Reinventing Reference with Technology Transformations

A report by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Sub-committee Chairpersons

Joint satellite meeting by Reference and Information Services Section and Information Technology Section “Reinventing Reference with Technology Transformations”

Thursday 23 August, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur

Reference and information services are closely linked to transformations in technology that have helped expand the mechanisms for the delivery of services (e.g. chat reference), the development of applications and databases to collect information and the structure of how this information is searched and presented (e.g. through discovery systems). Technology transformations have also enhanced our ability to deliver training and development for patrons and staff (e.g. tutorials, online guides and other instruction and information services). The meeting addressed these topics.

The event was hosted by the local organizing committee, the University of Malaya Library who did a great job with logistics and other local arrangements including a campus visit and art gallery tour. The refreshments and the lunch and dinner arrangements were excellent. Cultural dancing by youth was excellent and appreciated by the participants. The participants were really able to experience the diversity of Malaysian culture and foods.

Christine Brown, Chair of RISS Section moderated the morning sessions and May Chang, Chair of IT Section covered the afternoon sessions.

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The programme included:

  1. Welcome Note by the Acting Chief Librarian, Mr Mahbob Yusof, University of Malaya Library
  2. Keynote address by Prof Ir Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya
  3. “Technology Transformations in Research Data Evaluation Metrics: library reference services and research intelligence in China” — Lulu Qui (China)
  4. “Technology transformations : integrating harvesting and discovery systems to support reference services” — Edmund Balnaves (Australia)
  5. “Technology that Enables, Services that Empower” — Yuyun Wirawati Ishak (Singapore)
  6. “Developing an Artificial Conservational Entity as a Virtual Library Assistant” — Allan Jay Monteclaro (The Philippines)
  7. “Applications of humanoid robots in libraries” — Dr. Frank Seeliger (Germany)
  8. Closing Remarks by Senior Deputy Chief Librarian, Ms Sutarmi Kasimun.
  9. Library/Museum/Art Gallery Tour
  10. Evening Dinner/Reception Dinner @ Library Collaborative Area (COLA) with cultural performance

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Unfortunately, Abraham Etebu and Goodwin Orumah (Nigeria) were unable to get their travel visas in time and their presentation “Emerging Initiatives in Reference and Information Services in Tertiary Institutions in South-South Nigeria” had to be canceled.

The keynote speaker set the tone of the day with an interesting and engaging presentation. The papers were well delivered and raised many questions. Questions and discussions continued throughout the refreshment breaks. One of the highlights of the day was the panel discussion moderated by Dr Lynn Kleinveldt (South Africa) with panelists Mary Dee Ojala (US), Allan Jay Monteclaro (The Philippines), AP Dr Azman (Malaysia), and AP Dr Noor Haron (Malaysia). The panel covered a broad range of topics and generated interesting responses and comments.

The Reference and Information Service Section and Information Technology Section greatly appreciate the work of the University of Malaya Library who have worked hard to make this event a great success. Members of the above sections participated in review of paper submissions and in developing the theme of the meeting.

May Chang
Chair, Information Technology Section

Christine Brown
Chair, Reference & Information Services Section

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