Issue 77 (Spring 2003)

Spring 2003, Issue #77

Table of Contents

The APLIC-International Communicator is 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
Yan Fu, Librarian, University of Michigan Population Studies Center, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248. Phone: 734-998-6277; Fax: (734) 998-7415; E-mail:
Nykia M. Perez, Library Director, University of Pennsylvania, Population Studies Center, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, Pa, 19104-6298. Phone 215-898-5375; Fax: 215-898-2124; E-mail:

President’s Message

by Margie Shiels

As we look to our fast approaching Annual Meeting, I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and innovation within our group. Zuali Malsawma, and Mary Panke have led the effort to organize an outstanding program on knowledge management for us in Minneapolis. To think we were worried about locating speakers…

Knowledge Management is a term I’ve heard in our organization for a couple of years now. I will be interested to hear how colleagues are involved in projects that seek to organize this nebulous asset. Since knowledge is an individual response to life experience, I am intrigued by the efforts to capture knowledge and pin it down so that others can benefit.

To explore the topic further, please visit as a starting point. The site includes full text articles, case studies and an abundance of resources on KM. Study up before the meeting!

The conference planning seems to have gone exceptionally smoothly this year. I appreciate everyone’s efforts and participation in the planning. I’m sure I won’t remember to thank everyone, but I’d especially like to express my appreciation to: Zuali Malsawama for spearheading the conference; John Carlson for planning the banquet; Mary Panke for organizing our tour and helping to locate and plan speakers; Julia Cleaver for organizing the breakout sessions; and Anil Kumar for writing the checks.

I also applaud those members who are presenting or leading breakout sessions this year. I am especially pleased that Modou Fall Sall of the Information and Documentation Center, African AIDS Research Network in Senegal will be able to join us and present some of the issues related to KM in Africa.

I look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis.

Margie Shiels

APLIC-I Board Meeting 2002 Wrap-up

by Yan Fu

The annual Fall APLIC-I Board Meeting was successfully held on October 24 and 25, 2002 in Washington, DC. Population Reference Bureau generously hosted the gathering of 13 attendees, providing delicious breakfast/lunch, a spacious conference room, computing equipment and a personal welcome address from PRB Director of Domestic Programs, John Haaga. He spoke highly of the value of population libraries and acknowledged his dependence on Zuali Malsawma for his information/research needs.

Board members reviewed the work of APLIC-I in the past year. Committee chairs reported in their areas of responsibilities including finance, archives, duplicate program, website, listserv, newsletter and membership.

Board members engaged in heated discussions on several issues regarding future directions. The Board discussed the issue of how to increase membership and the role of publicity in such an endeavor. Conference was seen as one of the major publicity channels we have. Conference registration and membership renewal notices will go out together. Funmi Akhigbe volunteered to help Julia Cleaver. Awarding travel stipends was seen as another way to attract members. The policy of awarding travel stipends was discussed and a $1000 maximum figure was set for applicants from developing countries and $500 for those from developed countries. The Board determined that a maximum of $2000 per year could be allocated for granting stipends related to APLIC-I conference attendance.

The Board discussed the international component of APLIC-I and ways to better integrate the international members. The suggestion to mail the Communicator to related international libraries was approved. An outreach piece will be written to solicit email addresses from potential international members to be added to our distribution list.

The issue of APLIC-I website and electronic resource guides was also discussed. Tara Murray has since updated the member libraries list with OPAC availability, which we have found extremely useful. More work will be done in the areas of updating existing electronic resources guides and developing new ones so that members will come to the website often to find what they need.

Conference planning is a great part of the Fall Board Meeting. A lot of discussion went into setting the theme and schedule and coming up with the names of conference speakers. The Board has put together an exciting program and we look forward to seeing old and new members in Minneapolis. For details, follow the conference link in this issue of the Communicator.

We were very excited to have 3 new Board of Directors at the annual meeting. Funmi Akhigbe from Popline, Tara Murray from Penn State and Mary Panke from Population Action International brought with them a lot of enthusiasm and fresh ideas. Anne Ilacqua from Brown was wooed back to serve again after many years of prior experience with the Board. The Board under the leadership of Margie Shield and Zuala Malsawma is in a very good position to make greater progress and provide rewarding experiences for APLIC-I members.

