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CPDWL Podcast Project Season 3, Episode 4: Albina S. Krymskaya (in Russian/Русский)

Colleagues, we are excited to announce the our fourth episode of the CPDWL Podcast Project (Season 3) where we feature library and information professionals who support and participate in professional development work. This episode is in Russian.

To see the episode:–PhD-and-Daria-Beliakova-in-Russian-e1cu5mo

Our host is CPDWL SC member Daria Beliakova and this episode’s guest is Albina S. Krymskaya.

Daria Beliakova

Albina Krymskaya, PhD in Pedagogic Sciences, Associate Professor of the Mediology and Literature Department of the St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture, Russia.

  • Member of the Standing Committee of IFLA Section on Education and Training
  • Secretary, IFLA Section on Education and Training (2019–2021)
  • Secretary, IFLA Division of Support of the Profession (2019–2021)
  • Chair, IFLA Section on Education and Training (2021–2023)
  • Member of the editorial boards of the international magazines “Libri” and “Digital Libraries Perspectives”

Academic background 

  • Specialist degree, Library Science, St. Petersburg State University of Culture, 1999
  • PhD, Library Science, St. Petersburg State University of Culture, 2005 (dissertation title “Knowledge Management Technologies in Biobibliographic studies”

Professional background: current place of work and position, recent projects

I began working at the St. Petersburg State University of Culture in 2011 in the Department for Continuing Education. I organized professional courses and summer schools for students and adults. I also initiated some courses for librarians, developing programs together with St. Petersburg libraries of different types.

Since 2014 I have held a dual position, as a lecturer and as a deputy dean, in the Library and Information Science (LIS) Department. Within the educational section “Information analysis in book publishing, the arts and business” I teach three courses: “Analysis of professional information”, “Information resources in social and humanitarian sciences”, and “Using information analysis to avert crises in book publishing, the arts, and business”. As deputy dean, I am responsible for developing programs for the LIS Department.

At the University I also organize seminars on library and information issues for librarians from around Saint Petersburg and other areas of Russia. The International Summer Library School, which I initiated and organized in 2014 in cooperation with the University of Maryland and the Russian Academy of Sciences Library with the financial support of the United States Consulate General in St. Petersburg, was a great success. More than 60 library specialists and students from Russia, the United States, and Kazakhstan participated.

Since 2015 I’ve been the chief organizer and coordinator of BiblioFest, an annual library festival sponsored by my university. BiblioFest promotes interest in libraries and reading to students and to the public through seminars, master classes, lectures, exhibits, performances, and other events. Among my key responsibilities are preparing annual festival plans; maintaining relationships with libraries, publishers, bookshops, and cultural centers etc.; motivating and assisting students to develop and implement program ideas; working closely with university departments to carry out festival plans. Festival speakers include writers, researchers, and directors of publishing organizations, libraries et al.

In 2016, I initiated student study tours for LIS students of my university.

In 2017, I was nominated by the US Department of State to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “American Libraries”.

My most important professional achievements within the last 5 years

Among my significant professional achievements within the last 5 years, I would highlight those connected with developing international activities and cooperation of the Library and Information Science Department of the St. Petersburg State University of Culture.

  • In 2016–2019, I organized four study tours for LIS students (two to Germany and two to the Baltic Region countries). The two tours to Germany were funded by the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst). These study trips, a first experience for the LIS Department, featured professional visits to libraries and universities.
  • In 2017, I was elected as a Russian member of the Education and Training Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). By becoming a member of the IFLA Education and Training Section, I was able to expand our university’s international relations with LIS specialists worldwide.
  • Since 2018 I’ve been a member of the BSLISE Working Group.
  • In 2018, I launched a training program in our department titled “International Activity in Libraries” to enrich students’ knowledge about international librarianship and new trends in library and information science. During its initial year twelve students enrolled in this program and received valuable training.
  • At IFLA WLIC 2019 I was elected as a Secretary of IFLA Section of Education and Training and a Secretary of IFLA Division of Support of the Profession.
  • At IFLA WLIC 2021 I was elected as a Chair of IFLA Section of Education and Training.
  • Early 2021, I proposed a project “A Webinar Series for LIS Students” for IFLA Division IV professional units. During a year the Division held six webinars (

Additional information

I have published more than 130 works on topics such as the international cooperation of the LIS Department, international relations in the fields of education and culture, knowledge management, bibliography, and the international history of information science. These publications include a bibliography on Knowledge Management (2009) and a monograph (2014) about American exchange students’ educational experience in St. Petersburg.

A short list of my publications in Russian is at

Альбина Самиуловна Крымская

Кандидат педагогических наук, доцент кафедры медиалогии и литературы Санкт-Петербургского государственного института культуры

Председатель Секции ИФЛА по образованию и подготовке кадров

Секретарь Отдела ИФЛА «Поддержка профессии»

Член редколлегий международных журналов “Libri” и “Digital Libraries Perspectives”


  • В 1999 г. окончила Санкт-Петербургский университет культуры и искусств (ныне СПбГИК) по специальности: библиотековедение и библиография, квалификация: библиотекарь-библиограф общего чтения. Дипломная работа на тему: «Информационный анализ кризисных ситуаций в фирмах» (научный руководитель: Гордукалова Галина Феофановна, доктор педагогических наук, профессор).
  • В 2005 г. защитила кандидатскую диссертацию «Персональная библиография в технологиях менеджмента знаний». Научный руководитель: Гордукалова Галина Феофановна, доктор педагогических наук, профессор. Официальные оппоненты: Гиляревский Руджеро Сергеевич, доктор филологических наук, профессор, заведующий отделением научных исследований по проблемам информатики ВИНИТИ Российской академии наук; Леонов Валерий Павлович, доктор педагогических наук, профессор, директор Библиотеки Российской академии наук.

Профессиональный опыт

2014 – н. в. – заместитель декана библиотечно-информационного факультета, доцент кафедры медиалогии и литературы СПбГИК.

Читаемые курсы: «Аналитические технологии», «Отраслевые информационные ресурсы: Социальные науки», «Информационное предупреждение кризисных ситуаций».

2011 – 2014 гг. – специалист по учебно-методической работе, Центр дополнительного профессионального образования Санкт-Петербургского государственного института культуры, организация курсов повышения квалификации и летних школ для специалистов учреждений культуры

Наиболее значимые проекты на факультете:

В 2014 г. инициировала и организовала Международную Летнюю библиотечную школу, в которой приняли участие более 60 специалистов и студентов из России, Казахстана и США. Проект реализован в сотрудничестве с Библиотекой Российской академии наук и Университетом Мэриленда (США) при финансовой поддержке Генерального консульства США в Санкт-Петербурге.

С 2015 г. занимается организацией ежегодного Международного фестиваля «БиблиоФест».

В 2016 г. инициировала и организовала первую образовательную поездку студентов в Германию.

В 2017 г. была участником Международной лидерской программы «Американские библиотеки».

Наиболее значимые достижения за последние пять лет

С 2014 г. активно развивает международную деятельность на библиотечно-информационном факультете.

  • В 2016–2019 гг. организовала четыре образовательных поездки для студентов библиотечно-информационного факультета (Германия, страны Балтии).
  • В 2017 г. была избрана членом Секции ИФЛА по образованию и подготовке кадров.
  • С 2018 г. – член Рабочей группы ИФЛА «Формирование сильной системы библиотечно-информационного образования» (Building strong library and information science education).
  • В 2018 г. разработала и реализовала дополнительную образовательную программу «Международная библиотечно-информационная деятельность».
  • В 2019 г. была избрана секретарем Секции ИФЛА по образованию и подготовке кадров и секретарем Отдела ИФЛА «Поддержка профессии».
  • В 2021 г. избрана председателем Секции ИФЛА по образованию и подготовке кадров.
  • В 2021 г. предложила проект «Серия вебинаров для студентов библиотечно-информационной специальности» для секций Отдела IV «Поддержка профессии». В течение года состоялось шесть вебинаров (


Дополнительная информация

Опубликовала более 130 работ по таким темам, как международное сотрудничество библиотечно-информационного факультета, международные связи в области образования и культуры, управление знаниями, история развития информатики за рубежом, информационное обеспечение специалистов в области социально-экономических и гуманитарных наук. Среди них аннотированный библиографический указатель «Управление знаниями» (2009) и монография «Становление института американских стажеров в Санкт-Петербурге» (2014).

Краткий перечень работ представлен на сайте СПбГИК:



00:00 Дарья:

Добрый день, дорогие коллеги и наши многочисленные друзья!
Сегодня мы предложим вам второе интервью из “Русской серии” подкаста Секции ИФЛА по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте. Цель подкаста – знакомство с библиотечными специалистами мира. Для обеспечения принципа культурного разнообразия и баланса использования официальных языков ИФЛА секция приняла решения записывать интервью не только на английском языке.

Наш гость – Альбина Самиуловна Крымская. Здравствуйте, Альбина!

00:37 Альбина: Добрый день, Дарья!
00:40 Я: Альбина Самиуловна Крымская, кандидат педагогических наук, доцент кафедры медиалогии и литературы Санкт-Петербургского государственного института культуры, заместитель декана библиотечно-информационного факультета. В 1999 г. окончила Санкт-Петербургский университет культуры и искусств по специальности: библиотековедение и библиография. Тема дипломной работы “Информационный анализ кризисных ситуаций в фирмах”. В 2005 г. защитила кандидатскую диссертацию на тему «Персональная библиография в технологиях менеджмента знаний». С тех пор Альбина Самиуловна опубликовала более 130 работ по таким темам, как международное сотрудничество библиотечно-информационного факультета, международные связи в области образования и культуры, управление знаниями, история развития информатики за рубежом, информационное обеспечение специалистов в области социально-экономических и гуманитарных наук. Активно развивает на факультете международную деятельность. В 2017 г. была избрана членом Секции ИФЛА по образованию и подготовке кадров, в 2019 году стала секретарем Секции, а в 2021 году её председателем. Член редколлегий международных журналов “Libri” и “Digital Libraries Perspectives”

02:00 Дарья: Итак, мы к переходим к традиционным вопросам. Альбина, опишите, пожалуйста, себя одним словом. If you had to describe yourself using only one word, what would word would it be?

02:10 Альбина: Сначала я хотела бы поблагодарить Вас, Дарья, за приглашение принять участие в проекте Секции по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте. Я слежу сама за появлением новых подкастов и рекомендую своим студентам их прослушивать, чтобы быть в курсе всего нового, что происходит в непрерывном образовании, как можно приобретать дополнительные профессиональные навыки сегодня, в том числе международные компетенции.

Довольно трудно описать себя одним словом. Наверное, это «аналитик». С этим связана моя профессиональная деятельность, в том числе и темы моей дипломной работы и диссертации. Насколько себя помню, я всегда была склонна к анализу людей, взаимоотношений, слов, информации, различных ситуаций… Можно было бы добавить ещё «генератор идей», поскольку я постоянно предлагаю различные идеи своим коллегам и студентам. И, наверное, ещё «перфекционист». Это моё стремление довести всё до совершенства.

03:55 Дарья: Итак, аналитик – генератор идей – перфекционист. По-моему, очень верный Ваш портрет!

04:03 Альбина: Спасибо!

04:07 Дарья: Что побудило Вас стать преподавателем библиотечных дисциплин? С чего Вы начали?

04:14 Альбина: Наверное, путь в библиотечную профессию начался с образования. Ни для кого не секрет, что в мире не так много людей, которые мечтают стать библиотекарями. Я поступила на Библиотечный факультет в 1995 году, поскольку здесь была возможность изучать два иностранных языка. В то время я мечтала выучить несколько иностранных языков и стать полиглотом. Я выбрала английский и немецкий языки. Но постепенно я втянулась в саму библиотечно-информационную специальность. Профессиональный интерес начал проявляться на третьем курсе, когда нас вовлекли в проект по исследованию российско-итальянских культурных связей. Это предполагало работу с поиском источников информации, нам приходилось просматривать большое количество публикаций, которые были в библиотеках.

К самой профессии преподавателя мой путь был долгим, через работу в коммерческих организациях и государственных учреждениях. Спустя 10 лет после получения высшего образования я начала работать в Институте культуры, сначала в Центре дополнительного образования, параллельно являясь преподавателем-почасовиком. С 2014 года я работаю на Библиотечном факультете в должности заместителя декана. Сегодня я этому очень рада.

07:18 Дарья: Спасибо. Когда я зачитывала Вашу краткую профессиональную биографию, то упомянула о том, что активно развиваете на факультете международную деятельность. Расскажите нам об этом подробнее. Что значит для Вас международная библиотечная деятельность? Изменилось ли Ваше видение с годами работы?

07:45 Альбина: Мой интерес к международной деятельности стал проявляться ещё в школьные годы, когда я интенсивно изучала английский язык. И я благодарна своей маме, которая дала мне возможность заниматься этим так досконально. Также меня интересовала литература, посвященная международным связям, дипломатии. Это заложило некий фундамент. Через несколько лет после окончания института и защиты кандидатской диссертации, которая была связана с изучением зарубежных источников информации, я стала заниматься темой советско-американских научных обменов. Я до сих пор продолжаю интересоваться этой темой, слежу за новой литературой, продолжаю общаться с бывшими американскими стажерами. Мне удалось собрать их воспоминания об опыте пребывания в Советском Союзе и, позже, в России. С этого началась моя профессиональная международная деятельность, с попытки изучить этот период нашей совместной истории. В 2014 году мне удалось опубликовать монографию «Становление института американских стажеров в Санкт-Петербурге». Это стало моим личным вкладом в развитие международной деятельности Библиотечного факультета СПбГИК, которая развивалась ещё в советские времена. После этого по моей инициативе была организована Международная летняя библиотечная школа. Она была организована совместно с Библиотекой Российской академии наук и Университетом Мериленда. Это был очень интересный опыт. В настоящее время пандемия не позволяет проводить подобные школы, мы надеемся, что в будущем нам удастся к этому вернуться. После этого мы начали очень активно вовлекать в международную деятельность студентов. Я считаю, что это очень важно и для них и для факультета в целом.

Я считаю, что международная деятельность дает нам больше возможностей общаться друг с другом в независимости от границ и географии, позволяет устанавливать новые контакты и изучать другие культуры. Хотелось бы вспомнить слова нашего известного библиотековеда Валерия Павловича Леонова, который ещё в 1992 году на аналогичный вопрос ответил, что не существует отдельно российской или американской библиотечной деятельности, а есть единая наука, она без границ и позволяет решать нам вопросы, которые непосильны политикам. Та самая народная дипломатия, «мягкая сила».

12:28 Дарья: В этом году у нас появился ещё один повод для гордости. Мы Вас поздравляли с избранием на пост председателя Секции ИФЛА по образованию и подготовке кадров. Как вы попали в Секцию?

13:00 Альбина: Спасибо большое за этот вопрос. За то, что попала в Секцию, я благодарна Валентине Владимировне, которая сама была членом этой секции с 2013 по 2017 гг. и рекомендовала меня в ее Постоянный комитет. К этому моменту мною уже был реализован ряд проектов, связанных с международной деятельностью. И я благодарна Российской библиотечной ассоциации, которая поддержала выдвижение моей кандидатуры на второй срок.

14:00 Дарья: Мы уточним, что речь идет о Валентине Владимировне Брежневой, декане Библиотечно-информационного факультета Санкт-Петербургского института культуры. Альбина, поделитесь своим ярким воспоминанием об ИФЛА: о конгрессе, о Вашей работе в секции.

14:15 Самое яркое воспоминание это участие в моем первом конгрессе ИФЛА в 2017 году, который проходил в Польше, в городе Вроцлав. На открытии конгрессе я испытала непередаваемые чувства. Студентам первого курса всегда рассказывают об этой организации, но в 1995 году я себе и представить не могла, что когда-то окажусь там.

15:10 Дарья: Спасибо! Следующий вопрос действительно для аналитика:  что Вам больше всего нравится в профессии?

15:20 Альбина: В моей профессии мне нравится возможность творчески мыслить, генерировать идеи, воплощать их. Главное мне нравится учить студентов, передавать им знания. Вдохновлять, мотивировать их, чтобы они развивались в этой профессии. Я очень радуюсь, когда вижу, как они растут, как складывается их профессиональная жизнь.

16:00 Дарья: Безусловно, не только библиотекари, но и преподаватели нуждаются в постоянном совершенствовании своих профессиональных компетенций. Каков Ваш лайфхак в профессиональном непрерывном образовании, которым Вы хотели бы поделиться?

16:15: Альбина: Я думаю, это то, чему я учу студентов с самого первого курса. Это бережное и деликатное отношений к окружающим. Как говорится: «Береги честь смолоду, а профессиональную особенно». И быть благодарным своим учителям.

17:13: Дарья: Спасибо! Поделитесь тем, что у Вас сейчас происходит, над каким замечательным проектом Вы сейчас работаете?

17:23. Альбина: Один из проектов, который продолжает реализовываться в этом году, это серия вебинаров для студентов библиотечно-информационных специальностей. Серию инициировала Секция по образованию и подготовке кадров. Этот проект был предложен Подразделению ИФЛА № 4 «Поддержка профессии». В этом году нам удалось провести 6 вебинаров, чему я несказанно рада. Это возможность вовлечь студентов разных стран в профессию и в международную деятельность. Основываясь на отзывах студентах, которые принимали участие в проекте, и слушателей вебинаров, я бы оценила его как успешный. Сегодня задача состоит в том, чтобы привлечь к нему коллег из других секций ИФЛА, расширить тематику обсуждений. В марте 2022 года мы организуем следующий вебинар. Тему для него предложила наша американская коллега Лойда Гарсиа Фебо, экс-председатель Американской библиотечной ассоциации, председатель Группы по целям устойчивого развития 2030. Вебинар будет посвящен вопросам адвокации библиотек.

20:00 Дарья: Это очень интересно! Мы желаем Вам успехов, поддерживаем и радуемся за вас!

20:17 Альбина: Большое спасибо. Хочу дополнить, что у нас есть предложение к Секции ИФЛА по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте, – совместно провести один из вебинаров.

20:28 Дарья: Здорово! Это прекрасные новые возможности для всех нас. Я предлагаю пригласить к участию в вебинаре молодых специалистов. Тогда мы охватим обе аудитории, и между студентами и молодыми специалистами получится полезный обмен опытом. Альбина, а если представить, что Ваш профессиональный путь сложился как-то по-другому, то какой еще профессией кроме преподавателя Вы хотели бы овладеть?

20:47 Альбина: Это очень сложно себе представить (смеется)! Сегодня библиотечно-информационная профессия дает широчайшие возможности для саморазвития и изучения других сфер жизни. И это очень ценно в нашей профессии. И мы обогащаем нашу профессию, используя знания из других сфер. Я думаю, если была возможность поучиться и получить второе высшее образование, я бы выбрала международные отношения. Меня очень интересует эта тема. В рамках дисциплины «Отраслевые информационные ресурсы» я затрагиваю ресурсы из сферы мировой политики и международных взаимоотношений. Есть много такого, что мне хотелось бы изучить. Жалко, что не на все хватает времени (смеется)!

22:02 Дарья: Спасибо. И в заключение наш специальный вопрос: Ваше кредо?!
22:26 Альбина: Сложно (улыбается). Наверное, «Учиться и не останавливаться на достигнутом»

22:35 Дарья: Прекрасное кредо! Большое спасибо, Альбина Самиуловна за нашу сегодняшнюю беседу!
Дорогие друзья, продолжение следует, ожидайте новый выпуск “Русской серии” нашего подкаста в ближайшее время!
Беседу вела Дарья Белякова, член ПК Секции ИФЛА по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте, руководитель Центра библиотековедения и профессионального взаимодействия Библиотеки иностранной литературы, Москва.

22:53 Альбина: Спасибо большое, Дарья!



00:00 Daria:

Hello, dear colleagues and friends,

Welcome to the podcast project started by the IFLA Continuous Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) Section and devoted to library and information professionals from all over the world. The Section agreed to record interviews also in languages other than English to promote cultural diversity and to ensure the balance in the use of the official IFLA languages.

Today we present our second interview in the Russian-language series of the podcast.

Our guest is Albina S. Krymskaya. Welcome, Albina!

00:37 Albina:

Hello, Daria!

00:40 Daria:

Albina Samiulovna Krymskaya, PhD in Educational Science, Associate Professor, Department of Medialogy and Literature, Saint Petersburg State Institute of Culture; Deputy Dean, Faculty of Library and Information. In 1999, Albina graduated from St. Petersburg University of Culture and Arts, specializing in Library Science and Bibliography, with the senior thesis, “Information Analysis of Crisis Situations in Firms”. In 2005, she defended her PhD dissertation, «Personal Bibliography in Knowledge Management Technologies». Since then, Albina has published more than 130 papers on topics such as the international cooperation at the Faculty of Library and Information, international relations in the field of education and culture, knowledge management, history of computer science development abroad, information services for social, economic and human sciences specialists. Albina actively promotes international activities at the Faculty. In 2017, she joined the IFLA Education and Training Section. In 2019, Albina became Secretary of this Section and in 2021 – its Chair. She is a member of the editorial boards of the international journals, “Libri” and “Digital Libraries Perspectives”.

02:00 Daria:

Now we are moving on to our traditional questions. If you had to describe yourself using only one word, what would this word be?

02:10 Albina:

First, I would like to thank you, Daria, for your invitation to participate in this CPDWL project. I keep track of new podcasts and encourage my students to listen to them to keep abreast of new developments in continuous education and to find out how additional skills can be acquired today, including international competencies.

It is rather hard to describe oneself in one word. Perhaps, it’s “analyst”. My professional activities, including my senior thesis and dissertation, are related to this. As far as I can remember, I’ve always been committed to analyzing people, relationships, words, information, situations… As I constantly offer various ideas to my colleagues and students, I think I could describe myself as «generator of ideas» as well. And in addition, “perfectionist”. It’s my desire to bring all things I do to perfection.

03:55 Daria:

So, analyst – generator of ideas – perfectionist. I would call this a very faithful portrait of yours.

04:03 Albina:

Thank you!

04:07 Daria:

What compelled you to become a librarian? How did you get started?

04:14 Albina:

My path to the library profession began with the education. It’s an open secret that there aren’t too many people in the world who want to become librarian. I entered the Library Faculty in 1995 because it gave me an opportunity to study two foreign languages. At that time, I dreamed of learning several foreign languages and becoming a polyglot. I chose English and German. But gradually I was getting involved in the LIS specialty. I started taking interest in the profession in the third year when we engaged in a project exploring the Russian-Italian cultural ties. This included working with sources of information, browsing through a large number of publications in libraries.

My journey to the teaching career was long – through jobs in business and state institutions. Ten years after graduation I started working at the Institute of Culture: at first, I worked at the Center for Continuing Education and as a part-time teacher. Since 2014, I have been working at the Library Faculty as Deputy Dean. I’m very happy about this.

07:18 Daria:

Thank you! Albina, in your CV you mentioned your taking part in the international activities at the Faculty. Could you please dwell on it? What does international librarianship mean to you? Has your vision changed over the years?

07:45 Albina:

My interest in international activities arose while I was intensely learning English at school. I’m grateful to my mom for letting me do this so in-depth. I was also interested in literature on international relations, diplomacy. These books laid down a kind of groundwork. A few years after the graduation from the Institute and the defense of the dissertation, which was linked to the study of foreign information sources, I began to develop insight into the Soviet-American scientific exchanges. I’m still interested in this subject, keeping up with the new literature, continuing to talk to the former American interns. I managed to collect their memories of the stay in the Soviet Union and later in Russia. So, my international career began with an attempt to study this period of our common history. In 2014, I managed to publish the monograph «The Development of the Institution of American Interns in Saint Petersburg». This was my personal contribution to the development of the international activities at the Library Faculty of the Saint Petersburg State Institute of Culture, which date back to the Soviet era. This was followed by the International Summer Library School. It was organized on my initiative and set up jointly with the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University of Maryland. It was a very interesting experience. Currently, the pandemic does not permit such schools. But we hope to be able to run such schools again in the future. After our first summer school, we started to encourage students to actively engage in international activities. I think it’s very important for them and for the Faculty.

