My first conference was an international conference!

Ebru Gönül Türk
Reference Librarian, Istanbul Bilgi University Library, Turkey

This was the first time I attended an IFLA CPDWL conference. I was excited to meet new people and see beautiful places. I first heard about IFLA from my professors when I was a student at university. They always told us about their experience at IFLA, which has always encouraged me to prepare and present an international project to IFLA meetings. Since then I know that it is a pioneering organization on libraries and information services. I can say that meeting with IFLA has been my dream since university.

After my graduation, I started to work in the library of Istanbul Bilgi University. I remember my library director Sami Çuhadar asked me one day, “Ebru, where do you see yourself in the next three years?” I said, “First of all, I want to be part of a project that can represent our library in Turkey then I want to move this project to the international arena.”

During my 9-months business life, I realized that there are lots of advantages of working in a university library. However, as you connect with many different users, you see that your users may have problems accessing information or using the library. By observing these problems and taking into account the relevant fields and needs of the new generation, we have developed a gamification project as Istanbul Bilgi University Library. We received very positive feedback from our users after this project. In the third year of my business life, one day I saw an e-mail from IFLA CPDWL and remembered that I had the chance to present this project at an international arena. After consulting my managers we decided to send our project to this meeting and our project was accepted as a poster presentation.

The conference lasted two days. There was a poster session on the first day and our project was accepted as a poster presentation thus, on the first day, I was very excited to meet new people, to see a new university library and present our poster. When you make a poster presentation, you have the chance to get in touch with almost all of the participants. The first day also had a very decent and warm environment to meet new people.









Ebru in discussions with Matilde Fontanin at the conference

The second day of the meeting started with Dr Philip Schreur’s presentation From Smart Societies to Slow Libraries: Promoters of Change! Which is was very enlightening. The day of the conference continued with numerous sessions including educational and inspiring presentations reflecting the experiences of experts in their respective fields.

After lunch, the conference continued with the presentation of Dr. Mario Hibert: Ecology of Smart Unstructuring: Silicon Regimes, Alternatives in Commons, and Unparallel Librarian. This presentation was especially interesting for me. As a librarian, it allowed me to gain a different perspective on different topics and terminologies.

I was so pleased with the IFLA CPDWL Satellite Meeting experience because it was not only the first time I have attend a conference, but also it was the first time I attend an international conference outside of Turkey. I also had the opportunity to meet with IFLA CPDWL members, we had a great conversation about how these meetings, which have been a goal for me since my university days, are planned and how the members work. It was also a great experience for me to listen to participants’ experience who have previously attended these conferences.

As a young librarian, the conference is an excellent experience for me. I had the chance to see and listen to library applications on different topics around the world. I would like to thank the IFLA CPDWL committee for their support as a librarian trying to gain experience. I hope that one day I can be a part of this epic team and I can support them as much as they supported me. I will share the experience which I gain in this program throughout meetings, panels and other professional activities in my country.

Finally, as a recipient of IFLA CPDWL Satellite Meeting bursary I would like to express my deep appreciation to the conference committee and IFLA CPDWL members for giving me this opportunity and support to attend the meeting. Moreover, I want to thank our Library Director Sami Çuhadar for giving me this unique opportunity to attend the conference. I would also like to thank Reference & Public Relations Team Manager Abdullah Turan and Library Acquisitions Team Manager Vildan Orancı for their support for the poster that we prepared and presented together at the conference.