More details about the Board Meeting can be found via meeting minutes by APLIC- I Secretary Kay Willson.

2003 Annual Conference Announcement & Agenda

The 36th Annual APLIC-I Conference is coming up very soon. The conference will be held on April 28-30, 2003 in Minneapolis, MN. This year’s theme is “Knowledge Management: Experience Counts.” We hope to see you there.
Conference Agenda
Conference Registration Form

Report from the field:
In time of war: a Matlab Odyssey

by Jean Sack

A famous poem proclaims that a journey itself is the essence of life, not just the intended destination. This is certainly true of the trip to Matlab, south of Dhaka. Matlab is world famous for its public health community intervention sites begun over 40 years ago by the Cholera Research Lab, now ICDDR,B (celebrating our 25th birthday as an international health center!). While most Embassies now warn expatriates not to travel outside their neighborhoods, we are in a working van and accompanied by our Bangladeshi staff.

The trip begins from the ICDDR,B hospital buildings in Dhaka, where researchers and Swiss Embassy guests board project vans for fascinating conversations about low-birth weight, arsenic studies, child health studies and social changes in family planning. Early morning traffic jams are rare and the air feels fresher after the first massive bridge. Anti-war sentiment is high, many demonstrations are occurring mid-day, and several UN vehicles have been attacked on this road. Before 8:30 am, we safely reach the mighty Meghna River.

Awaiting us there are ICDDR,B speedboats, pulled up on the riverbank, with little boys eager to load the medical supplies and backpacks of passengers. In the speedboats we race across the wakes of passing double-decker ferries and avoid the floating soda bottles marking fishing nets, looking for the roll or jump of fresh water dolphins and admiring the occasional sailboat.

Most river traffic these days is heavy-loaded wooden boats full of sand, bricks, bamboo, pumpkins, or freshly harvested potatoes and driven by spewing outboard engines. Towering smoke stacks of brick factories dot the shores between the palm tree clusters of villages perched on eroding banks. Conferences of cormorants perch on the dip nets and fishing bamboo enclosures. Egrets stalk the shores and Brahminy kites soar overhead while flocks of ducks cling closer to the edges.

We stop at a river town with clusters of sawmills, gawking passengers, and pit latrine manufacturers hovering on a Meghna tributary. School children try to keep our Bideshi pace as we march to the ICDDR,B health subcentre.

At the clinic we visit with Shilpi Lipi, a 33-year-old mother of a newborn girl, safely delivered just a few hours before by a young Bangladeshi female doctor and Shilpi’s mother. I record the valiant team of four women with my digital camera. Considered impossibly old for her first child, the mother radiantly breastfeeds her hungry infant. I meet six other young mothers who are part of the low-birth weight study and are waiting for their first echosonagram (observing fetal growth during 9 months gestation).

This first trimester prenatal checkup will include blood tests for anemia, weighing, counseling and at least one of several randomized interventions with micronutrient supplements. The Naorgaon subcentre is now performing many more safe deliveries and sending complications to the Thana hospital in Matlab, via an emergency speedboat service provided by ICDDR,B. Previously, this area was like most of Bangladesh with few women seeking prenatal care and 95% of deliveries done in the home by traditional birth attendants.

Maternal mortality remains high in this country. ICDDR,B closely monitors changes as the family size reaches three births per woman. Children are surviving childhood thanks to the immunizations, diarrheal disease care and better information about safe water. We also visit the children’s clinic and the men’s reproductive health care in this subcentre.

Our adventures are not over. We board the speedboats again and continue down the rivers past fishermen and birds and boats to the port of Matlab. At the ICDDR,B hospital I meet four other newborns. One home-delivered, three-day old baby was not yet able to suckle. His village mother traveled to the hospital for help and receives enthusiastic, careful breastfeeding counseling right away – positioning the infant, expressing milk, stroking cheek, waking to feed more.

I go to the computer room where data is recorded on maternity, demographic surveillance of life events and health status and vaccine and nutrition studies. Researchers around the world use Matlab data in studies.

