Hello from Bologna!

This inaugural blog post comes to you from the first-ever IFLA satellite meeting including New Professionals. “Moving in, Moving up, and Moving on: Strategies for Regenerating the Library & Information Profession” is the result of a partnership between the New Professionals SIG and the Continuing Professional Development & Workplace Learning for the Library and Information Professions.

The conference started yesterday, Tuesday, August 18 with an engaging Networking session where attendees got to know each other, and a panel titled New Professionals: views from two countries. Librarians from Morocco and Uganda shared information about how library schools in their countries are moving on to include new professionals on LIS education and the mentoring of new librarians. While we agree that it is a challenging situation, it seems that reinforcement of acquisition of new skills and re-skilling might be the key to a new professional.

IFLA past President, Alex Byrne presented the Elizabeth Stone Memorial Lecture today, Wednesday, August 19. My notes about his speech include a bullet point about how how information has consequences and as information managers we should look into that. It seems that the bibliosphere has escaped from the library and has become the blogosphere. Hence, we’ve got to cultivate a new professional – comfortable to operate within this new world, not to hide away from it. We need to become practitioners that really engage with the society in which we live. A way to do this is to move away from hierarchies and become part of more flexible organizations. We got to rethink identities. Byrne encouraged us to take a stand as the central professionals of the information society and make a commitment to earn our future. He continued challenging new librarians not to be timid, but to be out there and to be outspoken.

As you can see this is so far, a very exciting conference! I will post another entry later with more news from the various panels.

Loida Garcia-Febo