Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship Summer 1999

Conference Reports

International Association of Technological University Libraries (IATUL)

Julia Gelfand
University of California, Irvine

International Association of Technological University Libraries (IATUL)
held in Crete, May 17-21, 1999

The annual meeting of IATUL (Internation Association of Technological University Libraries) took place in Chania, Crete May 17-21, hosted by the Technical University of Crete. This was an absolutely beautiful site to attend a conference. The history, natural beauty, and options for distractions made for a memorable trip. Crete is very near the Balkans, and the immediacy and concerns for the war being fought so nearby was very evident. That week also was the anniversary of the German bombing of the island during WW II.

This year's conference theme was "The Future of Libraries in Human Communication," and many sessions reflected ideas related to issues in library service and management. Several keynote papers were delivered on topics ranging from the "Changing Role of the Library: Missions and Ethics," in which Director-General, David Russon described changes in the new British Library, to "Commercial Brand Management," by Ann Wolpert, UL at MIT, to an enlightening paper called "Challenging Technolust: The Educational Responsibility of Librarians," delivered by Alan Bundy from the University of South Australia.

About thirty papers were presented. Specific papers of interest include: "Sharing Metadata: Enabling Online Information Provision," which addressed preparing bibliographic records for opacs; "International Library, Information and Analysis Center (ILIAC) a New Project at the Russian National Public Library for Science and Technology," which presented the new concept behind this worldwide venture to gain investment in resources for that library and to share and encourage cooperation between Russia, the CIS, USA and other countries; and several others on different new services, partnerships, and activities introduced by creative librarians and information providers from around the globe. Registration included about 120 librarians from throughout Eastern and Western Europe, Australia, South Africa, and North America.

Field trips during the conference in Crete included several interesting destinations. Those who traveled to the archaeological sites at Knossos visited the famous Minoan Palace and also made a brief stop at the Heraklion Museum to see the relics from the restoration at that site. Other trips led to academic libraries at the University of Crete, to monasteries of Preveli and Gonia, and to the Samaria Gorge. The hospitality and setting on the beautiful Venetian waterfront of Chania was memorable.

IATUL will meet next July 3-7, 2000 in Brisbane, Queensland, when Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland will host a conference with the theme, "Virtual Libraries, Virtual Communities" hoping to draw papers on subthemes of: 1) Information economy: the virtual campus; 2) Networked Learning; 3) Innovative Client Services; and 4) Information Literacy.


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