I believe that international activities give us more opportunities to interact with each other, regardless of borders and geography, making it possible to establish new contacts and explore other cultures. I would like to cite the words of our renowned librarian Valery Pavlovich Leonov, who, back in 1992, answered a similar question, saying that there are no separate Russian or American library activities, but a single borderless science, which allows us to address issues that are beyond the capacity of policymakers. It is public diplomacy, or «soft power».

12:28 Daria:

This year we have had another cause for being proud. We have already congratulated you on your election as Chair of the IFLA Education and Training Section. How did you get involved with this Section and why this Section?

13:00 Albina:

Thank you very much for this question. I joined the Section thanks to Valentina Vladimirovna, SC member in 2013 – 2017, who supported my candidacy to the Standing Committee. By then, I had already implemented a number of projects related to international activities. I am grateful to the Russian Library Association for lending support to my candidacy for the second term.

14:00 Daria:

To make it clear I need to add that we are talking about Valentina Vladimirovna Brezhneva, Dean of the Library and Information Faculty, Saint Petersburg Institute of Culture. Albina, please, share with us your most special memorable moment you have about IFLA WLIC or the Education and Training Section.

14:15 Albina:

WLIC–2017 in Wroclaw (Poland), my first IFLA Congress, is by far the most memorable event for me. At the opening of the Congress, I had an indescribable feeling. Our first-year students are always told about this organization, but in 1995 I could hardly imagine that I would ever attend it myself.

15:10 Daria:

Thank you! The next question is really for analyst: What are you most excited about in the profession?

15:20 Albina:

In my profession, I like creative thinking, generating ideas and implementing them. The point is, I like to teach students, impart knowledge to them, inspire and motivate them to develop in the profession. I’m very excited to see them grow up, advance their career.

16:10 Daria:

Of course, not only librarians, but also teachers need to continually improve their professional competencies. What’s a professional development tip or advice that you’d like to share with others?

16:15: Albina:

I keep telling my students since their first year to be thoughtful and sensitive to others. As the saying goes, “Look after your reputation, in particular, your professional one from your young years.” And be grateful to your teachers.

17:13: Daria:

Thank you! Can you tell us a bit about your work at the moment, what’s an exciting project you are working on now?

17:23: Albina:

A series of webinars for LIS students is one of the projects which we continue to work on. The Education and Training Section initiated this series. The project was proposed to the IFLA Division IV “Support of the Profession”. This year we managed to run six webinars, which I’m very happy about. It is an opportunity to engage students from different countries in the profession and in the international activities. Based on the feedback from the students who took part in the project and the webinar viewers, I would rate the project as success. The challenge today is to engage colleagues from other IFLA sections and to broaden the scope of the discussions. In March 2022, we’re organizing the next webinar, which will focus on library advocacy. This topic was suggested by Loida Garcia-Febo, Chair of U.N. 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Task Force and ex-Chair of American Library Association (USA).

20:00 Daria:

This is very interesting! We wish you success and are very proud of you!

20:17 Albina:

Thank you! May I add that we have a proposal for the CPDWL Section to co-host one of the webinars.

20:28 Daria:

Great! These are great new opportunities for all of us. I suggest we invite young professionals to participate in the webinar. This will help us reach both audiences – students and young professionals and have them exchange experiences. Albina, tell us please whether there was any other profession, other than librarianship, that you would have wished to obtain?

20:47 Albina:

It’s quite hard to imagine (laughing)! Today, the library and information profession offer vast opportunities for self-development and research into the other spheres of life. It’s very valuable in our profession. We enrich our profession by using the knowledge from other fields. I think if I could study and earn a second degree, I would choose to major in international relations. I’m very interested in this subject. While doing research into the topic “Industry Information Resources”, I’ve come close to issues from the realm of world politics and international relations. There’s a lot I’d like to study. I wish I had more time (laughing)!

22:022 Daria:

Thank you! And by way of conclusion, our special question: What would be your favorite moto or creed?

22:26 Albina:

Difficult to answer (smiling). Perhaps, “Learn and never give up”.

22:35 Daria:

Wonderful creed! Thank you so much, Albina, for the interview!
Dear friends, the Russian-language series of the CPDWL podcast is to be continued. We’ll be back with a new issue in the near future!
Our today’s guest, Albina Krymskaya, was interviewed by Daria Beliakova, SC Member of the IFLA CPDWL Section and Head of the Center for Library Science and Professional Cooperation, Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow.

23:53 Albina:

Thanks a lot, Daria!


CPDWL Podcast Project Season 3, Episode 3: Svetlana A. Gorokhova and Daria Beliakova (in Russian/Русский)

Colleagues, we are excited to announce the our third episode of the CPDWL Podcast Project (Season 3) where we feature library and information professionals who support and participate in professional development work. This episode is in Russian.

To see the episode:–Gorokhova-and-Daria-Beliakova-in-Russian-e1bbjue

Our guest is Svetlana A. Gorokhova and host is Daria Beliakova.

Svetlana A. Gorokhova is an international library expert and specialist in cross-cultural library project activities. The beginning of Svetlana’s career goes back to 1989 when she started her work at the Margarita I. Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature (LFL), a federal institution of culture specializing in foreign language literatures and providing expert knowledge of cultures of the world. Svetlana steadily advanced her career, starting from a librarian and working her way up to the position of LFL Director for International Activities. She was elected member of the Russian Library Association (RLA) Governing Board and the chair of the RLA Section for International Activities. Svetlana launched and co-chaired the Russian-American Library Dialogue. She was one of the co-authors and active participants in a number of international projects to ensure the free exchange of best professional practices between libraries of the world. Since 1994, Svetlana has worked to further Russian libraries’ engagement in the IFLA activities. In 2009 – 2017, Svetlana Gorokhova was a Standing Committee (SC) member of the IFLA Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section and, in 2017 – 2021, she served as a SC member of the CPDWL Section. Currently, Svetlana combines work in two libraries: the Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow and the V. Mayakovsky Central City Library in Saint-Petersburg. Svetlana has developed insight into such issues as libraries’ international activities, comprehensive international programs for professional development, interaction between library and user, as well as the role of the library field in implementing the UN SDGs.

Светлана Анатольевна Горохова, международный библиотечный деятель, специалист по кросс-культурной проектной деятельности библиотек. Пришла в профессию в 1989 году, поступив на работу во Всероссийскую государственную библиотеку иностранной литературы им. М. И. Рудомино – федеральное учреждение культуры, специализирующееся на работе с литературой на иностранных языках и предоставлении экспертного знания о культурах мира. В своей профессиональной карьере Светлана прошла путь от рядового сотрудника читального зала до директора по международной деятельности. Является членом Правления Российской библиотечной ассоциации, Председателем Секции РБА по международной деятельности. Инициатор создания и сопредседатель Российско-Американского библиотечного диалога, автор и содержательный участник многочисленных международных проектов, цель которых – обеспечить свободный обмен лучшими профессиональными практиками библиотек мира. С 1994 года – активный организатор участия российских библиотек в работе ИФЛА. С 2009 по 2017 год являлась членом ПК секции ИФЛА по библиотечному обслуживанию поликультурного населения, с 2017 по 2021 год – членом ПК секции по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте. В настоящее время сочетает работу в БИЛ им. М.И. Рудомино и в Центральной городской публичной библиотеке им. В.В.Маяковского (Санкт-Петербург). Особое внимание в своей работе Светлана уделяет вопросам международной деятельности библиотек, комплексным международным программам профессионального развития, взаимодействию библиотек с пользователями, роли библиотек в достижении Целей устойчивого развития ООН.


Daria Beliakova

Transcript and translation are below. Transcribed/Translated by Svetlana A. Gorokhova and Daria Beliakova

00:01 Дарья: Добрый день, дорогие коллеги и друзья!

Секция ИФЛА по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте начинает новую серию своего подкаста, интервью с выдающимися личностями библиотечного дела. Мы начинаем серию интервью с российскими специалистами. Она будет проходить на русском языке, и в том числе для нашей русскоязычной аудитории, для нашего российского библиотечного сообщества, плюс она будет переведена на английский язык и будет доступна для всего мирового библиотечного сообщества именно для того, чтобы познакомить с самыми последними достижениями российских библиотек и библиотечных ассоциаций. Сегодня мы представляем Вам нашего первого спикера, нашего гостя, это Светлана Анатольевна Горохова.

01:02 Дарья: Светлана Анатольевна Горохова, международный библиотечный деятель, специалист по кросс-культурной проектной деятельности библиотек. Пришла в профессию в 1989 году, поступив на работу во Всероссийскую государственную библиотеку иностранной литературы им. М. И. Рудомино – федеральное учреждение культуры, специализирующееся на работе с литературой на иностранных языках и предоставлении экспертного знания о культурах мира. В своей профессиональной карьере Светлана прошла путь от рядового сотрудника читального зала до директора по международной деятельности. Является членом Правления Российской библиотечной ассоциации, Председателем Секции РБА по международной деятельности. Инициатор создания и сопредседатель Российско- Американского библиотечного диалога, автор и содержательный участник многочисленных международных проектов, цель которых – обеспечить свободный обмен лучшими профессиональными практиками библиотек мира. С 1994 года – активный организатор участия российских библиотек в работе ИФЛА. С 2009 по 2017 год являлась членом ПК секции ИФЛА по библиотечному обслуживанию поликультурного населения, с 2017 по 2021 год – членом ПК секции по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте. В настоящее время сочетает работу в БИЛ им. М.И. Рудомино и в Центральной городской публичной библиотеке им. В.В.Маяковского (Санкт-Петербург). Особое внимание в своей работе Светлана уделяет вопросам международной деятельности библиотек, комплексным международным программам профессионального

развития, взаимодействию библиотек с пользователями, роли библиотек в достижении Целей устойчивого развития ООН.

03:02 Дарья: Здравствуйте, Светлана Анатольевна!

03:04 Светлана: Здравствуйте, Дарья Александровна! Спасибо огромное за то, что Вы пригласили меня принять участие в этом замечательном проекте. Очень здорово, что Секция ИФЛА по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте затеяла такой замечательный проект. И поскольку у ИФЛА семь официальных языков, мы также рады, что этот подкаст будет выходить не только на английском языке, но и на других языках ИФЛА. В том числе мы начинаем сейчас нашу серию на русском языке. Очень рада и с удовольствием отвечу на Ваши вопросы.

03:43 Дарья: Коротко представлю себя. Я Белякова Дарья, член Постоянного комитета  Секция по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте, руководитель Центра библиотековедения и профессионального взаимодействия Библиотеки иностранной литературы. Мы начнем с постоянных вопросов, которые задают всем гостям нашего подкаста.

04:09 Дарья: Итак, вопрос первый. Светлана, опишите себя одним словом, если можно.

04:16 Светлана: Да, ну это такой сложный вопрос. Наверное, первое, что придет мне на ум, это слово «коммуникатор». Потому что я всё таки считаю себя таким мостиком между организациями, между людьми, между ассоциациями, проектами. И мне всегда это очень нравилось. Иногда мои коллеги считают даже, что меня немного… слишком много. (Смеётся). Но я считаю, что в этом деле переборщить невозможно, и всегда хорошо, когда есть человек, который рад связать какие-то части вместе. Поэтому я бы описала себя так.

04:53 Дарья: Спасибо! А что побудило Вас стать библиотекарем? С чего Вы начинали свою профессиональную деятельность?

05:00 Светлана: Это не очень педагогичный пример, поскольку я попала в библиотеку случайно. Заканчивала филологический педагогический факультет, пришла на последнем курсе подработать. Попала в элиту тогдашней Библиотеки иностранной литературы – в Справочно-библиографический отдел. 1989 год, пьянящий дух свободы, перестройки, ветер перемен, отличный коллектив, который объединял в себе гуру библиографии и молодых специалистов. В общем, мир книг и интеллектуально ненасытных людей затянул меня навсегда… Я прошла долгий путь от полевого консультанта в читальном зале. И за эти годы, планомерно продвигаясь вперед доросла до директора по международной деятельности библиотеки.

7:13 Дарья: Большая часть Вашего профессионального пути связана с международной библиотечной деятельностью. Что это значит для Вас? Изменилось ли Ваше видение с годами работы?

7:31 Светлана: Библиотека иностранной литературы – место по своей сути международное, авангард межкультурной коммуникации в любые годы. Поэтому международная библиотечная деятельность для меня – состояние и понятие естественное, неотрывное от моей профессиональной деятельности. Но если в начале моей карьеры это был скорее неуемный интерес к тому, что происходило вовне, за пресловутым железным занавесом, и абсолютный восторг от возможности увидеть другие подходы к библиотечному делу вообще, то сейчас это осознанная необходимость, понимание, что невозможно понять и осознать себя, не соотнеся свою деятельность с деятельностью других, с иным подходом и иной культурой. И сейчас у меня возникает такое чувство, что профессиональная международная деятельность требует серьезных усилий, работы по ее сохранению, развитию. Придания ей новых форм.

9:30 Дарья: Вы упомянули, что занимались  программами профессионального обмена.  Что привело Вас именно в Секцию по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте? Почему именно она?

9:47 Светлана: Это очень интересно: моя первая поездка на Всемирный библиотечный конгресс ИФЛА случилась в 1994 году. И с тех пор я ни на минуту не расставалась с этой замечательной профессиональной семьей. В течение 2х сроков я отработала членом ПК Секции ИФЛА по библиотечному обслуживанию поликультурного населения. За годы работы в ИФЛА ты неизбежно приобретаешь много друзей, и именно личные связи привели меня в Секцию ИФЛА по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте. Исполнительный директор Мортенсон центра международных библиотечных программ Иллинойского университета, Сьюзен Шнуер рекомендовала меня в Постоянный комитет, и я с удовольствием продолжила свою работу в ИФЛА уже в этом качестве. На тот момент мне было доверено руководство Академией Рудомино Библиотеки иностранной литературы, подразделением, которое занимается программами профессионального развития. На мой взгляд секция CPDWL – самая важная, потому что именно непрерывное образование – основа библиотечной деятельности, любого его аспекта. Это универсальное условие успеха любой библиотеки. Я очень рада, что я остаюсь в консультативном совете этой секции и продолжаю в меру сил и способностей в ней работать. И надеюсь ещё долго оставаться в её рядах!

12:10 Дарья: Светлана, могу Вас заверить, что члены секции тоже на это надеются!  Поделитесь своим ярким воспоминанием об ИФЛА или CPDWL!

12:23Светлана: За мою почти 30-летнюю историю в ИФЛА таких моментов происходило со мной огромное множество. Помимо общения с коллегами в течение года, самым ярким моментом нашего воссоединения всегда были ежегодные Всемирные библиотечные конгрессы. Каждый раз – это просто незабываемый культурный опыт, знакомство с культурой страны, ее библиотечной системой. Это плодотворное, сконцентрированное и сосредоточенное общение не только с коллегами из-за рубежа, это еще и возможность тесного взаимодействия с членами национальной делегации, с ближайшими соседями из стран СНГ, например. Сформировались определенные традиции, в том числе, организация стенда РБА на выставке ИФЛА и проведение Русского вечера, где мы чествуем литературного юбиляра года. Вот одно из последних ярких воспоминаний – это Русский вечер в жарких Афинах. Когда к нам пришли представители почти от каждой национальной делегации и читали стихотворения Александра Сергеевича Пушкина на своих родных языках. Такие моменты объединяют и очень греют душу.  Я надеюсь, что в следующем году нам удастся провести Русский вечер в Дублине и он будет посвящен замечательной поэтессе Серебряного века Марине Цветаевой, её юбилею. Вот такие мои воспоминания. Но прежде всего это, конечно, общение с людьми, человеческие связи.

14:23 Дарья: Спасибо, Светлана! Вы настолько вдохновленно рассказываете нам о своём профессиональном пути, чувствуется, что Вы счастливый человек! Скажите, а что Вам больше всего нравится в Вашей профессии?

14:42 Светлана: Каждый библиотекарь отвечает на этот вопрос по-разному. Я уже упоминала, что для меня очень важным является общение с людьми – пользователями, коллегами, партнерами. На своём профессиональном пути я встретила много интересных, выдающихся личностей. И это стало возможным именно благодаря моей работе в Библиотеке иностранной литературы. Я бы хотела отметить также возможность постоянного интеллектуального развития. А также креативность в профессии, то есть  возможность придумывать самые невероятные проекты,  и потом воплощать их на общее благо. Возможность сделать мир хоть немного понятней и лучше. Я очень благодарна судьбе, моим родителям, коллегам. Я считаю, что мы очень много сделали вместе и это греет мне душу (Улыбается).

16:28 Дарья: Каков Ваш лайфхак в профессиональном непрерывном образовании, которым Вы могли бы с нами поделиться? Как Вам удается идти в ногу со временем?

16:42 Светлана: (Смеется) Я бы хотела, чтобы мне удавалось идти в ногу со временем! Для себя я выработала некоторые правила: каждый день узнавать что то новое. Воспитать в себе привычку и ежедневно выделать время, чтобы заполнить те лакуны, которые ты видишь в своем образовании. Восполнять необходимые компетенции. В последнее время это касалось «выхода в цифру»: технических знаний, связанных с проведением онлайн-мероприятий и их трансляций. Я стараюсь записывать всё, где споткнулся на чем то, и потом сокращать этот список. Конечно, это такая цель, которой я еще не достигла, но я к этому стремлюсь! (Улыбается). К сожалению, это большая роскошь. У нас всех очень мало времени. Но существует такое мнение, что чем меньше ты спешишь, тем больше успеваешь. (Смеется). Еще очень важно быть открытым и на связи с коллегами. Часто мы не знаем, что происходит совсем рядом. Нужна общая база!!!

19:00 Дарья: Спасибо, мы попробуем взять на вооружение Ваш опыт. Иногда действительно, единственное время, когда можно читать что-то для саморазвития это поездка в метро! (Смеется). Светлана, расскажите нам, что у сейчас происходит в Вашей деятельности? Какие интересные проекты пришли в Вашу жизнь?

19:31 Светлана: Конкретно в данный момент я и мои коллеги работают над замечательным мероприятием, которое называется «Библиотеки. Глобальный контекст» и пройдет в онлайн формате 30 ноября. Это обсуждение на национальном уровне тех 20 тенденций развития библиотечного дела в мире, которые представила  Президент ИФЛА г-жа Барбара Лизон в ходе своей президентской сессии на Конгрессе ИФЛА  в августе этого года. Именно она впервые инициировала обсуждение этих тенденций. А теперь мы с коллегами предлагаем российскому библиотечному сообществу высказать своё профессиональное мнение. Мы организуем онлайн-голосование, в результате которого будут выбраны 5 тенденций, наиболее релевантных для библиотек России. Г-жа Лизон рассчитывает получить и сравнить профессиональные мнения по этому вопросу от специалистов из разных стран и использовать их в дальнейшем как основу для своей деятельности на посту Президента ИФЛА. Таким образом голос российского библиотечного сообщества будет в очередной раз хорошо услышан и учтен ИФЛА. И именно российское библиотечное сообщество становится тренд-сеттером для библиотек мира, выступая с новыми инициативами национальных обсуждений.

А через три недели у нас пройдет очередная встреча Российско-Американского библиотечного диалога, которая будет посвящена Целям устойчивого развития ООН и, в частности, вопросам работы библиотек по внедрению «зеленой повестки» – разумного потребления, ответственного отношения к себе и окружающей среде. Наша цель – запустить несколько совместных проектов библиотек Росси и США. Для этого мы создаем молодёжную рабочую группу, которая, мы надеемся, сможет быстро включиться в работу и предложить свои идеи. Вот такие у нас планы.

21:56 Дарья: Грандиозные планы! Мы с коллегами рады быть в Вашей команде! Мы надеемся, что к объявленным сейчас мероприятиям  присоединятся наши российские коллеги! Светлан, расскажите, какой еще профессией кроме библиотекаря Вы хотели бы овладеть?

22:20 Светлана: Бариста и инициатор социокультурных проектов! Хочу на пенсии организовать небольшую кофейню «Страна советов» (кто жил в СССР, поймет игру слов), буду варить кофе и давать советы по социокультурному проектированию своим посетителям))).

23:20 Дарья: Опасаюсь, что до Вашего выхода на пенсию эту идею у Вас украдут! (Смеется).

23:26 Светлана: Здесь очень широкое поле деятельности и я не боюсь конкурентов! (Смеется). Всем хватит работы. Главное, чтобы это приносило пользу людям и удовольствие нам.

23:40 Дарья: Каков Ваш последний по времени профессиональный опыт, который Вас обогатил и развил профессионально?

24:19 Светлана: Мне так понравилась недавняя международная кейс-конференция «Новые культурные пространства в мегаполисе. Библиотека», которую мы организовали в честь открытия обновленного здания Центральной городской библиотеки имени Владимира Маяковского в Санкт-Петербурге!  Кстати, этот проект завоевал в этом году звание лучшего строительного проекта Санкт-Петербурга и лучшего проекта по сохранению культурного наследия. Мы рассматривали вопросы открытия новых библиотечных пространств в мегаполисе. У нас выступали такие замечательные спикеры как Президент ИФЛА, директор городской библиотеки города Бремен Барбара Лизон  (Германия) и директор городской библиотеки города Орхусс (Дания) Мари Остергард. Меня поразил рассказ о работе этих библиотек с местным сообществом. Об их клиенто-ориентированных сервисах. О профессиональном развитии персонала. Например, в городской библиотеке Орхусса специально для сотрудников был разработан документ «Руководство по дизайн-мышлению для библиотекарей», который помогает стать более креативными в работе с пользователями. Я считаю, что нам обязательно надо перевести этот документ на русский язык для российских библиотекарей. И третий момент, который меня совершенно поразил: в этой библиотеке в центральном холле висит огромный гонг, напрямую связанный с городским родильным домом. И когда на свет появляется новый малыш, гонг громко возвещает об этом, и люди радуются. Это дает ощущение общности даже в большом городе, и местом такого единения является библиотека.

26:26 Дарья: Да, меня тоже очень впечатлил этот рассказ, потому что это настолько сплачивает местное сообщество! И последний наш специальный русский вопрос. (Улыбается). Ваше кредо?

26:43 Светлана: (Смеется) Ваше кредо! Тоже сложно определить… Мне в своё время индейцы подарили камушек, талисман, на котором написано  «DARE». Что можно перевести как «Дерзай, смей, рискуй»!!! Не надо бояться, надо двигаться вперед. И мы обязательно достигнем нашей цели.

27:40 Дарья: Светлана, большое спасибо за наш интересный содержательный разговор. Подскажите, как наши слушатели могут связаться Вами онлайн?

28:09 Светлана: контактная информация есть на сайтах организаций, где я работаю: Библиотеки иностранной литературы и Центральной городской библиотеки Санкт-Петербурга имени Владимира Маяковского. Также со мной можно связаться через Постоянный комитет секции CPDWL и через Правление Российской библиотечной ассоциации, в котором я состою. Пожалуйста, я буду очень рада.

28:48 Дарья: Ну и наверное ещё через социальные сети, например, Фейсбук, который является прекрасной площадкой для общения нашего профессионального сообщества.

28:56 Светлана: Да, в Фейсбуке много  интересных профессиональных групп, в том числе интернациональных, например, «Российско-американский библиотечный диалог», Библиотечные ассоциации мира». Спасибо большое, Дарья Александровна, как всегда было очень приятно с Вами пообщаться.

29:39 Дарья: Огромное спасибо! Нашим специальным гостем в русской серии подкаста Секции ИФЛА по непрерывному образованию и обучению на рабочем месте была Светлана Анатольевна Горохова. Дорогие наши слушатели, всего доброго, берегите себя, будьте здоровы!



00:01 Daria:

Hello, dear colleagues and friends,

The IFLA Continuous Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) Section starts a new series of podcast interviews with outstanding library field personalities. This series is devoted to Russian library experts. The interviews will be conducted in Russian and spread in the Russian language library community, while their translations into English will familiarize the English-speaking audience with the latest developments in the Russian libraries and associations. Today we present our first guest, Svetlana A. Gorokhova.

