Friday, August 28, 2009

PL 57/09: IFLA blogging 2009

Filed under: #ifla2009, blogging, IFLA — plinius @ 5:55 pm

swallowsLast year, in Quebec, IFLA set up an excellent resource page with links to photos, blogs and videos from the conference.

This year, in Milan, a similar page was created. It was still useful, but the content was not well updated during the conference, as the unofficial blog collection of Loida Garcia-Febo shows. Below I’ve integrated the two – and added some more from the comments to Garcia-Febo.

Which shows the value of including a comment button. To map the flight of birds, recruit the swallows – and also listen to their twitter at #ifla2009.

Blogs in English

Listed by IFLA

  1. Information New Wave (Loida Garcia-Febo) – nice blogroll
  2. Italian conferences (Michael Heaney) – substantial
  3. Libraries Interact (many Australian contributors)
  4. The Library of Digress (Christine Rooney-Browne) – substantial
  5. Marketing-Mantra-for-Librarians (Dinesh Gupta)

Added by participants

  1. AL Inside Scoopvery informative
  2. From the Chief Executive’s Desk (Bob McKee) – very informative
  3. Libraries Interact
  4. Plinius (Tord Høivik) – unforgettable  ;-)

Blogs in other languages

Listed by IFLA

  1. فارسی (& English)Irandoc in IFLA (Shima Moradi, Nadia Hajiazizi, Mohaddeseh D. Esmati)
  2. françaisComité français IFLA: le blog
  3. franç (Olivier Charbonneau)
  4. françaisFigoblog (Emmanuelle Bermes)
  5. françaisIFLA Milan 2009 (Danielle Mincio)
  6. françaisIFLA 2009 – En route pour Milan (Jean-Francois Gauvin)
  7. françaisSite dédié aux professionels de l’information-documentation (French, Jean-Philippe Accart)
  8. Nederlands (& English) – The Flemish Librarian (Karolien Selhorst)
  9. Portuguêso bibliotecário 2.0 (RC) (Julio Dos Anjos)
  10. Srpski jezik (& English)Digitalizacija, Digitalne Biblioteke (Bogdan Trifunovic)

Added by participants

  1. Entre olas de informacion (Spanish, Nicolás Robinson García)
  2. LIS Traveler (German, Sebastian Wilke)
  3. Senbibdoc (French, Antonin Benoît Diou from Senegal)
  4. o bibliotecário 2.0 (RC) (Portuguese, Julio Anjos) – very visual – see the Scientology stand at the exhibition
  5. BibliothekarInnen sind uncool (Dutch)
  6. Plinius (Norwegian, Tord Høivik) – a scintillating work of art for those happy few that are able to read my native tongue

The collective Romanian blog ProLibro had one IFLA post: Despre IFLA (23 august) pe internet

Some notable comments

Michael Heaney

  • From now on GB will mean Governing Board for me. …
  • IFLA is governed by 10 elected representatives, the five Divisional chairs representing the sections, the chair of the Professional Committee, the President and President-Elect.
  • I also have to find a line between breaking GB confidentiality and writing a totally uninformative blog! Not unnaturally, many of the issues are of a sensitive nature.
  • The wifi issue is deferred to the December meeting of the Professional Committee.
  • Emanuele Bellini of the Digital Research Foundation in Florence [is] talking about a trust p2p network for access to open archive resources. There are lots of ways of storing complex objects but Emanuele maintains that the host institutions are concentrating on storing the data and not giving enough attention to the user needs.
  • The deep web and broken links get in the way. There’s no user enrichment/annotation .
  • Library Theory and Research Section is next and I get there as they are discussing their Strategic Plan. They also agree to make a conference on LIS Education and Research Cooperation and Collaboration, already in planning for Sweden next year, into a Satellite meeting of  the IFLA conference.
  • The thing that strikes me about this meeting is that it’s all very subdued  during the course of the meeting but as soon as it’s over everybody starts talking animatedly.

