from LIS7600 to IFLA in less than 33 days, omg that is totally soon

Tonight was the inaugural class of LIS7600 International Librarianship taught by Prof. Mary Wagner and Prof. Marilyn Cathcart!  A requirement of the class is to attend the IFLA Annual Conference, which is being held in Quebec City.  The month of July is going to be rather intense; however, knowing that in August I will celebrate this journey by going to Montreal and Quebec City, makes the journey a bit less difficult.  This journey I speak of is also known as Masters of Library and Information Science.


We started class with an around the room introduction of each student.  However, instead of introducing ourselves, we interviewed a student we did not know well. Lets just say, practically every student in the class of 22 has traveled abroad, multiple times and places, except for me.  Everything I know about the world abroad is from CNN.  Vietnam, Mongolia, Madagascar, France, England, the whole wide world; these people have seen it.  I take that back, along with CNN, I have picked some info up from WWW (world wide web).


We discussed the group project topics, and met with our groups depending on the topic we were interested in.  I have a stellar group and topic that I am very excited about: The role of sustainable technology in providing access to information in developing countries.  How totally rad!


The library Code of Ethics was our first real discussion as a large group.  We first looked at the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics and then moved on to Codes of Ethics outside of the US such as Singapore, Ukraine and Mexico.

To make a long story short, the Code of Ethics around the world seem to be comparable. Is it possible for countries to define their library, information and access value’s similarly? Hmm.  Still letting that one marinate.


Then we moved on to discuss a couple of articles we were assigned earlier; Shakespeare in the Bush by Bohannon and Body Ritual Among the Nacirema by Miner.  The discussion raised points such as:

How do we interpret reality v fantasy?

How do we interpret literal v non-literal

People construct reality based on what they already know

People come with lenses

People interpret against the definitions they already know without asking questions.

Obviously there was more to the discussion, but I am paying a lot of money to sit in that classroom and you are not, so I am not just going to give it all to you.  If you are interested, apply to the program, tell them Wanda sent you and suggest I receive a little reimbursement for my referral.


An excellent first class.  I left feeling excited, overwhelmed, and ready for the revolution.



Ok, so an international conference.  International conference about librarianship.  People from all over the world coming together because they love love love everything library.  What could be better?  Nothing, absolutely nothing.


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3 responses to “from LIS7600 to IFLA in less than 33 days, omg that is totally soon

  1. marthathelibrarian1

    You go girl! an international conference! I totally loved PLA – even though it was basically in my own back yard. It was a very surreal experience to know that everyone around me cared about libraries, and what librarians can and want to do.


  2. marthathelibrarian1

    Wierd, but I just read this post by HelenB – often quoted friend of M. Stephens (check out her blog at

    Conferences – The dozen business card challenge
    By HeleneB

    Stephen Abram posted his a recent Information Outlook column titled Getting the Most our of Your Conference Experience and it made me reflect a bit on the value of conferences and the advice that I often also give first-time conference attendees. Great article BTW with lots of great tips.

    It took me two major conferences before I figured out the secret to making at a conference like ALA truly valuable. The real value in attending isn’t found anywhere within the program guide itself; the real value is found by closing the guide, looking around and saying hello to the person sitting next to you.

    Last fall when I took two former colleagues to their first Internet Librarian conference (and also first library conference of any kind) I jokingly told them I would only expect one thing from them when they returned … “a pile of at least a dozen business cards or list of names” of colleagues in other libraries that they talked to. In a big way I was serious. I wanted them to know that I expected them to use their first conference experience for more than gathering information … I expected them to also make connections.

    The truth is most of the program stuff that you find at conferences, you can actually read about in trade journals or online. Sure it’s valuable to get it all in one place and hear from the source in person. But if that’s all you do when you go to a conference is sit silently and listen to programs — Seriously, that’s what nearly 90% of newby attendees do. I’ve watched them. — then you’re missing out on the most important reason for attending – people. Making connections, comparing stories, and learning about different library approaches to solving familiar problems is definitely the biggest return on your travel value and attendance. It’s these type of conference take-a-ways that will serve you and your library best whenever you need a different library’s perspective on a policy change, a new program idea or just an outside colleague to bounce idea off of. And it’s also these type of take-a-ways that make the next conference even more valuable then before, because now you have the opportunity to reconnect with an old acquaintance.

    If you’re not getting much out of the conferences that you attend (or sending a staff member off to their first conference as well) I might suggest the 12 business card challenge. It will change your/their whole conference experience… for the better! 🙂

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