1st Istanbul “International Library Staff” week – March 2018
So ok, participating in an Erasmus mobility program, either as a student or as a professional, is a wonderful experience! No doubt about that. But how about organizing an Erasmus based week?
The idea came from Koç University’s Office of International Programs and we replied: “Academic Libraries, hubs without borders” – challenge accepted! We would organize, host and actively participate in a 5days event that would bring together fellow Library international professionals.
Meetings and meetings and meetings and divided tasks and phone calls and emails and planning and scheduling and organizing and more meetings! Day by day in these 3 months of preparations our mood was hopping from enthusiasm to anxiety, to anticipation and then back to fear and then back to enthusiasm! A real roller coaster that was! But oh, the pleasure of receiving applications from different countries! The pleasure of managing to get everything in order! The pleasure of getting together a team and guests ready to support! Because it turned out the pleasure of Erasmus doesn’t begin on the actual first day of it. It starts earlier, on the day you decide to go for it!
And then, on Monday morning March 26th, 18 International Librarians entered the Library. A little hesitant, a little excited, a little curious, a lot smiling and so very ready to prove that continents can meet where people meet.
That week was a proof that Erasmus is one of those adventures which can’t be forgotten. In between presentations and discussions and lunches and visits, everyone was eager to share professional experience and expertise and their own culture, but most importantly everyone was ready to absorb like a sponge new ideas and practices and life styles. Very soon you could see friends rather than strangers, you could hear laughs and jokes rather than typical conversations and you could see smiling faces posing for a photograph that would capture the precious moments.
Language and culture are definitely not barriers to making friends and building contacts, not even when Canada meets China, Azerbaijan meets France, Morocco meets New Zealand, Lebanon meets Greece, Germany meets Macedonia (Fyrom), Italy meets Kazakhstan and Turkey meets England.
There were so many moments to write about during this event, but as a picture is worth a thousand words, I’d rather have some of the photos speak for themselves.
What we, the SKL team, gained from this event is a valuable insight in the profession from a multinational perspective, motivation to implement new services for our users, ideas for future collaborations and new friends in our lives!
It became so clear that if we come together with open minds, there’s no limit to what our shared experience can teach us and what our hearts can enjoy! Once you get introduced to the Erasmus experience you become an Erasmus lover for life…
*See more in our Flickr collection
Ps1: We had a poster session of the event in ANKOS LINK Conference in Antalya
Ps2: “Istanbul calling: travel tales from Koҫ University Library Staff Training Week” by Lizzy Pennock of Sussex University.
IILSW18 team 🙂