Small notes on variably sized conferences


I withdrew from a commitment to the BCLA conference a couple of months ago. This is not something I did lightly or do often and I apologize to Penny Swanson who nominated me and to the organizers. A clash with some other events emerged. I am pleased that my colleague Jim Michalko was able to step in and redeem the situation. I don’t always get invited back; Jim does 😉
I don’t usually signal my future movements in these pages, but as I wanted to write a note about the BCLA event it seems appropriate to mention those other events here ….
I was very pleased to be asked by Liz Lyon, UKOLN Director, to speak at the thirtieth anniversary celebration of UKOLN at the British Library. I worked at UKOLN, at the University of Bath, for many years, so I did not want to miss this. Andrew Pace mentioned Maurice Line a while ago, a major figure in British librarianship. Maurice was the library director at the University of Bath for a couple of years, and it was from his interests at that time that the precursor organizations to UKOLN emerged. Here is Maurice as quoted by Andrew:

“Trying to hold on to unused publications that libraries no longer have room to house, having theological arguments about the contents of catalogue records, and indulging in the numerous other irrelevant, inappropriate or trivial activities of which librarians are so fond, with their unerring eye for the inessential.” [Hectic Pace]

I am also speaking on a panel at the JISC Conference to be held in Birmingham a few days later. This combines a retrospective view of the influential eLib programme (web site archive), and the decade of activity since then, with a discussion of the future of academic libraries. I am also particularly pleased to be doing this as my then UKOLN colleagues and I were heavily involved with eLib. I discuss this decade at length elsewhere.
The JISC Conference is being sponsored by OCLC and there will be a stand devoted to OCLC Programs and Research activity at the event. Check out the pre-conference interview with John MacColl, European director of the RLG Partnership.
In between these events, I will be speaking at the LIR Heanet annual symposium in Dublin (14th April). This event is at the iconic if architecturally uninspiring Liberty Hall, and I hope that I can get to see the view from the top.



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