01:02 Daria:

Svetlana A. Gorokhova is an international library expert and specialist in cross-cultural library project activities. The beginning of Svetlana’s career goes back to 1989 when she started her work at the Margarita I. Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature (LFL), a federal institution of culture specializing in foreign language literatures and providing expert knowledge of cultures of the world. Svetlana steadily advanced her career, starting from a librarian and working her way up to the position of LFL Director for International Activities. She was elected member of the Russian Library Association (RLA) Governing Board and the chair of the RLA Section for International Activities. Svetlana launched and co-chaired the Russian-American Library Dialogue. She was one of the co-authors and active participants in a number of international projects to ensure the free exchange of best professional practices between libraries of the world. Since 1994, Svetlana has worked to further Russian libraries’ engagement in the IFLA activities. In 2009 – 2017, Svetlana Gorokhova was a Standing Committee (SC) member of the IFLA Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section and, in 2017 – 2021, she served as a SC member of the CPDWL Section. Currently, Svetlana combines work in two libraries: the Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow and the V. Mayakovsky Central City Library in Saint-Petersburg. Svetlana has developed insight into such issues as libraries’ international activities, comprehensive international programs for professional development, interaction between library and user, as well as the role of the library field in implementing the UN SDGs.

03:02 Daria:

Hello and welcome, Svetlana!

03:04 Svetlana:

Hello, Daria. Thanks a lot for inviting me to participate in this fantastic project. It’s great that CPDWL Section started this project. We are looking forward to listening to this podcast in other official IFLA languages. So this series is going to be in Russian. I will be happy to answer your questions.

03:43 Daria:

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Daria Beliakova. I am a SC member of the CPDWL Section and head of the LFL Center for Library Science and Professional Cooperation. Let’s begin with some traditional questions which all guests have to answer.

04:09 Daria:

So, the first question is: if you have to describe yourself using only one word, what word would it be?

04:16 Svetlana:

Well, that’s a difficult question. The first thing that springs to my mind is the word “communicator”. Because I see myself as a kind of a bridge connecting organizations, people, associations and projects. I always enjoyed this process. At times my colleagues even seem to think that it is a little bit too much of me….everywhere)) (Laughing.) But I believe in communication nothing is too much. And it is always great to have a person around who can bring things and people together)).

04:53 Daria:

Thank you! What compelled you to become a librarian? How did you get started?

05:00 Svetlana:

In a way my example is far from being prime because I came to work in the Library as a Philology graduate student, by chance, as I needed work. I was lucky to get a job in the elite unit of the Library for Foreign Literature –  Reference & Bibliography Service. It was 1989 – the time of Perestroika, we all were drunk with the spirit of freedom, the wind of change was blowing around us. I was part of a top class team, which included bibliography experts as well as new professionals. So I found myself engulfed in the world of books and intellectually insatiable people and stayed with them forever… I worked my way up from a rank-and-file librarian in the reading room. All those years I steadily advanced and finally made it to the post of Director for international activities.

7:13 Daria:

Most of your professional career is related to international library activities. What does it mean to you? How have your views changed over the years?

7:31 Svetlana:

Library for Foreign Literature is an international venue in itself, a vanguard of intercultural communication. That’s why international library activities is a natural, congenial process to me, inseparable from my professional work. While at the beginning of my career it was more of a keen interest in what was going on behind the so called ‘iron curtain’ and joy to be able to see different lines of approach to librarianship, now I am deeply aware of the need to relate one’s activities, to match approaches and cultures. All this helps to correctly evaluate where we stand. Right now I’m getting the feeling that professional international activities require strenuous efforts to keep them up, take further, reshape.

9:30 Daria:

You mentioned you were involved in professional exchange programs. Why did you choose to join the CPDWL Section? What brought you there?

9:47 Svetlana:

That’s very interesting. I went to my first WLIC in 1994 and ever since I have kept in close touch with the IFLA community. I served two terms on the Standing Committee of the IFLA Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section. Work at IFLA is always associated with making new friends, so my personal connections led me to the CPDWL Section. Susan Schnuer, Executive Director at the Mortenson Centre for International Library Programs, Illinois University, brought me to the CPDW SC and I was pleased to continue my work at IFLA in that capacity. At that time I was put in charge of the Rudomino Academy, an LFL unit dealing with professional development programs. In my opinion, the CPDWL Section is the most important because continuing education lays the groundwork for the whole library activity, any aspect of it. This is the universal condition for success of any library. I am very happy to be on the CPDWL Advisory group and to continue my work as best I can. I do hope to remain in the CPDWL ranks for a long time!

12:10 Daria:

Svetlana, I assure you that the CPDWL members hope for it too. Please share your most special memorable moment you have about IFLA or the CPDWL Section.

12:23 Svetlana:

I experiences a lot of such moments over the almost 30-year long history of my work at IFLA. Throughout the year I keep in close touch with the colleagues, but the highlight has always been at our reunion at the annual IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC). Each year WLIC is an unforgettable cultural experience, an introduction to the culture of the country, its library system. WLIC implies fruitful, concentrated communication not only with colleagues from abroad, but also with members of the national delegation, close neighbours from the CIS countries, for example. We have developed certain traditions: Russian Library Association booth at the IFLA Exhibition, the Russian Evening to celebrate Russia’s literary luminary of the year. Here’s one of the last vivid memories – Russian Evening in hot Athens (Greece) when representatives of almost every national delegation came to us and read poems by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin in their native languages. These are the heartening moments which bond us together. I hope that next year in Dublin we will be able to have the Russian Evening dedicated to the wonderful poet of the Silver Age Marina Tsvetayeva, her anniversary. These are my memories. And, of course, people, human connections come to my mind first.

14:23 Daria:

Thanks, Svetlana! You sound so inspired talking about your career that to my mind, you are a happy person! Tell us what you like best about your profession.

14:42 Svetlana:

Each librarian answers this question differently. As I mentioned earlier, it is very important for me to communicate with people – users, colleagues, and partners. On my professional journey I met many interesting, distinguished personalities, it happened first of all due to my work in the Library for Foreign Literature. I would also like to mention endless opportunities for intellectual development. Creativity of the profession that allows you to give birth to incredible projects and implement them for the benefit of all. As well as the opportunity to make the world a little more reasonable and a little bit better. I’m very grateful to the fate, my parents and colleagues. I think we’ve done a lot of great things together and this warms my heart. (Smiling.)

16:28 Daria:

What is your lifehack for continuing professional education? Could you share how you manage to keep pace with the times?

16:42 Svetlana:

(Laughing) I wish I could keep pace with the times! I made some rules for myself: every day learn something new. Develop a habit, on a daily basis, to allocate the time to fill in the gaps which you spot in your education, acquire the relevant competencies. As we are going “super digital” now, we need to gain software skills for being and holding events online, for webcasting. I try to keep record of all situations when I stumble and catch up later. But of course, it’s a goal I haven’t reached yet, but I’m going for it! (Smiling.) To our regret, it’s a sort of luxury: we all have very little time. But there is a belief that the less you rush, the more you do. (Laughing.) It is also very important to be open and to communicate with colleagues. Often we don’t know what’s going on just round the corner. So networking is a must!

19:00 Daria:

Thank you, we will try to learn from your experience. Sometimes, the only time you have for personal development is on the subway, commuting. (Laughing.) Svetlana, what are the things you’re working on right now? What interesting projects are underway?

19:31 Svetlana:

Right now my colleagues and I are working on a fantastic virtual event entitled “Global Libraries” to be held on 30 November 2021. We plan to focus  on the 20 trends which define the development of the global library field, which t IFLA President Barbara Lison presented at her IFLA WLIC session in August 2021. It was Barbara Lison who first initiated discussion of these long-term trends. Now the 20 trends are going to be the focal point of the nation-wide discussion in Russia. We invited the Russian library community to express its professional opinion and to vote online for five trends, which they deem most relevant to Russian libraries. President Lison expects to receive and compare the choice of national library communities and to use the results in her presidential activities. In this way, the voice of the Russian library community will once again be well-heard and taken into account by IFLA.

In about three weeks time we are going to have another meeting of the US-Russia Dialog, which will be devoted to the UN SDGs and, in particular, libraries’ role in the implementation of the ‘green agenda’ promoting sustainable consumption, responsible personal and environmental behaviour. Our aim is to launch several joint projects involving libraries in the US and Russia and to make it happen we invited young specialists to share their ideas. We hope that they will be able to join out group to enrich and activate our work. These are the plans we have.

21:56 Daria:

Ambitious plans! My colleagues and I are happy to be on your team! We hope that our Russian colleagues will join the events we’ve just announced! Svetlana, please tell us whether there was any other profession, other than librarianship, that you would have wished to obtain.

22:20 Svetlana:

Barista and initiator of sociocultural projects! Once I’ve retired I would start a little coffee shop (I adore coffee), “Strana Sovetov or the Country of Advises”, make coffee and give my clients advice on sociocultural project development. (Smiling.)

23:20 Daria:

This idea of yours might get stolen before you retire, I am afraid. (Laughing.)

23:26 Svetlana:

The field for this kind of activities is so broad and I am sure everyone could find enough space for being part of this landscape. Everyone is welcome! (Laughing.) There’ll be room for everyone. The idea is to make things better for everyone, be useful, and enjoy it.

23:40 Daria:

Could you share with us your latest professional experience, which has enriched and developed you professionally?

24:19 Svetlana:

I really enjoyed the recent international case conference «New Cultural Spaces in Metropolis. Library» organized to celebrate the re-opening of the main building of the V. Mayakovsky Central City Library in Saint Petersburg. Incidentally, this project won the title of the best construction project of Saint Petersburg and the best project on preservation of cultural heritage this year. We discussed the opening of new library spaces in the metropolis. We had such great speakers as Barbara Lison, the director of the Bremen City Library, and Marie Östergaard, the director of the Aarhus City Library. I was impressed by the story of how these libraries work with the local community. As well as client-oriented services and professional development of the staff. For instance, “Design Thinking for Libraries” guide was developed in the Library and actively used by the staff. This guide helps to become more creative in working with users. I think we should translate this document into Russian for Russian librarians. And one more thing that struck me. In the central hall of this library there is a huge gong hanging high up and directly connected to the city maternity ward. When a new baby comes into the world, the gong sounds loudly bringing this news, and all who hear it rejoice. So a sense of community is possible even in a big city. And the library turns into a place which upholds it.

26:26 Daria:

Yes, me too. I was deeply impressed by this story. Because it has such a cohesive effect upon the local community! And now our last question, a special Russian one. (Smiling.) What is your creed?

26:43 Svetlana:

(Laughing.) The creed? Hard to define… Once Indians presented me with a little stone, a mascot with the inscription: “DARE”, which I interpreted as a call to be daring: If we fearlessly go forward, then we are sure to reach our goal.

27:40 Daria:

Svetlana, thank you very much for this interesting thought provoking interview. Please tell our listeners how to contact you online.

28:09 Svetlana:

My contact information is available on the websites of Library for Foreign Literature and V. Mayakovsky Central City Library in Saint-Petersburg. You can also reach me through the CPDWL Standing Committee and the RLA Board, to which I am a member. Feel free to contact me.

28:48 Daria:

I presume, through the social networks, as well. Particularly, FB, which is a perfect communication platform for our professional community.

28:56 Svetlana:

Yes, there are plenty of interesting professional groups on FB, including international ones, such as “Russian-American Library Dialog”, “Library Associations of the World”. Thanks a lot, Daria. It was, as always, a great pleasure to talk to you.

29:39 Daria:

Thank you so much! Today Svetlana Gorokhova was our special guest in the Russian-language series of the CPDWL podcast. Dear listeners, we wish you all the best! Take care!

CPDWL Podcast Project Season 3, Episode 2: Ulrike Lang and Almuth Gastinger on Coaching (in German/Auf Deutsch)

Colleagues, we are excited to announce the our second episode of the CPDWL Podcast Project (Season 3) where we feature library and information professionals who support and participate in professional development work. This episode is in German.

To see the episode, see here:

Our guests are Ulrike Lang, CPDWL Co-Chair, Almuth Gastinger, CPDWL Secretary.

Ulrike Lang

Almuth Gastinger

Transcript and translation are below. Transcribed/Translated by Ulrike Lang and Almuth Gastinger.


Ulrike: Herzlich willkommen zu einer neuen Folge des Podcasts der IFLA Sektion für berufliche Fort- und Weiterbildung, CPDWL. Mein Name ist Ulrike Lang. Ich bin derzeit Chair der Sektion und Organisatorin der Coaching Arbeitsgruppe. Bis 2020 war ich in der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky zuständig für die Ausbildung, die Fort- und Weiterbildung, sowie für Gesundheitsmanagement und Suchtprävention. Unterhalten möchte ich mich heute über die Anfänge, Entwicklung und Zukunft des Coaching Programms der IFLA mit Almuth Gastinger, die sich am besten selbst vorstellt.

Almuth: Ja, ich heiße also Almuth Gastinger und arbeite als Fachreferentin für Mathematik und Maschinenbau an der Bibliothek der Norwegischen Universität für Naturwissenschaften und Technologie (kurz NTNU genannt) in Trondheim. Ich bin aber Deutsche und habe an der TU Ilmenau studiert und promoviert, bevor ich vor 24 Jahren nach Norwegen gezogen bin. Seit August diesen Jahres bin ich Schriftführerin der Sektion CPDWL, und ich bin wie Ulrike bei der Coaching-Arbeitsgruppe dabei.

Almuth fragt:  Ulrike, wie bist Du eigentlich zu der Arbeitsgruppe gekommen?

Ulrike: Von Beginn an ab 2017 war ich Mitglied der Planungsgruppe. Damals nur als Consultant der Sektion, da meine offizielle vorherige Amtszeit von 2007 bis 2015 beendet war. 2015 wurde ich zwar Mitglied der Sektion für Aus- und Fortbildung, aber mein Herz und meine beruflichen Neigungen hingen weiter an den angeschobenen Projekten von CPDWL. Daher habe ich mich dieser interessanten Arbeitsgruppe zum Coaching gleich angeschlossen.

Ulrike: Und Du?

Almuth: Ich konnte mich gar nicht mehr genau erinnern, ab wann ich dabei war, aber die Unterlagen zeigen, dass ich auch schon seit 2017 dabei bin. Auf dem Weltkongress in Wroclaw hat sich unsere Arbeitsgruppe das erste Mal getroffen und angefangen, ein Konzept für ein Coaching-Pilotprogramm auf dem Weltkongress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur zu erarbeiten. Das war sehr spannend und ist es immer noch.

Almuth fragt: Und warum genau bietet denne CPDWL Coaching an?

Ulrike: das Ziel der Sektion ist schon seit vielen Jahren, partizipative Veranstaltungsformate anzubieten, die über das reguläre Vortragsformat hinausgehen und die Teilnehmenden in ihrer Kreativität fordern und fördern, denn für reine Vortragsveranstaltungen muss ich nicht mehr um die Welt reisen. So veranstalten wir z.B. gemeinsam mit der Sektion Wissensmanagement seit vielen Jahren auf dem Weltkongress ein sogenanntes Knowledge Café, jährlich zu unterschiedlichsten Themen mit verschiedensten Unterthemen. Dort können und sollen alle Beteiligten mitdiskutieren und eigene Erfahrungen einbringen. Geplant sind nur die Themen an den runden Tischen, es gibt eine Moderation und eine Person, die die Ergebnisse notiert. Der Verlauf der Diskussion und die eigentlichen Ergebnisse ergeben sich aus den Beiträgen der am Tisch Sitzenden. 2017 kam die Idee auf, ein Coaching auf einfacher Basis anzubieten, da einige aus unserer Sektion aus ihrer direkten Umgebung den Bedarf nach Unterstützung am Arbeitsplatz erfahren haben. Für den Kongress 2018 wurden Gruppencoachings geplant. Wir hatten überhaupt keine Idee, ob das Angebot im Stress der alternativen Veranstaltungen überhaupt angenommen würde und unsere Erwartungen schwankten zwischen “niemand kommt” bis zu “wir werden hoffnungslos überlaufen werden”. 

Almuth:  Coaching ist ja eine tolle Methode, um sich Herausforderungen zu stellen und Probleme zu lösen, finde ich. Wobei das nicht heisst, dass einem der Coach, sagt, was man tun soll, sondern dass man gemeinsam Lösungen erarbeitet. Coaching wird also definiert als “partnerschaftliche Zusammenarbeit zwischen Coach und Coachee (also die Person, die gecoacht wird) in einem zum Nachdenken anregenden und kreativen Prozess, der die Coachees dazu inspiriert, ihr persönliches und berufliches Potenzial zu maximieren”. Und das wollte unsere Sektion eben allen Teilnehmern des Weltkongresses anbieten.

Ulrike fragt: Erinnerst Du Dich noch, wie unsere Zusammenarbeit mit der Sektion Management & Marketing zustande kam?

Almuth: Ja. Nach dem ersten Durchgang des Coachings während des Weltkongresses in Kuala Lumpur haben wir uns nach einem Partner umgesehen, der erfahrene Kolleginnen und Kollegen in seinen Reihen hat und an einer Zusammenarbeit interessiert sein könnte. Denn nach der ersten Durchführung war uns klar, dass das Programm Potenzial hat, aber eben auch das die Suche nach erfahrenen Kolleginnen und Kollegen, die als Coach eingesetzt werden könnten, nur in unseren eigenen Reihen zu begrenzt ist. Da Management & Marketing in der selben Division, bisher die sogenannte Division 4, gewesen ist, war die Anfrage bei ihnen naheliegend. Außerdem sieht es die IFLA gern, wenn es eine Kooperation oder Zusammenarbeit zwischen Sektionen gibt. 

Ulrike: Ja, das stimmt. Seit 2018 nach dem Kongress in Kuala Lumpur arbeiten wir zusammen und das funktioniert richtig gut. Dadurch haben wir noch mehr Ideen für die weitere Arbeit bzw. Umsetzung bekommen, und die Arbeitsbelastung wurde auch besser verteilt. Und seit etwa 2 Jahren haben wir eine Kollegin dabei, die als Educational Coach ausgebildet ist und auch in diesem Bereich beruflich arbeitet. Sie hat für uns die meisten der jetzt vorhandenen Weiterbildungsunterlagen erarbeitet und kostenlos zur Verfügung gestellt. Diese Schulungsdokumente wurden auch in mehrere Sprachen übersetzt, u.a. ins Deutsche. Ich finde, sie sind eine tolle Grundlage, um zu lernen, was Coaching ist und wie eine Coaching-Sitzung durchgeführt wird. Hier also gleich schon einmal der Tipp, sich die Informationen und  Dokumenten auf der Website unserer Sektion, zu der man über die Webseite der IFLA kommt, anzuschauen.

Almuth fragt: Ich möchte nochmal auf den IFLA-Kongress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur zurückkommen. Wie genau lief denn nun die erste Coaching-session dort?

Ulrike: Im Vorfeld haben wir bei den Coaches abgefragt, in welchen allgemeinen Themengebieten sie sich fit fühlen würden, z.B. Veränderungsmanagement, Führung, Marketing, Arbeitsorganisation, Wissensmanagement oder Gesundheitsmanagement. Am Eingang des Raumes haben wir eine Übersichtstafel angebracht, an der man sehen konnte, an welchen Tischen welche Coaches mit welchen Themenschwerpunkten zu finden waren. Die Idee war nun, dass Kolleginnen und Kollegen am Eingang eine Einteilung der interessierten Coachees vornehmen sollten. Das hat nicht immer geklappt, vor allem hat es durchaus schon zu längeren Diskussionen am Eingang geführt, was ja nicht unbedingt Sinn der Sache gewesen ist. Da der Ansturm dann doch erheblich größer war, als von uns vermutet, mussten wir auch gleich mehrere Interessierte pro Tisch zuweisen. Die Coaches sollten dann jeweils selbst entscheiden, ob es quasi zu einem Gruppencoaching kam, wenn die Themen ähnlich oder identisch waren oder man die Diskretion soweit aufgeben konnte, dass andere Interessierte zuhörten, während man mit einem Coachee sein/ihr Problem besprach. 

Almuth: Ja, ich erinnere mich noch gut daran, dass es ein wenig chaotisch war. Eines der Probleme, dass sich herausgestellt hat, war dass viele Interessierte gar nicht wussten, was Coaching ist. D.h. viele haben erwartet, dass man ihnen Tipps gibt, wie man Probleme löst oder in der Karriere weiterkommt. Also eher ein Mentoring, eine Beratung. Manche Teilnehmer hatten auch einfach nur Fragen zum Weltverband IFLA und wie dieser arbeitet, d.h. sie wollten nichts weiter als eine Antwort auf eine Frage. Und wenn man nur eine konkrete Information möchte, da passt natürlich auch kein Coaching,

Ulrike: Das stimmt. Zu meinem Tisch kamen fast gleichzeitig fünf Kolleginnen, alle aus dem Nahen Osten, die sich zwar nicht kannten, aber dennoch einen Tisch gemeinsam aufsuchen wollten. Und die Fragen waren eher so, dass ich sie als Kollegin mit langjähriger Berufserfahrung schnell hätte beantworten können. Oder es waren Fragen zu den Strukturen der IFLA. Ich habe die Zeit dann zum Teil dazu genutzt, sie über die Spielregeln des Coachings aufzuklären. 

Almuth: Und was haben wir daraus gelernt, d.h. was wurde dann auf dem IFLA-Kongress 2019 in Athen anders gemacht?

Ulrike: Als erstes haben wir die Themenaufteilung beendet und als weiteres Kriterium die Sprachkenntnisse eingefügt. Manchmal ist es ja schon eine Herausforderung, das Problem, welches einen umtreibt, präzise zu beschreiben. Viel schwieriger ist es dann noch, dies in einer fremden Sprache zu tun. Uns war klar, dass die meiste Nachfrage nach englischem Coaching bestehen würde, aber Ziel war es, daneben wenigstens die offiziellen weiteren IFLA-Sprachen anbieten zu können, also Arabisch, Chinesisch, Französisch, Russisch, Spanisch und Deutsch. Unsere Coaches konnten sogar noch weitere Sprachen hinzufügen wie z.B. Italienisch und Schwedisch. Und natürlich ist es auch für einen Coach leichter, die richtigen, konkreten Fragen in ihrer/seiner Muttersprache zu stellen, denn im Coaching ist es ja viel wichtiger für einen Coach, die richtigen Fragen zu stellen, als detaillierte Kenntnisse des Problemkomplexes zu haben. Daher machte die Themenaufteilung wirklich keinen Sinn. Die Kolleginnen und Kollegen am Eingang hatten vielmehr die Tische im Blick und haben dafür gesorgt, dass die interessierten Coachees nicht zu lange auf ein Gespräch in der von ihnen gewünschten Sprache warten mussten. 

Almuth: Ja, das war eine deutliche Verbesserung, finde ich. Individuelles Coaching ist natürlich viel besser als Gruppencoaching. Wir haben ja 30 Kolleginnen und Kollegen als Coaches werben können und mehr als 50 Konferenzteilnehmer haben sich dann coachen lassen. Die Coaching sessions dauerten so um die 30 min, einige aber noch länger. Um das ganze logistisch besser handhaben zu können, gab es eine kleine Gruppe, die die Teilnehmer willkommen geheißen hat, die Email-Adressen registriert und die Leute dann zu den passenden Coaches geführt hat. Und nach den Gesprächen wurde dann auch ein erstes Feedback erfragt, d.h. mit einem entsprechenden Smiley. Ein konkretes Feedback haben wir ja nach dem Kongress eingeholt, mit einer kleinen Umfrage, die Coaches und Coachees beantworten sollten und auch getan haben. Alle Rückmeldungen waren sehr positiv, d.h. der Coaching-Ansatz wird als eine exzellente Methode angesehen, um eigene Leistungen zu verbessern und um Probleme zu lösen. Wobei die Coaches auch diesmal berichteten, dass es zum Teil schwierig ist, Coaching und Mentoring zu trennen. Coaching heißt ja, sehr aufmerksam zuzuhören und offene Fragen zu stellen, so dass der/die Coachee selbst die beste Lösung findet. Das ist aber eben oft schwerer, als einfach zu beraten und Tipps zu geben.

Was wir noch gemacht haben, war ja die Organisation eines Webinars zum Thema Coaching im Mai 2019, also vor dem Kongress in Athen. Das war vor allem ein Angebot an diejenigen, die sich bereit erklärt hatten, als Coaches zu fungieren. Es wurde also darüber gesprochen, was Coaching eigentlich ist, welche Methoden es gibt, wie man offene Fragen stellt und welche Herausforderungen entstehen können. Ein richtig gutes und nützliches Webinar.

