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IFLA Camp–A New “Unconference”

IFLACamp is the first ever “unconference” to be held in conjunction with an IFLA conference.  The 2012 IFLACamp will be structured as a satellite meeting just prior to the main conference in Helsinki, Finland on August 11-17.  It will meet in Hämeenlinna (about 100 km north of Helsinki) on August 9-10 and is being organized by IFLA’s New Professionals Special Interest Group (NPSIG).  The theme will be “New Professionals Now”.  Proposals for topics are being solicited in video format and are due by the end of 2011.  Submissions will be available on NPSIG’s blog and comments and votes may be freely made.  Prospective attendees will welcome the news that there will be no registration fee.

I look forward to following this fascinating development and bringing you periodic updates.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

 

 

IFLA 2012 Conference Preliminaries Heat Up

Preliminary activities related to the 2012 IFLA conference (Helsinki Finland, August 11-17) are heating up.  A total of 17 satellite meetings have been approved; calls for papers from the various sections are regularly arriving in my e-mail inbox; and online registration is available.  An intriguing new feature, IFLA Camp, the first ever “unconference” to be held at an IFLA conference, is soliciting proposals for discussion topics.  (A subsequent post appearing shortly here will go into more detail on IFLA Camp.)

So if you’re interested in IFLA and its annual conference, check out one of the websites with links above.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

 

IFLA Conference Grantees Reports Available

IFLA 2011 Conference Grantees

IFLA regularly awards travel grants for attendance at its annual conference.  For the 2011 conference in San Juan, PR, 40 grants were awarded to attendees from Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Oceania, Africa, and developing countries.  Recipients were required to be a member of their national library association and write a report on their experiences at the conference.  Several of the reports are now available here; they give an interesting perspective on the conference from a first-time attendee’s point of view.  More reports will be added as they become available.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

IFLA Wraps Up; Next Year in Helsinki; Singapore in 2013

IFLA 2011 in San Juan, PR has passed into history.  Photos and reports from the final sessions are on the IFLA Express website.  Final attendance was 2,593, making San Juan a successful event.

Next year, the 78th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) will be in Helsinki, Finland, on August 11-17.  Singapore has been selected as the venue for the 79th WLIC; dates will be announced later.  Sponsors will be the  National Library Board of Singapore and the Library Association of Singapore.

At the closing session in San Juan, Ingrid Parent, University Librarian at the University of British Columbia, Canada, became President of IFLA, succeeding Ellen Tise, Senior Director, Library and Information Services, J.S. Gericke Library, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Look for a report on the San Juan congress in an upcoming issue of Information Today.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

This is Our Library: The Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Outside the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Photo courtesy of Dina Youssef

I was interested in the report of a presentation by author Dina Youssef on the IFLA Express site, describing the effects of the recent uprisings in Egypt on libraries, and particularly the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.  A security guard was quoted: “This is our library.  It belongs to our children”.  Youssef’s report showed some of the remarkable efforts of citizens in protecting the library and how it was preserved from violence and damage, including these inspiring concluding thoughts:

“Because this valuable resource was spared a violent end, it can now be a cornerstone for rebuilding the new Egypt.  The library will lead the movement to collect, organize, and make public the artifacts and evidences of this revolution.  Those standing arm in arm around this building have come to represent the new Egypt, where the diverse population appreciates that libraries are not just buildings with books.  Libraries are the gateways to knowledge and knowledge is the foundation of empowerment.”

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

New Semantic Web Group to Meet at IFLA 2011

A new Semantic Web Special Interest Group (SWSIG) will meet for the first time at the IFLA 2011 Congress on Wednesday August 17 at 9:30 AM.  According to an e-mail that I received, “the SWSIG intends to be the platform where interested professionals could gather, and undertake whatever tasks are needed to develop, enhance and facilitate the adoption of semantic Web technologies in the library community.”

Interest in semantic technologies continues to grow as data mining, taxonomies, and similar techniques become important in the development of large information data sets, digital libraries, etc.  If you are attending the IFLA Congress, this is a good opportunity to learn more about them.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

 

IFLA 2011 Conference Opens in San Juan

IFLA’s 2011  Conference opened yesterday in San Juan, PR.  I’m not attending the conference (physically, at least), but I got a good sense of the events of opening day by looking at IFLA Express, the dedicated website for daily news and updates.  The opening session was well represented with a large collection of photos, including crowd shots.  Take a look–you might see someone you know.  I spotted Jane Dysart and Frank Cervone, long-time attendees at ITI’s Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian conferences.  (Jane is Program Chair of these two events, and Frank has made many presentations at them.)

IFLA Express also features a daily video with an interview with a selected guest.  Today’s video was on the subject of “Policy, Strategy, and Advocacy, and the guest was Helena Asamoah-Hassan, University Librarian at KNUST Library in Kumasi, Ghana.  And the sidebar provides links to posts by bloggers at the conference.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

 

Scenes of San Juan (site of the IFLA 2011 Conference)

If you are going to the IFLA conference starting in a few days, I hope you will have a chance to visit the Old City of San Juan, with its great restaurants, historical sites, and fascinating architecture. You will find that life moves at quite a different pace than in many other cities of the world, as the photos below show. (Full disclosure: the first one was taken about 6 months ago when my wife and I visited San Juan on a cruise.  The second photo is from another island, but there are very similar signs in San Juan.)

Enjoy your visit and the conference.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

Are You Blogging at the IFLA Conference?

In the spirit of cooperation with our IFLA colleagues, I reproduce here a recent e-mail for those blogging at the upcoming conference in San Juan.  (Having sent very similar e-mails for ITI’s Internet Librarian and Computers in Libraries conferences, I can attest that this is a great way to get good publicity for your blog.)

Dear Colleagues

Will you be blogging about this year’s upcoming World Library and Information Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico? Or are you already?

If so, we would like to add your blog to a list of blogs dedicated to, or with posts about the San Juan Congress on our special ‘Follow the conference as it happens’ (IFLA Express) website:

http://2011.ifla.org

Become an IFLA blogger by:

1. tagging your posts wlic2011 so we can add them to our Activity Stream
2. and officially registering your blog. Just send a note, with your name and blog’s URL, to: webmaster@ifla.org

See you in San Juan!

IFLA Web team

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

IFLA Presidential Newsletter Exerpts

The latest IFLA Presidential Newsletter is now available. Here are some excerpts from it about recent IFLA meetings:

IFLA Presidential Meeting:  “Libraries driving access to knowledge: Action for Europe”

“The conference programme, with an excellent range of speakers and with interesting and topical panel discussions, provided a great platform for the promotion and discussion of three strategic topics: Access to Information as a Human Right; Copyright and Libraries; and Open Access and the Changing Role of Libraries. During the meeting two key IFLA documents were launched: the IFLA Statement on Open Access; and a Draft Treaty on Copyright Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and Archives. Presentations from the meeting are available online.”

Open Access, Treaty and Copyright

“Participants addressed how open access could be included in national and regional research and educational policies. Lars Bjornshauge, from the IFLA Presidential Working Group on Open Access, introduced the IFLA Statement on Open Access which was disseminated at the meeting.”

African Library Summit

“From 11-13 May the African Library Summit 2011 took place in South Africa. This event was organised by UNISA, the University of South Africa Library in close cooperation with IFLA and focused on the Future of African Librarianship. Establishing partnerships, enhancing collaboration between libraries and the development of a strong LIS sector in Africa are important issues to take up coming out of the Summit.”

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor