Well, I guess I am settling into things here and getting used to the idea of living in Laos, now, after 3 months. The reason I know this is because I feel like I don’t really have any exciting news to post about.
I am still working on the library website. I created this list of academic electronic resources for the library. I think it could actually be quite useful in any context, not just the National University of Laos. I am working on trying to organize it better, and also to organize it by subject, and title of the resource, and possibly make it search-able. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the computer technical skills at this point to do that sort of thing.
I have also been helping the director write a proposal to The Asia Foundation to purchase a electronic-gate for the library. I thought that an electronic gate was a little unnecessary, in my experiences the Lao don’t seem like potential library-book thieves. But, according to the director, and other people I have spoken to, this I am incorrect. Since books are quite rare in Laos, and the library has a lot of unique materials, and materials from the USA and Thailand and other countries, people are very tempted to steal them. The director also showed me some kind of list of “missing items” that were checked out and never returned, and we can’t get a hold of the borrowers.
So, for the time being, I am drafting a fax to send to 3M Thailand to solicit quotations for library detection systems. They are surprisingly expensive. Like $20,000 for the lowest-end model. Damn!