Report from Germany

Working Group of Art and Museum Libraries in Germany - Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Kunst- und Museumsbibliotheken (AKMB)

Since the beginning of the 1990ies the AKMB combines the interests of institutions and persons concerned with librarian work in the arts and humanities:

  • Coordination and cooperation to improve the efficiency in major library tasks as acquisition, cataloguing and user services in art and museum libraries
  • Development of and information on new working techniques
  • Formulation and representation of interests
  • Support of the professional development of librarians by offering courses, seminars and conferences
  • Promotion, establishment and maintenance of relations to educational institutions for librarians, documentalists and archivists
  • Exchange of experiences, information and communication
  • Consultation and advice for library and documentary tasks
  • Cooperation with related associations and institutions, i.e. museums, archives, information and documentation services
  • Development and maintenance of international contacts

The AKMB was founded in Februrary 1995 at Berlin. The first meeting of its members took place in the annual conference of librarians at Goettingen. Altogether the AKMB had 137 corporative and 72 personal members (1997/12/31).

The AKMB organizes annual meetings of her members to support the professional development by lectures and to enable an exchange between the members. The themes of the lectures reflect the activities of the AKMB:

  • in 1996 in the context of the Annual Librarian Conference, held at Erlangen, alphabetical cataloguing, acqusisition in art and museum libraries, the use of the German Authority File for Subjects, i.e. Deutsche Schlagwortnormdatei (SWD), have been subjects.
  • In 1997 the meeting was organized in the context of the Conference of the Working Group of Special Libraries, i.e. Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Spezialbibliotheken (ASpB) at Berlin. The focal point of this conference was subject indexing - the benefits of using German standards, developped mainly by university libraries. The problems of applying subject terms in specialised collections and ways towards an improve the quality of the exsting subject authority file were also addressed

Since 1995 specialised groups have been founded to discuss topics of the day-to-day librarianship and to define objects for the further work of the AKMB. The following groups do exist: Data Processing, Acquisition, Cataloguing, Museum Libraries, One Person Libraries, Subject Indexing. Courses and workshops enable the participants to discuss and solve practical problems, for example developping and / or creating new classifications for shelving and presenting the collection, preservation methods and conditions, ALLEGRO-C software user meeting. Between 40 and 70 persons participated in each course or workshop.

Another result of the work during the first years is the edition of the "AKMB-news", which has been positive admitted by the colleagues. The news are published three times a year and reflect the activities of the AKMB by publishing relevant articles. The editing team acquires the articles for the issues as well as advertisements to raise funds for the publication and over and above that it manages together with the treasurer the subscriptions.

In 1998 the AKMB plans the following activities:

  • Workshop on the preservation of printed materials in art and museum libraries at the Herzog-August-Bibliothek Wolfenbuettel
  • the meeting of members and annual conference within the German Librarian Congress at Francfort / M.
  • the reinforcement of international contacts
  • an workshop on subject indexing at the Art Library at Berlin together with the annual meeting of the Documentation Working Group within the German Council of Museums in October
  • the annual meeting at Wolfenbuettel 'Data processing in art and museum libraries',
  • courses concerning the use of the German Subject Authority File.

Für das Internet bearbeitete Fassung des Textes. Autorin: Margret Schild - abgedruckt in: In: IFLA / Section of Art Libraries: Newsletter. - Houston, Amsterdam No. 42- 1998, No. 1, S. 6 - 7