We have our last sessions today and I’ll be flying home tomorrow. It’s been so wonderful to see all the different topics addressed by all these different countries, and yet we have such strong similarities in how we all look at libraries. I mentioned in an earlier post that the librarian stereotype was the subject of a few different presentations – and they were the same image … spinster in glasses with a bun. Other popular topics here: social software or social websites, competitive intelligence, and library curriculum. That last one has been especially interesting because Europe is in the midst of looking to standardize university degrees across the EU, which is proving to be quite a challenge. Should it be 1, 2, or 3 years? What are the core issues? Do students have to have a library background before the master’s?
And then there’s the fact that the whole conference, posters, proceedings and all, was entirely in English. I understand the need for a lingua franca, but at the same time I feel rather strongly about providing as much information as multilingually as possible. Especially here… we must have at least a dozen languages respresented at this conference, yet we’re all muddling through in English. Maybe I just see it as an opportunity for Americans to continue being lazy in their language skills. Those who know me already know I think that tendency will bite us in the but one day. But anyway… I’m going in search of a lovely Czech baguette before heading back into conference sessions. :-p