German library conference 2019

The German library conference took place this year in Leipzig. It is the biggest annual librarian`s conference in Europe. More than 260 lectures, workshops and hand-on-labs were presented together with a huge exhibition of hard-, software and services. Under the title “Libraries for change”  4000 librarians from Germany, neighbouring countries and abroad met to discuss a huge variety of topics. Societies are changing and libraries have to follow these dynamics with innovative concepts and lifelong learning staff members.

The last three years ALA was partner of the German library associations. This year the official partnership switched to the Netherlands where the libraries are very active to promote “the library as a third place”.

One of the recurring themes were fake news and the best way to deal with. “Put the focus on the victims and the outcome instead of only looking at the offenders and give them another platform to be famous” a journalist proposed.

More and more frequently, false information is scattered across all communication channels in order to influence public opinion or to discredit other-minded people. Portrait photos with quotes take out of context, which are often distributed via social networks, are just the tip of the iceberg. In their role as information brokers, libraries must counter this and empower more and more people to distinguish fake news from actual news. There were plenty of suggestions for such formats for work on the ground – especially for the youth. And of course the education and strengthening of our own staff is very important not only in this context.

More than 400 presentations are already uploaded online for those who want to recap or had not the chance to participate in Leipzig. Most of the follow-ups are in German but some are in English, too.  And more will be uploaded in the next weeks. At the  BIB Opus publication server you can also find the presentations of the past German and Austrian library conferences, the articles of some German library journals in fulltext and more.