Division D Joint Mid-Term in Istanbul, Türkiye

This post is by Mimi Calter, Vice Provost & University Librarian, Washington University Libraries in St. Louis and Chair of the ARL Section.

I had the pleasure to join several members of the IFLA Academic and Research Libraries (ARL) section in participating in the Division D Joint Mid-Term program in Istanbul on June 5th through 7th, 2024.  The theme of the program was Libraries Bridging Boundaries: Challenges & Strategies for Global Openness, and the program did not disappoint.

ARL was one of four sponsoring units within Division D, the others being the Science & Technology Section, the Acquisition & Collection Development Section, and the Library Publishing SIG.  The session was hosted by Koç University at their Center for the Study of Anatolian Civilization in the heart of Istanbul, and participants from all the sponsoring units were joined by colleagues from throughout Turkey and the Mediterranean region.  There were about 80 registered participants for the program, and it was a great opportunity to meet people and make new connections.  I can attest that the group had some lively conversations during the meeting breaks and meals.

Three keynote presentations, which provided regional perspectives on the state of open research were highlights of the program.  The first, from Prof. Dr. Yaşar Tonta, Emeritus Professor, Department of Information Management at Hacettepe University, looked at Türkiye.  On day 2, Saray Córdoba who is now retired from the Universidad de Costa Rica, but remains active in researching the areas of Scientific Communication, Open Science, and Open Access, discussed the topic from the Central American perspective.  And on day 3, Dr. Gracian Chimwaza of South Africa gave an African perspective on the topic.  All three presenters are excited by the potential of open research, though there are significant  challenges to building the infrastructure needed to support it.

In between the keynotes we had some fantastic panel discussions, and those panel discussions included presentations from ARL members Mary Ngure and Jérôme Fronty.  The presentations made clear that open research and open communication are considered core objectives for most research libraries.  While there are many shared challenges to achieving fully open research communications, and the Open Access movement has not yet achieved its full potential, there are lots of local success stories.  Jelena Bokovac presented some inspirational programs from Croatia, and Çiğdem Yıldırım presented on initiatives at our host organization, Koç University.

An important takeaway for me was the importance of connection and interoperability between these systems.  Regional and discipline-centric approaches to openness are beneficial, but risk becoming siloed.  We need to find ways for these local successes to be shared, and sharable, resources.  I look forward to future conversations and ways to advance that goal.


One thought on “Division D Joint Mid-Term in Istanbul, Türkiye

  1. Jayshree Mamtora

    It was a great meeting/conference both in terms of the range and quality of presentations as well as the networking opportunities it presented


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