This post features Snehal Dilip Bhalerao, one of the 2023 IFLA ARL Grant winners from India.
I am Snehal Dilip Bhalerao and I studied at the Savitribai Phule Pune University. I currently work as a research fellow at the Centre of Publication Ethics at the Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India. I feel very lucky to have won this grant which gave me the opportunity to attend the IFLA Conference, which was held from 21st -25th August, 2023. IFLA gave me the opportunity to visit Rotterdam and experience another world of libraries.
After visiting IFLA Rotterdam venue, I realized I could gain some valuable knowledge about Libraries which are different from the Indian setting. I had the opportunity to meet, interact and network with many librarians from across the world at the Conference.
The conference was organized in sessions which represented the different interest in IFLA. I therefore attended sessions that were of interest to me. All the conference sessions were very useful to the development of libraries and provided a great source of knowledge to the participants. The various presentations included the sustainable development goal activities in the various countries of the presenters. Topics included the Green Libraries. Some other presentations also showcased the impact of artificial intelligence on libraries and how for instance ChatGPT is helping in all aspects of our lives, both personal and professional, and how to apply it appropriately and effectively.
Again, the conference educated me on the role of IFLA in the development of the LIS profession.
Then there was the Cultural Evening which was organised by IFLA for participants. This event was very exciting and was another avenue for me to meet many colleagues on an informal level. This event comprised partying, eating and dancing. There was also a photo session and I had the opportunity to meet and take photos with the IFLA President. The evening helped me get off my hectic personal life to have some fun and enjoy myself. Thank you IFLA for the cultural evening. It was a very memorable day.
On the last day, there was a Library visit to Belgium by bus. I joined other librarians on this trip. We visited two libraries in Belgium to see how they operate and manage them. These libraries were very beautiful and are currently using AI to enhance their library operations. I initially did not support the use of AI in libraries but after the tour, I got a first hand experience of AI at work and it changed my mind. I have therefore resolved to advocate for its use in Indian libraries. I hope to be able to share my experiences and knowledge with my colleagues in India.
A great thank you to IFLA, I am really grateful for this opportunity. I appreciate IFLA for giving me the learning experience which will help progress my career in the future. I also want to thank the IFLA President and all IFLA Members and Volunteers who guided us during the IFLA Congress -2023 in Rotterdam.
Snehal Dilip Bhalerao
Savitribai Phule Pune University, India