Tell us something about yourself... what is your background and role in the organization you are working for?
I am originally a researcher in zoology. I switched profession and became an information specialist in 1994. Since then I have worked in the Finnish Forest Research Institute, Metla, in various information management tasks. First years I worked in projects and participated in the development of our website. Since 2006 I've worked full-time in the library and information service. I've also networked actively with library and information professionals both in Finland and internationally. As the library staff is small we have to handle all tasks in the service. Our current special projects deal with downsizing our printed collections, digitizing printed journals of Metla and establishing an open institutional repository for the digitized material.
How did you get in contact with AIMS?
I participated in the early development of the Global Forest Information Service GFIS by IUFRO and was in touch with FAO knowledge specialists already in the late 1990's. I have tried to keep an eye on the various information and knowledge management projects of FAO. Now I hope to add in some volunteer effort in bringing my own language Finnish to a more visible and official status e.g. in AGROVOC thus making it more visible and usable also in Finland. Also, I might need to have first hand experience of this service in a development project in Africa.
What is your opinion on AIMS?
This is a great tool for people working with information management in both small and large agricultural institutions. Also AIMS communities will ease in finding other professionals struggling with similar problems.
According to you, what is the most important benefit that AIMS provides to the agricultural information management community?
It provides services which would be out of reach otherwise. Information management tools combined with free software packages for library tasks provide new possibilities of information sharing and management and providing tools to document and share invaluable information on indigenous agricultural and species usage knowledge from developing countries.
How do you think agricultural information management standards can contribute to agricultural research for development?
Smaller institutions with just a few staff or in developing countries in general, cannot develop systems of their own. Providing this type of services standardizes information services on a global level which is important as information sharing through openaccess repositories becomes more prevalent. Standardized ways of information management may also improve information literacy.