aquatic sciences libraries benefit from equipment grants

Aquatic sciences libraries in Bulgaria and Georgia have recently been awarded small grants by EURASLIC - the European Association of Aquatic Sciences Libraries and Information Centres - to purchase essential computing equipment to support their information activities.


For many who work in aquatic sciences libraries the use of computerised catalogues and databases, and access to the wider resources of the Internet are now commonplace, but for many libraries in European Countries in Economic Transition (ECET), these basic facilities are still a luxury. Euraslic, in an attempt to assist aquatic sciences libraries in these countries to both contribute to and benefit from wider access to European and International aquatic sciences resources, recently introduced an Annual Equipment Grant. In 2002 the Euraslic Board received six applications, the total amount of which came to more than 6850 euros, well in excess of the original amount set aside for these small grants (1500 euros), and so the amount was increased to more than 1800 euros to enable Euraslic to assist two Member Libraries to purchase computing equipment. The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Oceanology, Varna Library was awarded 700 euros, and the Library of the Georgian Marine Ecology and Fisheries Institute, Batumi received 1120 euros.


The European Association of Aquatic Sciences Libraries and Information Centres (EURASLIC) is the only European organisation directly addressing the needs of aquatic libraries and information centres across Europe. The organisation, exchange and exploitation of information and knowledge is vital for economic and social development and Euraslic, in a small way, attempts to support the libraries and information services that underpin aquatic sciences research across Europe. The main source of income for Euraslic is through subscriptions by Members, so of necessity the levels of Grants awarded are small. However the Euraslic Board will shortly begin discussing the total amount of funding to be allocated for Equipment Grants in 2003 and would be pleased to hear from any organisations or individuals who would also like to contribute funding to support the activities of aquatic sciences libraries in ECET countries.


The interaction of librarians and information specialists from ECET countries with those not only from institutes in Western Europe, but also with those from other developed and developing countries in other geographic regions, is crucial in targeting the needs of these individual libraries and establishing joint projects which will attract funding from International and regional donor organisations. Euraslic is continually seeking sponsorship to assist staff from aquatic sciences libraries and information centres in ECET countries to attend meetings and Conferences.
The next Euraslic Conference "Smooth sailing: crossing the boundaries in Aquatic Sciences Information Management" will be held in Kiel, Germany in May 2003.
If you would like to sponsor an individual to attend this Conference, please contact the Euraslic President, Joan Baron Varley.