Last year I attended International Young Librarians Academy (IYLA) in Latvia organised by Ukrainian IREX which is implementing in Ukraine the Bibliomist project. At first it gave me great opportunity to meet librarians from different countries and take part in interesting workshops. Furthermore it gave me opportunity to apply for Travel Fund Contest for alumni of IYLA. And it worked! My application has been accepted and thanks to Ukrainian IREX I could go to Prague to INFORUM 2013 conference.
E-resources and discovery and delivery systems are very important topics for libraries nowadays. That’s why being on INFORUM 2013 was very valuable. We could listen about interesting cases, but also get to know about future issues which libraries have to be aware of. And of course we had an opportunity to meet many people from different countries.
INFORUM is a conference with quite a long tradition. It has been organised since 1995 and you can find proceedings from all of those years on organiser’s website as they have been published in Open Access since the first edition.
But Open Access was also one of the topics discussed by speakers. Karen Blakeman was talking about problem with access to OA resources caused by publishers’ embargo. It was a shock for me that sometimes embargo takes up to 36 months (!).
Karen Blakeman also told about need of awareness what devices and which formats are used by our patrons. It is necessary to provide accurate services, in this case digitized and electronic resources delivery.
Many speeches was about technology – its history, present and future. Of course there was much about the cloud and things like semantic web, but the main topic connected with the future was Big Data.
In the subject of discovery and delivery solutions we could listen to case studies about every three of main systems on the market: Primo, Summon and EDS. It was good opportunity to compare them and ask questions to librarians who use those systems.
As openness is very important for me, INFORUM touched this topic from few different perspectives. We were talking about an open access, but we could also listen about examples of openness for patrons in software improving. All of us understand that libraries and librarians have to be open to our patrons, but also we have to be open to new ideas and technology.
Another side of openness is publishing all materials on conference website – it is available for everyone since the next day after the conference. And this means that also organisers was open to conference participants and other potentially interested in topic people.
Author: Dominika Paleczna
The text and photos are on CC-BY-SA 3.0 licence.