LIBER Winter Event 2023 – Highlights

Posted: 13-12-2023 Topics: LIBER Winter Event

In a picturesque venue overlooking the historic city of Florence, the LIBER Winter Event 2023 gathered over 100 participants for two days of intense discussion on the matters at the heart of our research library community. Delegates from across Europe came together at the European University Institute to discuss, deliberate and share knowledge on topics including library leadership, data management services, Citizen Science, AI, and the creation of library spaces.

After welcoming words from Renaud Dehousse (EUI President) Pep Torn (EUI Library Director), and Julien Roche (LIBER President), Sarah Nouwen (Professor of International Law at European University Institute) kicked off the main programme with a keynote speech: “Inclusive Open Access in academia: coming together against exclusive publishing”.

‘Open Access – who can be against it?’ – Sarah Nouwen

Sarah emphasised the importance of collaboration in the road to more open forms of scholarly publishing. Recognising the crucial role that libraries play in the shift towards Open Access, Sarah identified crucial points of collaboration: ensuring that scholars without access to resources or transformative agreements can continue to publish; protecting diversity in scholarly ‘outputs’; resisting the ‘more, more, more’ incentive; reconsidering the pros and cons of hybrid journals and creating a ‘post-transformation’ vision that is equitable, inclusive and sustainable.

Watch Sarah Nouwen’s speech below. 

Come Together – Engaging with the LIBER Network

The annual LIBER Winter Event is characterised by interactive workshops created with, and for, the LIBER network.

Strides were made towards an informed strategy for the LIBER FIM4L Working Group, as they work to inform and create awareness of Authentication and Authorization Infrastructures (AAI) in research libraries.

The Data Science in Libraries Working Group joined forces with the Digital Scholarship and Digital Cultural Heritage Working Group to discuss their plans to create an open, online and collaboratively curated learning hub for data science in libraries. The platform aims to improve access to learning materials for LIBER members who wish to develop the skills to work with digital collections and data.

Attendees examined the barriers faced by LIBER members in implementing Citizen Science at their institutions. The identified barriers and solutions, as well as advocacy actions, will inform the work of the LIBER Citizen Science Working Group as they continue striving to make libraries advocates of Citizen Science in universities.

The LIBER Leadership Working Group examined the concept of ‘resilient leadership’. Participants reflected on their own leadership traits through discussions amongst peers and the key foundations of being a resilient leader were debated and identified – including trust, engagement, partnerships and skills building.

The Copyright and Legal Matters Working Group tackled the legal issues that research libraries face. Participants shared their experiences and troubles in confronting legal issues at their institutions, to guide LIBER’s work on supporting our members with copyright and legal challenges.

The LIBER Architecture Working Group discussed how libraries can meet the needs of their used through innovative spaces. Participants worked together to outline the key requirements for library spaces, equipment & furniture to fulfil users’ physiological, sensory, actional, social, and ideal needs.

On Day 2, the LIBER Research Data Management Working Group discussed RDM support service models offered by universities. The CeOS_SE Project (a LIBER-lead Erasmus+ funded initiative) focused on the project’s achievements in integrating Citizen Science practices into institutions in Southern Europe. Georgina Durowoju from the Open Research Europe platform gave an overview of their publishing process and asked for feedback from attendees on how the platform can continue to boost Open Science in academic dissemination.

The ‘UnConference – Engage!’ session saw participants create their own agenda to discuss the topics at the heart of their work. Discussion ranged from skills gaps in implementing Open Science to overcoming gender bias in library, RDM software training to the dissemination of institutional publications.

The Winter Event is a unique opportunity for LIBER Participants to take control and present the topics that matter most to them – with all workshops being organised by our Working Groups and Project Partners. LIBER and the EUI would like to thank all the attendees, speakers, volunteers and organisers that made this year’s event a success.

Would you like to attend future editions of the LIBER Winter Event? Join LIBER and gain the benefits of our network of research libraries, as well as other perks such as discounted tickets to the LIBER Annual Conference and a range of training programmes and resources.

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