Almuth: Und für 2020 waren wir auch gut vorbereitet auf eine neue Runde Coaching, die auf dem Weltkongress in Dublin stattfinden sollte, der dann ja aber leider abgesagt werden musste.  

Ulrike: Genau. In zahlreichen Zoom Meetings der Arbeitsgruppe haben wir einstündige Online Coachings geplant und zwar genau in der Woche, in der ursprünglich der Kongress hätte stattfinden sollen. Wir sind davon ausgegangen, dass sich viele Kolleginnen und Kollegen diesen Zeitraum eh für die Teilnahme reserviert hatten. 14 Kolleginnen und Kollegen hatten sich für dieses Online Coaching als Coach zur Verfügung gestellt und ich glaube, online zu coachen war für alle neu. Um die Coaching-Sitzungen zu buchen, haben wir das Tool Calendly benutzt. Das hatte aber leider eine eingeschränkte Funktionsweise, zumindest für unsere Zwecke, vor allem was die Buchungen in verschiedenen Zeitzonen betrifft. Jede Buchung musste händisch eingepflegt werden. Weshalb wir uns entschieden haben, ein neues Tool zu suchen, d.h. wir sind dann für 2021 bei Squarespace scheduling gelandet.  

Worauf unsere Arbeitsgruppe noch sehr stolz sein kann, finde ich, sind die schon erwähnten Schulungsunterlagen in allen 7 IFLA-Sprachen. Unsere Kollegin aus Kanada, die auch als zertifizierter Coach arbeitet, hat diese Dokumente wie gesagt 2020 erarbeitet, und Kolleginnen und Kollegen aus aller Welt haben diese dann übersetzt. Du und ich haben dabei die Übersetzung ins Deutsche übernommen. Und zusätzlich zu den Schulungsunterlagen, die in der englischen Sprache auch als Videos aufgenommen wurden, haben wir auch noch Webinare durchgeführt. D.h. Vera Keown, die erwähnte Kollegin aus Kanada, stand für Fragen und Diskussionen live zur Verfügung. Und da die am Coaching interessierten Kollegen in der ganzen Welt verteilt sind, wurden die Webinare passend zu verschiedenen Zeitzonen angeboten.

Die Schulungsunterlagen bestehen aus 5 Teilen, angefangen von einer Einführung ins Coaching, über Coaching-Prinzipien und das Coaching-Gespräch, bis hin zu Fertigkeiten, was das Zuhören und Feedback-geben anbelangt.

Zum Beispiel vermitteln die Unterlagen die Unterschiede zwischen Management, Mentoring, Beratung und Coaching. Sie zeigen auf, welche Herausforderungen Coaching angehen kann, wie z.B. eine Optimierung der Arbeitsleistung, die Definition von eigenen Stärken und Schwächen, Karrierechancen, oder eine Verbesserung der Unternehmensführungsstrategien. Es wird auch vermittelt, was aktives Zuhören bedeutet, sowie die Definition von offenen Fragen, natürlich immer mit entsprechenden Beispielen.

Almuth: Offene Fragen sind ja nicht so einfach, denn sie werden ja gestellt, um den Coachee zum Nachdenken anzuregen. Oft stellt man nur Fragen, auf die man mit einem Ja oder Nein antwortet, was aber beim Coaching nicht weiterhilft. 

Einfache und kraftvolle offene Fragen sind zum Beispiel.

Was wollen Sie erreichen?

Wie sieht für Sie Erfolg aus?

Wie haben Sie in der Vergangenheit Probleme gelöst?

Was werden Sie tun? 

Und um mal offene und geschlossene Fragen gegenüberzustellen, habe ich noch 2 Beispiele:

Eine geschlossene Frage wäre “Gibt es einen Grund, warum Sie feststecken?” Während eine offene Frage wäre: “Was steht dem im Weg?”

Oder ein anderes Beispiel:

Statt nur zu fragen “Haben Sie mit Ihrem Vorgesetzten gesprochen?” sollte man lieber fragen “Was haben Sie bereits getan, um das Problem anzugehen?”.

Ulrike: Sehr gute Beispiele, Almuth. Ich mag ja auch Fragen wie: Was sind Ihre Stärken oder auch Was wird passieren, wenn Sie nichts tun? Aber gehen wir doch noch ein bisschen genauer auf unsere Erfahrungen in diesem Jahr ein. 

Almuth: Ja klar. Für dieses Jahr, also 2021, in dem der Weltkongress jetzt im August online stattgefunden hat, hatten wir uns entschieden, Coaching auch wieder online anzubieten. Diesmal in der Woche vor dem Kongress und in der Woche danach, um allen, die am weiteren Programm des Kongresses teilnehmen wollten, keine Terminkollisionen zu bescheren. Wir haben über verschiedene soziale Medien angefragt, wer als Coach in unserem Programm mitmachen möchte und haben 25 positive Antworten erhalten. Und die ersten Rückmeldungen von Coaches und Coachees zeigen, dass es wieder ein Erfolg war. Vor allem die Coachees sind sehr dankbar, die Möglichkeit zu bekommen, gecoacht zu werden. Es gibt natürlich immer noch Verbesserungsmöglichkeiten, vor allem in der Organisation, darüber werden wir dann in den kommenden Monaten in unserer Arbeitsgruppe genauer sprechen. 

Ulrike:  Die Rückmeldungen sind sehr positiv. Insgesamt hatten wir 122 Buchungen. Ich weiß allerdings nicht genau, wie viele davon wirklich stattgefunden haben. Ich hatte z.B. auch eine Anfrage, da hat sich der Coachee aber nach der ersten Kontaktaufnahme nie wieder gemeldet. Für Coaches wurde im Vorfeld vereinbart, dass nach der ersten Terminanfrage ein Link zu den Informationen zur Vorbereitung für Coachees verschickt wird. Diese Informationen sind auch auf unserer Website hinterlegt und enthalten fünf kurze Fragen, deren Beantwortung es dem Coach etwas leichter machen sollte, sich auf das Gespräch vorzubereiten. Sobald die Antworten bei mir eintrafen, habe ich den Link für unser Zoom Meeting verschickt. Vielleicht auch interessant: Meine 12 Buchungen waren alle mit Zoom als Plattform einverstanden. Das scheint sich also jetzt in den Zeiten der Pandemie wirklich als eine sehr verbreitete Plattform weltweit etabliert zu haben. 

Almuth: Ich war ja diesmal nicht als Coach dabei, d.h. ich kann nicht aus eigener Erfahrung sprechen. Aber Du kannst das. Erzählst Du noch etwas mehr darüber, wie Du die diesjährigen Coaching-Sitzungen empfunden hast? Welche Themen gab es und woher kamen eigentlich Deine Coachees?

Ulrike: Das war wirklich ein bunter Strauß quer über den Globus. Interessanterweise wurde nur ein Coaching auf deutsch bei mir angefragt von einer Kollegin aus der Schweiz. Da ging es um eine zukünftige Führungsaufgabe. Die anderen kamen aus Irland, Kroatien, Russland, Südafrika, dem Iran, Südkorea, Puerto Rico, Bolivien und dem Libanon. Einige Themenstellungen wären grundsätzlich besser für ein Mentoring geeignet gewesen, z.B. wenn es darum ging wie man Auslandskontakte bekommt für ein Praktikum. Wiederkehrendes Coaching-Thema war aber z.B. auch Work-Life-Balance und Burnout oder die Problematik der Überlastung weil man nicht gut im Delegieren ist.  Das Nicht-Delegieren können oder die Angst, wichtige Tätigkeiten abzugeben und dadurch an Einfluss und Wissen zu verlieren, ist übrigens ein ganz typisches Coaching Thema, auf das man wunderbar mit den schon erwähnten offenen Fragen reagieren kann. Genauso bei Schwierigkeiten im oder mit dem Team.

Die Gespräche waren jedenfalls alle super spannend, alle waren sich einig, dass die eine Stunde gut investierte Zeit gewesen ist  und mit einigen werde ich weiterhin im Kontakt bleiben, einfach weil es mich interessiert, wie es für sie weitergeht und was sie umsetzen können. Und auch sie möchten mit mir im Gespräch bleiben, ganz außerhalb eines regulären Coachings. 

Gerade die Gespräche mit den Kolleginnen aus dem Iran und dem Libanon waren für mich extrem interessant. Natürlich wurde zumindest am Rande auch immer das Thema Pandemie gestreift, aber ich habe z.B. nicht gewusst, dass Homeoffice für viele Beschäftigte im Libanon nicht aus Gründen der Eindämmung der Pandemie angeordnet wird, sondern auf Grund von Mängeln in der Energieversorgung, z.B. um den Nahverkehr zu entlasten oder die Stromversorgung, die während unseres Gesprächs mehrfach in Beirut unterbrochen wurde. 

Und die meisten hatten noch nie an einer IFLA Konferenz teilgenommen und freuten sich sehr über dieses niederschwellige Angebot. Das ist vielleicht auch ein wichtiger Hinweis für die Offiziellen bei der IFLA, dass die Online-Konferenz mit einem reduzierten Teilnahmebetrag  einen anderen Kreis von Teilnehmenden eröffnet.

Almuth fragt: Das hört sich ja richtig spannend an. Sowohl was die Themen angeht als auch die Herkunft Deiner Coachees. Wie sieht es denn IN deutschland aus, d.h. haben denn deutsche Bibliotheksverbände schon einmal Coaching für ihre Mitglieder angeboten?

Ulrike: Es gab vor einigen Jahren mal ein Angebot des Mentoring beim Berufsverband Information Bibliothek BIB. Eine Handvoll Mentor*innen bekam eine Handvoll Mentees zugeteilt. Dabei wurde darauf geachtet, dass eine gewisse räumliche Nähe bestand und die Institutionen vergleichbar waren, also z.B. beide aus wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken oder beide aus Öffentlichen.

Ich selbst habe auch dabei als Mentorin teilgenommen mit einem Mentee aus der Nähe von Berlin. Wir haben uns lediglich auf dem Bibliothekartag in Berlin kennengelernt und danach per Skype, Telefon und Email Kontakt gehalten. Etwas über ein Jahr haben wir miteinander kommuniziert, wobei es für uns beide das erste Mal war und ich das Gefühl hatte, dass es meinem Mentee mehr darum ging, jemand Aussenstehenden zu haben, die die Probleme anhörte, als den Lösungen zu folgen, die ich versucht habe anzubieten. Im Mentoring ist es ja ganz ähnlich wie im Coaching. Beide Seiten müssen unbedingt dazu bereit sein, sich auf das Verfahren einzulassen. Was letztendlich Coachee oder Mentee aus dem Besprochenen und Erlebten machen, ist allein ihre Sache.

Almuth: Ich kann auch noch kurz über ein Angebot in Norwegen berichten. Auch wenn der Fokus dabei nicht auf Coaching liegt, denke ich, dass es interessant ist. 

Die Norwegische Vereinigung der Bibliothekare, einer von mehreren Bibliotheksverbänden in Norwegen, hat im September 2019 ein sogenanntes Mentorenprogramm für Bibliothekchefs gestartet. Alle Bibliotheksleiter in Norwegen können daran teilnehmen, egal ob sie Mitglied im Verband sind oder nicht. Das Programm hat zum Ziel, den Erfahrungsaustausch zu fördern, Weiterbildungsmöglichkeiten anzubieten, Netzwerke und Beziehungen zu stärken, auch zwischen Mitarbeitern unterschiedlicher Bibliothekstypen, und die Entwicklung des Bibliothekswesens generell positiv zu beeinflussen.

Der Bibliotheksverband arrangiert dabei Meetings zwischen Managern, die sich in unterschiedlichen Phasen ihrer Karriere befinden. D.h. ein Manager oder eine Managerin, der/die noch eher wenig Erfahrungen hat, wird sich mit jemandem treffen, die/der schon länger eine Leitungsfunktion innehat. Und umgekehrt. Der- oder diejenige, die sich beraten lassen möchten, können bis zu 3 Mentoren vorschlagen. Es wird erwartet, dass sich die Teilnehmenden weiterentwickeln wollen, dass sie offen für Input von anderen sind, über eigene Herausforderungen reflektieren, sich voll auf das Programm konzentrieren und sich Zeit für 6-8 Treffen pro Jahr nehmen.

U.a. werden Bzw wurden folgende Themen vorgeschlagen:

  • Die Rolle als Leitungsperson.
  • Ein schwieriges Gespräch.
  • Die Karriere.
  • Leitungsanforderungen und Leitungsstile.
  • Stärken und Schwächen als Managerin.

Ich glaube, dieses Programm ist eine Mischung aus Coaching und Mentoring, aber man hat es eben Mentorenprogramm genannt. Wer mehr dazu hören möchte, kann mich gern kontaktieren.

Ulrike: Das ist auch eine interessante Initiative. Manche Zuhörerin und mancher Zuhörer mag denken, wozu braucht es eigentlich ein Coaching im internationalen Rahmen, wie es mit der Initiative von CPDWL und M&M in der IFLA angeboten wird. Das kann ich doch in meiner Bibliothek, meiner Institution zuhause haben mit Vorgesetzten oder mit jemandem aus dem Kollegenkreis. Doch es wird auch manche geben, die befürchten einen Gesichtsverlust oder Nachteile in der eigenen Hierarchie, wenn sie Schwächen eingestehen oder offen Probleme artikulieren, z.B. mit dem Team. Das ist natürlich von Kultur zu Kultur unterschiedlich, aber ich habe bei meinen Coachings mehrfach die Rückmeldung erhalten, dass es von Coachees als äußerst angenehm empfunden wurde, dass der Coach nicht zur eigenen Organisation gehört und die beteiligten Personen nicht kennt und im Vorfeld das Problem nicht bewertet.

Almuth: Ich kann das nur bestätigen. Ich persönlich würde auch einen Coach bevorzugen, der nicht aus meiner eigenen Institution kommt. Da muss ich dann nicht überlegen, was ich sagen kann oder sollte, sondern wirklich richtig offen und ehrlich sein. 

Ulrike: Um noch einmal auf das nationale norwegische Programm zurückzukommen. Vor kurzem war unser Arbeitsgruppenmitglied Vera Keown an einem weiteren Webinar zum Coaching beteiligt. Dabei wurde auch über das kanadische Programm des Bibliotheksverbandes von British Columbia kurz erwähnt. Bedingt durch die Corona Pandemie wurden dort für 2021 Gelder bereitgestellt, um den Verbandsmitgliedern  bis zu zehn Sitzungen mit professionellen Coaches zu ermöglichen. Der Verband trägt dabei 50 % der Kosten. Wir möchten mit den kanadischen Kolleginnen und Kollegen kooperieren und über Blog, Webinar oder Podcast unsere gemeinsamen Vorstellungen verbreiten.

Almuth: Stimmt, über Kosten haben wir ja noch gar nicht gesprochen. Ein professionelles Coaching kann ja wirklich schnell ins Geld gehen, denn die Stundensätze von professionellen Coaches sind meistens ziemlich hoch und oft benötigt man mehrere Sitzungen, um die Fragestellung oder Herausforderung ausreichend zu behandeln. Und auch deshalb kann diese IFLA Initiative ein sehr guter Einstieg dafür sein, kostenlos zu prüfen (kostenlos jedenfalls für registrierte Teilnehmende des Weltkongresses), ob diese Methode mir bei der Problemlösung helfen kann.

Ulrike: Das sehe ich genauso. Deshalb hoffen wir sehr, dass unser Vorschlag, für die Konferenz im kommenden Jahr in Dublin sowohl eine Session vor Ort mit Coaches und Coachees als auch erneut das Online Coaching via Zoom oder anderer Meeting Plattformen anbieten zu können, angenommen wird.

Unsere Vorstellung ist dabei, dass wiederum jede/jeder angemeldete Teilnehmende entweder ein face to face oder ein Online Coaching buchen kann. Vorausgesetzt die Registrierungsgebühr für die entsprechende Teilnahmeform wurde an die IFLA entrichtet. Das prüft  die IFLA dann nach Eingang der Anmeldung bei uns.

Almuth: Damit sind wir ja schon bei den Planungen für 2022. Unsere Arbeitsgruppe hat ja auf ihrem letzten Online-Treffen beschlossen, dass es nach Möglichkeit wieder eine zweistündige Veranstaltung in Dublin geben soll und daneben eben die Online Coachings in der Woche vor und der Woche nach dem Kongress, um zeitliche Kollisionen mit anderen Programmen zu vermeiden. Ausserdem werden wir im Rahmen der Projektförderung durch die IFLA eine finanzielle und personelle Unterstützung für die Buchungsplattform beantragen. Squarespace ermöglicht nämlich nicht nur die Terminbuchung, sondern auch das Einfügen von Fotos der Coaches und eine kurze Biographie derselben. Das wollen wir für die nächste Buchungsperiode verpflichtend machen.

Ulrike: Ja, das ist eine sinnvolle Ergänzung. Ich habe am Ende meiner diesjährigen Coaching Sitzungen immer gefragt, warum sie denn ein Coaching bei mir gebucht haben. Die Coaches waren alphabetisch nach Vornamen gelistet und am Anfang hatte ich vermutet, dass ich gar keine Buchung erhalten würden, denn mit U war ich der vorletzte Eintrag in der Liste und hatte nicht erwartet, dass viele bis ganz nach unten scrollen würden. Daher war ich dann doch sehr überrascht, dass es letztendlich 12 Buchungen wurden. Die Antwort war dann von einigen, dass sie nach Bildern geschaut hatten, wer sympathisch aussah, aber auch, wer schon etwas älter war, weil man dort mehr Erfahrung vermutete. Es ist also sehr sinnvoll, für alle Coaches Bilder und kurze Beschreibung des Arbeitsumfeldes einzufügen.

Daneben wollen wir noch Stimmen von diesjährigen Teilnehmenden sammeln, die ein bisschen ausführlicher über ihre Erfahrungen berichten. Natürlich anonym. Das ist bestimmt auch interessant für diejenigen, die noch überlegen, ob sie in der Zukunft mal teilnehmen sollten. Diese Stimmungsbilder werden wir im CPDWL Blog oder unserem nächsten Newsletter im Januar 2022 veröffentlichen.

Es lohnt sich also in der Zukunft, mindestens einem Social Media Kanal der Sektion für berufliche Fort- und Weiterbildung zu folgen, wenn man am Thema Coaching interessiert ist.

Und da wir schon von einem weiteren europäischen Bibliotheksverband und einer deutschen Fachhochschule zu unseren Erfahrungen angefragt worden sind, werden wir als Arbeitsgruppe sicherlich auch mit weiteren Publikationen, die über unsere Arbeit berichten, beschäftigt sein.

Ach ja und falls Sie, liebe Zuhörende, Interesse haben, als Coach bei uns mitzumachen oder Dokumente und Informationen in welche Sprache auch immer zu übersetzen, melden Sie sich doch bitte. Und den Gender Gap würden wir natürlich auch gerne verkleinern, denn sowohl bei den Coaches und unserem Übersetzungsteam, als auch den Coachees sind die weiblichen in der deutlichen Überzahl. Für interessierte Coachees wird es Aufrufe geben, wenn wir Termine festgelegt haben. 

Jetzt hoffen wir, dass wir ein paar Fragen rund ums Coaching und die Coaching Initiative der IFLA, getragen von den Sektionen Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning und der Sektion Management & Marketing beantworten konnten.

Danke Almuth, es hat Spaß mit Dir gemacht.

Almuth: Ich fand das Gespräch mit Dir auch sehr gut und interessant. Und wenn Sie als Zuhörer noch Fragen haben, schauen Sie auf unsere Webseite unter Dort finden Sie auch unsere Kontaktdaten. Oder sie folgen uns auf Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.


Translation into English / Podcast CPDWL in German

Ulrike: Welcome to a new podcast of the IFLA Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section, CPDWL. My name is Ulrike Lang. I am currently chair of the section and organiser of the coaching working group. Until 2020 I was staff member of the State and University Library Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky, responsible for Education and Training, as well as for health management and addiction prevention. Today I would like to talk about the beginning, development and future of IFLA’s coaching programme with Almuth Gastinger, who best introduces herself.

Almuth: Yes, my name is Almuth Gastinger and I work as an academic or subject librarian for Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering at the library of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (called NTNU) in Trondheim in Norway. However, I am German and have studied and done my PhD at the Technical University Ilmenau, before I moved to Norway 24 years ago.

Since August 2021 I am the secretary of the CPDWL section, and like Ulrike I am a member of the coaching working group.

Almuth: Ulrike, how did you actually get to this working group?

Ulrike: From the beginning of 2017, I was a member of the planning group. At that time only as a consultant of the section, as my official previous term of office from 2007 to 2015 had ended. In 2015 I became a member of the Section for Education and Training, but my heart and professional inclinations continued to depend on the CPDWL projects that had been initiated. That’s why I immediately joined this interesting working group on coaching.

Ulrike:  What about you?

Almuth: When I first thought about it, I could not remember exactly when I joined the working group, but the documents show that this was also in 2017. Our working group met the first time at the world congress in Wroclaw and began to work on a concept for a coaching pilot programme for the world library and information congress (WLIC) 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. That was really exciting and still is.

Almuth: But why exactly did CPDWL want to offer coaching?

Ulrike: For many years, the aim of the section has been to offer participatory event formats that go beyond the regular lecture format and challenge and promote the participants in their creativity, because I no longer have to travel around the world for pure lecture events. For example, together with the Knowledge Management Section, we have been organising a so-called Knowledge Café at the annual WLIC for many years, on a wide variety of topics with lots of different subtopics. There, all participants can and should join in the discussion and contribute their own experiences. Only the topics at the round tables are planned, with a moderation and a person who notes down the results. At each table. The course of the discussion and the actual results result from the contributions of those sitting at the table. In 2017, the idea arose to offer coaching on a simple basis, as some of our section members experienced the need for support in the workplace from their immediate environment. Group coaching sessions were planned for the 2018 congress. We had no idea at all whether the offer would be accepted with lots of alternative events available, and our expectations varied from “no one will come” to “we will be hopelessly overrun”.

Almuth: Coaching is a great method to meet challenges and solve problems, in my opinion. However, that does not mean that the coach will tell you what to do, but you will work on solutions together. Coaching is defined as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. And exactly that was what our section wanted to offer to all participants of the WLIC.

Ulrike: Do you remember how our cooperation with the Management & Marketing Section started?

Almuth: Yes, I do. After the coaching pilot programme in 2018 in Kuala Lumpur we realised that we need a partner section with professional colleagues among them and who would be interested in collaborating. We knew that the coaching programme has potential for being successful, but we also knew that finding coaches only among our own section members would be limited. Since the Management & Marketing section is in the same Division, in the former IFLA structure it was Division 4, it was obvious to ask them. In addition, IFLA likes its sections to co-operate.

Ulrike: Right. After the conference 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, we started to work together and this works very well. As a result, we got even more ideas for further work or implementation, and the workload was also better distributed. And for about 2 years we have had a colleague in our group who is trained as an educational coach and also works professionally in this area. She has prepared most of the training documents now available for us and made them available free of charge. These training documents have also been translated into several languages, including German. I think they are a great foundation for learning what coaching is and how to conduct a coaching session. So here there is a first hint to take a look at the information and documents on the website of our section, which can be accessed via the IFLA website.

Almuth: I would like to get back to the IFLA congress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.  Ulrike, can you tell us how exactly this was going?

Ulrike: Before the conference, we asked the coaches in which general topics they would feel fit to coach, for example change management, leadership, marketing, work organization, knowledge management or health management. At the entrance of the meeting room we installed an overview board where you could see at which tables which coaches with which main topics could be found. The idea was that colleagues at the entrance should make a classification of the interested coachees and allocate them to the right coach. That did not always work well, it often led to longer discussions at the entrance, which was not necessarily the point of the matter. Since the rush was much greater than we expected, we also had to assign several interested coachees per table. The coaches should then decide for themselves whether there would be a group coaching if the topics were similar or identical, or whether they could give up discretion to such an extent that other interested parties listened while discussing his/her problem with.

Almuth: Yes, I remember quite well that it was a bit chaotic. One of the problems that emerged was that many interested colleagues did not know what coaching is. That means, many of them expected to get advice how to solve their problems or how to get onwards in their career. So rather mentoring or guidance. And some of the participants had only questions about IFLA as an organisation and how it works. So, they only wanted an answer to their question. And if you only want a specific information, coaching might not be the appropriate method.