Walking by the palm-lined pond to lunch, I stopped by the old Matlab barge. We hope to transform it into a developing country health museum as part of the 40th year celebration of CRL/ICDDR,B in Matlab. The new Japanese-funded Training Centre hosts groups from around the world in its 12 bedrooms, two meeting areas and computer rooms. We have lunch before we board speedboats for the trip back to Dhaka.

A rainstorm pelts our blue ponchos on the one-hour river trip to the vans. On the journey back to Dhaka, we brainstorm the next ICDDR,B hospital fundraising art show to include a string concert group in November.

The beautiful voyage to Matlab and the “pleasure, and joy entering ports seen for the first time” was a worthy odyssey indeed.

Population Reference Bureau Library

by Zuali Malsawma, Librarian, Population Reference Bureau

PRB’s Library, established in 1960, is one of the oldest population libraries in the United States. According to the “International Directory of Population and Library Resources,” published by the Carolina Population Center in May 1972, older/same age libraries are Princeton University’s Office of Population Research Library (est. 1936), University of Washington’s Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology Library (est. 1947), and Population Council Library (est. 1960).

The Library’s collection of about 13,000 monographs and nearly 200 periodicals cover both domestic and international population and related issues. One third of the collection provides information on U.S. population. Documents include US Census volumes from the 1930 census onwards, current population reports from the US Census Bureau, vital statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, reports from other national and state government agencies, working papers from research centers, and journals and monographs from various NGOs and publishers. The international collection has Demographic and Health Surveys, publications from NGOs and international agencies including the United Nations and World Bank, and materials from statistical agencies of many countries. The Library also maintains a large duplicates collection and staff as well as visitors are encouraged to select items from here.

The electronic collection continues to grow. There are nearly 100 CD-ROMs and diskettes, and many PDF and other electronic documents stored on the company server. The Library uses Web resources extensively, including databases Nexis, POPLINE, MEDLINE and Ingenta.

The work of PRB relies on trustworthy and reputable producers of statistics. Therefore the arrangement of the collection reflects this emphasis on data producers. Census Bureau, NCHS, United Nations, and other known sources have their own sections in the Library. There is also a section of LC classified books and a supplementary section arranged by subject. Altogether, there are 20 sections in the Library.

The automated catalog has been using Microsoft Access since 1990 because of its availability to all staff. Staff members are encouraged to copy the catalog onto their desktops so that they can do searches at their desks. A company intranet is being considered which would allow all staff to access current records at all times. The catalog is not available externally.

The Library is open to the public Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Appointments are encouraged although not necessary. Documents are circulated only to PRB staff and to other libraries through inter-library loan. Within the organization, the Library is centrally located with staff offices around it. This arrangement promotes use of the Library as staff pass through to exit out the back door. A large percentage of the collection circulates to staff, and more than 50 percent of the staff are frequent Library users.

Purchases under the Library budget are mostly reference materials as well as journals and newspapers. A number of items are purchased for projects and are later donated to the Library. Items needed from outside of the collection are borrowed through networks APLIC-I, SLA and the Washington International Librarian’s Group (WILG), and from several nearby academic, NGO, government and international libraries.

The Library is staffed with a professional Librarian and a part-time Population Assistant with an advanced degree. Both also serve on the Information Response Team along with a research demographer and a research assistant. The Team handles information requests coming from outside via phone, email or snail mail. Questions range from ready reference to those requiring more in-depth research. The Library staff is responsible for adding new information and editing the content of the USAID-funded PopNet web site. Other projects may also request assistance with research, acquiring project-specific materials, training activities, fact checking and even proofreading.

The staff at PRB Library truly value their network with APLIC-I members. The knowledge and ideas gained through the network continue to improve the Library’s operations. Their high request-fulfillment record would not be possible without the support of their colleagues.

Spotlight on Our Members

Tara E. Murray
Information Core Director, The Population Research Institute, Penn State

I have been the Information Core Director for both the Population Research Institute and the Social Science Research Institute at Penn State for almost two years now. One of the first things I did in my job was to join APLIC-I, thanks to a suggestion from my predecessor and former APLIC-I member, Tonya Allen. I immediately got to know APLIC-I as a great source for hard-to-find interlibrary loans when a graduate student in our demography

program came looking for a document that was not available in our collection. I received two quick emails with offers to fax the document, and as a result made one of my first customers very happy.

