Category Archives: presentation

Spotlights from the IAML Congress 2018

From July 22-27, me and more than 400 music librarians and specialists from around the world attended the 2018 Annual Congress of IAML, the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres. We met in Leipzig, rich in music history as the domain of Bach, Schumann, Mendelssohn and so many other important figures, which would set the tone of the whole congress week. Overall, I really enjoyed the conference. It had been three years since my last IAML Congress. At the same time, many members of the German IAML branch gathered in Leipzig, so this was an excellent opportunity to catch up with colleagues, both on a national and international level, and make most of the conference program. Here are some spotlights from the congress week.

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One of my main reasons to attend the conference was to participate in the activities of the IAML Advocacy Committee as a member of the group and to present a work related project during the poster session. For the past two years, the Advocacy Committee has been laying the groundwork for its future activities, among others by formulating the terms of reference and goals of the group, by gathering basic feedback from the IAML community, by documenting good practice related to (music) library advocacy and by building a network of advocacy liaison contacts around the world for local outreach and feedback. During the working meeting in Leipzig, we mainly revisited the ongoing efforts of the group and agreed on further points of action for the upcoming year. One major project will be to create supporting documents built upon the examples of good practice that can be used by music librarians around the world in different scenarios.

During the first poster session of the conference week, I presented my poster “Curated Naxos playlists for philharmonic concerts – A unique collaboration between Qatar National Library and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra”. Since 2017, Qatar National Library (QNL) is providing playlists on Naxos Music Library (NML) that are tailored to the concerts of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO). Residents of the country have free access to the library’s resources (including NML). While the playlists mean added value for the concert audience who can preview and revisit the music of the performances, QNL benefits from reaching out to a new user group. More information about the project can be found on the QPO website. During the poster presentation, it was interesting to talk with many colleagues about their experience with Naxos Music Library and to learn from a few other libraries who provide a similar service – usually within one particular city rather than nation-wide. Visiting the conference exhibition or one of the vendor lunch talks was a perfect follow-up to this, since you could get the latest updates on music streaming services and platforms for digital sheet music.

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The evening program was rich in music, too, and included a total of three concerts that varied in style and location. My favorite performance by far was the concert of amarcord who presented a huge spectrum of vocal music spanning from chorales from the Thomas-Graduale to vocal compositions by Leipzig Conservatory teachers. Location-wise, the concert “Catholic Church Music from the Dresden Court” was most impressive, as we could listen to the pieces in the newly openened breathtaking building of the Paulinum (see photos below). But the musical performances didn’t stop here. There was plenty more to discover during the week just by walking through the streets of Leipzig which included everything from string quartets, flute duets, pianists and guitarists to singer-songwriters, pop bands, Russian folk songs and even tango dancers.

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Despite the ongoing heat wave in Germany, walking was a constant during the congress week, mainly because Leipzig is a very walkable place and the sessions and meetings took place in different locations covering the area of the University of Music and Theatre »Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy«, the Lepzig University Library (Bibliotheca Albertina) and the Leipzig Public Library. Adding to this, the conference program included a large number of tours which featured a variety of libraries, but also paid tribute to the rich music history of the city. I was able to see the German National Library (including the German Music Archive), the Leipzig Public Library, the Bach-Archiv as well as the Schumann-Haus and the Mendelssohn-Haus. While the libraries on this list were already fascinating, for me and many other attendees visiting the homes and places of creative work of Bach, Schumann and Mendelssohn was undoubtably the highlight of the tours. Below are some impressions from the Mendelssohn-Haus showing rooms of the apartment (first three photos: salon, study and bedroom), parts of the recently opened exhibition about Fanny Hensel (next two photos) and the “Effektorium” which lets you conduct a virtual orchestra.

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Following their motto “It’s all in the mix.“, the organizing committee of this congress managed to come up with a great mixture of conference sessions, musical performances and tours that showcased the best of what music history and libraries in Leipzig have to offer. All those great memories make me look forward even more to the upcoming IAML Congresses in Krakow, Prague and Stellenbosch. See you next year in Poland!

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New Librarians and new ways of professional exchange – presentation at the 58th Congress of the Italian Library Association

On 28 November, I will have the pleasure to represent IFLA’s New Professionals Special Interest Group by giving a presentation at the 58th Congress of the Italian Library Association in Rome. This year, the conference focuses on how to improve the professional recognition of the library sector. My presentation “New Librarians and new ways of professional exchange: Inspiration from the international context” (see the abstract below) will be part of a session devoted to new librarians. You find more info on the talk on the website of the Goethe Institute Rome who is kindly supporting my trip.

A strong library community is based on effective networking and professional exchange between each other and with the public. It is worth taking an international point of view and considering the activities of library associations in other countries, as they can act as a source of inspiration for your own work. Especially the work done with and by LIS students and new librarians often includes innovative approaches that can be achieved easily and with low cost but, at the same time, provide plenty of space for networking and exchange. The presentation will start with an overview on innovative event formats such as speed networking, barcamps, and cycling tours organized by librarians. The second part will focus on the virtual exchange and give practical advice on how to facilitate webinars and different mentoring models. It will become apparent that these approaches not only help New Professionals at the start of their career, but the whole library sector can greatly benefit from them, for they change the way we do networking and professional exchange across educational degrees and library types.

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UPDATE: The slides of my presentation are now available on slideshare:

Forum der New Professionals 2013: Aktive Verbandsarbeit als Chance für New Professionals

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Auch beim diesjährigen Bibliothekskongress in Leipzig fand wieder das Forum der New Professionals statt. Nach den Themen “New Professionals zwischen Studium, Referendariat und Berufseinstieg” in 2011 und “Innovationsförderung im Arbeitsalltag” in 2012 widmeten wir uns dieses Mal der aktiven Verbandsarbeit als Chance für New Professionals.

Vor diesem Hintergrund war es das Ziel des Forums zu diskutieren, welche Chancen sich speziell für New Professionals aus der aktiven Verbandsarbeit ergeben, und gleichzeitig auszuloten, wo mögliche Probleme bzw. Hemmnisse liegen, sich in diesen Organisationen zu engagieren. An dem zweistündigen Workshop nahmen insgesamt 15 Personen teil, darunter größtenteils New Professionals. Unsere Motivation für dieses Thema ergab sich aus der Beobachtung heraus, dass der Anteil von Berufseinsteigern in der aktiven Verbandsarbeit im deutschsprachigen Raum in der Regel sehr gering ausfällt. Dabei sind die mit nur wenigen Planstellen ausgestatteten Bibliotheksverbände sehr stark auf das ehrenamtliche Engagement ihrer Mitglieder auf nationaler wie auch auf regionaler Ebene angewiesen, um Öffentlichkeits- und Programmarbeit nach Außen zu betreiben und den Berufsstand durch Fortbildungen und das Erarbeiten beruflicher Standards zu unterstützen. 

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Teilnehmer Forum 2013

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