Monthly Archives: October 2019

Grant Winner Report, Mexico

My experience in attending the 85th IFLA General Conference and Assembly held August 24-30, 2019 in Athens, Greece which had the theme, “Libraries: dialogue for change”, was fabulous as I had never had the opportunity to travel to Europe and much less to an IFLA congress. What I experienced during the days of the congress and in the city of Athens, set the tone to broaden my panorama and my vision of librarianship.

I am very enthusiastic about how much I learned and met people from different parts of the world, about sharing ideas and experiences from the different contexts in which we live within libraries in different regions of the world. Being my first Congress and being unfamiliar with the dynamics of it, I feel that I missed some important opportunities, but in general I bring to my country the enormous satisfaction of having seen and knowing that Latin America has much potential to participate with greater involvement in the tasks of librarianship worldwide in pursuit of the objectives of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

I never imagined being able to participate in an event of such magnitude, but thanks to the Academic and Research Libraries Section (ARL) with generous sponsorship by Ex Libris and SAGE, I was able to achieve it, definitely something changed in me and I feel renewed and with a lot of vitality to continue with my projects, right there I made friends with a Brazilian girl who contacted other Brazilian girls with whom I have given myself the task of collaborating in matters of penitentiary libraries.

As I mentioned in my letter of introduction, I have never liked to keep anything to myself and I have tried to share my experience with my colleagues, arguing that we have a great responsibility with our profession and with people, that it is time to get down to work. We usually think that everything is done and that a Latin American cannot do much, but the reality is that we have a lot to offer.

In short, something that surprised me was the ARL committee since all the members seem to me to be very united and excellent people committed to their work, personally I want to congratulate all of them because this noble action of providing this kind of support to young people has given me a lot of sense, I am an energetic librarian committed to providing my grain of sand to contribute to society and help people. In this sense I want to mention that the master’s thesis that I am about to finish has to do with the involvement of the librarian as an agent of social change seen from the perspective of human development. It has become much stronger and now I can see that indeed, this kind of opportunity can change one life and that life, perhaps, can change other lives.

The majesty of the acropolis made me reflect on knowledge and how it happens in different parts of the world. So in all these parts of the world there will be an urgent need for librarians to help manage and also to help build new knowledge.

I feel encouraged to participate more frequently in IFLA and would like to be part of some committee where I can do my best to continue to contribute to development in the library field where it reflects social change by reducing poverty, hunger and inequality, where there is better health and well-being, better education, and where there is peace and justice for all. I trust that I will do what I can from wherever I am and with whatever I have to raise the profession, evoking principles and values that will allow me to be constant in this fight to reduce social inequality, dignifying people.

Humberto Martínez Camacho, Mexico
IFLA ARL Grant Winner 2019

IFLA ARL Hot Topics 2019

The presentations from the Hot Topics session at IFLA WLIC 2019 in Athens are now available.

The three Hot Topics broadly coalesced around the “Open Agenda” with energetic discussion around 1) Plan S 2) Training for African librarians to advance the use of Open Educational Resources in the 4IR and the 3) Infrastructure, expertise and services to support OA publishing at the German National Library of Medicine.

Plan S: Revolution or Evolution

Dr Marga Koelen, Research Support Coordinator, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation ITC, University of Twente

Fourth Industrial Revolution and future-ready African Librarians

Dr Nkem Osuigwe, Human Capacity Development and Training, AfLIA

Open Access in the German National Library of Medicine

Dr Ursula Arning, ZB MED Information Centre for Life Sciences

The discussion on Plan S garnered much interest and highlighted some of the feedback received from around the world and the extended commencement point for Plan S from 2020 to January 2021. Differing opinions emerged about whether Plan S is a revolution or another step in the evolution towards OA. While it generated much energy around the globe, opinions were mixed as to whether Plan S is a new business model or a condition set by funders for researchers to get money. As well, it is unequal for EU researchers compared with US researchers.

The African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) is positioning itself to invest in and implement training for African librarians to advance OERs on their campuses. AfLIA considers OERs key drivers for economic development and librarians as key stakeholders to advance the use of OERs. Despite significant challenges to implement a training model for African librarians several ideas emerged about ways to advance OERs. They include professional library associations and information sharing at conferences (onsite or online) to learn from each other. There was strong encouragement for AfLIA to advocate for the role of libraries/librarians as a critical resource in the 4IR in the African Union. Librarians were encouraged to “lean-in.”  They must be willing to see and learn the importance of new skills to help build the 4IR infrastructure. Re-skilling is important.

The infrastructure to support OA publishing at the German National Library of Medicine offered an impressive range of services and expertise available to support researchers in green and gold OA.



Lorraine J. Haricombe

Vice Provost and Director,

University of Texas Libraries

University of Texas at Austin, TX USA