Founded in 1955, the IATUL (International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries) is an international forum for the exchange of ideas on library matters related to technological universities around the world. In its early years, the IATUL members mainly consisted of European universities of technology and American institutions. During the past two decades, the IATUL has developed into a truly international non-governmental organization with members coming from all parts of the world. The IATUL is now one of the successful international networks connecting libraries with similar type of services and user portfolios.
Organized by the Nanyang Technological University Libraries, the 33rd Annual IATUL Conference was held on June 4-7, 2012 at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In its 57-year of history, it was the first time for the IATUL to mount its conference in Asia which indicates the increasing engagement of member libraries in the region. Emphasizing the emerging technologies and new learning approaches, the theme of the conference this year was ‘Library Strategies for New Generation Users’. The three keynote speakers, Prof. Rakesh Kumar (Professor of Pathology and Director of Academic Projects, Faculty of Medicine of the University of New South Wales), Mr. Joe Murphy (Librarian & Technology Trend Spotter Consultant) and Dr. Susan Gibbons (University Librarian of Yale University), addressed the importance of library engagement in academic work, emerging technological trends in libraries, and the findings of a case study on building up an user-centred libraries respectively. Apart from the keynotes speeches, there were four plenary sessions, nine parallel sessions and one poster session packed in 53 presentations. There were altogether 185 participants coming from 31 countries.
With an aim to develop new strategies and services to engage users more effectively in a multifaceted and rapidly changing information environment, the conference focused on the following three major areas:
- Technology and innovations in libraries and their impact on learning, research and users.
- Changes in learning, research and information needs and behaviour of users.
- Trends, possibilities and scenarios for user-centred libraries.
One of the main themes of the conference this year was the application of social media in learning, teaching and research environment for new generation users. In addition to a number of presentations on social networking applications, an interactive social media forum was held to share views from librarians, faculty members, students and social media professionals.
The 34th IATUL Conference will be held from April 14-18, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa. Conference website: http://active.cput.ac.za/iatul2013/public/index.asp?pageid=640