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EBLIDA Newsletter
Issue No. 11. November 2018

The President’s Editorial

Ton van Vlimmeren, President, EBLIDA
Dear colleagues, Dear friends,
Unfortunately, with the falling leaves of Autumn, came some sad news - the passing of a deeply valued member of our library community, Maria José Moura from Portugal. Our condolences go to Maria Jose’s family and loved ones. May she rest in peace. Please read further down for our tribute to Maria José Moura, a never to be forgotten library disciple.

In EBLIDA, you will by now know that we have secured a new Director, due to start in January, Giuseppe Vitiello, whom we introduced to you last month. If you missed the information please look back here to find out more.
We are already in the process of planning our next EBLIDA Executive Committee meeting, to be held on Monday 4th March in Naples, Italy.  Many important items will be on the agenda, including the EBLIDA Strategy which is already being worked on by a dedicated work group within the EBLIDA Executive Committee.
Finally we are now almost ready to announce to you the dates for the EBLIDA 2019 Council and Conference, being held in Dublin. Our December edition will bring you the big news!
Until then, I wish you all an enjoyable read!

Yours sincerely,

Ton van Vlimmeren
EBLIDA President  

Tribute to Maria José Moura

Maria José Moura, Portugal
Many of us within the EBLIDA community will be very sad to hear about the passing of Maria José Moura from Portugal, one of the giants of international librarianship, who has died aged 81.
She was the President of BAD (Portuguese Association of Librarians, Archivists and Documentalists), worked as General Director of Books, Archives and Libraries,  was the creator and founder of the Public Libraries National Network of Portugal and an active Member of EBLIDA Executive Committee not so long ago.

Maria José was a prolific and successful advocate of libraries nationally and internationally. In addition to this, Maria José will be remembered by many for her warmth, radiant personality, energetic style and her highly contagious triumph of enthusiasm.
We are very grateful for Maria José for her dedication, commitment, hard work and for her service to our members & to libraries.
Our deepest sympathy go to her family in particular,  and of course her international family of librarians around the globe.
She will be sorely missed, but never forgotten!


EU Code Week

In last month’s edition we promised you a report from the EU Code Week events in Brussels. Our correspondent, Jean-Marie Reding, reports.

Generation Code 2018 – Oops, PL2020 did it again!

by Jean-Marie Reding, EBLIDA correspondent, live from Brussels
Dutch team  at Generation Code
The first "Generation Code: Born at the library" took place in 2016 (18.-19.10.), organised by the European public library advocacy project Public Libraries 2020 (PL2020). PL2020 started in 2014, financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and managed by the Reading & Writing Foundation of the Netherlands.

The Generation Code event is still one of the highlights of the year. Who else can bring librarians of all the European Union together inside one top location for lobbying: the European Parliament in Brussels!? Who else did it before? Nobody!
Some overseas blond-hair-not-so-bright-president would pretend: "Best Generation Code ever!" However, as librarians we certainly can read more than eight pages of text only and wait for the results of the follow up by PL2020. Hereby we encourage every participant to give feedback. PL2020 asked all present librarians nicely to fill out the evaluation form as quickly as possible; do not forget to communicate to them the names of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) you've met in Brussels. As EBLIDA, we too want to know if Generation Code 2018 beat last year's record of 101 MEPs. Well informed as we are, we know that one librarian personally bets a bottle of Schengen wine that PL2020 did it!
As EBLIDA correspondent, but also representative, the author of these lines wants to thank the wonderful PL2020 team! Data protection doesn’t matter here, so let's publish the names of this highly effective three women task force: Lobbying Queen Ilona Kish and her magnificent assistants, Hannah Thominet (-Gent) and Sara Petti. Well done, ladies! Great work!

