Although most library habitues have hied off to motley watering holes for the semestral break, the Rizal Library staff have kept themselves busy and up to speed through the third international librarians’ conference titled “From classroom to career: Roadmaps to a library’s success.” The conference was held on October 22-23, 2007 at the Escaler Hall of the Science Education Complex, Ateneo Loyola Heights campus.

About 300 librarians, library educators, archivists, information professionals and students attended the event. A total of 13 speakers from various parts of the globe were invited to speak on coping with information-age challenges in today’s libraries.

On day one, Dr. Allan B. de Guzman of the University of Santo Tomas gave two talks, “What Filipino school children’s images of librarians are through doodling” and “Clientele recognition of library terms and concepts used by librarians.”

Dr. Ann M. Riedling of the Mansfield University of Pennsylvania spoke on the librarian’s role in developing information literacy among the young and old. Riedling also presented the theory of human caring and service friendly librarians on behalf of Dr. Susan E. Higgins of the University of Southern Mississippi. Rizal Library Director Lourdes T. David  discussed collaborative teaching practices between faculty and librarians in Sri Lankan universities on behalf of Nayana Darshani Wijayasundara of the University of Colombo.

Dr. Chiou-shu J. Hwang of Meiho Institute of Technology, Taiwan, tackled the subject of leaguing libraries with the e-resource industry while Dr. B. Sutradhar of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur talked about developing a system for remote access to book-accompanied CD-ROMs using open source software.

Interspersed with the talks were viewing of exhibits and networking opportunities between librarians, professors, and information professionals.   

Day two began with a tour of the libraries inside Ateneo such as the Educational Media Center in the Grade School, the Educational Media Center in the High School, the Rizal Library, and the University Archives. Participants also visited a book exhibit featuring 17 book publishers and distributors at the Mateo Ricci Study Hall.

Then, the last series of lectures was delivered. Dr. Khaiser Nikam of the Karnataka State Women’s University, India, gave a talk on management strategies for delivering quality library services, Dr. Nagarajah Lee Hun Leong of the International Medical University, Malaysia, spoke on the library service quality of Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, and Dr. Adriaan Swanepoel of the Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa, shared the lessons he learned from using citation analysis as research tool in a university library.

From De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, Dr. Emmanuel Calairo gave his insights on establishing and maintaining a local studies center while Vernon Totanes, an Ateneo alumnus and current PhD student of the University of Toronto, discussed the topic developing a Filipiniana collection online. Marcia Medina of the Ateneo de Manila University demonstrated how to minimize acquisition costs and accumulate comprehensive research materials through collaborative resource sharing among libraries while John Hickok of the California State University shared his observations of international best practices of service-friendly librarians.  

This year’s conference focused on information-age challenges that librarians face. Through the conference, librarians and information professionals were brought together to keep them up-to-date with new developments in library resources and methods and to discuss issues relevant to serving the needs of their clients better.