions, other donors and international assistance agencies to advocate for a performance improvement approach. In addition to improving the performance of primary providers, PRIME II will focus on in-country and regional capacity building and developing successful partnerships with local institutions.

For the past 20 years INTRAH has assisted countries throughout the developing world to improve the quality of health services by strengthening the performance of health workers and service systems. Affiliated with the School of Medicine, INTRAH has international offices in India, Kenya, Togo and the Dominican Republic. The other organizations in the PRIME II team are Abt Associates, AVSC International, Ipas, the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), and Training Resources Group, Inc. (TRG).

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and its Office of Information Systems and Services
Nancy G. Vaupel

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, set up in late 1996 to help develop demographic research in Germany, is a German institute and part of the distinguished Max Planck Society. The Max Planck Society consists of over 70 major research institutes, with each one focusing on basic research in a different area. Research areas range from linguistics, international law, and the history of science to biochemistry, mathematics, and nuclear physics. Funding for the Max Planck Society comes from both the German Federal government and the local “state” governments. In the case of our institute, the state is Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.In many respects, the Institute is both German and international in character with staff and visitors coming from around the world. In 1999 staff and long-term visitors included many people born in East and West Germany, several people born in Russia, China, the United States and Italy, and at least one person born in Austria, France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Albania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Moldavia, the Ukraine, India, the Philippines, Mexico, and Canada. The primary language for research, presentations and publications is English. The primary language of material in the library is English, although the German-language is also well represented.

The Institute’s location, Rostock, is a Hanseatic city on the Baltic coast (across the sea from Denmark) with a long history and a venerable University (founded in 1419). The University is now in the process of building one of the larger demography programs in Germany, with two professorial chairs in demography and with both Directors of the Institute and key Institute staff helping with courses. Rostock is also interesting as it was a major city in former East Germany, playing an important role as East Germany’s largest seaport. While no longer one of Germany’s major seaports, it is today a major ferry port with ferries connecting Germany with Sweden, Denmark and Finland on a daily basis.

At the Institute, many research support functions are performed by the Office of Information Systems and Services (ISS), which is headed up by Nancy G. Vaupel. This Office provides library, computer, graphics, editing, publication, and general information and database services. The Demographic Research online journal project was coordinated by ISS staff. All programming and computer support comes from ISS. The Office is unusual in that it integrates library and computer services with an aim to providing Institute staff with the information they need in a convenient, efficient manner, often directly on their computer screen. A Data Laboratory, also managed as part of ISS, is staffed by Ph.D. demographers plus research support personnel. The Data Laboratory helps with both the compilation, auditing, and analysis of demographic data as well as with the development of computerized information systems for the analysis and capture of micro- and macro- demographic data.

The Institute’s library as of early October 1999 had just over 4,800 books and subscriptions to 119 journals. More than 16,500 papers, reports, and reprints were also archived and available at the library. Of the books, nearly 800 were given to the Institute (mostly by James W. Vaupel and Dirk van de Kaa). Many of the papers, reports, and reprints were also given to the Institute (mostly by James W. Vaupel and Anatoli I. Yashin). The library staff indexed and catalogued the material, entered all the records into an institute database (available to everyone over the Institute network) and also created a classification system for the book collection.

The 3-person library staff (the librarian, Wolfgang Grieser, the assistant librarian and library assistant) are helped by the ISS Office secretaries and a team of 7 part-time helpers who are Rostock University students. The staff offers all expected research library functions and has tried to be innovative in providing special services. For example, all research journals which come into the library are scanned for their tables of contents. This information is sent out in an email message to all Institute research scientists. In this way, each scientist is notified about new journal issues in the library and can selectively open up any tables of contents which are of interest. Another service offered by the library and ISS staff is a CDROM caching system. The product we bought is Ultranet (from Austria) We have loaded encyclopedias, dictionaries, databases, datasets, multi-media language courses, and other types of electronic material into Ultranet. Once a CDROM is in the Ultranet, everyone at the Institute can open and use the product. Should a CDROM be limited by the number of simultaneous users, we have the capability to meet any restrictions.

In terms of online search services offered to the staff, we have access to a small set of databases (around 15) which have been made available to all Max Planck Institutes over the Internet. Several of these databases are very important to our researchers – such as Econlit, Sociofile, Web of Science, and Medline. ISS has established contracts with several other database services needed on a regular basis by the staff -such as Popline, MathSciNet, Reuters Business Briefing, and Uncover Reveal. Population Index is of course extremely important to us; we both subscribe to the printed copy and provide a click point on our Intranet to the electronic service. Finally, the Dialog Information service, which is restricted to one of the ISS searchers, has been valuable.

