The 2014 EMEARC Meeting has now come and gone. The theme for this meeting was, Library Community in Action: advancing knowledge, collaboration and innovation. This theme was inspired by the African proverb that states, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
This meeting was the fifth EMEARC Meeting and was held in Cape Town–the first meeting to take place in Africa. It was attended by 267 individuals from member libraries and 23 OCLC staff members, making it the biggest EMEARC meeting in terms of attendance by delegates. The delegates who attended came from 27 countries within the EMEA region–11 of which were in Africa.
We also felt privileged to have the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Sandy Yee, the past Chair of the Board of Trustees, Larry Alford, and a member of the Board of Trustees, Barbara Lison, join us on this exciting occasion.
The two keynote speakers, Charles Leadbeater and Skip Prichard, did not disappoint. Charles stressed the importance of inclusivity and openness of libraries. He reminded us that we should not only think about the services that libraries provide, but also focus on the importance of partnership or relationship building. According to Charles, the survival of libraries will hinge on their ability to collaborate at an international level. He concluded his talk powerfully by reminding us that, “You will not win unless you pass (the ball)!”
Skip urged us to think about the things that we are passionate about. He stressed the importance of collaboration in his talk. The symbolism of the sequoia trees that he used in his talk was a powerful one. He pointed out that these trees help each other with their root systems—there is a lot that organizations can learn from these trees.
The second plenary session was comprised of four Lightning Talks that lasted five minutes each. The four speakers gave practical examples on how they have used the principle: “...If you want to go far, go together.” Delegates discussed and voted for the most enjoyable presentation, with Denyse Knipe, Tshwane University of Technology, being the chosen winner.
The third and last plenary session focused on shared data with a presentation from Ted Fons and Richard Wallis, OCLC, followed by a story about saving the Timbuktu Archives, told by Stephanie Diakite. The combination of these themes turned out to be inspirational. It dealt with the sharing of data at both the electronic level and manuscript level.
In addition to the plenary sessions and the business meetings, the EMEARC Meeting had 13 breakout talks. Some of these breakout talks were oversubscribed and on the whole they were well-attended. They provided the participants with choice and variety.
Throughout the meeting there were opportunities to take part in the Enrichment Programme, which included a visit to Centre for the Book, University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University, which included a trip to Delheim Wine Farm. The visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years, proved to be popular. About 40 delegates and OCLC staff went on this memorable trip.
Videos of the main plenary sessions are available on the EMEA website. We now look forward to EMEA Regional Council 2015, to be held in Florence, Italy.
Global and Regional Council election results
Elected to a four-year term on the Board of Trustees (effective November 2014):
- John Szabo, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, California, USA
- Ellen Tise, Library and Information Services, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Elected Vice President/President-Elect of Global Council (effective July 1, 2014):
- Anja Smit, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Elected to EMEA Regional Council Executive Committee, for terms beginning July 1, 2014:
- Ulf-Göran Nilsson, University of Skövde, Sweden
- Amada Marcos Blázquez, IE University Library & IE Business School, Spain
Elected to Asia Pacific Regional Council Executive Committee, for terms beginning July 1, 2014:
- Howard Amos, Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand
- Hsueh-hua (Sherry) Chen, National Taiwan University Libraries, Taipei, Taiwan
- Honam Choi, Korean Institute of Science and Technology Information Center, Daejeon, South Korea
- Nor Edzan Binti Che Nasir, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Elected to the Americas Regional Council Executive Committee, for terms beginning July 1, 2014:
- Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Jay Starratt, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA
- Secretary: John DeSantis, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
- Executive Committee Member-at-Large: Marie DeYoung, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Executive Committee Member-at-Large: Annette Smith, National Library Service, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados
- Executive Committee Member-at-Large: Sarah Campbell, Portland Public Library, Portland, Maine, USA
- Executive Committee Member-at-Large: Mary Konkel, College of DuPage, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Elected as Global Council Delegates from the Americas Regional Council, for terms beginning July 1, 2014:
- Regan Brumagen, The Corning Museum of Glass, Rakow Research Library, Corning, New York, USA (representing museums and archives)
- Ann Pederson, Altru Health System, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA (representing special libraries)
- Ginny Steel, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA (representing research libraries)
- Lori Phillips, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA (representing academic libraries)
- Bradley Schaffner, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, USA (representing academic libraries)
- Kenley Neufeld, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, California, USA (representing community college libraries)
- Lynette Schurdevin, Rio Rancho Public Library, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, USA (representing public libraries)
- Rosann Bazirjian, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA (Delegate-at-Large)
- Donna Reed, Director of Libraries, Portland Community College, Portland, Oregon, USA (Delegate-at-Large)
- President’s Report
- The hope and hype of MOOCs
- MOOCs: A quick background
- MOOCs by the numbers
- WorldCat Works linked data: Connecting library resources into the core of the Web
- Right-scaling stewardship of the collective print resource
- EMEA Regional Council 2014 Annual Meeting
- 200 WorldShare Management Services libraries live!
- OCLC rolls out new discovery, knowledge base services
- Making a place in the community: Public libraries go outside the box
- At a Tipping Point: A tipping point is coming to education
About the Author
Robert Moropa is Director and Head of the Department of Library Services, Merensky Library, University of Pretoria.