Tag Archives: networking

The 10-Minute International Librarian #32: Say thanks to all those who have helped you

It’s often said that libraries are instinctively collaborative institutions.

This takes place concretely through activities such as document supply or inter-library loan.

But we also see it through IFLA’s different committees, focused on working together to help each other, and the field as a whole.

This all takes time and effort of course.

While this comes naturally to most, it’s still good to give – and receive – gratitude.

So for our 32nd 10-Minute International Librarian exercise – and our last of 2020 – say thanks to all those who have helped you.

Think of those who have freely offered advice, taken on tasks, provided resources or anything else that has made your work easier.

Of course, 10 minutes may not be very much for this, but you can at least list those who have given you ideas, time, or other support over the last year.

It’s a helpful way to remember how connected we are, and how much we benefit from working together.

Share your stories in the comments below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 3.2: Support virtual networking and connections.

You can view all of our ideas using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box.

Researcher Beware: Being Constructive About Open Science

A recent infographic about text and data mining used the image of, well, mining to illustrate some of the key statistics about its use today. While not so many researchers in Europe are making use of it for now, there’s a broad interest in starting, given its strong potential to accelerate innovation and new insights.

This chimes with an argument long promoted by the library sector – that we need a clear and simple copyright exception, in order to ensure that there are no legal barriers to mining something you already own or to which you have legal access.

However, the infographic does not just focus on statistics. Right at the bottom of this mine, there is some toxic waste, and talk of challenges and risks. This, combined with the mining metaphor as a whole (as a contact in Brussels has pointed out), gives the impression that TDM – arguably one of the most exciting opportunities for scientific progress, is somehow dark, dirty, and not something you would want to get involved in.

Subsequently, we have seen the rise of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, a coalition of publishers working to cut back on the sharing of the wrong versions of academic articles through a popular platform among researchers, ResearchGate.

Setting aside questions about the risks posed to other, non-commercial sites where articles are posted and shared – a particularly relevant issue in Europe right now – the name chosen for this group is perhaps telling.

That it should be considered ‘irresponsible’ for authors to share the wrong version of their work, rather than just a mistake, again takes the step of saying that a key driver of future scientific progress – collaboration and exchange between peers – is again something risky and uncertain. That words – responsible sharing – which are more redolent of a public health campaign than of science are used is telling.

Sharing, and mining, are both highly promising avenues for the future development of science, as well as areas where libraries are actively supporting progress (while of course respecting copyright). Rather than seeking to create doubt, fear or scepticism, all should be joining together to ensure the most rapid possible progress.