Through the Max Planck Society, all Institutes now have electronic access to the full text of approximately 1000 journals (through the Elsevier, Springer, and Academic Press Internet sites). Most of these journals are in the hard sciences, and not relevant to the area of demography, but of course, several are of interest and our researchers find the electronic approach to journal text easy, fast and the way of the future. Of all the social science institutes which are part of the Max Planck Society, our institute has made the most use of this service. In fact – liking electronic access to information as much as we do, we – under the leadership of “publisher” James Vaupel (Executive Director of this Institute) – launched a new electronic journal for the population sciences. The editor is Jan Hoem, also a Director of the Institute.

This project brought together over ten staff members from various parts of the Institute. The goal behind our effort was to speed up the delivery of important research results to the world community of demographers, while maintaining peer review, and high quality. The journal was planned to be a fully electronic journal, free-of-charge, and without a printed counterpart. The journal, Demographic Research, was launched earlier this year (in July), with a Scientific Review Board of over 50 expert demographers drawn from right around the world. To date over 25 articles have gone through the review process and 5 of them have been published. The journal website is:

Another website which may be of interest is the Institute’s Internet website: The “mpg” stands for Max Planck Gesellschaft, which translates into English as the Max Planck Society. ISS staff also take care of this website, and while it looks simple, there are over 400 pages of information tucked away there. In terms of publications, the Institute website has the full text of all our 1999 working papers, a few full text presentations, and several full text electronic demographic monographs (focusing on the oldest-old, longevity and mortality topics). The website gives a very good introduction to the Institute and hopefully will fill you in on all other topics which may interest you. Please come visit the Institute (and not just our website) if you are in Germany. We would be very happy to see you here.

Closing Thoughts: Small Libraries and Information Centers in the Y2K
By Nika Bareket

When I first heard that other people would be interested in hearing about why I am leaving my position as Librarian here at the University of Michigan Population Studies Center, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about.As most of you know, I would like to be able to spend more time with my son. I think that anyone who has been a working parent can strongly relate to the difficulties encountered when trying to strike a balance between being a part of their child’s daily life, and devoting time and energy to a career that they value and enjoy.

The truth is, though, that this is only part of the picture for me. The other part is about what is going on with small libraries these days. Increasingly, small libraries like this one are being expected to do more and more with the same (or sometimes reduced) staffing, and with less money.

When I think back now to what the Population Studies Librarian was doing 10 – 15 years ago, and compare it to the amount of work that has to be done today, I can see a huge difference. It seems as though there was less to do, more time to do it in, and more money available. One librarian in a small library like ours (holdings of 45,000 items) really was enough.

Of course, that was also before the Internet and e-mail, before listservs and databases, and before websites.

True all these things have contributed a great deal to our ability to do our job properly. They have given us access to resources we had a hard time getting even a few years (or months) ago, and they have helped speed everything up. They have also become what I consider the most fun part of the job, and I personally wouldn’t give it all up for anything. But they have added a whole new realm of things to keep track of, work on, update, and maintain.

So it seems as though part of the picture is that we just have more on our plates these days. I think another part may be related to funding (or lack thereof as the case may be.) Money is just harder to come by. Some centers with several librarians are finding that they may be cutting back to one. Many of us have had our budgets scaled back; a few of us have even seen our libraries and centers closed down. From talking to other APLIC members, I know that this has affected many of us in some way.

The whole question about funding seems to start a kind of Catch-22 that makes it more challenging to do our jobs. When funding gets scarce, the first thing that happens is that many administrators start looking for departments to cut. In an effort to prove how invaluable they are, library and information centers increase their services and think of ways to cut costs. So they often end up with less staff and more to do! It seems like a never-ending cycle.

Another interesting aspect of this that has crossed my mind several times, is that when you think about it, it can take nearly the same amount of resources to run a small library as it does to run a larger library in terms of infrastructure and support. Library services have to be in place and ready to accommodate whoever asks, whether it be 2 requests or 50.

Perhaps this is all just a sign of the times. These changes reflect similar events going on in many other fields as well. The real issue is that our workplaces seem to be changing. Even in the two and half years I have been here, I can see a big difference. A recent article in the New York Times talked about how the U.S. work week is the longest in the world when compared to other industrialized countries. (Americans Lead the World in Hours Worked, Elizabeth Olson, NYT, 9/7/99).

We are also dealing with the reality of a faster-paced world. Let’s face it – we are in the information age where more is better, and faster is already too slow. I read a review of the book Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything by James Gleick which talks about how things seem to be getting busier and busier, and the pace of life has reached an almost frenzied level. (Can You Spare 7 Minutes of Life to Read This?, Patricia Volk, NYT, 9/2/99.) Somehow, it sounded disturbingly familiar.

