IE University, Madrid
I came across the concept of Erasmus many years ago, as a University student. This combination of learning while being in a different academic environment, the opportunity of making new friends and experiencing a different culture was very appealing to me and led me to the Netherlands for six months.
Now, years later Erasmus led me to Madrid, Spain for a week. The concept still the same but in a professional level. I visited IE University Library at Madrid between 19-23 June and had the chance to be informed by the fellow Librarians on the Library’s mission, operations and future plans.
IE Library serves the academic community of IE University which comprises of both Spanish and International students (undergraduate/graduate) as well as Spanish and International Faculty members. Addressing a vast multicultural community, the Library includes printed and mainly electronic multılıngual resources and participates in consortia and networks that promote its’ profile and advance its’ services.
While there, the colleagues had prepared a weekly schedule with mini informative sessions on the services, the tools, the daily operations of the Library, the future plans and collaborations. We also exchanged experience on the workplace, ideas on best practices and potential development of services. This was the most interesting part, as the core of this exchange week was to get to know how a similar organization (in this case, an Academic Library) functions under the effect of a specific social frame and how it adapts to the characteristics and demands of the complex community it serves.
Of course, some tapas with wine and sangria made the days feel and taste better and Madrid is a beautiful city with many sights that attract the traveler’s eye.
All in all, this was undoubtedly a valuable experience in a personal and a professional level, as the interaction with colleagues of a different culture gave a spark to the professional aspect of the program.