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Message from Anja Smit, Looking back at the Fourth OCLC EMEA Regional Council Annual Meeting

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In February 2013, the EMEA Regional Council held its Annual meeting in Strasbourg, France.  It was another year of record attendance: the 300 participants created a great community to network and exchange experiences and ideas.

The theme Dynamic Data: a world of possibilities, proved to be the perfect umbrella for engaging speakers to deliver their trendsetting ideas. Jean-Baptiste Michel, a young scientist from Harvard for example, presented the idea of two kinds of reading: slowly read a couple of (whole) books, or read ‘all books’ and analyse its contents in new ways.  And by ‘all books’, he means the content of 15 million books, digitized by Google. Learn something from counting words… made me wonder if we should be looking at computers as our new library user type!

Anyway, with Roy Tennant, OCLC, speaking on ‘unchaining cataloguing’ and Klaus Ceynowa, Bayerische Statsbibliothek, leading us into a world where augmented reality is not a dream anymore but really real, many speakers left us with new insights to take home. Alongside new insights came dilemmas, as Raymond Bérard , ABES France, pointed out: when he talked about the possible impact of a global information infrastructure on regional or national collaboration?

In the evaluation, the attendees indicated that the meeting really felt like a meeting from OCLC members for members. The focus was the exchange of experiences and ideas more or less in relation to the OCLC cooperative, not product presentations. I think this was also demonstrated by the fact that we had an open discussion on how the EMEA Executive Committee runs annual elections. Excellent, as we welcome members to express their opinions and engage - this is crucial for a member-owned cooperative like OCLC!


View the recorded presentations from the Meeting

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