Monday, November 3, 2008

PL 52/08: Next year in Milan

Filed under: IFLA — plinius @ 4:27 pm

When normal Norwegians look forward to Christmas, IFLA people start thinking about August.

The picture – which shows a twig of olive – was taken near  Fiesole.

The IFLA production cycle starts in late autumn, when sections and divisions make their calls for papers. Eleven calls have already been placed on the IFLA web site.

A call from the Statistics and Evaluation Section, for the session Statistics on the agenda, is in the pipeline [published November 4].

The Education and Training Section will organise an open session on education for library and information professionals engaged in cultural heritage preservation and access. I find this exciting, since we – my colleague Michael Preminger at Oslo University College and I – are developing a master level module (15 ECTS) on digital dissemination in museums.

The course concept is based on the LATINA Summer course, which was first offered this summer.

Knowledge production

I also like the way the section desribes the current situation:

In the Information Society, the Libraries, Archives and Museums (LAM) sector encourages its members to adopt the role of mediators and producers of knowledge: to help people to learn, to be active citizens and, finally, to create new knowledge. Furthermore digitisation projects provide better access to cultural resources, opportunities for lifelong learning, and greater cultural understanding.

These new contexts require librarians to become agents of change, prepared to meet the new demands of society and technology. The current dynamic environment means that significant changes have an impact on education, technology, the economy, demographics, population and employment.

Like Jupiter IFLA is surrounded by satellites – a total of nineteen as of November 2.

The one I am aiming at is, of course, Libraries Plus: Adding value in the cultural community: the 8th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services.

It will be held in the lovely hill town of Fiesole – an old Etruscan centre just outside Florence – on August 17-20.


The theme of the SET Open Session builds on previous SET forums, to involve cross-sectoral stakeholders working in libraries, archives, museums, publishing, etc. The Open Session invites discussion on a range of topics:

  • In the Knowledge Economy, what roles do information and/or LAM professionals play, and what kind of education will they need for the kinds of jobs that need to be performed?
  • What are the basic principles of the knowledge domain which all information workers should be familiar to effectively work with cultural heritage issues?
  • How should professional qualifications approach theory and knowledge development, as opposed to the acquisition of mere technical skills?
  • Does the increasing use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) create a standardised platform which prevents the cultivation of cultural differences? Are such differences an obstacle or is there a generic profile of the preferred graduate incorporating ICT?
  • What combination of technological and content-based knowledge is needed to work in partnership with cultural heritage?
  • Are there cultural differences that differentiate the Knowledge Economy in each country? Does this mean that there are differences and similarities in the skills required of archivists, museologists and librarians as information workers?
  • What are the basic/minimum/essential qualities that such a person should demonstrate?

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