For me, over the years, a conference such as that of the ALA has become less and less a matter of attending lectures, exhaustively surveying the exhibition halls in order to win an iPod ;-) or even keeping up with the traditional Bookcart Drill Team World Championship. I spend most of my time in committee meetings. Which I actually think is just great, because these meetings give me the opportunity to participate in a very direct and praxis-oriented exchange of ideas. In addition to the meeting of the Librarian Exchange Working Group (of which, as of July 12, I am chair and no longer appointed chair) of the German-North American Resources Partnership and the Europe Subcommittee of the International Relations Office , I also participated in the meeting of the committee that was preparing the contribution to the 2010 ALA Conference to be made by the Western European Studies Section (WESS) , which is part of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) within the American Library Association. (I have often noticed that the structures within library associations in the U.S. are very differentiated….) WESS has chosen as its theme for the 2010 Conference “Contemporary European Literature in Translation”, a topic the Goethe-Institut is thoroughly engaged with. So thoroughly that I don’t even want to go into the details. That would call for a totally separate blog entry or even a blog dedicated solely to the theme, such as Three Percent or, of course, the Goethe-Institut New York’s Current-Writing blog.
Another session of burning interest to me was that of the committee making preparations for the WESS Conference in Europe, which WESS organizes every once in a blue moon (the last one took place in Paris in 2000). The original plan to hold the 2010 conference in Madrid unfortunately failed, and now, in cooperation with the Humboldt University, Berlin is being considered. This session, by the way, began with the chair of the ad hoc committee (yes, there are those as well) asking whether everyone – completely independently of the topic at hand – would provide a brief overview of the current situation at his or her institution. At that point the mood in the room, which already was overly air-conditioned, got a few degrees frostier…
Friday, 17. July 2009
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