So I guess it is no surprise that we are having a hard time keeping pace with the demands of our users, patrons, and clients; with the joys and frustrations of new resources and technologies; and with the challenges of running a library or information center with more tasks and less resources.

Ultimately this poses a lot of questions for us to answer. What are some of the answers? Some libraries are closing, some are merging with a larger organization such as a university library so that their additional needs can be met. Some libraries will just continue to do the best they can to keep up. I think that groups like APLIC-I will become increasingly useful resources to provide ideas, library items, and a sense of community, especially for those of us who are “solo librarians.”

Some of us (no names please) may also have to change our standards a little bit. In the last two years, I have often thought about how nice it would be to have everything done; my desk clean, my processing area neat and organized and not covered by stacks of backlogged materials. It would be nice to know every electronic resource out there like the back of my hand, and to fill every request to meet that deadline of “yesterday.” But ultimately this may be a luxury that is less and less attainable. The bottom line seems to be that as long as we as information professionals stay one step ahead of the game we are doing as much as anyone can expect of us.

As for me, I am taking a break from the rat-race. I will be working about 12 hours a week at the main U-M library system so that I can keep my foot in the door but still have more energy to spend on ABC’s and diapers. I will be interested to see how things have changed when I re-enter the work force as a full-time participant, whenever that may be. Until then, I wish everyone the best of luck!

NOTICE! Conference Travel and Registration Fellowship

At the Fall APLIC meeting, the Board voted to set aside subsidies to encourage APLIC-I members to attend the 2000 conference in Los Angeles. Sponsorships are applicable toward either registration fees or travel costs for the conference.

Details: APLIC members WHO HAVE NEVER ATTENDED A CONFERENCE BEFORE may apply for a waiver of the $100 registration fee. The Board is offering a limited (first-come, first-serve) number of these waivers. For those who can demonstrate need, APLIC members can apply to the Board for modest travel assistance fellowships of $250 each to help cover costs of airfare and hotel.

To apply for either a waiver or for travel assistance, the APLIC member should send an email to Peggy D’Adamo ( by JANUARY 1, 2000. The email should include name, institution, and a brief descriptive request. Please contact Peggy if you have questions. The Board committee will contact sponsorship winners by January 15.

CONDITIONS: Recipients of either type of assistance will be expected to work a stint at the conference helping at registration or taking notes during sessions.

Population Institute for Research and Training (PIRT)
Heidi English

PIRT was established in 1986 as an interdisciplinary center for faculty and students interested in population studies. Our primary function is to promote and support the study of demography at IU. To that end, PIRT provides training courses in population analysis and demographic methods, facilities and personnel for funded research projects, and assistance to faculty and students who are seeking information, data, or funding opportunities in population research.My duties for PIRT are many. I do all budgetary and accounting for the department, travel for all related faculty/staff, primary contact for the Institute, hiring and supervision of other staff members, grant proposals, all general administrative work needed to keep the Institute running, coordinating of a Seminar Series held each week, webmaster.

I am also the librarian for the PIRT library. This facility is open to all faculty, staff and students on the IU Campuses. This position includes ordering materials, organizing the library, keeping the library database up to date and posting new acquisitions on our website, etc.

As you can see, my days are never dull and I’m always on the run! PIRT is a terrific place with many wonderful faculty and lots of resources!

Heidi English
Administrative Coordinator, PIRT
Travel/Meeting Coordinator, CIPEC
Indiana University
408 N. Indiana Room 226, Bloomington, IN 47408
Phone: 812-855-5631 Fax: 812-855-7675

New Web Resources

Encyclopedia Britannica:
The Encyclopedia Britannica site seems to be fully accessible as anticipated, completely free and searchable online along with its Britannica Internet Guide.

Originally unveiled and subsequently much-maligned as a pay-for-access service provided by a partnership between Northern Lights and the US Government, USGOVSEARCH quickly lost its larger partner. Northern Light continued with the service nonetheless and recently came out with a free public access version of the search engine, which was originally designed for public libraries and public schools only. While the full edition of USGOVSEARCH still requires a subscription, the public access version indexes millions of pages from US Government and military sites. Users can search by keyword; by date range, agency and subject in a power search; or by specific agency. The sheer size of the Northern Light database makes this search engine a useful resource or users seeking US government information. (From The Scout Report, Copyrignt Internet Scout Project 1994-1999.

WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs:
Now includes over 1,400 annotated links in many areas of iternational affairs. Frequently maintained, recommended by CHOICE Magazine, Internet Scout and the Argus Clearinghouse.

UNFPA Country Support Team for the South Pacific (Suva,Fiji) Teaching Materials: These teaching materials were prepared as PowerPoint presentations by the United Nations Populations Fund CST Advisers in Fiji.