3 Dec 2015

IATUL – Hannover, Germany: July 2015

Guest post by Niamh Walker-Headon, Systems Librarian ITT Tallaght

This report details the IATUL Conference in Hannover, Germany in July, hosted by the TIB library. Any errors are my own.

The conference theme was: Strategic Partnerships for Access and Discovery

There was a very full programme, and presentation delivery was at times so fast that I could barely take photos of slides fast enough! 5 ½ days of events were provided for delegates, with amply time for social networking, and visiting exhibitor built into the programme. The first ½ day was for registration and welcome reception, where I succeeded in meeting the only other Irish delegate.
The 1st and 2nd day were structured with a general session addressed with keynote speakers and then subsequently parallel topic steams.

Day 1
Day 1’s keynote speakers both brought to the attention of the general assembly that there is a need for significant re-consideration and change to copyright and it’s associated laws, for several reasons. From the opportunity to allow for greater specificity in search results, to the needs of the planned single digital market in the EU, the argument was made for change. In parallel to this many speakers called for the mandating of open access publishing for research being undertaken using public funding / grants, or in publicly funded institutions. Issues around peer review and the green / gold open access publishing model were outlined and discussed.

The parallel session I attended dealt with managing change, covered diverse topics: from the implementation of beta ILS platforms to gathering consensus when selecting key performance indicators, and from transatlantic research into library staff’s expectations from their managers as leaders, to the proposing of the PRUB theoretical model to validate library strategy.

Day 2
Day 2’s keynote speakers spoke of open access publishing and the potential crisis facing library regarding the management an implications of big data.  Ms. Van Wezenbeek focused on the how and why of open access publishing, making the argument that everyone should have easy access to research, as science grows when you spread and use results. She called for the FAIR system for academic publications. Mr. Balke argued that libraries have a big data problem, and need to care more about the semantics in the metadata that they index, as the aim is to provide access to knowledge. The proposal was made that index retrieval interfaces are needed for every discipline, type of use and type of person… which differentiate at the level of detail provided in the result. For example: the results to match the question ‘What is the Higgs Boson particle?’ need to be different for users at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. He also discussed the reliability of Science 2.0 and automatic data mining.

Ten posters about a variety of topics were presented in lightening talks.

The parallel session that I attended focused on library environments and included several sessions outlining library refurbishment projects, from financing, to the installation of green technologies, from architect’s involvement to the need to develop flexible spaces for both users and staff.  A very useful overview of trends on e-journal subscription models and discussion of ‘big deals’ was presented. This session closed with a presentation focusing on the integration of Research Information Management Systems and Institutional Repositories into academic libraries, as the library has the data management skills to make these projects successful.

Day 3
Day 3 was a study tour to the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbuttel, where the German national output for the 17th century is housed in 11 buildings around the centre of the town, and the Volkswagen visitor centre [Autostadt] where some fantastic displays were available for perusal.

Day 4
Day 4 saw a series of shorter talks many of which highlighted services provided by or being developed by libraries of the T9 Universities in Germany [The 9 Technological Universities]. These included:
• the EZB open URL linking service, which includes the Library of Congress amongst it’s customers
• a session on automatic harvesting, indexing and provision of multimedia open access objects using the infrastructure of wikimedia commons and wikidata
• detail about how the TIB AV Portal leveraged semantic technologies to deliver academic video content
• information about the introduction of video abstracting in the sciences
• An outline of the VIVO open source research management information system
• Blog provision / hosting as a service to academic communities
• App development for the exposure of visual collections
• 3d printing at the Radcliffe Library.

Day 5
Day 5 entailed a visit to the TIB library at the University of Leibnitz in Hannover. Attendees were treated to a presentation on the library, including details of its holdings, services, and co-operative projects, such as document delivery with Subito. This was followed by a tour of the physical library itself, which only has the last 5 years of materials and the prescribed course readings available on the open stacks, and uses off-site storage for other materials, which can be requested for consultation.

Full report is available at http://anleabharlannai.blogspot.ie
Photographs from the conference are available at: https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipNwgfDYYiEtV4UskBXoGehJXeAAm5d2vkfA7OPx
Conference presentations are available at:


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