The 4th International Library Staff Week 2023

As Koç University Libraries, we organized the 4th International Library Staff Week (ILSW) between May 8-12, 2023. The event brought together 25 professional Library staff with varied backgrounds working in universities or other research orientated libraries from 19 different institutions and 13 different countries.

The theme of this year was “Open Knowledge to Share: Access, Culture, Scholarship”. Library and Information Science is a key sector that contributes to the development of open knowledge. Throughout this week, together we  discussed and analysed the following sub-themes; access (Open Science, Open Access, Open Educational Resources), culture ( Digital Archives, Open Collections, Digitization, Cultural Heritage) and scholarship (Digital Scholarship, Digital Humanities, Scholarly Communities, Carpentry Workshops – Trainings). A total of 15 presentations on those sub-themes were made both by our library staff, ILSW attendees and distinguished guest speakers. Also, we would like to thank our distinguished guest speakers Burcu Bulut (Istanbul Technical University), Nuran Atalan Çayırezmez (The British Institute at Ankara) and Gültekin Gürdal( Izmir Institute of Technology İYTE) for their valuable contributions.

This year, three different international staff weeks were organized on the campus. We started the first day with the opening speeches Tuba Akbaytürk (Koç University Libraries Director), Burcu Sarsılmaz (Office of International Programs Director) and Behice Pehlivan (Gender Equality Coordinator) who were the directors of each international week at Koç University. Afterwards we had a library tour and campus tour. Before we ended the day with the Welcome Dinner, we visited Sadberk Hanım Museum, the first private museum in Turkey. The second day started with the institutional presentations and continued with the presentations on Open Access and Open Science projects in different libraries. On the third day, we visited the Ottoman Archives and ANAMED Library. We also listened presentations on Open Culture and digitalization projects. On Thursday, we visited the Rami Library Complex which includes Shifahane (Manuscript Conservation Unit). Rami Library is a huge complex, and we had a chance to see many restored manuscripts belonging to the different centuries and we visited the manuscript book exhibition. Afterwards, we return ANAMED and listened the presentations on Digital Scholarship.

At the end of the day the participants received their certificates. In the last day of the International Library Staff Week, we visited the Topkapı Palace, the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque and Sultanahmet square. In the Topkapı Palace, our guests had an opportunity to visit the newly restored Fatih Mansion, Seferli Ward, Treasury Ward, and Mecidiye Mansion located in the 4th courtyard. Then we visited the Hippodrome, where our guests learned about the history of the area and listened the story of the statues on the square. We ended the day with a visit to the Blue Mosque.

During this week, we learned from each other as colleagues, created friendship bonds, discovered archives, libraries in İstanbul together and had lots of fun. For me, it was exciting, an eye-opening, inspiring week with conversations and laughs. I am very grateful for meeting each of our participants. I will always remember these lovely people and this wonderful week. I hope, we will meet with them in again some time, somewhere around the world.

It was a great pleasure to welcome our colleagues from different parts of the world who bring along fresh ideas and a different perspective in our life. We are so glad to see that our ILWS family is growing each year. Many thanks to all lovely people who contributed to our wonderful ILSW Week…

Naz Özkan
ILSW Organizing Committee
Outreach and Reference Librarian

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