Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Guam: Examining the Impact of Information and Communication Technologies

Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Guam: Examining the Impact of Information and Communication Technologies

Dante Perez
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2273-8.ch011
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Knowledge, tradition, culture, and arts are reflected in how the information is shared in the knowledge society. The new millennium looks into the practices of libraries, archives, and museums and moves forward to the issues, challenges, and opportunities. While competencies of the staff play an important role, information and communication technologies undeniably have also brought about the changes. This chapter provides an overview of the libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) on the island of Guam, emphasizing the traditional roles and examining deeper into the issues and challenges on the impact of information and communication technologies. Convergence, specialized knowledge and a better framework to be adopted for development and growth that can contribute to the global knowledge society are the key points in the discussion.
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Information is the source of knowledge, which is held in different cultural institutions, namely libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) (Prasad, 2011). In the digital age, a need for transforming all knowledge repositories to cope with emerging technology is a necessity to be able to adapt to globalization. The success in the acquisition of knowledge and the expansion of scholarship is possible by linking knowledge resources previously separate, through an enhanced knowledge organization (Kirchhoff, Schweibenz, & Sieglerschmidt, 2008). It also serves as memory institution (Burcaw, 1975 in De Laurentis, 2006).

Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States in the North Pacific Ocean with mix of various cultures Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and other Asian communities of significant size in addition to its indigenous population and people from the mainland United States and many islanders from various parts of Micronesia (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2019). In 2016, the Guam and Chamorro Education Facility, better known as the Guam Museum, temporarily opened its doors to the public. However, the majority of the Guam Museum, which features art and culture around the Pacific Islands, remains unfinished (Bevacqua, 2017). The promotion of culture is not only an undertaking of museums; the University of Guam also promotes regional arts and culture. Libraries, archives, and museums work as separate entities in Guam and are still in the process of development.

As discussions on knowledge, tradition, culture, and arts and how the information is shared in the knowledge society, the new millennium looks into the traditional practices of LAMs and moves forward to the issues, challenges and opportunities for the competencies of the stakeholders.

Studies on convergence and intertwining roles of LAMs (Robinson, 2015; Jones, 2015; Warren & Matthews, 2018) have been seen discussed from different perspectives such as managing change (Alam, & Campbell, 2013; Mitchell, 2016,) and the new role of information professionals and integration of technology in upskilling those involved in working on LAMs (Abels, Howarth, & Smith, 2018; Hirschberg, 2019; Kennan & Lymn, 2019) are just a few of the many topics explored when it comes to LAMs. Most studies in the literature are sourced from the United States and Europe and very few from the Pacific and Micronesia. In the Pacific, most literature published has been geographically focused in Australia and New Zealand. Todd (2014) emphasized the need for further research and publication in the field of Micronesian library and information science and the need for an ‘‘indigenous context’’ in Micronesian library and archival services which includes Guam. Several articles on archives and museums in Guam and Micronesia (Spennemann, 2004; Goetzfridt, 2007; Salvatore, 2011; Robinson, 2015) provides a view of possible development and technology integration. Wang (1993) studied the development in Guam and Micronesian libraries. That provided a narrative that brings to the attention to the realities of libraries in the Pacific and the need for modernization and further development that requires support from countries with established libraries and similar knowledge institutions. It has been more than two decades past but the continuing need for modernization and collaboration with other countries is an important effort to be undertaken by librarians and those in charge of LAMs.

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