Every year, LIBER gives a number of staff in our participating libraries a grant to enable them to attend our Annual Conference. This is done through our Conference Fund.
In 2018, Aggeliki Giannopoulou of University of Patras, Greece was one recipient of the Conference Fund.
Why did you apply for the LIBER Conference Fund?
I applied for the LIBER Conference Fund, because I was really interested in attending the Annual LIBER Conference in Lille. I have attended the conference twice in the past, but the last time I was actively involved in the organization of the 46th Annual LIBER Conference in Patras and I could not follow the sessions like I wanted.
I wanted to participate again, to learn more things about the issues that concern fellow librarians in Europe. Also, I thought that the theme was very interesting. I am a librarian in the Library & Information Center, University of Patras, Greece and my interests are mainly about Open Access issues, and LIBER is concerned with this field.
Was the Annual Conference a professionally valuable experience for you?
It was an amazing experience for me, one of the best conferences I have ever attended. There were many colleagues and fellow professionals that I discussed with and exchanged ideas about academic libraries and their initiatives. Additionally, during the conference there were a lot of interesting sessions and workshops.
What was the most interesting session you attended?
According to my opinion, one of the most interesting session was the “Libraries leading the Open Access Transformation: Strategies to achieve the vision” workshop, which was organized by the LIBER Open Access Working group and the OA2020 initiative. As mentioned, my interests are about Open Access, so that workshop gave me the opportunity to explore new ideas about this issue.
This workshop aimed to give participants a clear understanding of the role that libraries must play in the transformation of academic communications to reach OA. We discussed about the ways to empower libraries in order to develop an action plan through a variety of approaches. We discussed about the five pillars of Open Access and about appropriate strategies that must be followed by libraries around Europe. I must say that the coordination of Matthijs van Ottegem was perfect, which shows that LIBER people know how to organize successful events.
What were the key learning points you took away from the conference?
I took away many lessons from the conference and I am glad that I was able to attend most of the conference sessions. I understood that libraries have the power to lead the way in the Open Access transformation and it is important to support the appropriate strategies to achieve this. Τhere are also changes in libraries’ management and changes in the roles and skills of librarians, so it is important to follow the recent developments.
Would you recommend the conference to other library professionals?
Yes, I would recommend all library professionals attend the annual LIBER conferences. This conference is unique. I am sure that they will find the sessions very interesting. It covers many fields of activities of the research libraries. The speakers are all highly-skilled professionals with a lot of experience and knowledge, the program is always well-structured, and the organizers are fellow librarians that do their best for us.
Interested in also receiving one of LIBER’s Conference Fund awards? Find out more.