Since most readers will be reading this when I’m asleep, I probably should say this has been previously recorded. I will be posting pictures and thoughts on the fly on my Facebook page so check it out.
So this is my first IFLA conference and so far I’ve attended the U.S. Caucus meeting, Newcomers breakfast, the Opening Ceremony, and the Exhibits Opening.
I will give my quick thoughts on the sessions I have attended.
US Caucus: It is like the business meeting for the Americans. They summarize IFLA business as a whole. CEO of ALA started everything off and introduced people. The planning committee members for 2016 IFLA (in Columbus, OH) were there as well to try to drum up interest.
Newcomers breakfast: It was very typical of many newbie conference sessions. They explained the elaborate color coding in the program and encouraged people to talk and meet others. It would have been nice if they explained IFLA structure a bit, but that really did not happen. Perhaps the structure is too complex for a brief newbies breakfast. There were a lot of people at this session so there was no opportunity to do the speed networking session that we have done at MLA and has been so successful. Instead we were let out “early” to enjoy coffee and “cakes” (muffins) and to get to know each other.
Opening Ceremony: The opening ceremony was huge. There are approximately 3,000 attendees and the reception hall reflected that with three big screens and rows and rows of chairs. There were beautiful songs and story telling in the custom of Africa to open the proceedings. The President of IFLA spoke on their Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development. The Key Note speaker, Dr. Rob Adam, spoke on the SKA Project and data. He brought up several interesting things about the big data that will come from the SKA project.
– They will need a super computer faster than anything that has been created in 2015.
– There will be so much data they will need a network so robust that it can handle the entire world’s data worth.
– The data will be open access but embargoed. While they want to make the data available to everyone, they acknowledge that participating in SKA is expensive and they must recognize those who have the foresight to participate have first access.
Opening Exhibits: There are lots of vendors in the exhibit area with lots of variety. I was amazed by the giant photo and preservation machines displayed (and working) at some booths.
BTW very little vendor swag at the opening exhibit. Not even a lot of pens.