Rencontre à Paris

A group of over 60 of us met in Paris the week before last for our European Partner Meeting – the first held since RLG became part of OCLC. I was pleased that most of our European Partner institutions were represented – some by several staff members (and it was nice to welcome David Ferriero from the NYPL to our meeting). We assembled the group on the evening of Wednesday 5 November, with dinner, allowing a full day for presentations and discussion on Thursday 6th. Of course, we were pushed for time, having only the single day. We had programmed presentations on several aspects of our work, together with scene-setting by Jim Michalko and Lorcan Dempsey. Constance spoke about the collective collection, and Richard Ovenden from Oxford gave a case study. Lynn Silipigni Conaway gave a fascinating presentation on ‘screenager’ user studies she has been doing lately.

I spoke about the new research information management work, focusing on research assessment; Sheila Cannell provided the Edinburgh case study. Lorcan discussed recent metadata developments, and Christian Lupovici from the Bibliothèque Nationale updated us on impressive work going on there. Günter discussed our activities in the museums area, and did a double-act with Doug Dodds from the V&A. And Jim introduced our new ‘Mobilising Unique Materials’ work area. The presentations are now available on our web site. Audio files were also made of the presentations, and will be mounted as soon as my colleagues have had a chance to edit them.

For our part, we were delighted to have the opportunity to meet so many of our European Partner colleagues in one place. We hope to repeat the event – in other Partner city locations – and will adjust the format to allow for more time for formal and informal discussion. Most delegates, judging by the feedback, found the event valuable (and we promise next time to try to avoid a 15-minute projection hitch at the beginning of the day, to provide enough coffee, to be more vegetarian-friendly, to avoid the distraction of a presidential election, and to stay clear of days when the rail network is hit by a strike!). Thanks to all who attended.