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Posts Tagged ‘IFLA’

One of my favourite parts of any conference is always the poster sessions.  This is the time when you get an opportunity to experience (all in one place) the wide variety of library projects and research initiatives happening all over the world.

Poster sessions are always very busy so I made sure that I arrived early in order to speak to as many presenters as possible.  There were some stunning posters on display, but it’s not until you get a chance to speak to the presenter about their project that you get a proper feel for their research or the work that they’ve carried out over the last year.

The three posters highlighted below really caught my attention:

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Marvel Maring, USA

Casting a Net from Nebraska to Nicaragua – highlighting the impact of a project between the University of Nebraska library school and a library school in Nicaragua.  This project is an excellent example of the role libraries can play in building social capital; and their potential in delivering value through partnership working. Presenter: Marvel Maring (USA).

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Máximo Moreno Grez, Chile

Chileans Networking towards the Bicentennial – an inspirational project about citizens from small communities in Chile creating their own websites by uploading user generated content via PCs provided by the local library. Presenter: Máximo Moreno Grez (Chile).

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Tina Mortensen, Denmark

Read it, Show it, Promote it – provided some quirky ideas for public libraries to reach non-users, increase visitor numbers, and make the library a fun and interactive, rather than passive experience. Presenters: Michael Larsen and Tina Mortensen (Denmark).

Please note that it was quite noisy and very busy during the poster session, so apologies if I’ve misinterpreted any of these posters. Apologies also for the quality of the photos, which were taken on my iPhone3G.

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© Christine Rooney-Browne

© Christine Rooney-Browne

Instead of talking about the presentations,  the hot topic at the start of the IFLA conference seemed to be the WIFI access at the conference centre. Many were discussing the fact that they would have to pay €10 for 4 hours WIFI access.  The alternative was to either queue for 10 minutes complimentary access in the hallway, or at the library bus just outside of the conference centre.

And so began the confused and somewhat bemused updates on Twitter, with a number of #fail tweets from disgruntled tweeps and bloggers who had expected the WIFI to be free; it seems to be free at most of the other conferences we’ve all attended recently…

Some dismissed the issue, stating that we were there to listen and learn from the presenters and to network in real life, rather than to check our e-mail.  I think they were missing the point a bit.

There are various reasons why one would expect and rely upon free access at an international library conference; and these reasons extend well beyond being able to check our e-mail!   For example, during sessions it can be beneficial to be able to check out the speaker’s online biography; or to look up a specific library website; or even to bookmark some of the resources that the speaker has highlighted on their slides to our Del.icio.us accounts…

Also, I know that I am incredibly lucky to be able to attend this conference and I’m well aware that there are many more library and information professionals back home in Scotland who would have loved the chance to attend, but are unable to because of financial constraints, lack of time, etc… Many of these people follow my updates on Twitter; some specifically to be kept informed about news and ideas filtering through from the sessions I attend.   A fellow IFLA blogger referred to this as citizen journalism.  And I guess it is… 🙂

In addition, as a few of the sessions I wanted to attend were on at the same time, it would have been beneficial to be able to conduct a quick search using the IFLA hashtag on Twitter (#ifla2009 or #ifla09) to see updates from other delegates tweeting from these sessions…

So, on the second day I succumbed and purchased the €10 card…thinking that if I only logged on occasionally I could make my 4 hours stretch the duration of the conference.   However, on Wednesday came the announcement that WIFI would be free for the remainder of the conference – yay! The power of Twitter, again?  🙂

Surely, at an international conference where we all come together to discuss hot topics in librarianship and the information society, such as; freedom of information; democratic access to the world’s knowledge; the future of library service provision etc… delegates should be provided with free and democratic access to the internet?!  Plinius, a fellow blogger referred to access to online resources at this year’s conference as IFLA1.5, rather than 2.0 😀

Apparently, free WIFI at future IFLA conferences will be discussed in more depth at a later stage.  Word on the street is that it’s a budget issue…but I hope that at IFLA 2010 in Gothenburg the issue will be resolved and that all delegates are given a username and password as part of their IFLA welcome packs!

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Speaking at the IFLA pre-conference: Libraries as Space & Place

Speaking at the IFLA pre-conference: Libraries as Space & Place

Following a fantastic pre-conference session in Torino, I’ve arrived in Milan for the main IFLA conference. It’s a few degrees cooler here so the Scottish skin is coping slightly better with the heat! 😉

I had a free day on Saturday to explore the city; and what a wonderful city it is!  Milan is so much more beautiful than I expected as I’d heard from others that it was quite an ugly, industrial city.  Nothing could be further from the truth! Since arriving I’ve had the opportunity to explore some beautiful green spaces, cathedrals and even participated in a salsa music festival in the park!

