Europe, Middle East and Africa

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OCLC Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Council (EMEARC) will hold its fifth annual member meeting from 24 to 25 February 2014 at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, South Africa. The first four member meetings were held in the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and most recently in France. This will be the first member meeting to be held in Africa.

The theme of this meeting is: Library Community in Action: advancing knowledge, collaboration and innovation. This theme is inspired by the African proverb that states “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”

The proverb reflects the nature of OCLC as a member-led cooperative. At this Meeting we will be seeking to increase awareness of our library community, which together forms the Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Council and is represented in the OCLC global cooperative.  

The importance of our annual regional Meeting is that it provides a chance for OCLC members and other delegates across the EMEA region to get to know each other and network. This is a wonderful opportunity: let’s not forget that the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, one of three regions in the cooperative, includes around 2000 member institutions and is growing by the day.

The programme begins with the world-renowned speaker and advisor on innovation, Charles Leadbeater.  Mr Leadbeater is well-known for his publication "We-Think"  where he coined the phrase "You are what you share", explaining that in the 21st century successful organisations and businesses will be defined by how they share and what they give away.  We are extremely fortunate that he will be joining us on the eve of the publication of his new book "The Frugal Innovator", which will be the topic for his discussion at the Meeting. Thoughts on innovation will permeate throughout the two day Meeting as we hear from libraries around the world, who are responding to the challenges they face by evolving their services and their skills to adapt successfully.

We are also extremely honoured to be welcoming Mr Skip Prichard, the new President and CEO of OCLC to the Meeting.  It will be Mr Prichard's first visit to Africa in his new role as well as being his first EMEA Regional Council Meeting, so we look forward to hearing his thoughts and ideas on the future of the cooperative.

This year, we have received more requests for member involvement than ever before.  You will see that the breakout talks cover rich and diverse topics, all driven by member requests and will be delivered in the main, by members.  This is a real fulfillment of the EMEARC mission to have a Meeting that is run by members, for members.  And, with so many breakout talks to choose from, it will represent a really difficult decision for you when registering!

I am also very pleased that we are able to give a platform to South African libraries in this Meeting.  The South African Library Spotlight session offers librarians a chance to give a 'lightning talk' of 5 minutes on the theme of collaboration.  And will give our audience a chance to participate in voting on the best talk, a tradition we have carried over from previous years' meetings, by popular demand.

All this, and need I even mention that we have a wonderful series of enrichment visits, which I am sure our international guests will especially enjoy.  So, it only leaves me to say that, I am looking forward to meeting you at this members Meeting in scenic Cape Town, where there will be many opportunities to experience the culture this region has to offer.

- Robert Moropa, Chair, OCLC EMEA Regional Council

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Find out more about this year's location. View the tourist information video of Cape Town, South Africa.

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We will be using different ways to communicate with delegates in the run up to the meeting, including social media. You can use Twitter and follow @OCLCEMEARC. The hashtag is #OCLCEMEARC.

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration. Learn more »