Yesterday was my first proper day at the IFLA conference! To start with, there was some confusion over my badge because it had already been put into the IFLA Communications Office, which was locked when I got there, but luckily someone was there to open the door, so I didn’t have to feel like a gatecrasher for too long.
I sat in on the meeting of the Standing Committee for Academic and Research Libraries, which was a bit surreal. While it was said a number of times that observers were invited to join in, no actual effort was made to engage them, and the meeting finished an hour earlier than scheduled. It was interesting though to see what Standing Committees do and discuss, though I’m still not quite clear as to how this whole IFLA thing works – but I am sure it will all become clearer over the course of the week.
Then it was time for me to go to the IFLA Communications Office, as I am only here because I got a grant to be on the IFLA Communications team. More precisely, I am on the German translation team. IFLA publishes the latest news as well as some articles and speeches throughout the conference on the conference website and in a shorter paper version in the seven IFLA languages – which means you need rather a lot of people who can do translations. There are six people on the German team: five grant-receiving students/YPs, including myself, and the co-ordinator Susanne Riedel. We discussed workflow and work times and got to meet the other translation teams. Our office is in the West Wing of the building (yes, this gives me a ridiculous amount of glee), and is quite spacious.
Being bicultural, it was then time for me to choose my Caucus meeting. I went with the UK Caucus first, which meant I finally got to meet Biddy Fisher, with whom I have been comunicating on Twitter this past year, and was introduced to Bob McKee and some other people that I’ve talked to online but had never before met in person. For the last fifteen minutes, I then went to the German Caucus – apparently I missed the applause for the German IFLA Communications team, but I caught the tail end of some announcements and heads-up for the coming days.
The day concluded at the IFLA Night Spot in Gothenburg City Library: free drinks from Axiell, roaming about a library until 1 am, free internet access at the library computers, and socialising with anyone and everyone. I really like the idea of a half-organised Night Spot and I got a lot of positive feedback from other participants as well – I hope these Night Spots will continue to be a success over the coming days. All in all, it was a good start to a good conference, and I am looking forward to the days to come.