Sunday, August 27, 2006

IFLA in Seoul, Korea

I was privileged to attend the recent World Library and Information Congress in Seoul, Korea. Highlights of the event for me were attending the organized programs, including the Opening Session and the indigenous knowledge program, the organized social events, several tours, the poster sessions, and meeting with friends, especially current and former students, Jee Davis, Nackil Sung, Dr. Duk-Hyun Chang,
and Spectrum Scholar Maria Hudson Carpenter. Former student, Seong-ah Lee even took a lengthy bus ride with her 3-year old daughter to meet me at the airport before I departed on my return flight to the US.

Here's a quick summary of my schedule.

Saturday, 19 August

Current iSchool student, Jee Davis, met me at the airport with a car sent by her brother's company. He arranged for a one-night stay in a wonderful hotel, the Prima. I arrived in time to take in the tail end of the recpetion for the U.S. Delegation at the COEX, my first glimpse at this large convention center attached to a huge underground mall.

Sunday, 20 August

1. After moving to my conferenc hotel (Hotel Riviera), I picked up registration materials in time to attend the Opening Session from 10:30 - 12:30. Seoul's mayor described the World Congress as the "cultural Olympics." Korea's First Lady addressed the audience and the key note speaker was past President Dr. Dae-jung Kim. He noted that "only libraries can provide the crucial role of removing the dark shadows of the digital divide ... libraries should become an open space for dialog between nations."

2. UNESCO Open Forum, 14:00 - 15:45.
Hosted by IFLA President-Elect, Dr. Claudia Lux, this event provided an overview of the World Digital Library Project and efforts to "digitize core cultural collections from countries and cultures around the world."

3. 16:00 - 18:00. Opening of the Exhibits, where I helped at ALA's booth.

Monday, 21 August

1. 9:00 - 13:00. Yongin Korean Folk Village tour, 30 km south of Seoul.
2. 16:30 - 18:00. Access to Learning Award Announcement and Reception. Congratulations, READ Nepal!
3. 19:00-. Minister's Gala Reception. After addresses by Mr. Myung-Gon Kim, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Dr. Alex Byrne, IFLA President, and Mr. Ki-Nam Shin, President of the National Organising Committee, we were treated to excerpts from a musical, "Gokdu-byulcho."

Tuesday, 22 August

1. 8:30-11:30. I attended President-Elect Dr. Claudia Lux's Planning Session.
2. 12:00-14:00. I set up and presented my poster session on "Honoring Generations," our scholarship program for indigenous students. Thanks, Ganga Dakshinamurti, for your help in setting up my poster. I'll be better prepared next time!
3. 14:15-14:45. I sat in part of the Libraries and Indigenous Knowledge in Africa program.
4. 14:00-15:45. I attended the last portion of the program sponsored by the New Professionals Discussion Group.
5. 16:00-18:00. I sat in the last portion of the program on Information Literacy.
6. 19:30 - 21:30. Cultural evening at the Sejong Center. We traveled by buses under police escort to this large performance venue. There, the evening events included performances by the National Changgeuk Company of Korea, National Dance Company, and National Orchestra.

Wednesday, 23 August.
1. 08:30 - 11:00. IFLA President's Program: Indigenous Knowledge, Libraries and Information Services. I was priviledged to speak on this panel with John Mohi (Aoteara/New Zealand) and Dr. Martin Nakata (Australia). We will continue our work through Dr. Byrne's new Presidential Committee on Indigneous Matters.
2. 12:00 - 14:00. Staffed my poster session again.
3. 13:45-18:00. Presented a poster session at the School Libraries and Resource Centers Section program.
1. 19:00-. Mayor's Reception

Thursday, 25 August
1. 08:40-12:40. Traditional Korean House Tour
2. 13:15-15:30. Attended part of the Closing Session
3. 15:30-18:00. Attended Council