To: Judith Russell & Laura Probst
From: Matthew Loving (as dLOC/CIFNAL French Language Coordinator)
CC: John Ingram, Laurie Taylor, Brooke Wooldridge
Re: dLOC/CIFNAL Business Trip to Martinique
In early Fall 2009 Brooke Wooldridge and I were invited by fellow librarians Anne Pajard and Chantal
Godet to co-present as part of the 2010 Symposium Intemational des Jeunes Chercheurs de la
Caraibe organized by the research institutes of the University of Antilles-Guyana (UAG) in
Schoelcher, Martinique (French West Indies- Overseas Department/Territory).
Due to scheduling conflicts, I was the only member of the dLOC team that was able to co-present
and meet with UAG partners to further discuss a proposed collaboration between the two digital
projects, Manioc and the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC). I was happy to go and act as an
ambassador of the dLOC project, the Collaborative Initiative for French Language Collections
(CIFNAL) and the University of Florida (UF).
During my four day trip to Martinique (Jan 20th- 24th, 2010), I was very impressed by both UAG's
academic and technological infrastructure and their keen interest in working together with dLOC,
CIFNAL and the University of Florida to find collaborative opportunities in both the short and long
term. Meeting with Director of the UAG Libraries, Sylvain Houdebert, who oversees three campus
locations (Martinique, Guadeloupe & French Guyana) he agreed to the signing of a Memorandum of
Agreement between Manioc and dLOC outlining initial steps and goals for digital collaboration (see
attached). Sylvain was also interested in exploring the possibility of a professional exchange
between Manioc and dLOC project members so that for example Anne Pajard or others, could
benefit from working more closely with UFDC at our UF campus and perhaps Mark Sullivan, Brooke
Wooldridge or others, could benefit from passing a few weeks this summer at UAG's campus. It is
Sylvain's belief that this kind of exchange will more concretely push the collaboration goals forward in
the year to come and he is willing to financially support such an exchange.
As well as the above suggestions, several other collaborative areas arose during my discussions with
Sylvain and Anne:
Shared harvesting of metadata based on OAI protocols and signed MOA.
An eventual collaborative effort to respond to the digitization needs of partners in Haiti
following the earthquake as mentioned in the MOA.
-Development of new shared points of access, thematic collections and more that will span
across dLOC and Manioc projects to link users to content regardless of location.
-The sharing of data sets received from the French National Library, Overseas French
Colonial Archives and other research institutions in Europe.
-The possible collaboration of digital project team members with regards to training, travel
and further digital development in the Caribbean region.
On Friday January 22nd, Anne Pajard and I presented in French as part of the 2010 Symposium
International des Jeunes Chercheurs de la Caraibe and it gave me a chance to introduce a large
audience of French-speaking academics to the dLOC project and the State University System of
Florida in their own language. Our presentation was well received by the event organizers and
Frederic LeFrancois who was interested in the idea of possibly alternating the Caribbean conference
(geared towards those working on their doctorate degree in Caribbean subjects) between UAG and
UF or FlU if sufficient interest exists in Florida for this kind of exchange.
It is my impression that passing four days in the language of the partner institution was an important
point of goodwill and allowed for a better exchange, opening up the door for these partners to
practice their English language skills in emails and conversations in the future. I hope those who
have the chance to work with these new project partners with extend to them the courtesy of patience
and openness when working together in English or in French and feel free to contact myself or other
CIFNAL members when translations or other French language needs arise.