Dissertation Presentation


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The presentation of my dissertation research at Rutgers in the School of Communication and Information on December 4, 2010.

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Dissertation Presentation

  1. 1. A Framework for Cultural Heritage Digital Libraries in the Developing World: Access to Non-Textual Information for Non-Literate People in Morocco Dr. Heather Lea Moulaison School of Communication and Information Rutgers University December 4, 2009 Michael E. Lesk, Chair Committee members: Daniel O’Connor Nina Wacholder Michèle V. Cloonan (Simmons)
  2. 2. School of Communication & Information Why this topic? • Background to interest in: – Morocco – Fulbright Scholar grants – Comparative librarianship Samira Hassa 2 June 2001
  3. 3. School of Communication & Information Focusing inquiry • August 2007: application to Fulbright as Scholar (teaching) • September 2007: visit to the Ecole des Sciences de l’Information (ESI) in Rabat • April 2008: acceptance as Fulbright Senior Scholar • September 2008: flight to Casablanca • October 2008: identification of a project 3
  4. 4. School of Communication & Information Outline • Introduction • Rationale and literature review • Methodology • Results and Implications 4
  5. 5. School of Communication & Information Rationale Observations about the environment: 1. Fulbright grantee research – Making A/V documents as part of fieldwork 2. New national library (BNRM) – In general, libraries often not computerized – Digital libraries less studied in LIS curriculum 3. Curious, active people interested in new technology – Half illiterate • Half unable to contribute to or access recorded history The research problem identified in October 2008: Can cultural heritage information be made available to non-literate people from oral cultures through digital libraries? Began the systematic exploration of what would be needed for the creation of a digital library (DL) of AV cultural heritage documents that could be used by non-literate people, focusing on Morocco. 5
  6. 6. School of Communication & Information Literature review What would be needed to create a digital library of AV materials for users who do not read? – Theoretical exercise – Interdisciplinary approach to the problem • Human side of the problem – National culture (Hofstede, 1980) – Universal usability (Shneiderman, 2000) » Ties in to Human Computer Interaction (HCI) studies • Machine side of the problem – Information organization » Purpose » Structure – Information retrieval » Browsing – Read/write Web 6 » Participatory elements
  7. 7. School of Communication & Information Literature review: West v. developing world IN THE WEST: findings and recommendations • Preferences: Different cultures will have different “cultural markers” on the Web • Research for the blind – Have as little spoken word as possible (people read faster than they listen) – Too much noise is annoying • Icons and words together work best – Icons should be simple IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD: findings and recommendations • People from collectivist cultures – Are curious and willing to use new technologies (ATMs, mobile phones, etc.) • Are using devices creatively in development – May not be “mentally programmed” to want to partake in solo ventures such as computing, library use • Accordingly, may not understand the metaphors in use – Are loathe to criticize • Answer in the affirmative any questions about use • Users should remain close to their comfort zones 7
  8. 8. School of Communication & Information Literature review: environmental scan of Morocco • As African country • As Francophone country • As Muslim/Arab country • As developing country (Global South) Relevant topics • Education – Problems of access to education (esp. rural, esp. girls) • Libraries and information – Importance (sacredness) of books – Democratic access not valued as in the West – Importance for development acknowledged • Information and Communication Technologies – Broadband penetration high – Cyber cafes doing well – Lots of cell phones – USB modem Internet access. 8
  9. 9. School of Communication & Information Methodology 1. Literature-based study 2. Ethnographic methods – Informal observation – Informal conversation – Content analysis project • Additional practical elements informed reflection – Collection and analysis of source documents – Metadata assignment in Geenstone – Contact with US Embassy, in-country libraries 9
  10. 10. School of Communication & Information Refunds at the RU cashier’s office? 10
  11. 11. School of Communication & Information Smoking in the West http://www.rostolan.com/images/nonfumeur.jpg http://users.i.com.ua/~and_i/pages/funny% 20image/images/gros_fumeur.jpg 11 http://www.drug3k.com/img2/nicorette_10494_4_(big)_.jpg
  12. 12. School of Communication & Information Pre-election tracts (Morocco) 12 Images of politicians and the symbols of their parties.
  13. 13. School of Communication & Information Close-up: the “scales” party and candidate 13
  14. 14. School of Communication & Information Close-up: the “bird” party American-style negative tactics? 14 Or instructions for non-literate citizens?
  15. 15. School of Communication & Information Hofstede’s pyramid model of culture (1980) Specific to Inherited and individual learned PERSONALITY Specific to Learned group or category CULTURE Universal Inherited HUMAN NATURE 15
  16. 16. Usability focus in INTERFACE Preliminary Usability Western cultures: focus in CHDL: •Navigation Layers 1 & 3 of Layers 1 & 2 of •Visual Elements Hofstede’s pyramid Hofstede’s pyramid 3. USER: Individual Third •Traits Layer •Personality 2. CULTURE: Learned Second •Thoughts Layer •Feelings •Actions First 1. UNIVERSAL: Human Layer • Cognition • Physical limitations
  17. 17. SYSTEM •Organizational mechanisms •Retrieval mechanisms Specific to Machine •Content group or Culture as foundation to category CULTURE interface and system HUMAN NATURE INTERFACE •Navigation Intermediary •Visual elements Specific to •Auditory elements group or category CULTURE HUMAN NATURE USER •Unique personality Specific to Human group or CULTURE category HUMAN NATURE
  18. 18. School of Communication & Information Future (potential) application: Cooperative American Moroccan Electronic Library (CAMEL) 1912 1956 18 2009 2000 1990 1980 1970 1960 1956-1912
  19. 19. School of Communication & Information CHOUKRANE MERCI THANK YOU 19