Ulrike: That’s right. Five colleagues came to my table almost at the same time, all from the Middle East, who did not know each other, but still wanted to visit a table together. And the questions were rather such that I could have answered them quickly as a colleague with many years of professional experience. Or there were questions about the structures of IFLA. I then used some of the time to teach them the rules of coaching.

Almuth: And what did we learn from this pilot, that means what did we do differently at the congress 2019 in Athens?

Ulrike: First, we finished the topic division and added language skills as a further criterion. Sometimes it is a challenge to describe the problem that concerns you precisely. But it is often much more difficult to do this in a foreign language. It was clear to us that most of the demand would be for English coaching, but the aim was to offer coaching in at least all the official IFLA languages, which are Arab, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish and German. Our coaches could also add more languages, for example Italian and Swedish. And of course, it is much easier for a coach to ask the right and specific questions in her/his mother tongue. Because in coaching, it is much more important for a coach to ask the right questions than to have detailed knowledge of the complex problem. Therefore, the division of topics really did not make sense. Instead, the colleagues at the entrance had an eye on the tables and ensured that the interested coachees did not have to wait too long for a conversation in the language they wanted.

Almuth: Yes, in my opinion, that was a huge improvement. Individual coaching is much better than group coaching, of course. We had managed to get 30 coaches in the end, and more than 50 congress participants could get coaching. The coaching sessions lasted about 30 min, but some lasted longer. In order to manage the logistics well, a small group welcomed the participants at the entrance of the room, registered their email addresses, and led the coachees to the best suitable coach. And after the conversations we asked for a first feedback with a fitting smiley.

A detailed feedback was obtained after the congress, so we sent out a small survey that coaches and coachees should reply to, what they did. All feedback was really positive, that means the coaching method is seen as an excellent method to improve the own performance and to solve problems. However, the coaches did mention again that it is rather difficult to separate coaching from mentoring. Coaching means to listen carefully and to ask open questions, so that the coachee herself/himself can find the best solution. But this is often more difficult than to just give advice or specific tips.

What we also did was to organise a webinar about coaching. That was in May 2019, so before the congress. That was particularly an offer to the colleagues who had said they would serve as coach. The webinar discussed what coaching is, what coaching methods there are, how to ask open questions and what challenges could arise. A very good and useful webinar.

Almuth: And we were also well prepared for a new round of coaching in 2020 at the planned congress in Dublin, but unfortunately the congress had to be cancelled then.

Ulrike: Well, in several zoom meetings the working group had planned one hours long online coaching sessions, exactly during the week in which the congress was originally supposed to take place. We assumed that many colleagues had reserved this period for participation anyway. 14 colleagues had made themselves available as coaches for this online coaching and I think coaching online was new for everyone. To book the coaching sessions, we used the Calendly tool. Unfortunately, this had a limited functionality, at least for our purposes, especially concerning bookings in different time zones. Each booking had to be entered manually. That’s why we decided to look for a new tool, and we ended up with Squarespace scheduling for 2021.

What our working group can be very proud of, I think, are the training materials already mentioned that exist in all 7 IFLA languages.  As already said, our colleague from Canada, who also works as a certified coach, prepared these documents in 2020, and colleagues from all over the world helped translating them. You and I have done the translation into German. And in addition to the training materials, which were also recorded in English, Vera Keown, the mentioned colleague from Canada was available live for questions and discussions. And since the colleagues interested in coaching are spread all over the world, the webinars were offered according to different time zones.

The training materials consist of 5 parts, ranging from an introduction to coaching, coaching principles and the coaching conversation, to skills in listening and giving feedback.

For example, the documents convey the differences between management, mentoring, consulting and coaching. They show which challenges coaching can tackle, such as optimising work performance, defining one’s own strengths and weaknesses, career opportunities, or improving corporate management strategies. It also conveys what active listening means, as well as the definition of open questions, of course always with appropriate examples.

Almuth: Yes, asking open questions can be tricky. Because you ask such questions in order to provoke new thoughts. But more often one only asks questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. And that does not help when coaching, of course. Some simple but powerful open questions are for example:

What do you want?

What does success look like?

How have you solved problems in the past?

What are you going to do?

And in order to distinguish open from closed questions, I will give you two examples:

A closed question would be “Is there a reason you are stuck?”, while an open question would be “What is getting in your way?”.

And another one:

Instead of just asking “Did you try talking to your manager?” you could rather ask “What have you already done to address the problem?”.

Ulrike: Very good examples, Almuth. I also like questions like: What are your strengths? or What will happen if you do nothing?

But let’s go a little more into detail about our experiences this year.

Almuth:  Yes, of course. For this year 2021 when the WLIC in August took place online, we had decided to offer coaching online again. This time in the week before and after the congress, so that there would be no conflicts with the congress sessions. We have asked for coaches via various social media channels and got 25 positive answers.

And the first feedback already shows that the coaching programme was a success again. In particular, the coachees are very grateful for the possibility to get coached. Of course, there is always something that can be improved, and the working group will discuss that during the next months.

Ulrike:  Yes, the feedback has been very positive. In total we had 122 bookings. However, I do not know exactly how many of them really took place. For example, I had one request, but the coachee never contacted me again after the first contact. For coaches, it was agreed in advance that after the first appointment request, a link to the information on preparation for coachees will be sent. This information is also stored on our website and contains five short questions, the answers to which should make it a little easier for the coach to prepare for the interview. As soon as I received the answers, I sent the link for our Zoom meeting to my coachees. Maybe also interesting: My 12 coachees all agreed to use Zoom as the meeting platform. So, now in the times of the pandemic, it really looks like Zoom has established itself as a very common platform worldwide.

Almuth: As I have not served as coach this time, I cannot tell about my experiences. But you can do so, Ulrike. Can you tell us a bit more about how your coaching sessions did go? Which topics did you discuss and where did your coachees actually come from?

Ulrike: That was really a colorful bouquet across the globe. Interestingly, only one coaching was requested in German, that was by a colleague from Switzerland. It was about a future management task. The other coachees came from Ireland, Croatia, Russia, South Africa, Iran, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, and Lebanon. Some topics would have been better suited for mentoring, for example when it came to how to get international contacts for an internship. However, a recurring coaching topic was a work-life balance and burnout or the problem of work overload because you are not good in delegating. By the way, not being able to delegate or the fear of giving up important activities and thereby losing influence and knowledge is a very typical coaching topic to which you can react wonderfully with the already mentioned open questions. The same applies to difficulties in or with a team.

In any case, the conversations were all super exciting, everyone agreed that the one hour of time had been well spent and I will continue to stay in touch with some of them, simply because I am interested in how things will continue for them and what they can implement. And they also want to stay in touch with me, completely outside of a regular coaching.

Especially the conversations with my colleagues from Iran and Lebanon were extremely interesting for me. Of course, at least on the sidelines, the topic of the pandemic has always been touched upon, but I did not know, for example, that home office is not ordered for many employees in Lebanon for reasons concerning the pandemic, but due to shortcomings in the energy supply, for example to relieve public transportation or the power supply, which was interrupted several times in Beirut during our conversation.

And most of them had never attended an IFLA conference before, so they were very happy about this low-threshold offer this year. This is probably also an important indication for IFLA officials that an online conference with a reduced attendance fee makes it possible for a different circle of colleagues to participate.

Almuth: That sounds very exciting. Both the topics you discussed and the origin of your coachees. Do you know how it looks like in Germany, that means have German library associations offered coaching to their members?

Ulrike: A few years ago, there was an offer of mentoring by the „Berufsverband Information Bibliothek BIB“. A handful of mentors were assigned to a handful of mentees. Care was taken to ensure that there was a certain regional proximity and that the institutions were comparable, for example both from academic libraries or both from public libraries.

I myself also participated as a mentor with a mentee from near Berlin. We just met once at the German Library Conference in Berlin and after that we were in touch via Skype, phone and email. We communicated for a bit more than one year, and this was the first time of being a mentor or mentee for both of us. I felt that my mentee was more interested in having someone outside her institution who listened to the problems than following the solutions I tried to offer. Mentoring is very similar to coaching when it comes to the engagement. That means, it is imperative that both sides are prepared to engage in the process. What the coachee or mentee ultimately do with what they have discussed and experienced is up to them then.

Almuth: I cannot tell you about any offers in Germany, of course. but I thought to talk about a similar project in Norway. The focus was not on coaching either, but I think it is interesting anyway.

The Norwegian Union of Librarians, one of several library associations in Norway, started a so-called mentoring programme for library managers in 2019. All library managers can participate, whether they are a member of the associations or not. The aim of the programme is to promote professional development, to strengthen networks and relationships, also between different library types, and to have a positive impact on the development of librarianship in general. Meetings are arranged between managers on different stages of their career. That means, a manager with little experiences will meet someone who has had a managing position for a longer time. And the other way around. The mentee could suggest up to 3 mentors. It is supposed that the participants are keen to enhance their knowledge and skills, that they are open for input from others, that they reflect about challenges they meet, that they focus very much on the programme and will have time for 6 to 8 meetings per year.

Several topics were suggested, like the role as manager, a difficult conversation, the career, managing styles, or strengths and weaknesses as manager. I think this programme is a mix of mentoring and coaching, but they just called it mentoring programme. If you want to hear more about that, please get in touch with me.

Ulrike: This is also an interesting initiative. Some listeners may wonder why coaching is actually needed in an international context, as it is offered with the initiative of CPDWL and M&M in IFLA. Because I can have that in my library or my institution at home, too, with supervisors or with my colleagues. However, there are people who fear a loss of face or disadvantages in their own institutional hierarchy if they admit weaknesses or openly articulate problems, for example with their team members. Of course, this varies from culture to culture, but I have received feedback several times during my coaching sessions that coachees found it extremely pleasant that the coach does not belong to his/her own organisation, does not know the people involved and does not evaluate the problem beforehand.

Almuth: I can only confirm that. I myself would also prefer a coach who does not belong to my institution where I work. Because then I do not need to think about what I should or could tell, but I can be totally open and honest.

Ulrike: To come back to national programmes like in Norway. Recently, our working group member Vera Keown was involved in another webinar on coaching. There, the Canadian programme of the Library Association of British Columbia was briefly mentioned. Due to the Corona pandemic, funds have been made available for 2021 to enable association members to have up to ten sessions with professional coaches. The association bears 50% of the costs.

We would like to co-operate with our Canadian colleagues and spread our common ideas via the CPDWL blog, webinars or podcasts.

Almuth: Wow, what an interesting initiative. Yes, costs. It’s right, we have not talked about costs yet. Professional coaching can be really expensive, because the hourly rate of professional coaches can be very high, and often you need several coaching sessions in order to discuss the problem or challenge properly. So, this IFLA coaching initiative can be a very good start to check free of charge (at least free of charge for registered congress participants) whether coaching can help solving your problems.

Ulrike: I see it the same way. Therefore, we very much hope that our proposal to be able to offer both an on-site session with coaches and coachees and online coaching via Zoom or other meeting platforms for next year’s conference in Dublin will be accepted. Our idea is that every registered participant can book either a face to face or an online coaching session. Provided that the registration fee for the corresponding form of participation has been paid to IFLA. Because someone from IFLA Headquarter will check this after we have received the registration.

Almuth: OK, with that we have come to the plans for 2022. Our working group has decided on its last online meetings to offer a two hours long session at the congress in Dublin, in addition to online coaching sessions during the week before and after the congress, in order to avoid collisions with other programmes. Furthermore, in the context of IFLA’s project funding possibilities we will apply for financial support and staff to get help with the booking platform. Because Squarespace does not only allow for appointment bookings across time zones, but also to add photos as well as a short biography of the coaches. And we want to make this compulsory for the next programme.

Ulrike: Yes, this is a useful addition. At the end of this year’s coaching sessions, I always asked my coachees why they booked a session with me. The coaches were listed alphabetically by first name and at the beginning I had suspected that I would not receive any booking at all, because with U I was the penultimate entry in the list and did not expect that many would scroll all the way down to the bottom. Therefore, I was very surprised that there were finally 12 bookings. The answer from some of my coachees was then that they had looked for pictures of coaches that looked sympathetic, but also for those who were already a little older, because one suspected more experience among them. So, it makes a lot of sense to include pictures and a short description of the institution and working environment of the coaches. In addition, we intend to collect feedback from this year’s participants, that means we want them to report on their experiences in more detail. Anonymous, of course. This is certainly also interesting for those who are still considering whether they should participate in the future. We will publish these mood pictures in the CPDWL Blog or in our next newsletter in January 2022.

In the future, it will therefore be worthwhile to follow at least one social media channel of the Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section if you are interested in coaching. And since we have already been asked about our experiences by another European library association and a German university of applied sciences, we as a working group will certainly also be busy with further publications that report on our work. Oh yes, and if you, dear listeners, are interested in joining us as a coach or translating documents and information into any language, please get in touch. Of course, we also would like to reduce the gender gap, because both among the coaches and our translation team, as well as the coachees, females are in the clear majority. There will be calls for interested coaches as soon as we have set dates.

Now, we hope to have answered a few questions about coaching and IFLA’s coaching initiative, supported by the Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning section and the Management & Marketing section.

Thank you Almuth, it was fun with you.

Almuth: Thanks, Ulrike. I loved to talk with you and I think it was an interesting conversation. And if you as audience still have questions, please have a look at our website: You will also find our contact information there. You can follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, too, of course. Good bye!

CPDWL Podcast Project Season 3, Episode 1: Barbara Lison, IFLA President 2021-2023

The CPDWL Podcast Project is back!

Our first episode for season 3 features Barbara Lison, IFLA President 2021-2023 and CPDWL Information Coordinator Edward Lim as host.

Hear the podcast conversation:

Barbara Lison is currently President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and has been the Director of Bremen Public Library since 1992. Barbara has been actively involved in German and European library Associations and IFLA for many years. She has served as President of the Federal Association Library & Information Germany (BID), the umbrella organization of the German Library Associations. From 2016 to 2019, she was Chair of the German Library Association (dbv). She has also held a number of senior positions in the European Bureau for Libraries, Archives and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA), including Vice President. Barbara is particularly committed to library policy and the development of libraries for the future.

Transcript below:

Edward 0:00  

Hi everyone! This is Edward Lim. Welcome to the CPDWL podcast project. In this space we talk with library and information professionals to support and participate in professional development work. Today’s guest is IFLA President Barbara Lison. Barbara Lison is currently President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and has been the Director of Bremen Public Library since 1992. Barbara has been actively involved in German and European library Associations and IFLA for many years. She has served as President of the Federal Association Library & Information Germany (BID), the umbrella organization of the German Library Associations. From 2016 to 2019, she was Chair of the German Library Association (dbv). She has also held a number of senior positions in the European Bureau for Libraries, Archives and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA), including Vice President. Barbara is particularly committed to library policy and the development of libraries for the future.

Welcome, Barbara!

Barbara  1:14  

Yes, hello, hello, hello, Edward. 

Edward  1:18  

Good to have you here! So we’re gonna start off with our first question. I always think it is the most difficult question but usually we try to solve the easy question. So, if you have to describe yourself using one word, what word would it be?

Barbara 1:34  

I would use the word vibrant. 

Edward 1:38  

Do you want to say that a bit more why vibrant?

Barbara 1:42  

Yeah. I always am very vivid, I like to talk with people. I like to network, I am very curious, so I like to discover the world, and I also like when the world discovers me so that is ,that is why I say vibrant.

Edward 2:04  

Interesting choice. So maybe you can start out a little bit, share with us, what compelled you to be a librarian. How do you get started, I didn’t notice that your university degree was in Slavonic Studies and History?

Barbara 2:23  

Yep. Yeah, History and Slavonic studies. Yes, well I was always interested in libraries, as a user of course, and I watched people who worked in the library, and I thought well this might be a, well not very interesting occupation or profession. But then I worked at the university, I had to earn money for my studies and I worked at the university. And I found that, this is in the library of the historical department for history, and as well this is a very interesting job because it helps people to get information and this is something which I really appreciated in that job. And for the first time I felt really useful. And so I thought, “well this might be interesting to go on with it…” and when I finished my topical studies, which led me and the first time to become a teacher for two years and then I thought, “Oh no, teacher is not what I wanted to be, let’s go for libraries,” and then I did a two year traineeship for librarians in Germany. And what was clear for me that I would rather go to public libraries, then two academic libraries that came from all the internships, which I made during this traineeship, and so I was always looking for a job in a public library.

Edward  4:05  

Yeah, I think that’s interesting, I believe some of our listeners would have similar experiences of encountering life libraries as the use of first, and being in some kind of library environment. And I think you mentioned being a teacher for a short while before you became a librarian. Is there any other profession, other than librarianship that you would have wanted to attend. Looking back at your long career in librarianship?

Barbara 4:36  

Yeah, well, there are two professions which are really what I like, what I like to start with. One is an engineer, I had an uncle who was an engineer and I was really admiring his work and I was very much interested. But, of course, in the 70s to start a study, as a woman in engineering, that was really awkward. And so many people said, “Oh no, just leave, just leave it out. Don’t say something and do something different.” That was one thing and the other thing was architecture or town planning. I’m still very much interested in architecture, library architecture, of course now, and also town planning and libraries, I think have a big role in town planning as well. So, that is, now I’m doing town planning and architecture from the library point of view.

Edward 5:31  

That’s fascinating. I’m sure we have listeners who used to be engineers and now your librarian so that’s interesting and you mentioned a little bit about architecture, about having libraries in the center of the town [that] are centered at community space I guess. So, I think what’s exciting is, you are now IFLA President, I read that you, you started serving in the Metropolitan Library section, quite some time ago in the 90s so, you know, maybe you could share with our listeners, how do you get first get involved with IFLA?

Barbara 6:06  

Well, I was always involved when I started my job in libraries, I was always involved with the association so I started of course with the German associations with the Librarians Association and the Libraries Association, and I saw a very high impact for my work for my person as well in networking. So, if you have a job like being a library director, it is more or less a standalone job because in a city, you are the only librarian director or at least in university, you are the only library director normally, and this is a standalone job so it is very important to network and to find people who have the same interest, who share the same values, of course, and this is mostly done in the association so you find other people with the same goals in the associations, and that is why I started in the national associations, and from the National Associations I came to the European umbrella of library associations. And then from there, the step into the international library world with IFLA was not that difficult. The first real encounter with IFLA which I had personally was in 2003, when the World Library and Information Congress took place in Berlin. And then, there I was a volunteer. I thought, “Well, I don’t have that much money at that time and nobody would have paid for me so I thought well if I become a volunteer, I can easily join the conference,” of course, I have to work, but this is something which helps me to get into, into the bubble of IFLA, if I may say so, yeah. So I worked there at the information desk in Berlin and met a lot of people that was so interesting to be a volunteer because as a volunteer, I think you might even meet more people whom you don’t know so far. Then if you are just there as a participant. So I always can very much advise to become a volunteer and then I was a volunteer again in Milan, so I started to be a volunteer and as a volunteer, you get involved with IFLA quite a lot. And yes, and then in 2007, I was President of one of the library associations in Germany. And that started then to become more on an outer field. And so I run for the elections in 2011 for [the] governing board.

Yes, and I was elected and I had, I think I had the second best voting at that time already for the first time I was running. So I felt really very well acknowledged and appreciated. Yes, and I was then from 2011 to 13 and 13 to 15 You have always two terms in two years for a term and IFLA. I was on the governing boards until 2015. And then I paused for two years. And I thought, “Well, why not try to get another position…” For instance, the President of IFLA but you cannot really come out, out of the blue, and become the President so you have to be part of the governing board or of one of the most governing board, and so while I ran again. I was elected and became treasurer. And then as treasurer, I ran for President. Yes and I was President elect from 19 to 21, and now I’m President so it’s maybe, one can say it’s step by step, and it’s a lot of luck, of course, and it’s a lot of work, but you have to be, you have to be lucky and fortunate, of course as well.

Edward 10:16  

I think you mentioned, a lot of themes that something about leadership, of being sort of lonely at the top, you mentioned being the only library director. I thought that was interesting, as well as many of us started being involved in IFLA because you know as a volunteer because it came to our city, or came to our country you know that sort of how I got involved in his life. Well, and I think that’s a great professional development team that you know we are [the] CPDWL section after all. So I want to ask you, do you have any other professional development tips or advice that you would like to share with others besides volunteering for upcoming IFLA activities?

Barbara 11:02  

Well, you can imagine that I have been asked this already several times, and I always say the first thing I always say, and I will repeat that is be curious and continue with your curiosity throughout your life. That means, be open to the new things [and] be open to other people. And don’t say I’m a saturated person. I think this is one of the most important things which brings you forward. And with give, which gives you a personal development chance. So whatever profession you might have and sometimes librarians say well I have learned to be a librarian for two or maybe three years. And that’s it, and now I sit here at my desk and wait until I’m retired. And I, this is in many professions the case, but I also meet, unfortunately, people in our profession who do this, and this is not really recommendable so I would really, people who would like to have — enjoy that job because you can enjoy their job in different ways but I think the real way to enjoy the job is to be service oriented and being service oriented needs, always an outward perspective. So, the output perspective is not based on its own. It must be curiosity, it must be a like for people, and a like for getting new knowledge and getting new knowledge, the basis is curiosity.

Edward 12:50  

Right, right. I hear I hear some of the other points, You mentioned really, it’s about staying engaged, genuinely engaged about the profession. Being curious you mentioned so this is probably going to be another question that you get asked a lot, now they get the President, you know, Share with us, a special moment, a memorable moment you have about IFLA, whether it was early in Berlin or in Milan, or recently, you know, the virtual WLIC that we had was anything that stands out for you?

Barbara 13:28  

Well you see, I have to come back to one thing. That’s the volunteers that said I was a volunteer. And for me, it is always such a great feeling, it comes into my heart. When, at the end of the conferences. I see the 3 to 400 volunteers, being onstage, or somewhere else, and being applauded and being so happy that they were, they were part of it, and I am so happy that there are so many people who are engaged, who are trying to be a part of the IFLA family and the IFLA community in a way which is service. And so I think service orientation is so clue to our profession, and in the in these three or 400 volunteers, you see the service oriented orientation and this is for me, always this this warms up my heart very much. When, when, when we have the IFLA volunteers together and we cheer them and they cheer themselves. That’s so wonderful.

Edward 14:46  

Right, I mean, I mean, just, just to continue on this point about, what are you excited, the most in the profession, they see that you have a long history, you know, when it comes to advocating for libraries.  We mentioned earlier about public policy, and stuff like that but you know I wanted to hear a little bit more about what gets you excited about the profession, you know, you’ve been in the profession for a long time now.

Barbara 15:17  

While the profession is a profession, who helps people to develop themselves. We say libraries change lives. And I think this is so true libraries change lives, but it’s not the buildings, it’s not the books, it’s not the information which is there, it’s the people who work in the libraries, who have the ambition to improve the lives of the people who come to the library and use the library, and this is for me. The crucial things, might it be academic librarians who serve, research, and who support research and learning and on a very high academic level. Might it be the children’s librarian, who tries to, to, well to implement into the children, the joy for discovering knowledge, not reading alone, the joy for discovering knowledge. And this is, this is for me the clue of the profession.

Edward 16:25  

Okay, so I just wanted to talk a little bit. We talked about sort of being involved at the national level, like you were with the German Library Association, and also at the regional level with your work at the European level. And now you know you’re the President of IFLA, and this is really probably at the highest, you know, international stage. So maybe you could talk a little bit more about what global library should mean to you. I know you mentioned a lot, you know, in your previous presentations about multiculturalism and diversity, you know, I would like to hear more, and I’m sure our listeners would like to learn more about that.

