My impressions of the IFLA CPDWL Satellite Meeting 2019, Zagreb, 20-21 August 2019

Nicoleta-Roxana Dinu, National Library of Romania, Bucharest

I had the great opportunity to attend for the first time an IFLA event, namely the IFLA CPDWL Satellite Meeting 2019, which took place in Zagreb, on 20-21 August 2019. This happened thanks to the organisers who generously offered me funding to allow me to attend it.









The event brought together 170 librarians and information professionals to discuss ideas relating to the Conference theme Librarians and information professionals as (pro)motors of change: immersing, including and initiating digital transformation for smart societies.

Organised by the IFLA Section for Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) in collaboration with the Croatian Library Association, this brilliant conference started with a suite of visits to libraries and archives which opened my eyes and delighted my soul.









Art Nouveau reading room of the Croatian State Archive







Experimenting immersive virtual reality at the Zagreb City Libraries

The day continued with the welcoming messages of Dr. Tatijana Petrić, General Director of the National and University Library in Zagreb, Dr. Gillian Hallam, Chair of the IFLA CPDWL Section, and Dr. Dijana Machala, President of the Croatian Library Association. In a very relaxing and musical atmosphere offered by the Klapa Punti group, performing traditional Croatian songs, I walked around the posters stands to take a look at the variety of topics exposed. The day ended with an amazing Wine & Cheese tour, where I discovered the most important touristic objectives associated with their history.







Klapa Punti music group

The second day of the Conference was an intensive and totally enlightening environment for all attendees due to the large spectrum of topics discussed. I would like to highlight the paper given by one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Philip Schreur, who in his presentation From smart societies to slow libraries: Librarians as promotors of change insisted in that we need societies not only smart but also inclusive where the librarians should play a major role in the new technological context.









Dr Philip Schreur, Associate University Librarian, Technical Access Services, Stanford University, USA

Another impacting presentation was Ecologies of smart unstructuring: Silicon regimes, alternatives in commons, and unparallel librarian, by Dr. Mario Hibert, who, citing numerous recent books, called on librarians to safeguard human values and freedom from the technological invasion of Silicon Valley companies, warning about the dangers of the algorithms that govern the information we receive that may alienate us, and lead us to nihilism and indifference.







Dr Mario Hibert, Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Literature and Librarianship, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Through the papers presented I realized clearly that libraries, no matter their type, have been involved in several projects in order to be closer and useful to/for their communities and to be prepared for the oncoming challenges in the so-called “smart society”.

The inclusion of two workshops in the busy programme was a fantastic organisers’ initiative. I chose the workshop Challenging Presentation Needed? presented by Ulrike Lang, in which tips on logistics, manner of dressing, IT tools and many more were revealed in order to give a successful speech to any kind of audience.






Ulrike Lang, Hamburg State and University Library, Germany

During the Conference I met librarians and some of the bursary recipients with whom we exchanged our experiences as information professionals. I returned home very enthusiastic, impressed by the excellent organisation of the meeting, and professionally richer by gaining plenty of new ideas to be shared among my colleagues of the National Library of Romania. Thank you once again to IFLA CPDWL for offering me the funding: I am really very grateful.