Today, however, I’m spending the full day at the conference venue.  The programme is jam packed full of sessions that are relevant to my research area.  Unfortunately, the three sessions I’m most excited about: Public Libraries and Metropolitan Libraries; Statistics and Evaluation; and Management & Marketing; are all on at the same time, so I’m dipping in and out of each one.

This afternoon there’s a keynote speech from Alistair Black, in the Libraries for Young Adults and Library Buildings & Equipment section…I think this might be a conference highlight for me! 🙂

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It’s that time of year again; I’m gearing up for a summer of library conferences and I’m so, so excited!   

First up there’s the CILIPS conference (Branch Group Day) on 3rd June at Peebles Hydro, featuring sessions with Jay Jordan (OCLC), Richard Boulderstone (British Library), Brian Kelly (UKOLN) and David Potts (MLA)…plus lots more; check out the programme here.  

Then the next day I’m heading down to Warwick for the Society of Chief Librarians Conference, which I’m presenting at on the Friday.  I’ll be discussing “Social Value: identifying, measuring and sharing some of the less obvious ways that public libraries contribute to economic regeneration”.  

A few weeks later it’s off to Turin, Italy to attend the Pre-congress satellite for the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (2009) to present a co-authored paper on “Public libraries as impartial spaces in the 21st Century” .  The programme for this looks amazing; check it out here.  Then it’s a quick train journey through to Milan to attend the 75th IFLA General Conference and Assembly!

Phew!  Will be a busy few months but I know I’ll have a fantastic time! Drop me a line if you’re planning to attend any of these conferences and we can arrange to meet up in the hallways! 🙂

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One of the best things about attending an international conference is that you get to meet people that you would probably never have come across otherwise.  And that’s exactly what happened at IFLA.  After spending some time at the ‘Cocktail evening’ with some lovely librarians from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario we made arrangements to visit them at their library in Toronto.

Books at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Books at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

It was great to get a behind the scenes tour of a government library; it offered so much more than a simple ‘tourist visit’.  It’s interesting because the Government Librarians were discussing the same issues that  concern us in public libraries.  For example, how to keep attracting users to visit the physical building when more and more of the resources are appearing online…I guess we’re all under increasing pressure to create desirable destinations for our users to visit.

Latin grammar book from 1400s

Latin grammar book from 1400s

We also got a chance to have a look in their ‘vault’ and I got to flick through a book that was written in 1425, which was a real treat.  Afterwards we had some time to chat with some of the cheeriest cataloguers I’ve ever met and I think we’ve made a couple of friends for life, which is great!

So, there you have it…a visit to a government library turns out to be one of the highlights of our trip – who’d have thought it?

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I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last three weeks in Canada, visiting Toronto, Québec City and Montreal.  The main reason for my trip was to attend IFLA’s World Library & Information Congress in Québec City.  It was such a brilliant experience; meeting librarians from Japan, Canada, USA, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia…I think just about every country / continent was represented and it made for a wonderfully diverse and inspiring conference.

I also got to co-present one of my papers on ‘public libraries and web 2.0 technologies’ and sit proudly in the audience as David McMenemy presented another paper that I’d co-authored on ‘measuring the performance of public libraries’.   Such a brilliant experience!  And I’ve made lots of contacts too…which was a bit surreal at times…to actually meet the people that I’ve spent the last couple of years citing in papers;  I think I might even have come across as a bit star struck with some of them! 😀

Feels like I’ve achieved so much in just one week of ‘conferencing’ and I’d recommend to any new researchers out there trying to build up a reputation in the sector to sign up for future conferences as the experience has proven invaluable for me!

I’ve uploaded the Powerpoint presentation on public libraries and web 2.0 onto Slideshare.  Click here if you want to check it out.

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I was already superexcited about attending the 74th IFLA General Conference and Council in Québec, Canada,  but I can hardly contain my excitement now; I’ve been selected to present a co-authored paper on Library 2.0 during the Information Technology Section’s session“Enabling access to the global library – Small is Beautiful: Distributed deployment of library services for small and special libraries”.

Can’t wait to attend my first international conference!  If you also happen to be attending, be sure to stop by and check out my presentation! I’ll be the nervous looking one standing next to a very cool co-author, Mr Anthony Browne from East Renfrewshire Council Library & Information Service. 🙂

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