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Delivering what delegations want: the Library presents Kenya’s 50 years at the UN

Tuesday, 14 January 2014, Global | Dag Hammarskjöld Library

To mark Kenya's 50th anniversary of joining the United Nations (16 December 1963), the Kenyan Ambassador to the UN, Macharia Kamau, was presented with a special information resource created by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, which provides direct access to all speeches made by Kenya’s Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Affairs Ministers to the main bodies of the UN over the last 50 years. Background information, related historical documents and pointers to further research are also included, and it is a good example of the kind of service the Library can provide Member States.

Giving the delegation what it wanted — and beyond
The resource was created in response to the needs of the Kenyan delegation — ideas which developed as they worked with Library staff. The concept and added-value features excited Ambassador Kamau with the potential for educational and historical use in Kenya and beyond. Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division in DPI, responsible for the Library, acknowledged this and the potential for other Member States to follow the Kenyan example in working with the Library. He emphasized that the Library safeguarded the parliamentary record of the UN and had the skills and capacity to create innovative products in the service of Member State delegations — which are the Library’s first priority.

Doing more with less
Creating the resource involved curating and repackaging existing information and digital documents to meet the specific needs of the delegation. New technologies and repurposing allowed fast, low-cost but effective customization — doing more with less! This rapid-response product was delivered online, in a basic presentation intended simply to meet the needs of its professional users. The Kenyan Government can go on to use it as they wish — both for research and to create more sophisticated web presentations for their own use and that of students and for citizens — making changes to the product, moving it elsewhere or closing it after their use is complete.

Library services to delegations
Every day, delegates from the 193 diplomatic missions to the United Nations in New York contact the Dag Hammarskjöld Library with research requests related to their work. These include historical enquiries on a Member State or UN body, resolutions the Member State has sponsored and voted for, information on the current session of the General Assembly and current political, economic and social intelligence from the Library’s array of high-quality commercial and official sources. As a self-service tool, the “Member States on the Record” website provides access to each individual Member State’s records in selected UN databases, websites and other information resources. The Library also provides training for delegations in research and can visit the mission office to provide customized training and troubleshooting — just ask!

Delegations requiring any service from the Library can contact its one-stop service through any of the following channels:
Library-NY@un.org
http://ask.un.org/
+1 212 963 3000
Dag Hammarskjöld Library — Room L-105