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Dag Hammarskjöld Library chat service
Dag Hammarskjöld Library chat service
Friday 3 April 2020

Topics: Resources

Working from home and need to find a report or resolution? Stuck in searching without finding what you need? Do you want an answer fast? Stop searching and start finding; chat with the UN’s research librarians!

Now you can easily reach out and get quick responses to your urgent information needs. In addition to answering questions by phone and email, the Library now offers an online chat service. From questions about UN document symbols or events in the organization’s rich history, we have already responded to over 2,000 queries.

Chat offers a familiar and comfortable way to connect to our clients when and where they need us. During the summer of 2019, we started experimenting with chat as a way to meet the changing needs of staff, delegates, and the public. By placing a popup widget on key Library websites (Ask DAG and research guides), we have quietly begun reaching out to people who were looking for timely, credible and authoritative information on all-things UN.  

Locating information on the many, complex deliberations of the UN can be overwhelming at times. Using the Chat service, you can find the UN document, the book, the database, the access requirements, the fact, the background, or the interlocutor to exchange/confirm research tactics.

We are ready to be challenged by your requests, Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

So, the next time you are stuck and struggling to find some piece of information, check to see if we are online and available to chat!   

Learn more here

UNBIS Thesaurus on
UNBIS Thesaurus on
Tuesday 17 December 2019

Topics: Resources

How do search engines retrieve results, and how can we make the UN’s published output relevant for such searchers? Linked data is structured data interlinked with other data, making it more useful (and discoverable) through semantic queries. The Dag Hammarskjöld Library is pleased to announce the launch of their new linked data services platform:

The site currently hosts the Library’s UNBIS Thesaurus and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ taxonomy of Sustainable Development Goals identifiers.

The UNBIS Thesaurus is a database of controlled vocabulary used by UN programmes, funds and regional commissions to describe the UN’s published output (parliamentary documents, publications, reports etc.). The first online version of this resource was launched in 2001, and the new platform provides a revamped interface with increased functionality in the six official UN languages.  The UNBIS Thesaurus grows and evolves as new topics are introduced to the agenda of the Organization.  Controlled vocabulary makes subject searches possible by identifying materials on the same concept consistently, despite terminology changes over time. 

DESA’s SDG Taxonomy was produced in collaboration with technical experts from across the UN system.  They developed a system of Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) for the SDGs, the related targets and indicators, related entities linking to UNBIS Thesaurus terms,  as well as the SDG Interface Ontology, maintained by UN Environment. These common identifiers are deployed to provide a key element of infrastructure that will allow UN system organizations and relevant stakeholders to map their SDG resources to the growing pool of knowledge about the SDGs available on the semantic web.   

More linked data services and taxonomies will be hosted on as they become available.

We welcome feedback on this new service. 

Second Floor Reading Room
Second Floor Reading Room (UN Photo)
Thursday 1 March 2018

Topics: Learning, Resources

The Second Floor Reading Room has gone through many transformations since 1961. For decades it was called the Woodrow Wilson Reading Room because it housed the U.S. president’s papers about the League of Nations.  Until 2008, it operated as the UN reference collection for the Library and contained the most consulted UN documents and publications.  It was closed in 2008 to accommodate the media outlets covering the UN during the Capital Master Plan. Construction damaged the ceiling and made it necessary to refurbish the room before it could be used.  It reopened in November 2016 and has been designated as a silent study space primarily for delegates and UN staff.

The Dag Hammarskjold Library was dedicated to the second Secretary-General after his death in 1961. At the time, the Library Building was written up in architectural magazines which described the room in glowing detail:

“All is movement in the slope of the wall and undulating ceiling [of the Reading Room]. The informal planking of the Idaho white pine ceiling and wall contrasts with the dark African wenge wood of the card catalog which follows the sloping line of the wall. The end walls are of Peruvian travertine…” Interiors Magazine, 1963

With the coming of modern information systems, the card catalog is now empty but the room is filled with the passion for learning and creativity so often attributed to the late Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld.

Learn more about the history of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library: