Europe, Middle East and Africa

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Library Community in Action: Librarians lend their voice to OCLC’s
annual Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa


OCLC has opened registration for its fifth annual Europe, Middle  East and Africa (EMEA) Regional Council Meeting, Library Community in Action, which is open to librarians from across the EMEA region. The Meeting, to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 24 and 25 February 2014, has a full two day programme and a complimentary enrichment programme prior and post the main Meeting.

OCLC members will take a leading role in many aspects of the Meeting and thus illustrate the themes of community, collaboration and innovation – by delivering a number of Breakout Talks across the two days.

“OCLC is a library membership organisation, which gives us a voice to influence and direct the decisions of the Cooperative”, says Robert Moropa, Chair of the EMEA Regional Council. “This Meeting is one of the most important channels for our voice to be heard in EMEA, and every year more library members take this valuable opportunity.  This year we will see more sessions than ever before delivered by members, a real fulfilment of the EMEA Regional Council mission to have a meeting that is run by members, for its members.”

Keynote speaker, Charles Leadbeater, will set the tone for a programme of stimulating ideas and debate with his long-range thought leadership and in-depth understanding of both libraries and technology. Described by The Spectator magazine as ‘the wizard of the web’, Leadbeater is an influential technologist and policy advisor whose video, We Think, has attracted more than 200,000 views on YouTube. Many librarians will be familiar with the challenge that Leadbeater throws down to today’s innovators – the need to deliver more with less. Leadbeater offers some answers in his forthcoming book, The Frugal Innovator, which he will preview in the keynote session.

This will be the first EMEA Regional Council Meeting attended by the new President and CEO of OCLC, Skip Prichard, who has a strong track record of leadership in the information industry. He will outline his vision for advancing the world’s largest library cooperative and sharing the riches of today’s technological innovations across all libraries.

OCLC is sponsoring a number of the country’s librarians to attend the Meeting. They will each deliver a five-minute lightning talk about their own experiences of working collaboratively.

Delegates will also have an opportunity to demonstrate the power of being part of an active library community. Biblionef will be exhibiting at the Meeting. Their mission is to provide under-resourced children and adolescents in South Africa with new books in the 11 official languages of the country, thus stimulating their curiosity and desire to learn and laying a solid foundation of knowledge for their future. Delegates will be able to donate or purchase books for this project.

Our closing plenary speaker, Stephanie Diakité, is known to many around the world for her central role in saving large numbers of irreplaceable African manuscripts. Stephanie collaborated with Abdel Kader Haidara, curator and direct descendant of ancient Timbuktu scholars, and SAVAMA DCI, an established NGO, to move thousands of manuscripts to safety, away from the civil chaos that enveloped Mali in 2012.

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 »