The National Library Board (NLB) organised the “Bridging Worlds - Knowing, Learning, Sharing” Conference on 16–17 October 2008 at the Intercontinental Hotel. The programme included the “Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Learning Summit: Redefining Work-life, Learn and Play in Asia” that was held concurrently on 17 October 2008 at the National Library Building. More than 260 local and overseas delegates, speakers from Europe and Australasia and guests attended the conference.
The main theme of the conference was on the use of web 2.0 technologies in libraries and the emerging library 2.0 technologies. It featured how libraries and other institutions are changing or responding to change related to Library 2.0 and beyond. Other themes featured were on the development of specialist search engines, social tagging and folksonomies, and the changing shape and form of cultural institutions. The conference also discussed what communities and audiences expect from cultural institutions such as libraries, and how they can build audience share based on these communities, physically and virtually. Other area of focus were how information, knowledge and cultural institutions are responding to the social and information future while continuing to connect with their diverse communities in appropriate spaces, engaging with them to build the culture, information and knowledge dividends. The theme of bridging across the different worlds was chosen because libraries and other cultural institutions would now need to bridge the traditional way of delivering library services with the current to meet customers’ needs.
The keynote speakers on the first day were Ms Nayla Al Khaja, a Dubai filmmaker, who spoke on the challenges she faces in obtaining knowledge and creating a connection between the different generations in her family because of her gender; and Ms Penny Carnaby, Chief Librarian, New Zealand National Library, who spoke on cultural change within the library profession and the need to continue to protect intellectual property, ideas and creativity. The keynote speaker on the second day, H.E. Dr Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN SecretaryGeneral, spoke on the close relationship between cultural and economic factors within a community.
(Left) Ms Nayla Al Khaja, Filmmaker, Dubai
(Centre) Ms Penny Carnaby, Chief Librarian, New Zealand National Library
(Right) H.E. Dr Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary-General
The conference was organised around four tracks. These were “The World Beyond 2.0”, “The Shape and Form World”, “The Find & Search World” and “Our World, Our Community, Our Audience”. Each covered a specific area of interest in the library world today.
The NGO Learning Summit was intended to expand opportunities for NGOs and learning institutions to redefine living, learning, working and leisure in Asia. The Summit was organised together with the Asian Dialogue Society (ADS), a regional thinktank outfit supporting the emergence of “New Asia” that is focused on a shared integration and a common future. The purpose of the Learning Summit was to formulate the region’s human capital development agenda for a better Asia in the 21st century with libraries and knowledge centres as the cornerstone for that development.
The Learning Summit commenced with the opening speech by Dr Susan Ornager, Advisor, Communication and Information Asia, UNESCO. The keynote speakers were Mr Manu Bhaskaran, Partner and Member of the Board, Centennial Group Inc., Mr Lee Poh Wah, Programme Director, Lien Foundation and Mr Soo Kok Leng, Chairman, ST Electronics. Six other speakers were invited to speak on the themes “Knowledge Spaces” and “Learning Efforts in the Region”. The half-day event was attended by 50 participants, including members from the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI).
On the whole, the Bridging Worlds Conference was well received with 92.1% of the respondents rating the conference as good or very good.
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