Curiosity Helps Modernize Technology in Kazakhstan

A 32 year old businessman confirmed that the latest development in Kazakhstan’s technology is “Almaty Techno-Park” and “High school computerization” projects carried out by Kazakhstan government. Accordingly are the promising signs of their [future] willingness to invest in technological development.”  A much younger but highly qualified librarian who works in Astana, the nation’s capital, wrote about more positive developments in her discipline, “Presently there is a new project in our country called “National Electronic library of Kazakhstan” that is being provided by the National Academic Library… In fact, the project needs qualified IT specialists and professional support now and in the future.” 

This 24 year old female librarian further explained about her personal aspirations: “During the shortage of modern access to information, in this crucial stage of my life, I was given a great opportunity to join the newest digitalized library of Kazakhstan.  I saw the whole world inside.  The library for a librarian is not the same as for a reader.  It is like a big factory with different departments and functions.  There is a lot of hours of work beside any information the reader has found.  Every page of book, newspaper, website, article from database, has its own way to his reader. And I realized that an effective library system is one of the most important factors of science development, culture and quality of education.” 

This young librarian was careful to say in her interview that even though there are only 100 librarians under the age of 30 throughout Kazakhstan who understand the power of technology, those older librarians who don’t use computers are very well trained at cataloging under the old system.  One such woman whom we interviewed was 51 years old.  She wrote the following in her application about what is accessible now in her library to those in the medical field: “Our users are able to work with such English electronic databases as EBSCOhost, Springer, Blackwell, Medline, which are provided by Consortium of Libraries.  In recent years there is a problem of info providing for medical libraries.  Specialized medical libraries in research institutions led by the Republic Scientific Library of Almaty work using mostly old traditional methods of service that, does not meet the growing needs of the users…this is because of a lack of professional schools and knowledge in the area of modern digital librarianship.” 

Thankfully there are young people who are inheriting the methods of service from the older generation to combine with an insatiable curiosity to do successful keyword searches for their clients.  Curiosity is also the key for those in Journalism and Mass Communications who want to tap into modern technology.  One such journalist said she was trained by her media trainer who said “that the job of a journalist is to know nothing and talk about everything.  To me, curiosity is an obligatory feature for a good journalist.” 

This same female journalist wrote the complications of protecting journalists in their profession while they carry out their message using the Internet. “I conducted some scientific research about legislative regulation of Internet in Kazakhstan.  According to Kazakhstani legislation, websites refer to mass-media and under the regulation of the law of mass media, which doesn’t include special norms for websites, except recent rules of its registration.” 

Another articulate woman in journalism wrote the following:  “I am also interested in developing online journalism in Central Asia region.  However Internet is still not available for most of the population because of quite high prices for telecommunications service.  Another problem is local regulations of web sources.  Last semester I had worked on a CAJ (Central Asia Journalists) website project…Online journalism – some theorists think, that it will help people to integrate online society and create their own civil communities where they will feel free in discussing that which is not possible in analog print or broadcasting media.” 

Thus ends my compiling of quotes from aspiring, young Kazakhstanis who want to improve their great country of Kazakhstan. I wish those Muskie candidates who pass their TOEFL exam and eventually succeed in studying for their MA degrees in the US, to return home to their native land to make a positive difference.  I am hopeful for the future of Kazakhstan after reading the Muskie applications and seeing the talent from the 53 interviews we conducted last week. 

If you have missed any of the earlier blogs concerning Kazakhstan, they should be read in reverse order starting from a week ago.  I welcome and encourage any feedback you may have on the following.  Please leave a comment, especially those who are FROM Kazakhstan!!!:

1) Quotes from Ambitious Kazakh Students

2) Kazakh Lawyers’ Thoughts on Education

3) Kazakhstan‘s Inheritance from the Soviets

4) Corruption and the Typical Kazakh Family

5) Kazakhstan‘s Geography and Old Silk Road Legacy

6) Kazakhstan’s Economics Affect ALL Disciplines  

4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Allen Taylor said,

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Allen Taylor

  2. 2

    Signe said,

    This has been a good lesson on the forward thinking of the applicants. It’s too bad they can’t all go for the Master’s studies in their area of interest. What potential! Thank you for compiling this.

  3. 3

    Kazakhnomad said,

    Glad you enjoyed reading the seven installments about Kazakhstan. In truth, some of the applicants looked VERY good on paper. However, when we actually interviewed these 53 applicants, they were either too nervous or had LOTS of help in writing their Project Statement. Regrettably, some of them could not put an English sentence together. I would hate to say that any of them plagiarized their statements, but I would hazard to guess that is what happened in some cases. They would NOT survive in an American academic setting if they cheated in their writing to get to the interview stage. Fortunately, I think things have improved from ten years ago, so I have hope for the future of Kazakhstan!!!

  4. 4

    kazaknomad said,

    Thanks Allen, your comment was caught in my spam catcher for some reason.

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