An interesting article in The Nation by R. H. Lossin, posted online yesterday, about Iraq’s national library quotes Dr. Saad Eskander’s comments from his keynote speech at the Internet Librarian International conference in 2004. I remember that as being an incredibly moving talk, leaving several delegates with tears in their eyes. The sad thing is how little improvement there has been. Lossin calls "the lack of solidarity from the American community of librarians and scholars" to support Iraq’s library particularly by donating physical materials "shameful." Having just come from the Computers in Libraries conference, where librarian bloggers gloried in talking about and using new mobile technologies, wireless access, laptop computers, and Internet resources, it’s sobering to recognize how differently their lives would be in Iraq with its shortages of electricity and sporadic Internet access. Online activities that we take for granted in North America and Europe are not possible in some other parts of the world. Many of our suppliers of premium content online databases also have print reference books. I wonder how many of them are donating these physical materials to the Iraq National Library. If they are, the library community should recognize them for being responsible world citizens, and if they’re not, let’s encourage them to do so.
We decided to give people another week to submit their proposal to speak at Internet Librarian International. With Easter holidays, it seemed like a good idea to allow a bit more time. The new deadline is the 4th of April. I’m really looking forward to examples of 2.0 stuff in action!
I set up a Twitter account for Internet Librarian International. It’s here, but as far as I can tell, is invisible to Twitter’s search feature. When I couldn’t find it, I started searching for people I know have a Twitter account, including me. Most of the searches came back to me with no results. Including the search on my own name. How distressing.
There’s only 3 weeks left to submit your request to speak at Internet Librarian International, to be held in London (the one in the UK, that is) on the 16th and 17th of October. We’re looking critically at all things 2.0, including transparency, technology, and the tangible benefits. Plus, any neat new stuff you’ve done with search, web design, portals, and funding would be interesting.
It’s our tenth year and we’re looking for a mix of papers for conference sessions, workshops, and short tutorials. If you’ve got something to share, please take a look at the website, and submit a request to speak.