Barbara 17:06  

Yeah well global, global librarianship, does not mean that every library is like the other. So, the global librarianship is …. it’s a positive puzzle, a jigsaw of different pieces, which bring a big picture of global libraries together. So, one library can be a huge academic library like let’s say Stanford or a huge public library like let’s say, the public library of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, but they are different, they are different. Our library, like we know there are these camel libraries, or the libraries on boats or whatever, but they all bring in their shares to bring knowledge to people in a different way, and with different accents and this is how diversity comes in, because the accents of the content is different, that maybe the way they work is different, but the outcome, the result is the goal is the same. And so this is for me this is global librarianship, we are united in our goals, and we are. Perhaps you remember that. If not, started the global vision project, and the highest or the outcome on the highest level of this global vision project was we are united in our goals, how we now fulfill the goals, how we work to come to that goal that is different. And this must be different from country to country from a social level from one to the other. But the goal is the main thing and I just said what the goal is for me where and I think these are the goals for all the librarians and the global library. The Global Vision Program showed exactly this: we have these 10 opportunities and the global vision. And when you look at the 10 opportunities, then you also should look at the 10 challenges and to fulfill these goals, you work in a different way in different countries on different levels. But the goals are the same and I think this is so important.

Edward 19:42  

Do you mind talking a little bit about, you know, you’ve been involved at different libraries associations of the year, you know, how has your sort of vision for librarianship of libraries how how is that changed for you personally over the years?

Barbara  20:00  

Well, I think that my understanding of a library is not a static understanding. It is not referred to a building or referred to special media. So, the understanding of a, of a library. I think every librarian should be change. So the understanding is we should be ready for change, we should be savvy enough for change, I think this is, this is a very important thing and the 30 years and now in Bremen Public Libraries, and the let’s say, 38 years that I’m in librarianship now has shown that we have we can never sit down and say, “That’s it, now we are done.” And this is something which is important when I started in the library field, we were discussing, oh, shall we have videos in the library. “Oh yes, perhaps we shall do a project to find out whether we have videos…” then 10 years later, “Oh, what about the internet there’s something coming up, like, what is called Internet …What is this?” Then in between came the computers into the library and of course digitization brought a lot of change and is bringing a lot of change into the libraries, and we shall be ready to take that change and make use of the development, not follow blindly the development… that’s not good, but make use of the technical development, if possible, of course, and bring it to a service and develop services which are useful for our users and customers.

Edward 21:54  

Right, I think your message, definitely, rather than you know today with so much new technology, you know revolving around things like, you know, artificial intelligence, you know, you’re bound to the library. So we want to end off this sort of podcast recording shows my listeners want to learn more about what you have to share, and I see the many many library groups that invited you to give keynotes and presentations you know different library associations, maybe you could share in this upcoming project or presentation also event you’ll be attending virtually. You know how our listeners can tell a follow up with some of the things that you’re working on.

Barbara 22:41  

Yeah well I’m working, of course, a lot on IFLA itself, because the President also has to care for the organization where he or she is President, so. Perhaps you remember that we had, we have new statutes, which changed a flag quite a lot in different parts, And especially we introduced into IFLA more appreciation for the region’s, so the region’s play now, a bigger role also connected with the issue of diversity, a bigger role within IFLA shall play a bigger role within a flat as they had done before. And not only the regions like Asia and Africa or South America, but regions like North America or also Europe. So we now have the six regions, which are represented in the Regional Council and the chair of the Regional Council is also on the governing board so on the highest body of IFLA. So this is something which I really look forward to bringing into life, this idea about regional representation and the regional participation in the IFLA work, that is something which is very important. And of course, we are living in pandemic times, and you have, have seen what has happened with IFLA last year we did not not have any conference this year we had a totally virtual conference, many people were very happy about this conference, but also said, “Well, you see, the social aspect and the meeting in person is so important as well.” So next year we are going to have a hopefully we are going to have a hybrid conference, and to bring this hybrid conference into a good position and into a good service to all our members and all the librarians who want to attend virtually or in person. This is a big project not only for me but for headquarters and the Secretary General, but this is something the organization does not exist without work. So we put off a lot of work and I myself will do that as well into a sustainable organization so you know my theme is, “libraries building a sustainable future.” This is my theme, and this belongs to the libraries, of course, and it also shall belong to IFLA as an organization because only strong IFLA can support the libraries of the world if we are a weak organization, who cares?

Edward 25:25  

Right, I think that’s been many changes. If you know, to try and keep up with some of the ongoing changes like you mentioned the statutes, and also right to the conferences that, you know, WLIC is sort of changing, and will continue to change for next year in the foreseeable future. So yeah, I think many of our listeners will be looking forward to some of these changes, and also you communicating these changes to the members and [to] different library associations… Barbara, I want to thank you personally for being here with us. I know you have a busy schedule. Thank you very much for sharing some of what we have covered about, you know, being involved, that is volunteering in IFLA. And I hope we will continue to have, you know, volunteers, or for IFLA conferences in one shape or form, you know, you’ll be in the future. So I want to thank you and then…

Barbara 26:25  

Yes and thank you very much for having invited me for this podcast, I enjoyed it very much and thank you for your questions, Edward!

CPDWL Podcast Project Season 2, Episode 6: Jonathan Hernández with Sara Ulloa

Colleagues, we are excited to announce the our final episode of the CPDWL Podcast Project (Season 2) where we feature library and information professionals who support and participate in professional development work.

To see the episode, see here:

Transcript and translation are below. Transcribed/Translated by Juanita de Sumar.

Our guest is Dr. Jonathan Hernández. Jonathan Hernández is an associated researcher at the Library and Information Institute (IIBI) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) where he is also a library professor. His research interest focuses on information diversity, misinformation, and digital forgotten.  He is a former President of the Professional Library Association of Mexico (CNB) and currently, he is a member of the IFLA Governing Board.

Jonathan Hernández se desempeña como investigador asociado en el Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas y de la Información de la UNAM en donde trabaja temas como infodiversidad, acceso a la información y desinformación, forma parte del Seminario “Información y Sociedad” del mismo instituto y es profesor del Posgrado en Bibliotecología y Estudios de la Información. Ha sido presidente del Colegio Nacional de Bibliotecarios, A.C. y actualmente forma parte de la Junta de Gobierno de la Federación Internacional de Bibliotecas y Asociaciones Bibliotecarias (IFLA).

This conversation was conducted in Spanish by Sara Ulloa, a school librarian from Peru and also a CPDWL Section member.

Transcript / Transcripción

Sara [00:00:02] Hola, bienvenidas y bienvenidos al podcast de la sección de Desarrollo Profesional Continuo y Aprendizaje en el Lugar de Trabajo de la IFLA, la Federación Internacional de Asociaciones de Bibliotecarios y Bibliotecas.

En este espacio conversamos con profesionales de la carrera de bibliotecología e información para conocer sobre su desarrollo profesional. En esta oportunidad contamos con la presencia de Jonathan Hernández, desde México, un joven y muy aspirante bibliotecólogo, con un claro liderazgo. 

Conocí a Jonathan cuando lo escuché en una conferencia que dio acá en Perú en la Universidad Católica, pues le gusta participar en numerosas conferencias abogando por el acceso a la información, la inclusión de las bibliotecas en la Agenda 2030 y la gobernanza de internet.

Estudió en la UNAM, la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, donde se encuentra muy activo, por ejemplo, es investigador asociado del Instituto de Bibliotecas e Información y miembro del seminario “Información y Sociedad”, donde se estudian temas como desinformación, censura, privacidad y olvido digital. 

Sara [00:01:15] Jonathan Bienvenido.

Jonathan [00:01:18] Muchísimas gracias, Sara, es realmente un placer estar aquí compartiendo contigo y especialmente para la IFLA, sobre todos estos temas que vamos a tratar.

Sara [00:01:29] Ok, para empezar, me gustaría que volvamos un poco a tus inicios, a cuando estabas decidiendo qué estudiar. ¿Qué fue aquello que te impulsó a estudiar Bibliotecología? ¿Hubo alguna influencia?

Jonathan [00:01:43] Pues mira, realmente es muy interesante esta pregunta, porque normalmente cuando entramos a la carrera siempre nos preguntan eso. Porque como sabrás, Bibliotecología no es precisamente la carrera más popular, sobre todo cuando estás a punto de aspirar a una carrera universitaria. Entonces, los que ya tienen un conocimiento de lo que es la carrera es porque de alguna forma tienen algún amigo o algún familiar cercano que la estudió y la recomendó, o que de alguna forma su desarrollo ha estado fuertemente vinculado con la biblioteca. Entonces, en mi caso tuve dos familiares que sí estudiaron, digamos, la carrera. Uno de ellos se dedicó a otra cosa, pero yo sí me puse a ver, digamos, el plan de estudios. Dije, pues vamos a ver qué me ofrece la carrera. Y me gustó. Realmente me gustó en ese momento y pues bueno, además indirectamente mi vida siempre ha estado de alguna forma marcada por las bibliotecas y la verdad es que jamás pensé estar dedicado al cien por ciento a esto. Pero eso fue lo que me impulsó. Sí, fue una curiosidad por saber de qué se trataba y me encantó.

Sara [00:02:54] ¿Y qué es lo que más te gustó de la profesión?

Jonathan [00:02:58] Pues me gustó muchísimo las posibilidades que puedes tener; es decir, la variedad de enfoques que tiene nuestra carrera, nuestra disciplina. Uno cuando entra, como entra yo creo a la mayoría de todas las carreras, pues hay una incertidumbre. En qué voy a trabajar; realmente solamente me voy a acotar a este tema; si sólo es catalogar, si sólo es servicios; si sólo es usuarios. Pero cada área tiene unas posibilidades impresionantes. O sea, la propia organización de la información hoy se ve maximizada con los datos, con los grandes volúmenes de información que estamos produciendo, etcétera. Entonces, a mí es lo que más me entusiasma, es decir, todas estas variedades de enfoques que tiene nuestra disciplina y sobre todo la comunidad. La comunidad que se forma, que se genera, que comparte.

Sara [00:03:49] ¿Y cuál ha sido tu experiencia de trabajo en el campo bibliotecario, ya ejerciéndolo?

Jonathan [00:03:56]  Bueno, yo afortunadamente, lo digo porque Bibliotecología al ser una carrera, digamos, donde hay poco número de alumnos estudiando, en el campo laboral, es en cierta forma amplio. Entonces, normalmente, al menos aquí en mi país, a partir de la mitad de la carrera, ya poco a poco te puedes ir insertando en el mercado laboral. Entonces yo empecé, digamos, catalogando en cuestiones de catalogaciones de bibliotecas digitales, lo cual me ayudó muchísimo. Es un campo realmente muy apasionante y en el que además aprendes mucho porque es toda una cuestión de estructura semántica, de relaciones, etcétera. Posteriormente, cuando la vida me llevó por la educación bibliotecaria, yo comencé a trabajar en el posgrado en bibliotecología y estudios de la información de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la UNAM. Y pues bueno, aproveché también para estudiar justamente la maestría y el doctorado. Y luego me dediqué ya plenamente a la investigación. Pero en el transcurso, digamos, hice varios proyectos con bibliotecas; por ahí también con asociaciones entonces, y con otros enfoques también.

Sara [00:05:08] Ya que lo mencionas, sí, realmente tienes una amplia experiencia, ya eres doctor en la carrera. Pero entremos al tema de tu participación en los gremios

[00:05:22] Para ser tan joven tienes una gran participación tanto en los gremios de tu país como del extranjero. En México, por ejemplo, fuiste el presidente del Colegio Nacional de Bibliotecarios. ¿Cuál fue el reto más grande que tuviste que enfrentar?

Jonathan [00:05:38] Muchas gracias, Sara. Si, efectivamente, por ejemplo, en el caso del Colegio yo participé desde que terminé la carrera. Como sabrás, en el Colegio para ser socio tienes que ser titulado, entonces yo comencé precisamente luego luego terminé la carrera y me titulé, a afiliarme, a ir a sus congresos, etcétera. Tener una participación con AMBC. AMBAC data de mi participación cuando yo estaba en la carrera. Tienen un foro de estudiantes que me parece algo muy valioso, sobre todo porque te van introduciendo allí a los jóvenes en el campo gremial. En cuanto al reto, pues yo creo que en general las asociaciones enfrentan retos comunes y retos muy importantes: la membresía, posicionar al gremio, y visibilizar. Entonces yo creo que esos fueron los retos más grandes durante la gestión en la que afortunadamente tuve el honor de estar al frente, pues tuve que enfrentarme. Y también por otra parte, es demostrar que las personas jóvenes podemos estar a la altura de los retos. Espero haberlo estado junto con mi consejo directivo. La gran mayoría éramos jóvenes también afortunadamente tuvimos personas con experiencia que yo creo que esa es la clave. Es decir, relacionarnos y colaborar gente joven con gente que ya tiene experiencia. porque tenemos mucho que aprender. Entonces, para mí esos fueron los retos más grandes: la membresía, posicionar al gremio y demostrar precisamente que los jóvenes si podemos mantener y estar a la altura.

Sara [ [00:07:04] Si sabes, eso me sorprende. Justo lo comentaba con algunos colegas sobre que la participación en los gremios de los jóvenes. Casi no se da, al menos no en mi país. donde yo veo que no se da. Y como que uno espera terminar la carrera y que pasen muchos años más. Y también, no es fácil, porque si no te has titulado, pues aquí también en Perú no puedes ser parte del Colegio. ¿No?

Jonathan Claro.

Sara Y algunos, de hecho yo soy yo una de ellas y no puedo formar parte del Colegio porque estoy todavía haciendo mi tesis. Entonces, por eso me parece bien interesante que nos compartes tu experiencia.

[00:07:45] Y en cuanto al participación en gremio internacional, pues eres miembro de la IFLA y participas en su comité, en el comité de Libre Acceso a la información y libertad de expresión, ¿verdad?

Jonathan [00:07:59] Así es, claro.

Sara [00:08:01] ¿Y ahora? Ahora hace poco has sido elegido miembro de su Junta, de la Junta Directiva de la IFLA. Cuéntanos un poco sobre ello, en qué consiste y cuáles son tus expectativas respecto a estar en ese cargo

Jonathan [00:08:18] Claro. Mira, ha sido una experiencia muy enriquecedora. Bueno, me gustaría contar de que mi primera participación en la IFLA fue hace aproximadamente diez años. Si por ahí del 2010, fue un concurso, la IFLA hace una selección de la mejor ponencia de estudiantes y pues bueno, quedamos en un lugar. Me apoyó mi universidad y me fui. En ese momento el Congreso fue en Gotemburgo, me parece, si, y a partir de ahí pude ver la dimensión de la IFLA, todo lo que hace, la colaboración con otras personas, el gremio internacional y justo yo me presenté en la sesión del FAIFE o [feif], como lo queramos [pronunciar]. A partir de ese momento no he dejado de estar activo en la IFLA y en el caso del FAIFE, pues me gustó muchísimo la forma en la que se defendía, la forma en la que se abordaban las cuestiones de libertad de expresión y acceso a la información, desde una perspectiva bibliotecaria. Entonces ahora se están haciendo cosas muy interesantes en este comité. Se han lanzado digamos estatutos, se han lanzado directrices sobre cuestiones que afectan todas estas libertades y cuestiones que pueden ser amenazas. Entonces tuvimos un webinar sobre privacidad muy interesante y hemos estado colaborando también con otras secciones, como por ejemplo, para discutir y combatir las fake news, etcétera.

Jonathan [00:09:41] Y entonces, ahora en lo de la junta directiva. Pues bueno, también me gustaría comentarte de manera muy breve que yo participé en una convocatoria que tuvo la IFLA sobre el Programa de Líderes, de líderes de la IFLA; programa que ha sido muy interesante, que nos seleccionaron a aproximadamente ocho. No recuerdo exactamente bien el número, pero fuimos grandes amigos, somos grandes colegas, también amigos de distintas partes del mundo, precisamente como una forma de entrenamiento para que nosotros a su vez podamos inspirar, podamos liderar y podamos colaborar con nuestros colegas, con nuestros amigos aquí en nuestros países. Este programa de liderazgo me dio la oportunidad de conocer, digamos, las entrañas de la IFLA, y después, de relacionarme, de poder contribuir y de poder también asistir a varios eventos en representación de la IFLA. Fue una experiencia maravillosa y por supuesto me enamoré más de la IFLA y me dio pie para poder lanzarme para la Junta de Gobierno de la IFLA y ya en la Junta de Gobierno lo que hacemos es de alguna forma la dirección por la que va la IFLA, es decir, aprobar algunas cuestiones, proponer determinados asuntos y velar también por la cuestión financiera, la sustentabilidad de nuestra Federación. Y particularmente ahorita estamos de lleno en unas reformas para la nueva gobernanza de la IFLA, que está muy interesante. Es un cambio muy, muy importante, porque la IFLA tiene ya muchísimos años, ha estado cambiando también estructuras por determinados tiempos, pero ahora, ahora se viene un cambio importante porque es que han hecho varias adecuaciones para hacer una federación más inclusiva y en eso es lo que hemos estado trabajando todo este año.

Sara [00:11:32] Ya. Y a nivel de participación, como tu ves esta región ¿como ves la participación desde Latinoamérica en estos comités? Ahora que estás en esta junta directiva.

Jonathan [00:11:57] Y yo creo que hay muchas oportunidades. Es decir, tendríamos que ver también las necesidades de cada país. Es decir, ahora yo lo que he visto durante estos últimos años es precisamente una participación más activa de Latinoamérica. Por supuesto, necesitamos más, queremos más y sobre todo de los jóvenes. Entonces, Latinoamérica ha tenido una trayectoria con IFLA muy importante. Hay países que han tenido, digamos, grandes oportunidades y que por su tamaño o por la situación bibliotecaria, por todas sus instituciones bibliotecarias, han tenido una mayor incidencia. Por ahí tenemos Brasil, México, Argentina, etcétera, pero ahora se están involucrando más países y esto es gracias precisamente a la tecnología, gracias a los mecanismos que ha hecho la IFLA de Inclusión, gracias a que tenemos también, poco a poco vamos por ahí, personas de Latinoamérica involucrándonos en comités.

[00:12:53] Un claro ejemplo eres tú, Sara, en este comité y varios también que estamos en otros comités que no son necesariamente el comité de LAC y que así la gente también nos voltea a ver y nosotros también proponemos. Y me gustaría detenerme un poco también en esta cuestión de la situación gremial en Latinoamérica de los jóvenes. Muchas veces los movimientos gremiales no son atractivos precisamente para jóvenes por muchas cosas: no se ven reflejados, a veces son las mismas prácticas desde hace décadas, no hay programas para nuevos profesionales. Entonces eso también es una situación que detiene y creo que es necesario también refrescar todos estos movimientos. Pero también es importante que los jóvenes vayan y participen entonces, porque uno también luego se vuelve muy cómodo. Empezar a decir que bueno, la asociación no me toma en cuenta, la asociación es esto, siempre es lo mismo. Pero si yo no voy y si yo no propongo, pues va a seguir siendo así por muchos, muchos años. Yo creo que hay muchas ganas, pero hay que también ver las características de las asociaciones de LAC, porque la mayor parte de ellas es trabajo voluntario. Y eso pues también limita también la capacidad de acción de las asociaciones. 

Sara [00:14:04] Sí, ciertamente. Este… Ahora quiero ahondar un poquito en tu desarrollo profesional, Según la guía de competencias en el campo de la bibliotecología, cada profesional es el principal responsable de perseguir el aprendizaje continuo, que mejore constantemente su conocimiento y destrezas. ¿Cómo es que tú mantienes tu desarrollo profesional? ¿Cómo alimentas tus conocimientos y destrezas?

Jonathan [00:14:33] Mira, yo creo que es una pregunta muy, muy interesante porque, yo coincido con varios profesores que tuve, de hecho, esto lo aprendí de una de ellas, que el bibliotecario, la bibliotecaria, tiene que estar constantemente actualizado, es decir, una profesora me acuerdo que nos decía que sería muy vergonzoso que un bibliotecario no esté al día, ¿no?

[00:14:52] Independientemente de la sección, del departamento, del área de servicios de donde esté, tiene que estar actualizado de lo que pasa en su entorno y en el mundo. Entonces, al final de cuentas trabajamos con información. Entonces, una nueva manera de mantener el estudio profesional, además de estar actualizado con las noticias, etcétera, es ir y asistir a seminarios, a talleres, meterse, en donde podamos tener tiempo. Y eso también va a alimentar nuestros conocimientos, las destrezas que podamos tener. El aprendizaje, el autoaprendizaje es fundamental y sobre todo en esta época de pandemia en la que tenemos todos los seminarios a un clic. Nada más es cuestión de encontrar un poco de tiempo. Pero yo estoy de acuerdo con la guía de competencias a la que tú te refieres. Cada profesional al final de cuentas va a ser el responsable de tener, de proseguir el aprendizaje continuo y esto sería, digamos, la forma de mantener el desarrollo profesional; estar actualizado en Twitter, en Facebook, ver las noticias, ver de mí área, de mi interés, que es lo que están hablando aquí en Latinoamérica, en Estados Unidos, en Europa, en Asia, en otros países, en otras regiones del mundo. Porque también es importante tener una visión más amplia de lo que sucede en el resto del mundo, no quedarnos solamente con la visión de una sola región.

Sara [00:16:15] Y teniendo en cuenta que este cambio constante de las necesidades de las sociedades, el cambio tecnológico, el crecimiento del conocimiento profesional, exigen que como bibliotecarios pues ampliemos nuestros conocimientos y utilicemos nuestras habilidades de manera continua.

[00:16:33] ¿Cuáles crees tú que son aquellas habilidades importantes que se necesitan en el campo de la bibliotecología hoy en día? Si me puedes mencionar, digamos tres.

Jonathan [00:16:45] Tres! Híjole!   Mira, se me ocurren varias, pero podríamos, digamos resumirlas, en una habilidad de comprensión. Es decir, es una habilidad bastante básica. No me refiero a comprensión lectora, sino de tratar de discernir todo aquello que es una capacidad crítica. A eso me quiero referir. Una capacidad crítica de todo lo que uno lee, de todo lo que consume uno, es una capacidad crítica. Me parece una habilidad importante para el campo bibliotecológico hoy en día. También una actitud colaborativa. Yo creo que eso es fundamental, sin colaboración básicamente nos quedamos aislados y no crecemos. Y yo creo que la responsabilidad ética puede ser una habilidad importante también para todo lo que hacemos, siempre tener esta cuestión ética en todo lo que hacemos, en todo lo que desarrollamos, en nuestro actuar, en nuestros desarrollos de investigaciones, en nuestro trato con las demás personas.

Sara [00:17:47] Entonces, comprensión, colaboración y ética profesional.

Jonathan [00:17:52] Que creo que la primera sería actitud crítica, capacidad crítica. Ajá.

Sara [00:17:58] Ok, muy bien. Sí. Bueno, mencionaste que eres investigador. ¿Cuáles son los temas que más te interesan Investigar ahora? ¿que estás investigando o cuál es tu aspiración como investigador?

Jonathan [00:18:12] Mira, desde 2017 aproximadamente, comenzamos en el Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas y de la Información a tratar el tema de las noticias falsas, de la desinformación y bueno, de todos estos nombres que se han venido acumulando para el fenómeno de la desinformación.

[00:18:30] Entonces, ese es el tema que por ahora me está interesando, porque en estos momentos y en este año por la pandemia, pues bueno, el tema fue, es más trascendental y sobre todo está impactando distintas áreas. Entonces por ahora, digamos, este es el tema central de mi investigación, aunque naturalmente yo también estoy en cuestiones relacionadas con la infodiversidad, el cual es un tema que me apasiona muchísimo, lo he venido trabajando ya desde varios años. La infodiversidad como aquella diversidad informativa que tenemos en el mundo, la variedad de los soportes, de los registros, etcétera y cómo nosotros como bibliotecólogos podemos estudiarlos; cómo van evolucionando la información, la diversidad informativa, etcétera. Y también por ahí, que me apasiona mucho, el olvido digital. ¿Cómo es que se van los procesos de descomposición de la información digital? Pues cada vez van creciendo, ¿como es que los sistemas y nosotros como personas vamos olvidando cuestiones digitales? Entonces esos son, digamos, los temas que me interesa investigar, qué están relacionados, muy, muy relacionado con las bibliotecas y la bibliotecología.

Sara [00:19:43] Sabes que es la primera vez que lo escucho… contigo aprendo estas palabras. Recuerdo que en la conferencia cuando te escuche hablaste de estos términos infode… ¿Como dijiste? infodemia,

Jonathan infobesidad me parece… infoxicación.

