Monday, July 10, 2017
Strategic Library Management in Emerging Countries
IATUL Directors' Summit, Phnom Penh, March 2017

The current motto “One World Library” expresses IATUL’s endeavour to embrace all cultural differences and starting positions for approaches to challenges, even if these sometimes appear insurmountable.

IATUL’s ambition is to focus on the specific and down to earth, and, therefore, to provide assistance and additional inspiration where it is needed most.

The intention of the IATUL Directors’ Summit on “Strategic Library Management in Emerging Countries” was the analysis of the level of services and infrastructure at university libraries in Cambodia. The event was organised in cooperation with Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC) and Cambodia Librarians and Documentalists Association and was a great success.
IATUL Directors’ Summits use the World Café method of round table discussions to exchange ideas and experience in greater depth than is possible with the traditional presentation format of conferences.

During the two workshop days, March 25 – 26 March 2017, the discussions centred on six topics, which were introduced in 10-minute keynote presentations by experts from Belgium, Canada, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand:

  • Fundamental Infrastructure – Desire and Reality (IT infrastructure, buildings, premises and related collaboration, sustainable collection development)
  • Librarians’ Skills and Human Resources Management (Professional education, lifelong learning, skills for new services)
  • Outreach and Funding (university, government, fees, third party fundraising, PR: students, academics, university management, society, potential donors)
  • Strategy and Alignment (innovation management, quality management, policies development)
  • Service Development (Adaptive services for science 2.0, cloud services, information literacy and beyond)
  • Synergy – Networking Structures and Knowledge Transfer (cataloging and IT service provision, consortia, regional and national working groups, international collaboration)

38 delegates from Cambodia and Vietnam as well as the moderators from the IATUL environment participated in the two days* event, which was, given IATUL’s emphasis on professional interaction on various levels, proceeded by a study tour day, comprising sites of cultural interest as well as interesting libraries in Phnom Penh.
The IATUL Directors’ Summit is usually intended to serve as a preparation and kick-off for collaborative initiatives aimed at optimising issues dealt with at the event. Consequently, members of the IATUL Executive Board, the local host and an expert in library development in emerging countries met March 28 2017 to discuss options to follow up on the result of the discussions. Concerning this, the minutes of the meetings say

  1. That the newly constituted IATUL Special Interest Group on Advancement of Library Services in Emerging Countries will carry (SIG-ALICE) out an in-depth survey on the situation of university libraries in Cambodia.
  2. That IATUL will work in conjunction with and within the framework of the current efforts to introduce a Master’s Programme in Library and Information Science for librarians in Cambodia by PUC and offer support where it is required and that further meetings be held to map out the nature of the relation between IATUL and the PUC Master’s in Librarianship Programme.
  3. That IATUL will provide logistical and other support towards establishing a National Union Catalogue infrastructure in Cambodia, allowing national collaboration such as data sharing and ILL.
  4. That in the area of Collections Development – IATUL will assist with the identification of potential book donors and that Cambodian Librarians establish the country’s customs and excise requirements regarding the importation of donated books to enable fast delivery of donated materials.

The IATUL Board would like to take this opportunity to thank our IATUL friends as well as iGroup Asia Pacific for actively supporting the IATUL Directors’ Summit on “Strategic Library Management in Emerging Countries”

  • Frédéric Brodkom (Belgium)
  • Gulcin Cribb (Singapore)
  • Chutima Saccanand  (Thailand)
  • Chantana Wech-o-Sotsakda (Thailand)
  • Bethany Wilkes (Singapore)

Information on the forthcoming projects will appear on the IATUL website as soon as there is any news.