2nd Istanbul “International Library Staff” week – April 2019
“So…let’s get organized for next year” was the initial phrase for the 2nd International Week here at SKL, with the participation of Academic and Research Librarians from around the globe.
On April 8th, 25 professionals entered the heavy doors of the Library a bit puzzled on the upcoming week, a bit excited for being in Istanbul for the first time and a lot smiling for being part of this event. To our excitement, most them were from different countries than last year and that was a great opportunity for us to meet with colleagues from USA, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Spain, Portugal, Germany, UK, Greece, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Russia, France, Taiwan, Lebanon and Austria.
The weekly program was a challenge for us, as we tried to put together informative sessions that would include presentations on best practices from the Librarians and would stimulate the exchange of experience, concerns, difficulties and plans but also a cultural program to enjoy the city, visit places that would be difficult to visit otherwise and have fun together, gradually becoming friends.
We spent the 3 first days at the University, following sessions under the event’s main theme: Changing roles of Libraries in the Digital era Participants as well as members of SKL’s staff presented various cases under specific thematic categories: Libraries for happy users, Cultural Heritage related projects, Design focus thinking, Libraries on the Digital move, Space and storage.
During these days we had the pleasure of hosting two visitors: Mr. Deniz Baltaci, the director of the Sabanci University Information Center who presented their brand-new Maker space and Mr. Osman Serhat Karaman, who presented the Sakıp Sabanci Museum’s digital archive platform.
But what would an Erasmus week be without some fun and off campus activities? The team had the chance to learn some survival Turkish, find their individual inner peace through a Mindfulness session, to taste Turkish fish delicacies along with some raki, indulge in traditional Baklava, enjoy a Bosphorus cruise, explore the old city’s architectural and historical wanders of Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, have a tour in the Ottoman Archives, visit the newly renovated, wonderful Beyazit Library as well as the Manuscripts Libraries of the University of Istanbul and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and have a glimpse at many artifacts of the Ottoman life at the Sadberk hanim museum.
How fast does time pass when you are enjoying the moment…How interesting it is when you find similarities in your field of profession from a colleague from the other side of the world…How valuable it is to make new friends who bring along fresh ideas and a different perspective in your life…How nice it feels when you broaden your mind with new knowledge and experience.
To all lovely people who joined us during the week, a big THANK YOU!
Suna Kıraç Library team
*see photos from the week, in Flickr