Argentina: Sixth Conference on Government Libraries

On 18 April 2012, Argentina celebrated its 6th Conference on Government Libraries, under the theme: “Cooperation in libraries: an added value”. The conference was organized by the Certified Librarians’ Association (ABGRA), the Public Administration National Institute (INAP), the Foreign Service Institute (ISEN), and the Information and Documentation Center of the Ministry of Economy (CDI-MECON). Appealing speakers and panelists were invited to participate, drawing a vast and engaged audience.

The opening address was carried out by Araceli García Acosta (CDI-MECON), who opened the conference with a full audience. Over 150 attendees were received with a warm welcome. The speech featured a strong commitment to cooperation between librarians and other professionals working with libraries.

Magdalena Biota introduced a video in which Miguel Navas-Fernández (IFLA) presented IFLA, its activities, and the Government Library Section, together with the book Guidelines for libraries of government departments, recently translated into several languages. After the video, Magdalena talked about the Spanish version, highlighting some of the contents addressed in the book.

The debate coordinated by Alberto Morán (INAP), titled “Cooperation with government and libraries”, triggered a valuable interchange among participants. The contributions provided an outline of the challenges and opportunities in Argentine government libraries, as shown by experiences gathered from different places of the vast national territory. These comments also facilitated the expression of ideas, and the dilemmas, regarding new paths for communication and cooperation that will be taken up when planning future training activities.

Araceli García Acosta and Concepción Iglesias de Mastandrea presented “The importance of cooperation in the construction of an institutional memory”. The communication showed the results of research activities undertaken by CDI-MECON, which have contributed to the construction of the organization’s institutional memory. Several case studies were discussed, addressing situations in which cooperation among libraries, readers and other stakeholders is fundamental to elaborate the past background of an institution, analyze its present situation and project future actions.

The report “Forum of Directors and Managers of Documentary Information Units from the National Public Administration: a decade of collaborative activities and experiences” was delivered by Elsa Solimano, who praised the participative and innovative character of training activities. With an effective methodology to detect needs and plan an adequate training agenda, the group, since its creation in 2002, has organized 44 plenary meetings, 7 courses, 11 workshops, 5 seminars, and 5 conferences.

Aditionally, Alberto Rosenberg, computer scientist, presented “UNIRED Bicentenario Database: 2012 update”, and mention the experience of consolidating and merging the catalogues of 40 public and private institutions as a means to preserve institutional memory through UNIRED, a cooperative network of Argentine libraries.

Like in previous years, the conference was held simultaneously with the 44th National Meeting of Librarians during the International Book Fair in Buenos Aires and received the generous support of Fundación el Libro that handed over the necessary facilities, staff and technical equipment.

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