University of Hawaii at Manoa
2550 McCarthy Mall
Honolulu, HI 96822
Dave Brier is a systems librarian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is enrolled as a doctoral student in the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Political Science Program. His area of specialization is Alternative Futures. He has conducted visioning and alternative futures workshops for library associations and groups throughout the United States.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is one of twelve U.S. universities designated as land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institutions. The University of Hawaii at Manoa is the major research campus of the University of Hawaii System. It has an enrollment of 17,000 students. Doctorates are granted in 52 fields.
The UHM Library is the only major research library in the State of Hawaii. The Library has a staff of 143 full time employees and a collection of 3 million volumes. The materials budget approaches $5 million. It is a member of the Association of Research Libraries and the Research Library Group. It uses OCLC and RLIN as bibliographic resources and the Endeavor Voyager automated library system for all public online catalog and processing functions.
Telling Many Stories is vision of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library in 2012. The Library will be a place where library users work collaboratively with staff to “build” and “create” custom information rather than “find” and “retrieve” generic information. The UHM Library seeks to support an intellectual tradition crossing and integrating Hawaiian knowledge and western science. To do this, the UHM Library recognizes and accommodates the different ways cultures organize and construct knowledge. The Library respects and affirms culturally distinctive ways of speaking and acting by expanding its concept of information to include personal and cultural information.
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT MANOA LIBRARIES IN 2012
Telling Many Stories
This envisioned University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) Library in 2012 will be a place where library users work collaboratively with staff to “build” and “create” custom information rather than “find” and “retrieve” generic information. The UHM Library seeks to support an intellectual tradition crossing and integrating Hawaiian knowledge and western science. To do this, the UHM Library recognizes and accommodates the different ways cultures organize and construct knowledge. The Library respects and affirms culturally distinctive ways of speaking and acting by expanding its concept of information to include personal and cultural information.
By 2012, UHM Library has taken major steps towards information self-reliance. UHM librarians no longer depend on publishers for information. The staff spends significant time collecting primary source artifacts from throughout the University of Hawaii System and wider community to incorporate in the UHM Library’s Experience Depository (ED) and the Publication Archives (PA). Typically, primary source artifacts include, but are not limited to books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, sound recordings, video clips, field notes, data sets, computer programs and simulations, software, archived Web pages, self evolved games, machine authored works, and miscellaneous digital information. Primary sensations include but are not limited to scents, tastes, sounds, visuals, and tactile experiences and phenomena. The staff actively provides access to information that reflects Hawaii’s unique history, physical and biological environment, and rich cultural setting.
Given the staff’s intimate familiarity with the state of research in their specialty, they are able to identify shortcomings in their collections. To illustrate, knowing there are no sound recordings of erupting volcanoes, staff participate in a vigorous outreach program to collect existing sound recordings from UH vulcanologists and other institutions and researchers throughout the State of Hawaii. In the area of sensation, staff may be aware that we lack the smell of sulfur from volcanic vents. If the audio recordings and scents do not exist, library staff act as a catalyst in their creation.
In the world of 2012, intellectual documents are thought of as living and infinite documents. They are never truly complete or closed. UHM Library staff work collaboratively with authors to make their research accessible in all stages of the document’s life. Prepublication, publication, and post-publications are made available in the ED and PA. Staff work with authors to develop mechanisms for instantaneous feedback and review. The entire lifecycle of the evolving document is contained within the ED and PA. Researchers can move backwards and forwards in the lifetime of the document and gain a deeper conceptual understanding of the project, data, and scientist.
In 2012, virtually all scientific experiments are computer based simulations. The most highly prized and sought after portion of a scientific publication is access to the computer programs used for the simulation and the resulting data sets. With these, scientists from throughout the world can rerun the experiment, reinterpret the data, and manipulate the variables in the program and consider new possibilities for themselves. Because the value of publication is largely determined by the number of links, UHM Library staff add value to the scholarly research process by ensuring that library users can navigate across publications by easily moving from one idea to another as one author builds on or challenges the research of another.
The UHM Library attempts not only to understand but also to devise culturally informed and appropriate solutions to the transmission and preservation of Hawaiian knowledge and wisdom. This translates into continual discussions between UHM Library Administration and members of the Hawaiian community on a wide range of information related issues. The UHM Library Hawaiian Collection is staffed exclusively by kahuna, Hawaiian elders who are preeminent in their fields, and by others recognized and accepted by the Hawaii community as authentic transmitters of Hawaiian knowledge and wisdom. The collection is organized in Hawaiian categories of knowledge and the policies are guided by Hawaiian cultural practices. To illustrate, knowledge is passed in this collection orally through dance, chant, stories, genealogy, and music. Access policies are tied to sacred cycles. Knowledge is also passed though the handling of artifacts, infused with mana, spiritual power. Therefore, the Hawaiian Collection is considered alive and sacred. Because the Library realizes Hawaiians are not anchored in the past, staff works actively with Hawaiian people in using new technologies to record and preserve the voices of Hawaiian native speakers.
Because UHM Library envisions information as a social construct, we recognize the need to identify differences in the information needs and uses of unique cultural groups. We operate under the principle that “different people use different information differently to make sense of their worlds.” The gender, class, age, race, ethnicity, creed, and sexual orientation of library users are important factors in their attraction, interpretation, and reaction to information. Recognizing this, UHM librarians enhance the value of information by collecting and linking the input people receive from TV, computers, their neighbors, schools, churches, governments, friends, families, as well as from music, film, art and printed materials on information available in the library. For example, the library creates links to a student’s interpretation and reflections to an assigned reading in From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai’i, a text containing an impassioned argument against the abuse of Native Hawaiian rights caused by rampant tourism. Library users can search and access this information by demographic characteristics and learn what “people like me” and how “others” thought and felt about a text. Embedding bibliopersonal and bibliosocial information within each text and object enables library users to work with the text in a more intimate and personal way.
In the area of technical development, UHM Library staff spends significant time and energy developing interactive tools to personalize information. A substantial amount of the staff’s budget is spent on the research and development of custom tools for library users to bring together objects from a variety of sources to make their own information. One of the Library’s major accomplishments and ongoing tasks is the maintenance of its automated agent, 'Imi Loa, which means to "seek" or "explore" in Hawaiian.
Each entering student at UHM is required to have a research portfolio on 'Imi Loa. The research profile lists the student’s research and personal interests, as well as a private personal archive of their research and class submissions containing a complete link of their work to other scholarly works. Based on the information in the research profile, 'Imi Loa, an intelligent agent, is constantly searching and assembling relevant information for each student. 'Imi Loa has regular dialogues with students. Additionally, each UHM student is assigned a personal UHM Library staff member. Students must meet with UHM Library staff on regular intervals. UHM Library staff assists and coach students in the use of technologies that enable them to extract objects from the Experience Depository and integrate them into their personal projects.