Marathon session, August 12th

After hearing Henning Mankell’s deservedly well-attended plenary address, I spent most of the rest of today in the joint session of the sections of Management of Library Associations, Library Theory and Research, Management and Marketing, Education and Training, and Statistics and Evaluation, and the SIG for LIS Education in Developing Countries (sessions 87 and 97). This was the first part of a two-year initiative to clarify and give direction to LIS research for national advocacy.  The two keynotes were especially noteworthy. Sue Hutley spoke about a comprehensive national advocacy program in Australia and in doing so gave a thorough, all-round introduction to national advocacy for LIS. See http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla76/87-hutley-en.pdf.

The second keynote, in the afternoon session, was by Sharon Markless and David Streatfield, who spoke about “Impact evaluation, advocacy and ethical research: some issues for national strategy development”, available at http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla76/97-markless-en.pdf.  This was a thoughtful and thought-provoking paper, of interest on the one hand because the authors presented a kind of typology in which national evaluation and advocacy activities were related to the level of library development of various categories of countries — grist to my mill of international and comparative librarianship. On the other hand, they raised a number of ethical issues relating to in-house and outsourced evaluation exercises. Warmly recommended.

A bit late in the day, let me use this opportunity to encourage anyone who is still hesitating about getting up early enough tomorrow, to do so and attend Hans Rosling’s plenary address at 08:30 in Hall B.  Why? Check out http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html.

Enjoy!

About Peter Lor

Peter Johan Lor is a Netherlands-born South African librarian and academic. He is a part-time professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He also teaches a course in international and comparative librarianship at the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.
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