donderdag 17 december 2009

Images for the Future: the view from another backoffice

On 16 December 2009 we had the second national conference for Images for the Future. We had gathered a good set of speakers, including Francisco van Jole and futurist Tony Bosma from to shine their light on the importance of audiovisual media for libraries with a special focus on cooperation between heritage institutions and libraries. The programma contained a plenary session and different workshops, all organised to inspire libraries to piece together their vision and actions for the near and mid term future. Approximately 125 people participated.
Marco de Niet from DEN in his closing speech reflected on the Images for the Future project from a more international perspective and put forward the BMICE publication, which already is success and might need a print rerun judging by the amount of little brown books that I saw distributed at both DISH2009 and this conference. In his presentation he gave our guests a magnificent insight in European and national research that has been carried out to establish what the state of the art is in the heritage sector concerning digitization. What really struck me was the slide in which research clearly showed the relation between budgets and vision. Now that was a slide with a wake up call! The presentations given at the conference will be made available on the internet, I’ll update this blog when the url is available.
Two things made the Images for the Future conference special in addition to the guests and speakers. One was the availability of four surface tables on the information market that guests could play with. Although technology is only a means and the whole conference stressed the importance of the human factor in cooperation and digitization this hands on experience proved valuable for our guests and definitly showed new perspectives for libraries. The second thing that made the conference special was the human factor. The Zeeuwse Bibliotheek proved to be warm and generous hosts and the whole logistic arrangement was excellent. And that to me proved that point that we often make in the library sector: it’s not exclusively about books, indexing and disclosure of information. It’s also, and very much so!, about offering a warm and open place where you can meet. 

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