Sunday, 23 November 2008

Conferences, workshops, etc

It has been a busy time in the UAE for library-related conferences. This has meant that I am singing the now familiar tune ... "on the road again".

Last week the MENA IUG conference was hosted by AUS (American University of Sharjah). This is the Millennium system user group for Middle East and North Africa libraries. I enjoyed the networking opportunity that this presented as well as a view into different ways of working with our ILS.

This week I am in Al Ain at a workshop on consortial licencing of electronic resources. The two presenters, Anne and Kimberley, are both experts in their field and good at sharing a vast amount of information in a logical and interesting matter. The sessions have been engaging and remained on target to identify core aspects of the subject. I am lookin forward to getting to the workflow issues.

Information Literacy has had a great boost with the 2 day ILN conference in Sharjah at AUS. A number if my colleagues presented papers.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Oh to be in Charleston

The annual Charleston Conference has come and gone. Sigh. It's long been a dream of mine to be able to go to this marvellous annual conference of acquisitions gurus. The full name of the South Carolina conference is "Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition". I met Katina at the South African acquisitions conference many years ago and she is pure dynamite. It is just wonderful to meet a librarian who is passionate about what she does. I am definitely going to need to plan ahead to be in the southern states of America in early November 2009. Ah, it's good to have nice dreams ... But for now I'll need to be content with reading all about it in Against The Grain.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Michael Crichton dies

On the road again

I am constantly amazed at the pace at which change is happening in the UAE. For the last 3 weeks my colleague and I have been hitting the road doing Millennium ILS training on the create list feature. Dubai is just an amazing city - er, well it's more like a building site from one end to the other. The iconic Burj al Arab is now quite lost amongst the skyscrapers making up the Marina and Palm Jumeirah area. The road construction is bizarre and nothing is ever simple. This means that one wrong turn and you will be heading in the opposite direction to which you should be going ... and there is NO EXIT for miles! It's a tad stressful on the nerves of the driver. Oh ... don't get me started on the drivers. Apart from that, it is a destination worth visiting.

Today we were in Sharjah at the University City - a huge area dedicated to the various institutions of higher eduation, e.g. Higher Colleges of Technology, American University of Sharjah, University of Sharjah, etc. Sharjah is very conjested and the road system is desperate for an upgrade. The traffic is a nightmare.

On Monday we went right across country to the city of Fujairah. It's well worth the drive to look at the changing desert landscape and the unusual rocky mountains. I hear that the sea water has become very polluted from constant spills from the ships plying the east coast between the Gulf countries (Iran, India, Oman, Yemen). Up the coast is the Sandy Beach which has the famous "Snoopy Island" and wonderful snorkelling.

Willie Nelson's "On the road again" will be playing in my head for some time to come...

Nelson Mandela quotes