LIBER Board Member, Cécile Swiatek, Presents to Future Library Leaders in France
Cécile Swiatek, LIBER Executive Board Member, recently took up the request to present to French library science trainees at the Nationale Superieure des Sciences de l’information et des Bibliotheques (Enssib).
Ms Swiatek organised an informative training session entitled,‘The Role and Challenges of European Academic and Research Libraries,’ which took place on the 25th of January 2021. The session was directed at future library leaders, curators and top managers. The 31 participants were trainees of the Diplôme de conservateur des bibliothèques (2021-2022), a cohort who had just passed French examinations allowing them to work in top management positions within academic, research, and national libraries.
The training session was part of a module within their degree entitled, ‘Libraries in Europe and European Cultural Policy’. This module aims at giving trainees a vision and extensive knowledge when it comes to European issues and debates. It also aims to help them understand what is at stake in the European research library field and why it is important to take an interest.
Content of the Presentation
As part of this training session, Ms Swiatek provided an extensive overview of the main topics (and challenges) for European Research Libraries. She also highlighted the crucial role of LIBER, made the organisation known and accessible to those entering the field, and inspired the trainees to closely follow the news and topics related to their field. This is especially necessary since LIBER considers it of crucial importance for future academic and national library leaders, coordinators and experts, to address European issues from the very first year of their studies.
In her presentation, Ms Swiatek discussed the landscape of European institutions, programmes, and infrastructures related to public higher education and research, and discussed the role of libraries in the European landscape, making the link with the trainees’ (future) professional realities.
The first part of the session also saw LIBER Director and Executive Board members presenting core elements and addressing key questions on how to make sure the voice of research libraries is heard within European organisations, infrastructures and projects. Ms Astrid Verheusen (LIBER Executive Director), Ms Jeannette Frey (LIBER President), and Mr John MacColl (LIBER Secretary-General), contributed to short video recordings on various topics related to the fundamental role of LIBER in Europe as well as the organisation’s overall vision and strategy for research libraries.
They raised the main challenges that face research libraries including the building and sustaining of a solid future for research policies and practices. Moreover, they demonstrated why and how research libraries play a key role within European research as well as when it comes to the topics of copyright, knowledge sharing, training, Open Science, and Open Research issues.
More specifically, Ms Astrid Verheusen spoke about how LIBER is importantly supporting research libraries through Covid-19 and beyond. Ms Jeannette Frey spoke about LIBER’s current strategy and Network and also about the organisation’s future strategy. MrJohn MacColl gave a brief introduction to LIBER, what it does, and why it is relevant for research libraries, society, scholarship etc.
Thereafter, and in order to demonstrate how overarching issues facing research libraries become concrete realities, tangible examples were drawn upon. Testimonials from French and Belgium higher education institutions and their respective libraries, as well as other international and national libraries networks initiatives, were discussed. The decline in various aspects such as leadership, knowledge openness, digital single market/copyright were also touched upon.
In the afternoon session, Ms Najmeh Shaghaei from LIBER’s Leadership Working Group welcomed the new trainees as future colleagues in the field. She also addressed the challenges of leadership in general and ended with some questions as challenges for future library leaders.
Furthermore, Tiberius Ignat, of Scientific Knowledge Services (SKS), a company that LIBER collaborates with, equally presented on the topic of Open Science as part of the training session. The recording of his presentation can be found below: