CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The Interlending and Document Supply conference takes place every two years, and this year the tenth conference was held in Singapore. A small country geographically but bursting with innovation and energy. If you want to see the future of our capitalist world being enacted now – take a trip to Singapore. Your editor was honoured by being asked to give the first keynote speech. My attempt to assess the current and future influences on document supply in 40 minutes was not easy but seemed to go down well. Clearly there is life in the old dog yet (document supply not your editor), as over 150 delegates attended from 34 countries – including Micronesia, Nepal, Lebanon and Vietnam. There were some really first rate papers as well as some very lively workshops. This journal publishes a selection of papers from the conference – nearly always revised and updated. The quality of this conference can be judged by the fact that whereas six papers were published from the last one in Tallinn, up to ten papers are likely to be selected from Singapore. Our colleague Jacqueline Gillet from the French document supplier INIST had a fascinating paper on INIST with useful statistics on document supply as well as performance measures. Unfortunately Jacqueline was caught up in the French public service strikes and was unable to present the paper, which was given instead by Kim Baker, Chair of the IFLA Standing Committee on Document Delivery and Resource Sharing. A paper was also given by Mat Pfleger from the British Library on the partnerships it is forming with Microsoft, Google, and PubMedCentral. Indeed these days INIST and BLDSC seem more partners than competitors in a new era of collaboration. Papers on collaboration were given from Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Italy, the USA and Canada. Harald Müller from the Max Planck Institute for Public International Law gave a truly awesome paper on the legal obstacles to document supply – a version of which we will certainly be publishing in ILDS. A very thoughtful paper was given by Ngian Lek Choh, Director of the National Library, Singapore on the need to reconceptualise the library. Which clearly they are doing in Singapore, with intensively user-focussed services being developed and implemented – all within the context of almost universal availability of broadband communication. Cyril Oberlander from the University of Virginia gave a coruscating presentation with plenty of new ideas on document supply and resource sharing. And lots more!
I returned to the UK to attend almost straight away a conference in Birmingham organised by TALIS, a UK software vendor, attended by over 300 delegates and 50 speakers. Again resource sharing and its facilitation was at the centre of this lively conference. Of particular interest to ILDS readers in the UK should be the presentation by David Potts from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council that described the feasibility study for end user access to public library resources in the UK. David expects a pilot project to be launched in 2008. With a new Chief Executive of MLA who seems to be focussed on the needs of the ordinary citizen, this is good news indeed. David will be writing an article for the journal in 2008 charting progress.
With this being another issue of Interlending & Document Supply packed with articles from around the world, interlending and document supply seems to be in good health!