At the APLIC-I conference in Atlanta last year, I met for the first time the people who had been so helpful on the email list. I enjoyed both the presentations and the chance to talk to my colleagues. Like many APLIC-I members, I am the only professional librarian in my location, so it was great to be able to share experiences with others.

Before joining the Population Research Institute, I was the library director for the Carnegie Library of Homestead, one of the original Carnegie libraries just outside Pittsburgh. I had graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in the summer of 2000 with an MLIS, fully expecting that I would take a reference job at a college or university library, but when the opportunity came up to work at a truly unique library which not only included the usual books, videos, and computers, but also a swimming pool, gym, and music hall, I couldn’t resist. To see a picture of the library building, go to its web site at

I’m fortunate to have work experience in many different library settings-a small liberal arts college library, a university library, a regional consortium, an engineering firm library, a public library, and a research institute.

My non-library interests are about as diverse as my work history, but lately I’ve been reading comic books, attempting to teach myself to play the guitar, and watching kung fu movies.

Mary Panke
Librarian, Population Action International

Membership in APLIC-I is encoded in the institutional memory passed from librarian to librarian at Population Action International. From my first week on the job I recognized why. This intensely supportive association serves as a lifeline for a small specialized library like PAI’s. Not only can a solo librarian not always cover all the bases, but coming from an energy/environmental background, I faced a steep learning curve on population issues and resources. Support from the APLIC-I community has sped up the learning process and the listserve has sped up the turnaround time on several urgent requests since I signed on as librarian at Population Action International a year ago.

I came to PAI from EPA where I handled international information requests for the US information arm of the United Nations Environment Program. During several months I also served as editor/writer of Caribbean Currents newsletter where I clambered up another steep learning curve to write about Pesticide Use and Integrated Pest Management in the Caribbean Islands. Those couple years of intensive online searching, research, and reference work for UNEP served in many ways as a “recertification” course. I had just returned to the library profession following a leave of nearly 10 years – the whole decade of the 90’s…the decade of digitization…and the internet. While my colleagues were sharpening their search and computer skills in this new digital landscape, I got my library fix shelving books in the school libraries, running book fairs, answering a million inquiries while carpooling. I worked part-time for a Community Foundation, but my favorite stint was helping a small family-run company (not my family) to launch and market a product that was always an easy sell – milk, white or dark chocolate bars bearing the shapes and histories of historic buildings. (Want a chocolate Supreme Court? See: During the 80’s I was librarian for the Washington Office of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). It was there at EPRI, where necessity required organizing a library and handling all public inquiries, that I realized I had a knack for library work. I took time off to earn an MLS at Columbia University, couldn’t talk my honey into relocating to NYC and headed back to DC where I married and returned to EPRI to develop and run their library and information services for several years.

While it’s wonderful to be returned full throttle into the professional library world, I’ve had to reign in other interests to stay focused on family life. With two daughters in middle school and one a high school junior, time is flying. As they depart for college I can begin to get back to dividing plants and puttering around the yard, cooking up elaborate meals for adults, reading for sheer delight, traveling to points unknown – at least unknown in the travel soccer circuit. I have managed to indulge in one fun but humbling activity, playing in a women’s soccer league. It keeps me sympathetic with my daughters’ scrapes and bruises, mindful of the seasons, and appreciating the sedentary side of library work.

Membership Update

The following people joined APLIC-I in 2002 or 2003:
Funmi Akhigbe
Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs

Kiet Hao Bang
Population Research Institute
Pennsylvania State University

Juel Brathwaite
The Alan Guttmacher Institute

Anne Brosowsky
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin

John Carper
John Snow, Inc.

