30th Annual International Association of Technological University Libraries (IATUL) Conference 2009

by Elvira B. Lapuz*

Lapuz at the IATUL 2009

Lapuz at the IATUL 2009

The International Association of Technological University Libraries (IATUL) is a voluntary, international, non-governmental organization of a group of libraries, represented by their library directors or senior managers, who have responsibility for information services and resources management. The Association was formally established on May 1955 in Dusseldorf, Germany with Dr. E. Hemlin of Sweden as its founding president. IATUL holds an annual conference, which provides members and other interested professionals the opportunity to discuss issues facing libraries of institutions of higher education. Conference convenor for this year is Mr. Ludo Holans, Campus Librarian of Bibliotheek Arenberg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Stephen Abram, immediate past President of Special Libraries Association (SLA) and past president of the Canadian and Ontario Library Associations gave the Keynote Speech. He talked about Library Innovation Processes Toward Quality Enhancement. It was a great pleasure listening to him as he elucidate on the many ways that libraries can innovate and how librarians and information specialists be that catalysts to the much needed change.

Close to 200 participants listened to invited speakers who covered topics on innovation management, reengineering work through information technology, benchmarking for best practices, e-accessibility for visually impaired customers, new tools, Web 2.0 applications for quality enhancement, library innovation for teaching, learning and research.

Some of the more notable presentations include the paper presented by Martha Kyrilidou from the USA on Library Quality Assessment Through LibQual. LibQual is an evaluation protocol that allows libraries to collect information about user perceptions and expectations and act on users’ opinions so they can improve library services. This is noteworthy because this evaluation tool that can be applied in libraries here in the country. There is an acknowledged need to revisit our current approaches to evaluating our services and LibQual should be considered. The presentation by Dr. Jan Engelen on E-accessibility for Visually Impaired Students focused on the various e-formats that should help most of the library users with a reading impairment. The Conference also included poster presentations with accepted entries coming from different countries. There were quite a number of truly interesting posters on the topics of library innovations, improved processes, library associations and e-learning.

Truly keen on participating to this conference (plus of course the attraction that is Belgium!) I submitted a paper on the topic Web 2.0 applications for enhancements which was accepted and scheduled for presentation. I was able to secure my place in the Conference through the IATUL Conference grant. This is a grant given to first time participants and is a way of encouraging membership to the Association. The grant covered the registration cost and the accommodations for the duration of the Conference. My paper entitled “Teaching Web 2.0 Applications in the Planning and Development of Information Literacy Programs: Reaching Out to Librarians and Information Professionals” was scheduled for presentation on June 4. I can say that it was a well received presentation. I got truly interesting questions and encouraging comments from the other participants and some are quite generous on their praises and congratulations. It is also worth mentioning that there are 3 other participants from the Philippines, they are Joseph Yap of ACTMalaria, Stephen Alayon of SEAFDEC and Nhyrma Fe Cab of St. Joseph’s College Butuan. Their attendance to the IATUL Conference is part of the program of the International Training Course STIMULATE9.

After each day’s sessions, participants were treated to Belgian hospitality through cocktails and dinners. Everyone was given the opportunity to partake and have a taste of the wide variety of wine and dishes that Belgium has to offer. The end of the conference dinner was made more enticing and special with live music and dancing.

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*Ms. ELVIE B. LAPUZ, Head Librarian of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Library, UP Diliman, was in Leuven, Belgium last 1-4 June 2009 as paper presenter at the 30th Annual IATUL Conference held at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Campus Library Arenberg. This year’s conference theme was “Just for you, quality through innovation”.

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