As Koç University Libraries we organized the 3rd International Library Staff Week between May 9-13, 2022. In total 23 attendees from 17 different institutions and 13 different countries attended. Due to the pandemic the organization of the two previous International Staff Weeks unfortunately had to be cancelled. In January 2022 announced the launching f the International Library Staff Week and hoping that we would not have to cancel again. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that we were concerned as to whether people were ready for a face-to-face event. However, the registration numbers seemed to indicate precisely the opposite. People were enthusiastic about moving away from their Zoom screens, get a plane and travel to meet people face-to-face!
The theme of this year was Constructing the Future. It is needless to repeat how profoundly the pandemic affected our lives and our working environments. Libraries are places that had to particularly re-adjust their services for their users. Constructing the Future was a topic that librarians had surely many things to talk about and share with each other. We wanted to categorize the discussions under three main sub-themes. Hence, the sub-themes, Innovation, Partnership and Sustainability emerged. All are subjects that are recently discussed within and beyond the librarianship world. A total of 14 presentations on those sub-themes were made both by our library staff, ILSW attendees and distinguished guest speakers.
All presentations were fantastic; however, it is not possible to imagine an International Library Staff Week without having some specialized excursions! The Ottoman Archives is a must of the ILSW programme! Each time we visit the Ottoman Archives, there is always a new thing to discover that amazes us. A new addition to our programme was our visit to the Vitali Hakko Creative Industries Library which combines beautifully design and librarianship. Another first for our programme was the visit to the contemporary art museum, ARTER. Thanks to the guides of ARTER museum, we had the privilege of appreciating every single piece. The last day of our tour, started with a stroll around the Old City that contained the Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Sultanahmet Square. Afterwards we ended our week with a final library visit to the Beyazıt State Library and Archives. Ending this wonderful week with illuminated Ottoman manuscripts was the best treat!
This one week passed in a blink of an eye. The synergy of the group was wonderful. During this week, we did not only learn from each other as professionals but also created friendship bonds. For me, personally, serving in the organizing team was an unforgettable experience. Meeting with the ILSW organizing team every Monday for our regular meetings was a separate pleasure. The successful completion of the week was a big relief and satisfaction. Shortly after the end of the week, we reviewed recent experiences and began to look forward to the upcoming year’s ILSW week!
Many thanks to all who contributed to our wonderful ILSW Week!
See you in 2023!
Nathalie Defne Gier
ILSW Organizing Committee
ANAMED Library Branch Librarian