Documentation Service

*Documentation Service*

There are three main functions carried out by the Documentation Service :
to buy and record books, pamphlets, annual reports and periodicals from
co-operatives all over the world as well as ICA publications; to support
the administrative work of the Secretariat and to act as a clearing house
for information related to the Eastern and Central European Countries

Currently there are over three hundred titles received periodically at the
Library. Interesting articles are circulated to the staff and filed in
sectoral files. The computerized data base has 1,100 records.
Bibliographies on special subjects are issued at the request of staff and
outside visitors. The library receives frequent requests for interlibrary
loans and provides services to overseas researchers. During the past 4
years the Archives have been extensively used for the preparation of
historical books.

Collaboration with the Regional Offices was another priority during the
last four years. There is a close working relationship between Headquarters
and the Regional Office in New Delhi. A common data base has been
established and the information on libraries' holdings is regularly
exchanged. A meeting of library operators from two regional Offices was
conducted in February 1991. During the reporting period the report of a
seminar on co-operative legislation in West Africa was produced jointly
with the Regional Office in Abidjan and the ILO.

Since 1989 the section has been participating actively in the Secretariat's
Task Force on East and Central Europe. The information programme developed
by the Documentation Section includes the production of reports on
development in the ECEC. A report of a seminar on co-operative legislation
which took place in Prague in 1990 and compendium of co-op laws in the ECEC
were published jointly with the ILO in 1991. Information on East and
Central Europe is now a regular feature in ICA News. The documentalist
attended regional conferences on agriculture and worker co-operatives in
Budapest in March 1990, on co-operative rural banks in Poznan in March
1991, on insurance in Budapest in November 1991, on credit unions in Geneva
in February 1992.  She also participated in a Research Working Party
meeting on Structural Changes in Eastern Europe, in Warsaw in May 1992.