Christine Rooney-Browne

  • 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 accounts…
  • 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 [fame at last!] referred to this as citizen journalism.  And I guess it is…
  • On day two [in Torino] I presented our paper: “Public libraries as impartial spaces in the 21st century…possible, plausible, desirable”?.
  • I think my favourite part of the whole session came after my talk, during the coffee break when I had the opportunity to speak to a lot of people from the audience.  It seems that the commercialisation of the public sphere is a hot topic internationally and I had some great discussions with librarians from America, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy Japan and Norway.
  • Many were also keen to discuss the potential of Web 2.0 and virtual libraries and seemed interested in receiving future updates about my PhD research into measuring the social value of public libraries.

AL Inside Scoop

  • Michael Dowling, director of the ALA International Relations Office, emphasized that the involvement of library advocates and lobbyists was going to be essential to funding, as it was in the United States when the e-rate became law, giving publicly funded libraries and schools a small but significant slice of telecommunications revenue.
  • He noted that the American Library Association is leveraging the rising demand for library programs and services to make the case for funding.
  • Panelist and member of the IFLA Governing Board Zhang Xiaolin of China agreed, saying, “This is an opportunity to expand our social responsibility, to put collections and knowledge to use.”
  • IFLA Secretary General Jennefer Nicholson pointed to a new IFLA annual report and to a continuing emphasis on advocacy for libraries as central to the federation’s mission. The revitalized IFLA website continued to draw praise from delegates.
  • She noted that IFLA is constantly in pursuit of sources of stable funding to supplement membership fees, which constitute only 40% of the budget; registration fees for the congress provide only about half of what the five-day event costs.
  • The total IFLA annual budget is a mere 2.1 million euros. Nicholson also noted that part of the reorganization of IFLA meant viewing professional groups with “a life-cycle approach.”
  • Some of the IFLA delegates disinclined to sit through the General Assembly attended what must be an IFLA first: an international soccer tournament featuring four teams of librarians—one from the Bavarian State Library in Germany, one made up of Italian librarians, one from the Catholic University in Milan, and an international team made up of IFLA delegates from different countries.
  • One of the most misunderstood aspects of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual $1-million Access to Learning Award is the fact that it is given not for ideas but for achievements, and not for potential but for sustainability. This year’s winner, the Fundació n Empresas Publicas de Medellín (EPM Foundation) in Colombia, which was recognized for its Network of Public Libraries, makes the concept clear.
  • “They’ve been a good model for not just a city resolving its longstanding problems but in seeing that libraries belong at the table, that they are partners in the initiative.”

Bob McKee

  • The Biblioteca Braidense, incidentally, added a whole new dimension to the discussion about libraries and “convergence.”
  • Usually (at least in IFLA land ) this means convergence between libraries, archives, and museums. At the Biblioteca Braidense the room was so hot it raised the real possibility of convergence between a library and a sauna!
  • But hey, a few glasses of birra Moretti in the Bar Magenta later in the evening and I was soon refuelled and rehydrated with fluid and essential trace minerals (malt, hops, barley….).
  • I also pointed out that the use of libraries in the recession – particularly public libraries – is increasing, a point also made by panellist Michael Dowling from the USA.
  • The challenge for libraries therefore, in the UK and the USA, is to meet increasing demand while resources are being reduced – I suggested that reductions in the UK would be in the order of ten percent across the board in the public sector.
  • In terms of advocacy, the threat to libraries can be an opportunity to get libraries on the agenda for local people, local and national media, and local and national politicians.
  • In terms of leadership, reduced resources can be an opportunity to remodel and modernise library services.
  • In terms of our business, there is an opportunity both to refocus the value we add (around the concepts of knowledge management and information literacy), and also to leverage the brand value of libraries as a route to market for commercial interests.
  • The discussion which followed, with contributions from the floor, was fascinating. [Read more]



  1. Add two posts from an IFLA volunteer (in DILL program)

    Comment by plinius — Sunday, August 30, 2009 @ 7:07 am

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