The seventh OCLC Asia Pacific Regional Council Conference was held at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, on 3-4 December 2015.
Over two days information workers from over 19 countries gathered to share success stories, challenges, and ideas about the future of libraries.
Bringing ideas from business and the world of corporate advertising, keynote speaker Dan Gregory asked an important question that can be useful to all GLAM sectors:
What is the tangible value that you are offering beyond the utilitarian, the merely functional? What is your value proposition?
Gregory also spoke of the importance of engaging communities in ways that enable them to feel ownership, rather than just obligation, and talked of the changes that hyper-connectivity has brought about, in particular how communities and groups can form from shared common values, rather than simply ethnic connections, or geographic location.
Global collaboration was a big theme of the conference, especially with so many different country representatives in attendance, including some from Europe and Canada.
Peter Green asked a great question on Twitter about librarians being good at collaboration generally, but wondering whether we are good at it outside our own circles? I’d love to see this question debated by a lively group of information people.
Lorcan Dempsey‘s thoughts on the networked world and the evolving scholarly record, especially new roles for publishers in thinking about and creating systems that provide workflows and services for the entire research lifecycle, were thought-provoking. I was especially struck by the notion that coordination at scale is required to build and maintain One Big Global Library.
One of my favourite moments of the conference was the answer to an audience question by David Whitehair.
Rather than engaging in an endless debate about schemas and standards, this answer for me succinctly demonstrates a flexible, forward-thinking approach to the challenges that metadata can create for digital records and discoverability.
For me the strongest theme running throughout the conference was that global collaboration is key to building our value propositions and our services so that our cultural institutions do not become extinct. To do this we must be able to foster creativity and innovative ideas by building spaces and time for them into business practices.