 Sara infoxicación. si

Sara [00:20:03] Yo no había escuchado ese término y ahora hablas de olvido digital [risas]

Jonathan Si, este es un tema realmente muy, muy interesante porque producimos tanta información y ahora podríamos discutir esto del olvido digital por horas, porque todo ahora lo que hacemos pues está en nuestros aparatos, ya no imprimimos nuestras fotos, tan solo con nuestras fotos. ¿no? ¿Entonces qué hacemos? ¿Cómo las organizamos? ¿Cómo la recuperamos? Es un tema realmente apasionante.

Sara [00:20:30] Qué curioso, ¿no? Porque hablas de cómo recuperar la información, pero utilizamos otros términos, ¿no? el olvido digital. [risas].  

Jonathan Así es.

Sara [00:20:44] Y ¿Qué libro o qué lectura compartirías con nosotros, para nuestro aprendizaje continuo en la carrera?  

Jonathan [00:20:55]  Bueno, sin duda tenemos muchísimas lecturas muy muy interesantes para nuestro aprendizaje. Pero sí me gustaría hablar en esta pregunta, digamos a manera de memoria porque tuvimos una triste noticia hace poco que falleció uno de los grandes pilares de nuestra área aquí en México, del doctor Adolfo Rodríguez Gallardo.

[00:21:17] Y tiene una obra impresionante. Tiene un libro muy importante que se llama Formación Humanística del bibliotecólogo: hacia su recuperación. Se puede encontrar en el repositorio del IIBI y además estoy seguro de que varios ya lo han leído. Pero yo creo que es importante retomar también estos valores humanísticos del bibliotecólogo, que en algunos casos se han difuminado, y además los traigo a colación precisamente por la trayectoria del doctor Rodríguez Gallardo que, pues bueno, yo creo que es importante recordarlo a través de todo lo que nos ha dejado.

Sara [00:21:55] ¿Tienes un mentor, Jonathan?

Jonathan [00:21:58] Híjole, pues mira, a lo largo de mi carrera he tenido personas que me han apoyado muchísimo y que sin duda mi desarrollo profesional no hubiera sido el mismo. A lo mejor, mentor como ahora o sea que esté a mi lado, pues bueno no, ya se difuminan digamos esas barreras. Pero yo por ejemplo te puedo mencionar varias personas con las que comencé a trabajar. El doctor Roberto Garduño, un gran amigo o colega que fue el que digamos, me inició, digamos, porque yo empecé a trabajar con él. Y por supuesto, tendría que mencionar también a la doctora Estela Morales, quien ha sido mi tutora de maestría y de doctorado, una gran amiga y colega de la que he aprendido muchísimo.

Sara [00:22:39] ¿Y alguna persona de la carrera que te inspire, que te lleve a la reflexión?

Jonathan [00:22:48] Claro. Si Y aquí volveré a la anterior pregunta, a la de la lectura.  Y digo, a manera de memoria, e in memoriam también, voy a mencionar al doctor Rodríguez Gallardo. Sin duda el doctor Rodríguez me inspira. Lamentablemente, ahora que se nos ha ido, pues ha sido una persona, realmente que durante todos sus años promovió varias cosas. Promovió la IFLA, por ejemplo. Estuvo hace muchísimos años al frente del Comité de IFLA LAC, estuvo en la Junta de Gobierno. Tengo entendido que fue el primer latinoamericano en la Junta de Gobierno. Entonces, vamos, ha sido una persona que inspira, además de todos los cambios que hizo aquí para visibilizar a los profesionales de la bibliotecología en México y particularmente en la universidad, para que tuviéramos un status, para el que hoy él forjó, digamos, los caminos, para el instituto en el que estoy trabajando actualmente. Entonces, sin duda es una persona que inspira.

Sara [00:23:49] Sí, ya veo. Voy a buscar su libro,

Sara [00:23:52] Bueno, para terminar, voy a proceder a hacerte algunas preguntas rápidas y me respondes lo primero que se te venga a la cabeza. No tienes que pensar mucho, simplemente algo corto. Ya entonces, Jonatan, ¿qué te quita el sueño?

Jonathan [00:24:09] Híjole! el calor.

Sara [00:24:14] Si fueras el personaje de un libro, ¿cuál te gustaría ser?

Jonathan [00:24:19] Probablemente Mark Alem, de El Palacio de los Sueños, que es de un oficinista donde le llegaban los sueños de toda su comunidad y los organizaba, los clasificaba y encontraba secretos. Es una novela bastante interesante.

[00:24:36] Sí, Y te digo, no trata del área como tal, pero pues bueno, imagínate bibliotecario organizando, clasificando sueños ¿no? de la gente que llega. No es una cosa, es un viaje impresionante.

Sara [00:24:50] Si me da curiosidad. ¿La palabra que más usas?

Jonathan. Digamos profesionalmente ahorita se me ocurren desinformación, creo que ya he utilizado muchísimo. [risas]. 

Sara Ok, iba a decir híjole. has dicho híjole varias veces

Jonathan.  Ya, ahorita híjole si como buen mexicano [risas]. 

Sara.  Jonathan, ¿que has aprendido en esta cuarentena? 

Jonathan [00:25:16] Digamos a estar quieto o sentado en las sillas, lo frágil que pueden ser las sillas, si es que estamos   a cada rato sentados en el Zoom, etcétera. [00:25:27] Entonces, he aprendido a estar quieto.

Sara [00:25:31] ok una frase que te inspira.

Jonathan [00:25:36] Acabo de escuchar una frase en una de estas reuniones que hemos tenido en la IFLA, de que la estructura va de la mano con la estrategia. Entonces justo antier la escuché y hoy te la traigo en la mente muy fresca.

Sara [00:25:55] A ver. Un buen consejo profesional que te han dado.

Jonathan [00:25:59] Híjole!  volví a decir híjole! Bueno, me han dado, realmente he tenido la fortuna de que me han dado bastantes consejos. Uno de los que más recuerdo ha sido el que me comentaron hace algún tiempo.

[00:26:10] Me dijeron que si te cierran una puerta, que no importa. Da la vuelta y entras por la de atrás y vas a salir por la de adelante.

Sara [00:26:23] [risas] OK Jonathan, muchas gracias por estar aquí. Esto ha sido todo.

Jonathan [00:26:27] Muchísimas gracias, Sara, y los felicito realmente por esta serie de podcast y les mandó un gran saludo.

Sara [00:26:34] Este fue el podcast de CPDWL Hasta la próxima.


Translation into English / Podcast CPDWL in Spanish

Guest: Jonathan Hernández (Mexico)

Host: Sara Ulloa (Peru)


Sara [00:00:02] Hello, welcome to the Podcast Project of the IFLA’s Section for Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL)   

This is a project where we talk with library and information sciences professionals, to learn about their professional development. In this episode our guest is Jonathan Hernández, from Mexico, a young, aspiring librarian, with a strong leadership. 

I met Jonathan when I attended his conference at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. He likes to participate in conferences where he advocates for access to information, inclusion of libraries in the UN 2030 Agenda, and internet governance.

He attended UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he is currently very active as associate researcher at the Institute of Libraries and Information, and member of the “Information and Society” seminar where topics such as misinformation, censorship, privacy and digital forgetting are discussed.

Sara [00:01:15] Welcome Jonathan!

Jonathan [00:01:18] Thank you very much Sara, it is a real pleasure to be here, sharing with you, and specially for IFLA, all those topics we will be talking about.   

Sara [00:01:29] Good. I would like to start by talking a little bit about your beginnings, when you were pondering what to study. What is it that made you choose Librarianship? Was there something that influenced your decision?

Jonathan [00:01:43] Well, your question is very interesting. Normally when we are choosing a career, we are often asked that question. As you know Librarianship is not exactly the most popular career when you are looking for a way to get into university. So, there are those who already know something about it, either through a friend or a close relative who studied it and recommended it, or because they grew up with a strong connection with libraries. In my case, I have two relatives who studied librarianship. One of them is doing something else, but I looked at the curriculum and told myself, “let’s see what it is that this career offers me.” And I liked it. In fact, I liked it on the spot, and besides, indirectly, my life has always been somehow marked by libraries and, truth be said, I never thought I would be dedicating myself to it a hundred percent. But that is what drove me. I was curious to know what was that all about, and I loved it.

Sara [00:02:54] So, what is it that you liked best of the profession? 

Jonathan [00:02:58] What I really liked were the possibilities that you can have, that is, the variety of approaches that our career, our discipline, has. When you begin, and I think it happens with all careers, there is some uncertainty. What kind of work will I have?  Will I really be doing only one set of tasks? Maybe just in cataloguing; or only in services; or only users. But each area offers impressive possibilities. See, just organization of knowledge is now maximized with data, the large amount of information we produce, etc. So, what thrills me more is all these possible targets of our discipline, and above all, the community, the community that it generates, builds up, and shares.

Sara [00:03:49] And what has been your work experience as librarian, in the library field?

Jonathan [00:03:56] Well. We are fortunate. I say this because librarianship is a career where there are not big numbers of students, so the labour market is in a way quite broad.  Then usually, at least here in my country, when you are about halfway in your career, you can start inserting yourself into the labour market little by little. Therefore, I started cataloguing, with tasks related to digital libraries, and that helped me a lot. This is really a fascinating field where you can learn a lot, because it is a matter of semantic structure, relationships, etc. Later, when life took me on the path of library education, I started working towards a higher degree in librarianship and information studies in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UNAM. So, then I decided to study for a Master and a Doctorate. After that I went full time into research. But, along the way, I worked on several projects with libraries and associations, and a few other things.

 Sara [00:05:08] Now that you mention it, you really have a wide experience, and you have a doctorate in librarianship. Now I would like to touch on your participation with defence associations.

[00:05:22] For a young person, you have a large participation with those groups, both in your country and abroad. For example, in Mexico, you were president of the Colegio Nacional de Bibliotecarios. What was the biggest challenge you had to deal with?

Jonathan [00:05:38] Thank you Sara. In effect I participated from the time I finished my studies, for example in the case of the Colegio. As you probably know, to be a member of the Colegio you need to have the degree so, as soon as I finished my studies and obtained my degree, I joined and started going to their congresses and others. I had a participation in AMBAC when I was still studying. They have a students’ forum which I consider very valuable, particularly because they start introducing young people to the professional associations’ world.  As for the challenges, I believe all associations have the same, very important, challenges: membership, positioning the association and visibility. Therefore, I think those were the greatest challenges I had to face during the administration I had the honour to preside. And, also, to demonstrate that young people can be up to facing those challenges. And I hope that I and my board proved we were up to it. Most of us were young, but fortunately we also had people with experience, and I think there you find the key. I want to say, to connect and cooperate young people with those who have experience, because we have a lot to learn. So, for me, these were the greatest challenges: membership, positioning the association and showing that young people can conduct and be up to the task.

Sara [ [00:07:04] Well, you know, that surprises me. I was just discussing with some colleagues about the lack of participation in the associations of the young colleagues; it almost doesn’t happen, at least not in my country. It seems that we wait to finish our studies and then let many more years go by. Besides, it is not easy, because if you have not finished your degree, it is the same in Peru, you cannot be part of the Colegio, right?

Jonathan True.

Sara I am one of them, and I cannot be a member of the Colegio because I am still writing my thesis. This is why I find it interesting that you share your experience with us.

[00:07:45] And regarding the participation at the international level, well, you are a member of IFLA and part of the Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) Advisory Committee, right?

Jonathan [00:07:59] Yes, I am.

Sara [00:08:01] And now? You have recently been elected member of their Board, IFLA’s Governing Board. Tell us a bit about it, what is it all about and what are your expectations related to that position. 

Jonathan [00:08:18] Sure. Look, it has been a very rewarding experience. I would like to tell you that my first participation in IFLA happened about ten years ago. Yes, around 2010 there was a competition, IFLA selected the best of papers presented by students, and we were selected. I had the support of my university and went [to the Congress]. That year it was in Gothenburg, yes, and I could see the dimension of IFLA, everything that it does, the cooperation among people, the international membership. And I attended the FAIFE section. Ever since, I have been very active in IFLA, and with FAIFE, because I really liked their way of defending and approaching the topics related to freedom of expression and access to information, from the librarianship point of view. There are many interesting things happening in this Committee. They have produced regulations, guidelines on questions affecting all these liberties and things that can constitute threats. We also had a very interesting webinar on privacy, and have collaborated also with other sections, to, for example, discuss and fight fake news, etc.

Jonathan [00:09:41] That’s it and with regard to the Governing Board. I would also like to comment briefly that I applied to the IFLA call for its International Leaders Programme. This programme was quite interesting, there were about eight of us selected, I don’t remember the exact number, but we became very good friend and colleagues, friends from different parts of the world; just a form of training to make it possible for us to be able to inspire, become leaders and be able to collaborate with our colleagues and our friends here in our countries. This leadership programme provided me with the opportunity to get to know the insides of IFLA, and later to establish relationships, be able to contribute and also, be able to attend several events representing IFLA. It was a wonderful experience, and of course made me feel more in love with IFLA, and that was the step that prompted me to be a candidate to the Governing Board. Now, as a member of the board, what we do is show the way to where IFLA goes; that is, approve some issues, propose subjects, and take care of the financial situation, the sustainability of our Federation. And particularly now we are immersed in some reforms for a new governance of IFLA, which is quite interesting. This is an extremely important change, because IFLA has existed for quite a number of years, it has been changing structures at certain times, but now, now this very important change is coming because some amendments have been proposed to make it a more inclusive federation, and this is what we have been working on all this year.

Sara [00:11:32] Great. Regarding participation, now that you are in the Governing Board, how do you see this region’s participation? How do you see the participation of Latin America in the committees? 

Jonathan [00:11:57] I believe there are many opportunities. We also need to see the needs of each country. What I have seen during the recent years, is that there is a more active participation of Latin America. Of course, we need more, we want more, specially more of the young members. Latin America has had an important trajectory within IFLA. Some countries have had, let’s say, great opportunities, they have had more influence because of their size, or their libraries situation, or their librarianship institutions. Thus, we have Brazil, Mexico Argentina, etc., but now more countries are getting involved, and this is because of technology, the inclusion mechanisms created by IFLA, and thanks to the fact that, bit by bit, Latin Americans are participating in committees.

[00:12:53] You are a clear example, Sara, being in this committee, and some others that are in other committees, not necessarily the Latin America committee. So, people turn back to watch us, and we also propose issues. And I would like to stop here to deal with the situation of youth involvement in defence associations in Latin America. Very often the associations or unions movements are not attractive for the young for many reasons: they don’t see themselves represented, they are involved in the same practices from decades ago, there are no programs for new professionals, so this is a situation that stops them, and I think it is necessary to refresh these movements. But it is also important that young professionals be present and get involved, otherwise they become lazy. Just to say, oh but the association doesn’t think of me, the association is that, or the other, it is always the same. But if I don’t go and don’t get involved, then, it is going to continue being the same for many, many years. I think there is willingness, but we must look at the characteristics of the LAC association, because most of them function with volunteer work. And that also limits the ability of the associations to operate.

Sara [00:14:04] Yes, that’s true. Now I would like to dig a little bit on your professional development. According to the CPD guidelines for librarians, each professional is the main responsible for his or her continuous learning in order to constantly improve their knowledge and abilities. How do you keep up with your professional development? How do you nurture your knowledge and abilities?

Jonathan [00:14:33] Well, I think this is a fantastic question because I agree with some of my teachers; in fact, I learned this from one of them: a librarian needs to be permanently up to date, because, as my teacher told us, it would be very shameful for librarians if they were not up to date, right?

[00:14:52] Regardless of the section, the department, or the service where they are, they need to be up to date with what is happening around them and in the world. After all, we work with information. Therefore, a way of keeping up with our professional studies, other than being aware of the news, etc., is to attend seminars, workshops, and other, when we can spare the time. That is also going to nurture our knowledge and the abilities we may have. Learning, self-learning is fundamental, and particularly during this period of pandemic when we have all the seminars one click away. It is just a matter of finding a bit of time. And I agree with the guidelines to which you made reference. Each professional has, after all, the responsibility to engage in continuous learning, and I would say, this is the way to keep up with your professional development. Keep up with Twitter, Facebook, watch the news; check my interest area, what is being said in Latin America, in the United States, in Europe, in Asia, in other countries, other regions of the world. Because it is also important to have a larger vision of what is going on in the rest of the world, and not keep only the vision of one region.

Sara [00:16:15] And, considering that this constant change in the needs of societies, the technological change, the growth of professional knowledge, demand that us, as librarians, widen our knowledge and use our capabilities constantly, [00:16:33] Which do you think are those capabilities needed in the librarianship field nowadays? If you could mention, say three. 

Jonathan [00:16:45] Three! Oh golly! Well. I can think of several, but we could summarize them in an ability to comprehend. This is a very basic capability. I am not referring to reading comprehension but to trying to differentiate everything. that is a critical capability, that is what I want to say.  Critical capability towards everything we read, what we consume. Critical capability seems to me an important ability in today’s librarianship. We also need a collaborative attitude. I think this is fundamental, without collaboration we will be basically isolated, and we will not grow.  And I think that we should also have ethical responsibility, as it can be an important ability for everything we do, always act with ethics in what we do, what we develop, how we behave, in our research work, in our behaviour with other people.

Sara [00:17:47] Good, Understanding, collaboration and professional ethics.  

Jonathan [00:17:52] For the first one, I would rather say critical attitude, critical capacity, yes.

Sara [00:17:58] Very well. Now, you mentioned that you are a researcher. Which are the topics that interest you most nowadays? What are you researching about, or what is it that you want to achieve as a researcher?

Jonathan [00:18:12] Well, approximately in 2017 we, at the Research Institute on Librarianship and Information (IIBI), started to deal with the topic of fake news, misinformation and, you know, all those names that are being used to deal with the issue of misinformation.

[00:18:30] So, this is the topic that interests me most, because now, in this year of the pandemic, the topic has momentum and is having an impact on many areas. So, this is now the core topic of my research, although I continue dealing with issues related to infodiversity, which is a topic of great interest to me and that I have been working for several years. Infodiversity, as in the variety of information we have in the world, the variety of carriers, of records, etc., and how we, librarians, can study them; how information and its diversity evolve, and so on. Another thing that I love is digital forgetting. How does the decomposition of digital information happen? This is something that keeps growing; How is it that systems and persons go about forgetting digital issues? So, these are the topics that I am interested in, as subjects of my research, and which are very much related to libraries and librarianship.

Sara [00:19:43] You know, this is the first time I hear about this… I learn all these new words when I talk to you. I remember the presentation I attended, where I head you use some of these words: info something. What is it that you said? infodemia?

 Jonathan  I think I used infobesidad  or infoxicación. (both translate as information overload. T.N)

Sara infoxicación, yes

Sara [00:20:03] I had never heard that word. And now you talk about digital forgetting [laughs]

Jonathan  Yes, this is a really interesting topic, because we produce a lot of information, so now we can spend hours discussing digital forgetting. Everything we do now stays in our electronic devices, we no longer print our photos, just talking about photos, what do we do? How do we organize them? How do we retrieve them? This is a very exciting topic.

Sara [00:20:30] This is strange because you talk about how to retrieve information, but you use other words, right? digital forgetting.  [laughs].  

Jonathan True.

Sara [00:20:44] Now. What book or reading would you share with us, for our continuing professional learning?

Jonathan [00:20:55] Well, there are certainly very many readings, highly interesting, to further our learning. But I would like to answer this question, let’s say, with a sort of memorial, because we learned recently of the passing of one of the great pillars of our profession here in Mexico, Doctor Adolfo Rodríguez Gallardo.

 [00:21:17] His works are very impressive. He wrote a very important book entitled Formación Humanística del bibliotecólogo: hacia su recuperación. [Humanistic background of the librarian: towards its recovery]. It can be found in the IIBI repository, and I am almost sure that many have already read it. But I also believe that it is important to go back to these humanistic values of librarians, which in many cases have become blurred, and that I mention here precisely because of Doctor Rodríguez Gallardo’s trajectory, because I think it is important to remember him through the works he has left us.

Sara [00:21:55] Do you have a mentor, Jonathan?

Jonathan [00:21:58] Oh golly! Well, all along my career I have had people who have helped me a lot, without whom my professional development would not have been the same. Maybe, mentor, as we understand it today, as somebody who is by my side, really not. Those barriers are somehow blurred. But I can mention, for example, several people from the time I started working. Doctor Roberto Garduño, a good friend and colleague who, you could say, started my training as I started working with him. And, of course, I surely must mention Doctor Estela Morales, who was my advisor for the master and the doctorate; a very good friend and colleague from whom I have learned so much.

Sara [00:22:39] And was there a person in your career that inspires you? Who makes you think back? 

Jonathan [00:22:48] Yes, of course. And I will go back here to the earlier question about readings. As remembrance and also, in memoriam, I will mention Doctor Rodriguez Gallardo. It is obvious that Doctor Rodriguez inspires me. It is unfortunate that he is now gone, because he was a person who promoted many issues through the years. He promoted IFLA, for example. Many years ago. he was an officer in IFLA-LAC, and in the Governing Board. I understand he was the first Latin American to serve in the Governing Board. Well, he was an inspiring person. He also introduced many changes here to improve the visibility of library professionals in Mexico, particularly in the University; he opened the way to allow us to gain status here in the institute where I currently work. For sure he inspires people.

Sara [00:23:49] I see, yes. I will look for his book.   

[00:23:52] Now, for the final part, I will ask you some quick questions and you will answer with the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t think much and give me just a short answer. So, Jonathan, what keeps you awake?

 Jonathan [00:24:09] oh golly! The heat

Sara [00:24:14] If you were a character in a book, who would you like to be? 

Jonathan [00:24:19] Probably Mark Alem, in The Palace of Dreams. He is a clerk in an office where all the dreams of the community are deposited, and he organized them, classified them, and found their secrets; it is quite an interesting novel.

[00:24:36] Yes, I tell you, it is not about our area as such, but imagine that you are a librarian organizing and classifying the dreams of the people. It is not a thing; it is an impressive voyage. 

Sara [00:24:50] Well, I am intrigued. Which is the word you use most?

Jonathan. If it is professional, right now I would say misinformation. I think I have used it a lot. [laughs]. 

Sara Well, I was going to say híjole! [oh golly!] You said it several times.  

Jonathan.  Right, híjole! yes, like a true Mexican [laughs]. 

Sara.  Jonathan, what have you learned during this quarantine?

Jonathan [00:25:16] I would say, I have learned to be still when sitting on a chair. Chairs can be really fragile, and we are constantly sitting for Zoom, etc. So, I have learned to be still.

Sara [00:25:31] OK. A phrase that inspires you.

Jonathan [00:25:36] I just heard a phrase in one of the IFLA meetings we have had, that says that structure goes hand in hand with strategy. I just heard it two days ago and today it is very fresh in my mind.

Sara [00:25:55] Let’s see. A good professional advice that you received.

Jonathan [00:25:59] Oh golly!  I said it again, [híjole!] Well, I have been fortunate to have received a lot of good advice. One that I remember most often is one that I received a while ago.

[00:26:10] They told me that, if they close a door on you, it does not matter. You turn around and enter through the back door, and you will exit by the front door.

Sara [00:26:23] [laughs] OK Jonathan, thank you very much for being here. This has been all. 

Jonathan [00:26:27] Thank you very much, Sara, and congratulate your Section for this series of podcast and send them my best greetings.

Sara [00:26:34] This was a CPDWL podcast. Until next time.

CPDWL Podcast Project Season 2, Episode 5: Nyakundi James Nyambane

Colleagues, we are excited to announce the our next episode (for season 2) of the CPDWL Podcast Project where we feature library and information professionals who support and participate in professional development work.

See here for the podcast:–CPDWL-Standing-Committee-Member-enkpcv

The transcript below.

Nyakundi James Nyambane is a Librarian- User services at the United States International University Africa, Library and Information Center. Based in Nairobi Kenya. He is a CPDWL member and serves currently as the Vice-Chairperson of the Nairobi branch (Kenya Library association). He is a Co-founder of the New Information professionals Caucus that unites all new information professionals in Kenya. A passionate librarian, open for collaborations within the globe.


