About this Blog

This is the Blog of Live Project 11 - Shelter Library, a live project undertaken during autumn 2008 by MArch Students from Sheffield School of Architecture.

Shelter Library is the key information resource for the humanitarian shelter sector. Shelter Centre the client for this Live Project are an International NGO based in Geneva. They work to support communities impacted by conflicts and natural disasters by serving collaboration and consensus in the humanitarian shelter sector.

Our project wrapped in late November 2008 the work of shelter centre continues however as does the Live Project Programme at SSoA, for further information please follow the links.

We hope you enjoy, play safe now

28 Oct 2008

Content Busting

Sourcing over 500 items of relevant information in a particular field is a task that is simultaneously both numbing and interesting: Whilst (though some may refuse to admit it) monotonous tasks are inherent in architectural culture, especially in certain stages in the construction and making of buildings, it becomes easy to overlook the substance of a particular fragment or piece of information. Thus the assignment of a door schedule becomes not about a lesson in the possibilities involved in the design of doors, but in the completion (through numbering, arranging or whatever) of the task at hand. It becomes easy to ignore, or even abstract, the immediate content and its significance as part of a wider whole.

The tracing and preparation of practical material for the library is for direct use by NGO workers and humanitarian agencies working in the global field of humanitarian shelter. The hope is to build momentum for the library and work towards creating an open location for a memory for the humanitarian shelter sector (currently non-existent). Library items are identified not only for the content section of the website but in other areas; providing information on events and training for NGO workers for example, perhaps with a view to developing a semblance of a distance learning setup, where the library acts more as an active portal than a mere repository.

The management of the sourcing has thus been broken down into different teams exploring different strands of research. A more structured approach produces teams that are better informed in specific areas. Each team has a more focused field of knowledge regarding a particular area, and is thus able to navigate it more efficiently. The research strands are as follows:

- Searching through NGO databases
- Through library / document bibliographies
- Within training + Events

In addition, the management of an increasingly large repository of information requires tight control and checking. This is maintained by a document controller, whose role it is to ensure the clarity, quality and consistency of the entries for the library. A clear goal for the project is the delivery to the client of a substantial database which contains clear and useful information, ready for uploading to the Shelter Centre Library.

Compiling an Individual Research Strand Master Document of Library Entries

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