Sambhavi Cheemalapati

Jennifer Darragh
Population Research Institute
Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Eddy Koswara
Center for Population and Policy Studies
Gadjah Mada University,

Christine Loredo
The Alan Guttmacher Institute

Jennifer Nadeau
The Alan Guttmacher Institute

Indreswari Nurmalia S
PATH – Program for Appropriate Technology in Health

Mary Panke
Population Action International

Lee Ridley
The Population Studies Center
University of Michigan

Kari Swanson
University of Wisconsin Madison
Center for Demography Information Services

Dr. Shyam Thapa
FHI PRH Office Nepal
c/o Family Health International

Chengzhi Wang
Princeton University – Stokes Library

Rebecca Wind
The Alan Guttmacher Institute

Xiao Jason Yu
The California Center for Population Research

Happenings: Calendar of Events

April 10-13, 2003 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), 11th National Conference: Learning to Make a Difference, Charlotte, North Carolina.
April 28-30, 2003 APLIC-I Annual Conference 2003, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
May 1-3, 2003 PAA Annual Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
May 2-7, 2003 Medical Library Association, Annual Conference, MLA ’03: Catch the Wave!, San Diego, California.
May 25-30, 2003 International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology (IASSIST) Annual Conference, Ottawa, Canada.
June 7-12, 2003 Special Libraries Association Annual Conference, New York, New York.
June 19-25, 2003 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Canadian Library Association (CLA) Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario. &
July 13-17, 2003 Seminar on Taking Stock of the Condom in the Era of HIV/AIDS, Organized by the IUSSP Committee on Reproductive Health, in collaboration with The Department of Population Studies, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana.
August 1 – 9, 2003 International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), 69th General Conference and Council, Access Point Library: Media – Information – Culture.
August 16-19, 2003 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.

Please send updates and additions to Nykia M. Perez :

APLIC-I Call for Submissions & Volunteers

The APLIC-I Communicator Needs You
Annual Conference Reporters needed to report on this year’s Breakout Sessions & Presentations. Please let us know if you would like to report on one of the sessions, a brief or in-depth write-up for the next issue of the Communicator will be required. E-mail the APLIC-I Communicator Editors if you are interested in assisting with the Conference Issue: &

Spotlight On Our Members” will profile a different member of APLIC-I in each issue of the APLIC-I Communicator. The member is selected from the membership list and is then interviewed by one of the Editors or members can volunteer to participate. The goal is to foster a broader appreciation of the diverse membership of the association. Do you have a story you would like to tell? Talk to us: &

Spotlight On Our Libraries” will profile a different type of information organization as per our APLIC-I in each issue of the APLIC-I Communicator. A member library is selected at from the membership list and is then asked to contribute a short description of their organizations library or information services. Members can also volunteer to participate. The goal is to foster a broader appreciation of the diversity in our member’s organizations and to share the different types of work that APLIC-I members do. Did you want to know how another library does “it”? Here is where we will try to provide you with some answers. &
Call for APLIC-I Electronic Resource Guides
Currently there are five POPIN-APLIC-I Electronic Resource Guides which were compiled by members of APLIC-I and POPIN in 2000 and early 2001. Please see the table below for details about the current Electronic Resource Guides.

Your ideas and expertise is needed to compile new issues of the electronic resource guides. It is time to add to our list of resources.

  • Is there a topic you would like to know more about?
  • Do you have expertise in a particular field and would you like to share the resources you think are outstanding with other librarians and information professionals?
  • Have you ever wondered if there may be a more appropriate source for the information you need?
  • Would you like to see a list of core materials in demography, population studies, reproductive health, etc.?
  • What resources do other population, reproductive health librarians and information professionals use to answer this question?

If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, please let us know.

Current POPIN-APLIC-I Electronic Resource Guides
No.1 Getting Started: Selected Electronic Resources on HIV/AIDS
No. 2 Guide to Citation of Electronic Information, Copyright and Intellectual Property
No. 3 Electronic Training Resources on Population and Reproductive Health
No. 4 Electronic Training Resources on Best Practices and Lessons Learned in
No. 5 Using the Internet: Courses, Self-Tutorials, and Training Materials
To see the PDF’s visit

In addition, if your library or organization has already done this in an area or subject and would like to share the link with other members, please send us the URL and we can post in the Internet Population/Family Planning Resources Links section of the APLIC-I web site.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you, Nykia M. Perez,