Municipal Human Rights Digital Library Launched in Almaty

10 April 2008

The Almaty City digital human rights library is the second phase of a joint project of UNDP, UNESCO, the Human Rights Commission under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the National Academic Library.

A launching ceremony took place on 9 April at the Almaty Akimat (City Council). Representatives of the Akim (mayor), Human Rights Commission under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, National Academic Library, UNDP and UNESCO were present at the launch.

The launching ceremony followed training of 4 April for a number of librarians on the the use of dissemination of the library.

The goal of the digital library project is to increase access to information for all Kazakhstani citizens and assist them to participate more actively in public life.

A unique feature of the human rights digital library is its accessibility online as well as offline. The availability of documents offline enables its use even in libraries and documentation centers throughout the country which have no internet connection.

The national human rights digital library collection, which was the first phase of the joint project, is accessible through the website of the National Academic Library in Astana, The National and Almaty collections are integrated and cross-indexed so that searches can be made through a single web address, offering user-friendly access to both city and national information simultaneously.

In the course of the project, UNESCO provided training to both the Almaty Akimat staff and local government (Maslikhats) in setting up, updating and maintaining of the library. The two digital collections now number 1300 legal documents on human rights issues. All documents are available in Kazak and Russian.

The Almaty library will serve as an example to other municipalities and regions of Kazakhstan, where such libraries are planned to be created with the help of UN agencies. The Municipality of the Almaty city recommended using the DL in the public info points in the cities and towns of Kazakhstan.

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