Hi, this is Raymond Pun, Welcome to the IFLA CPDWL Podcast Project. In this space, we talk with library and information professionals who support and participate in professional development work.. Today’s guest is Nyakundi James Nyambane. Nyakundi James Nyambane is a Librarian- User services at the United States International University Africa, Library and Information Center. Based in Nairobi Kenya. He is a CPDWL member and serves currently as the Vice-Chairperson of the Nairobi branch (Kenya Library association). He is a Co-founder of the New Information professionals Caucus that unites all new information professionals in Kenya. A passionate librarian, open for collaborations within the globe.

Thank you so much for having me. I am grateful.

Yeah, we’re really excited to have you here. And we wanted to have a conversation with you about your work, your background. And if you had to describe yourself using only one word. What word would it be?


Right Ray, I say. I’ll say, I use passionate. I am a passionate librarian; I am a passionate person whatever you decide to do i do it with a lot of passion. I was torn between also using our passion and open minded but they say that passion, passionate.


Good choice of words and we know that based on your bio through are really obviously passionate for open collaboration, you have been active in the new information professionals pockets, within your country as well as within Islam. So, this is an interesting question for our audience today, what compelled you to become a librarian, how did you get started.


I, I didn’t know that I will be a librarian at one time. After I finished my form here in Kenya you choose a college or university. So, I wanted to take nothing. I applied to the nursing school, they never got back to me. So after I got that the intake was over all my other colleagues were already taken and started schooling. I went to one of my uncles, and my uncle suggested that I try a library school.  And my first reaction was, No way. I can’t be a librarian.


Um, later on, I got to visit a librarian. And we had a conversation. And he shared with me on how librarianship is transforming how librarianship is changing, and that changed my perspective because my perspective was the local libraries that we where we land. And this primary and secondary schools, they were the libraries were very not in good condition they were pathetic. So, after getting to sense those, the librarian changed my perspective, I thought, well, I can give it a shot I went to a library school. It took me four years to finish my undergraduate after finishing my before I found I finished my undergraduate, I went to do my attachment. My attachment I did it at my current institution, which is a, an academic library, and I got exposed by like the institution and I promised myself one day I’ll come back to work here. So I went back to finish school and came back after school again for internship. When I came for internship, there was an opportunity that happened up into that time. And then I got shortlisted did my interviews luckily I was selected in this institution so that’s how I got myself in librarianship. At first it was not my thing. Secondly, went to library school when it came to attachment and later did my internship at the same institution. And then I like in librarianship now I’m in.

And I’m glad that I chose librarianship. And we’re really glad that you’re in the profession with us. So that’s a really interesting journey you’ve described. And I wonder I wonder about your specialization when you went to school with did you have something in mind focused on one area, or did you want it to be a generalist. Yes At first, right, I thought I was. I was, I okay I thought I will take it libraries.


When I got through my third year, I was encouraged to do librarianship now as an option because here in Kenya. We have four options we have librarianship, we have records, we have it, and we have media. So I chose librarianship because I thought it’s an area for us here, that is growing. And I thought that the opportunities here in librarianship are better than in other areas like IT, where other specialists have already taken over so I did librarianship in my undergraduate and I specialized in library and information science.


So what does global librarianship mean to you, and has that changed, you know, since you started, and now being active in our section.


Okay. Um, global librarianship, to me, is, is the way. Currently, how librarians network, globally, and how people are librarians are working hand in hand to promote and increase, sharing and dissemination of ideas information and also how librarians are providing solutions to obstacles are surrounding our current environment. Also librarianship now is also changing adapting to different socio economic, environmental and political environment that we are in librarianship now I view it as is a solution to what our current society is facing, because librarianship is being sought after to provide specific information. So global librarianship to be seems like a collaboration whereby we can have librarians from all over the world. Working together and supporting each other in terms of disseminating and providing and supplying, or assisting users globally.


Yeah, those are really great points, and it certainly falls under influence work with trying to look at the UN, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals SDGs. Right. Yes. Yes. So working together, and addressing these issues that you were mentioning.

So let’s move, let’s move to the IFLA work. and how did you first get involved with IFLA?


Um, I’ve first got involved with IFLA. Okay, before I first got in involved with IFLA, I’ve always been following IFLA. Since I think 2016 2016 2017, I’ve been following how it’s conducting its activities I subscribe to lists of emails I will get updated on what I’ve realized doing so in 2018.


Late 2017 when there was a call for papers, I did an abstract for poster.


And I started looking forward to attending the 2018 one labor information conference in Kuala Lumpur. So my first time to be in a flat was in 2018, and I had a poster that I was presenting in Kuala lumper.


In 2019, again, we, I will not manage to go to events but I did, we did a post again with my colleague who went and presented a poster, in essence, so I have been involved. I started being involved in 2018 and 2019 before 2020 came and then it was cancelled. So that’s how I got myself being involved with IFLA.


So can you share with us a memorable moment you have at the WLIC perhaps in 2018, or some meeting or webinar you’ve attended recently.


Um, since I’ve been attending IFLA in 2018. I’ve always been following. What IFLA does what CPDWL is doing, and also what the new information professional caucus, and the information professional new special interest group is doing in IFLA.


That was my first time to attend to our World Conference. And I was so surprised to see so many librarians, in one place. And the opening ceremony is an event that keeps on coming to my mind whenever I think about IFLA. It was very nice. I enjoyed everything in the opening ceremony.  And in Kuala lumper.


We also visited the public library where I learned a lot about what other libraries are doing. Also, in the newcomers session at the IFLA conference, I attended the newcomers session.


It was very informative and we learned I learned a lot. It changed my perspective on  librarianship. I also attended the, the professional new, new professional new information professionals session which was on our library and fashion. And it was very memorable event that I was in. Also the exhibition center. I have never been to such a large exhibition area, and it to me. I land on every new technologies that our libraries are embracing, and also different approaches that librarianship is taking now and for the future of this field in this field.

So you mentioned that you attended the forum at the Congress, and your perspective on library librarianship change how so?

There was discussions on how they are collaborating. How librarians are doing projects, our librarians are not only in their offices. Librarians I learned that they have lifted their office, they’re going beyond their offices that when proposals for funding, those things. At first, I never had, I had not been close into those people were doing such great projects are no, I also learned that they are also new professional they are not that it’s not that they have been in the profession for so long, but some of them were new information professionals like now I can use the example of the Senegal, there was a project that was presented from Senegal with that was so inspiring on the community library that was, was developed and other different projects even from in Tanzania, some actually were also African based and then we were challenged also, me and my colleagues from Kenya. Now we thought that when we get back we will work on something also we develop our community library so that they can be better.


It was a really great experiences and moments you have shared with us. Now can you tell us what are you most excited about in the profession of this profession is?


Let’s say, let me start by I walk in an academic library. So, our users, our students, faculty and our staff.  We support teaching and learning. Here at my institution. We support Research Services. And every time we touch are alive we support we teach them on how to do research, we teach them on how to find information resources. And we find that it’s so fulfilling when you realize that you have helped someone as become a better person, a better researcher as librarians. We also support the freedom to read and think, we support, and we champion, the rights to access to, or have access to information to all of our students regardless of where they come from, regardless of their tribe regardless of their race or social background regardless of how old or young Leah, so we get excited. Once we get back the feedback from them, saying that they are so grateful that we have touched their life, we have changed their perspective on the life story. We have changed their perspective on a specific class because now we have availed the resources for them that they wanted to do for research and science so we get a. I get what we call. You say, motivation, I get that’s how I drive my motivation from.


So it sounds like there’s been a lot of activities you’re doing, and even in your current workplace, and also in Islam and I’m curious here. Is there a professional development tip, or advice that you’d like to share with others, particularly those who are new, and or would like to be involved in IFLA and I know you had mentioned earlier, going to the conference and doing presentations and meeting with people and I wonder if there anything else you’d like to add?


Yesterday, um, I’d like to say for new information professionals who are joining the profession.


I like them to, I like to advise them to join professional associations. Join your local professional association and participated, don’t just join without participating.


Keep planning, take short courses, learn from what other people are there to work, collaborate with other people. It builds someone’s network and also builds the confidence of a librarian. I will also encourage the new information professionals to write papers way if there is an opportunity they can do posters, they can collaborate with experienced writers, or experienced the librarian so that they can learn from them on how specific projects are done specific papers are done, so that they can also become experts in their future. It’s good to network. And it’s also good to collaborate with other new information profession, or other professional in this field. Certainly, those are really great advice there. Now we wanted to ask you something a little bit different here. If you didn’t work in libraries, what profession, other than librarianship would you have wanted to attempt a definitely I could be honest, I missed the nursing school opportunity.


So, it was my first choice, then my second choice was I didn’t have actually more of a second choice but my first choice was nothing so I will be honest, I will be nursing patients as our users.


Oh wow, that’s interesting.


Potentially, if you were interested in health sciences research. The work we do to connect with researchers, as well. I know a lot of librarians who are subject liaison to nursing students.


I didn’t hear you correctly. Right.



Yes, great just to confirm. Now here’s a question here. Can you tell us about a recent project presentation or program that you’re working on.


Um, thank you, Ray, um, my, what we are working on currently is our second information professional Comcast cup.


Last year, what we are currently is the second information camp. We invited you, you were one of our guests. We are going to have the second one, on fifth of March in 2021. We, we are collaborating with our National Library Association.

That’s Kenya Library Association. We are collaborating with our Kenya National Library Services, which is our national library service provider. And we also collaborating with Wikimedia Foundation Kenya to have that much event a success so we are working towards having our second information professional camp. Cocoa stamp in Kisumu. Kisumu is part of Kenya on fifth of March this year. The last time we had the information professional corpus we rallied so many librarians and now since then we have had so the impact has been higher but especially now our national association, people.

The new professionals are registered and they’re participating in our  National Library events. Previously, they were the youth and the new information professional felt that they were left out in some of these activities so we give them a platform, through the IPC to negotiate and say what they want to do, how they like to participate in our national association events are a second or second project that we are working on is we are having a bunch of conference in this December in like a week’s time, so I am also part of the team that is organizing and trying to organize, how the program will be and then see how we have our first virtual information conference. We’ve never had such in Kenya, and you know Kenya, we have a few challenges your internet here and there and also financially, the people now due to COVID are kind of struggling so we are trying to see how we are going to balance between the two, the internet and the financially and also have a productive conference. Right.


Oh, that sounds really good a lot of busy activities there. And that’s really exciting too because that just shows how collaborative, how focused, you’re doing your associations are to providing professional development learning and engagement. And with that couldn’t be thank you so much for talking to us and taking the time to share with us your thoughts and insights in the profession.


Thank you so much Ray I appreciate for having me and I’m so grateful.

CPDWL Podcast Project Season 2, Episode 4: Ulrike Lang and Vera Keown (Part II)

Colleagues, we are excited to announce the our next episode (for season 2) of the CPDWL Podcast Project where we feature library and information professionals who support and participate in professional development work.

This episode’s returning guests are Ulrike Lang and Vera Keown. They both will highlight more about coaching work in IFLA and in their own experiences.

To see the episode, see here:

Transcript is below.

Ulrike Lang – Until June 2020 Ulrike Lang was head of the Education and Training Department at the State and University Library Hamburg, Germany. Also responsible for Health management, conflict management, diversity management and addiction prevention. She is a member of the German library association BIB and gave several presentations at national and international conferences concerning CPD. Ulrike Lang already served eight years at the Continuing Professional Development Section (CPDWL) as co-chair, was four years member of the Education and Training Section of IFLA and now returned to CPDWL again as co-chair. She is a member of the coaching working group and served also as coach in the past years. At the 2019 Satellite conference in Zagreb she held the workshop „Challenging Presentation Needed? „

Vera Keown has been with the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada since 2010. First as Head of the Sciences and Technology Libraries and since 2014, as an Associate University Librarian. She previously held a number of library and business positions at the National Research Council of Canada. Vera has been a member of the IFLA Management & Marketing section since 2016. She considers it a great honour to be working on the IFLA Coaching Initiative with such talented and dedicated committee members. Vera is a certified leadership coach, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, and a  member of the International Coaching Federation. She offers one-on-one coaching to managers, leaders, and executives of all levels for leadership and performance development, and provides coach training to organizations.


Hi, this is Raymond Pun, Welcome to the IFLA CPDWL Podcast Project. In this space, we talk with library and information professionals who support and participate in professional development work.. Today’s returning guests are Ulrike Lang and Vera Keown. This episode is a continuation from episode 3.

Until June 2020 Ulrike Lang was head of the Education and Training Department at the State and University Library Hamburg, Germany. Also responsible for Health management, conflict management, diversity management and addiction prevention. She is a member of the German library association BIB and gave several presentations at national and international conferences concerning CPD. Ulrike Lang already served eight years at the Continuing Professional Development Section (CPDWL) as co-chair, was four years member of the Education and Training Section of IFLA and now returned to CPDWL again as co-chair. She is a member of the coaching working group and served also as coach in the past years. At the 2019 Satellite conference in Zagreb she held the workshop „Challenging Presentation Needed? „

Vera Keown has been with the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada since 2010. First as Head of the Sciences and Technology Libraries and since 2014, as an Associate University Librarian. She previously held a number of library and business positions at the National Research Council of Canada. Vera has been a member of the IFLA Management & Marketing section since 2016. She considers it a great honour to be working on the IFLA Coaching Initiative with such talented and dedicated committee members. Vera is a certified leadership coach, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, and a  member of the International Coaching Federation. She offers one-on-one coaching to managers, leaders, and executives of all levels for leadership and performance development, and provides coach training to organizations. 

Welcome back Vera and Ulrike! 

Hello, Ray. Hi, Raymond. Thanks.


So we’re really excited to have you both back to talk about the process, the basics of coaching. And I will admit, currently, right now, I am actually a coach at the New York Public Library as a volunteer supporting users of New York Public Library, who are interested in career development, resume health, planning, and so forth. And I initially had worked at New York Public Library, oh, maybe the past seven, eight years ago. And so when the pandemic happened, there were offering up virtual services and, and I decided to volunteer, and I’ve been volunteering since May of 2020. And I’ve been having such a great opportunity meeting with all types of users who are looking for coaching help. And so I’m so excited for this episode, because we can have a conversation on this, on the experiences that others are having and the basics and concepts of coaching.

Now, I’m curious here, as our first question, why did you get involved in coaching? Did you had experiences from it before? Ulrike, why don’t you start first?


Yes, happy to do. And I was always happy to be involved in lifelong learning. I think it’s so important. And coaching is not only a learning for the coachee, but also for the coaches as well. And I had some experiences from my work at the state and university library in Hamburg, where I was responsible for education and training of the staff. And in some reasons, I had to find coaches for those situations where it was appropriate to get input from outside is almost helpful, and I would German Library Association. We had a mentoring program years ago, and I was involved as a mentor. The situation for mentorship is more of a learner and an advisor that was curious to learn more of coaching, while it’s a low threshold possibility if the coach and coachee are familiar with the basic rules.


Well, thanks for giving us your context here. How about you Vera?


Well, for me, I took a coaching program in early 2019. As a form of professional development for myself, I was originally looking for another way to support my managers beyond the usual advice giving and problem solving. And it far exceeded my expectations. The training program that I  took and I was determined to learn all I could about coaching. So since that time, I’ve taken a number of other courses and I’m on my way to towards becoming a certified coach with the International Coaching Federation. I had been a member of the iIFLA Management and Marketing section for a few years and last year they were looking for a member to join the coaching initiative working group. I eagerly volunteered as I thought this was an area where it you know, I could make a significant contribution to IFLA. And I really wanted to spread the word about coaching and have more librarians be able to experience the benefits of coaching.


That’s a really great points there. And for our listeners, in our previous episode, we dive deeply into the resources of CPDWL and management marketing section on the training tools that are available, please check that out. And so I do want to say that on LinkedIn, I do see people sharing their certification of international coaching Federation. So that’s pretty exciting for you, Vera, to work on that. And so let’s talk let’s talk about why coach training is important. And sort of from your perspective, Vera, would you like to start first?


Sure. So I think a lot of managers and leaders have have coaching in their job description. It’s usually, you know, within a sentence of manage, mentor, and coach employees. I know it’s always been like that in mine whenever I’ve had management positions. However, I think we assume that every manager knew what coaching was. And now that I’m a trained coach, I know that what I was doing before as a manager was not necessarily coaching in the truest sense. And so coaching is a tool that managers can use when their employees surpass their need to be managed and mentored. It’s it’s the next level of development for your employees. So coach training is important, because in order for your employees to really benefit from it, it needs to be different from managing and mentoring. The coach needs to learn how to help the coachee solve their own problems, or develop their own strategies. If you know, just do what I did strategy always worked, we wouldn’t really need this ongoing management, training and management books that we have that teaches us how to be great leaders. So learning to coach has many benefits for the manager as well. While coaching employees may seem like it’s a bit more time consuming at first, in the long run, you help your, your help your employees develop their own abilities to solve their own problems. And it really does take the pressure off managers to always have to have, you know, right answer to every situation that comes up. So I like to describe myself as a recovering problem solver. When I describe myself as a coach.


recovering problem solving, that’s a good one. So Ulrike, tell us why coaching training is important.


As I think everybody has experiences in dealing with people at work, or in their private environment. But it’s a difference to give just an advice or an hint or offer help, how to deal with the problems, then to offer coaching. And it’s important to have knowledge about the regulations of coaching, and the kind of questions you as a coach have to ask. Otherwise, there’s a big risk of dropping into mentoring. So I think the coach training series which are offered on the CPDWL website, unnecessary and very useful.


Definitely. And so with that being said, if there are people who are interested in being a coach, tell us what every coach needs to know, Vera.


Well. So in the the coach training recordings, I covered the important principles for coaching. And these include creating a safe and trusting environment and developing a good relationship with the coachee. Coaching requires the coachee to discuss often some difficult situations and feelings and without creating trust, they need to know that they won’t be judged or that they’re and that they also their information will be kept confidential. Without that it’s really difficult to make any progress with with coaching. Probably one of the most important principles, though of coaching is that the coachee owns the agenda. And what I mean by that is that the coachee decides what the goals are, what they want to accomplish in the coaching session, and the strategy they will use to to solve their problems or reach their goals. So this is what makes coaching so different from managing and mentoring. In managing, the manager says, ”You need to do this and it has to be done this way”. In mentoring, the mentor says, ”What you need to do is this, and here’s how I did it”. Or they’ll say, “Well, I did it this way and it worked for me so maybe you can try that as well”. And finally with coaching, we want to hold people capable. As coaches, we really need to believe that the coach is capable of achieving their goals or solving their problems on their own. They have all the knowledge and wisdom to come up with a plan for success. If we just give advice, we’re really robbing them of the opportunity to learn, grow and develop.


Those are really great points. And it’s a form of self empowerment, sounds like and trying to develop their own capabilities, as you were saying, to be able to make the decisions and address the problems on their own, of course, with support right from the coach. And as I hear you, I’m very, I’m reflecting on my own experience, where I give options, I don’t tell them what they should be doing or not doing, but give suggestions and maybe some ideas, but also in a way that helps them because I am not in regular contact with some of the coachee. And they have to make those decisions at the end. And


I will say, right, it’s very important that you know, it’s not a dependent relationship, it’s it’s, you don’t want to create a situation where the, the coachee always needs the coach forever to solve every problem. It’s a really learning and a developmental opportunity for the coachee to to learn how to tackle problems on their own at some point.


Right. And so this pivot so our next question about the coachee, what kind of coach expect during a coaching session or Ulrike? Can you start first?


Sure. There are almost said before, when she described the process of coaching, I think the the coachee, in our process can expect the full attention and the secrecy of the coach, there will be no judgement of the topic, but also a helpful process that will give them the possibility to solve solve their problems with the way that themselves that they have found, and which suits them the best. And sometimes, the coach and coachee might agree agree to continue the relationship for a short period of time, not lifelong, like Vera said before,


Right, anything else to add?


Well, so during normally, during our coaching session, the coach will ask the coachee, you know, what their goal or challenges are, what their big issue is and then the coach will often ask you to describe what you’d like to accomplish during the coaching session. So you know, the coaching sessions are usually only about an hour long. So we have to be realistic about what can be tackled in that one session. So for example, with a big goal that may take a few months to complete, the session goal may be able maybe to determine four steps, identify resources, or identify the information that needs to be gathered to move forward. The coach will also ask you why it’s important to you, this question is just as important as what the goal is, unless the coachee is clear on why this is important to them, the commitment to it may not be there. Also, it has to be important to them, and not others. Too often people are chasing goals and definitions of success that are not actually their own.


Those are really important points there because as I am also listening, I’m thinking about my own experience when I meet with my coachee. Right, and I asked them in the beginning, what would you like to accomplish in this 45 minute session? Right? Like, they only have 45 minutes with me. And we have to focus on the on their agenda, right their needs. But then at the end, we circle back and say, Well, what are their next steps after meeting with me? And they have to really think through and process that. And what’s important to them, right, as you’re saying what are their specific goals, right, and commitments after the session is done so that they’re holding themselves accountable? And I think those are good practices to keep in mind. And so with that being said, I know we talked about a lot of what what we should know and what people should think about in terms of coaching.

But what about misconceptions that people may have about coaching? Ulrike?


At our first session in Kuala Lumpur, it was very obvious that the coaches, most of them expected mentoring. That means the coach will give you the perfect advice how to solve your problem because of her or his experience. The coaches asked questions, and mentors usually argue in an almost same situation like yours, I did this or that. But that might not be helpful for you as a coachee. Because of your situation might be different in another cultural context of our example. So the coaches will not get answers. But mostly questions. What about you, Vera?


Oh, I totally agree with Ulrike. Coachees are often surprised by all of the questions asked by by the coach. You know, they don’t understand why the coach will not just tell them what they need to do. It’s it’s important for coachees to understand that they are the ones that have to do the hard work of coaching. Otherwise, you know, it can often lead to the coachee becoming frustrated and feel that the coach has failed them. Another misconception, at least in the business world is that coaching is for managers who are not performing well. So in the past, coaching was often seen as a form of performance management or a last ditch attempt to improve managers performance and relationship skills. But that’s really not the case. Coaching is, is very much for those people who are actually really high performers already. And and they’re looking to, to get to that next level, they just might be stuck for some reason. And finally, there’s also some belief that coaching is only for top executives. There are so many types of coaching available, and and because the focus is on the individual coaching is highly customizable to the person and their situation. So coaching really is for everyone.


And may I add here? 


Oh, yes, please.


I think Vera is very right. It’s not only for the top executives, coaching might be very helpful in your personal development, to change your way in business career, the right person who asks you, where do you want to be in five years? And what do you need for this? What supports you and what hinders you? And you might start your own process of development right now.


Those are really great points. I think, when we think about that kind of work, it’s often those misconceptions that hold people back right to weather, get a coach or to be a coach. And so with that being said, What advice do you have for those who would like to be a coach? Or Ulrike, would you like to start first?


Sure, you should be really interested in other people, and have an affinity to dive deeper into work situations of others, you are not familiar with? Check how much you like not to solve problems, but light problems by asking questions, be open, be able to follow the regulations of coaching and keep your own feelings apart, be open to learn new techniques and change your own leadership, then you would be really good coach. I think.


Vera — Yeah, I


I totally agree with what Ulrike has already mentioned. Those are those are great. That’s great advice for for wanting to be a coach, I would just add also to learn to be comfortable with silence. You know, coaches should not actually do a lot of talking during the session. I think they also have to be willing to take the coachee into some uncomfortable territory. You know, problem solving tackles what’s on the surface, you know, what’s wrong and what needs to be done to change it. With coaching, we dig a little deeper.

Why is this important to the coachee? What will be different if this is solved, and also what’s getting in the way? It’s, it is more effective at getting the coachee to see new perspectives, develop more self awareness, and discover options that they didn’t know were available to them. 


Wow, those are really great and advice from both of you and sharing your perspective on coaching being a coach and coachee and with that being said, for those listening, please be sure to check out the CPDWL website, the coaching resources, webinars, and M&M team and the CPDWL team worked together to put these free resources in many of the different languages for you to take advantage of, and to learn more about being a coach. And with that being said, Thank you so much, Ulrike and Vera for taking your time to talk with us today.


Thank you. It was a pleasure to be part of this podcast Ray. Thank you for arranging it.


Yes, thanks very much, Raymond. I really appreciate this and I’m so excited to see what the coaching initiative working group is going to come up with this year.