Library innovators and advocates of all across the European Union were invited on Monday, 8th October to join a workshop led by Matt Finch in the Muntpunt library, to be trained by playing librarian versus decision-maker.
On Tuesday 9th of October, 9.30am, all librarians successfully gained access to the European Parliament. This seems to be easier by the main entrance (Altiero Spinelli) than by the backside, if you believe EBLIDA EC members. Fortunately, since the 1st Generation code event, nobody of the security staff had ever had read the introduction to the bestseller "Stupid White Men" (2001) by Michael Moore, where the famous US-American film director qualified librarians as “certainly one terrorist group you don’t want to mess with.”
PL2020 started with a briefing session at 10am  in a training room of the European Parliament library (5th floor), distributing readymade professional information (an info pack with a programme, logistics information, a list of exhibitors in a flyer) to the delegation leaders. Afterwards the participants could look at the exhibition inside the Parliament's library. Same building, 3rd floor, 12:30pm: the Meet & Greet session began!
Jean-Marie Reding & the team from Luxembourg
A Luxembourgish librarian reports: some MEPs were already waiting for "their" librarians. After starting with the presentation of the national situation of public libraries in the home country and explaining that since the 1970s, at least, libraries are no longer 100% book lending machines or book museums, questions about general problems, obstacles in the daily librarian work, but also very individual practical local library access issues were discussed. This was the moment to switch from national to European level: mention the copyright issue for example. Nevertheless, as soon as you realised that the term "copyright" provoked a "or no! / not again!" body language reaction, you had to change the subject radically. For example: "Why are book boxes not a substitute for libraries?"
The Spanish team with Alicia Sellés CarotLet's not forget to mention the best PL2020 gadget of this session: the photo booth! Aside from a professional photographer going around the whole day, participants - MEPs and librarians - just had incredible fun with this automatic and ready to print camera. The result: hilarious pictures of definitely not boring librarians!

14.30h, third floor, all librarians were invited to move to the exhibition on the fifth floor. As some MEPs couldn't attend the Meet & Greet session at 12:30-14:30, they had the opportunity to visit the booths with very innovative library projects. Some MEPs did pass by; others were contacted and bothered by librarians asking "Are you in your office now? Can I pass by? Now?"
MEP Esther de Lange; European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
At 18:00, still in the Parliament library, a VIP reception started. There were speeches of PL2020 boss, Ilona Kish; MEP Esther de Lange; European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Navracsics Tibor; the very international American Library Association (ALA) president, Loida Garcia-Febo; and Katerina Havrlant, Director of Grow with Google. Officially, the VIP reception was hosted by MEP Library Lover Esther de Lange and co-hosted by MEP Library Lovers Antanas Guoga, Catherine Stihler, Eva Maydell, Michal Boni, Sean Kelly and Julia Reda.


European elections will take place in May 2019. In this context, it wasn't easy to get a precise answer of MEPs if they will run again for election. "Too early to say" or "If my party puts me on the list" were frequent statements. That's why this time a follow up was pretty difficult, like getting some MEPs in the official MEP library lovers group, second biggest in Brussels, only surpassed by the MEP beer lovers group. Perhaps a new group, with a combination, a books, beer and beef lovers group could beat all records. Moreover, the group's headquarters could be located in an appropriate café. Let's propose the Café Amadeo, rue St. Catherine 26, Brussels, tried, tested and appreciated the on 9th October, 2018 by librarians from Bulgaria and Luxembourg – and a vegetarian ALA president.
What about a Generation code event 2019? It depends on the future of PL2020, which is financed to run until March 2019, a sort of deadline, which doesn't mean death. As PL2020 is a premium cooperation partner for EBLIDA, we are waiting for officially confirmed details how PL2020 could continue to exist and work in the next months.

Stay tuned, folks! – and continue to read our newsletter.


1st China-CEEC Curators' Forum of Libraries, Hangzhou, China

Stefano Parise, EBLIDA Vice President
On 20th-21st October Stefano Parise, EBLIDA Vice President, attended the first China – CEEC Library Curator’s forum, held in Hangzhou.
Launched in 2012, this cooperation programme involves several fields, included the cultural one: the library forum is part of the Hangzhou Declaration on Cultural Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, signed by 16 European countries.
The EBLIDA Vice President welcomed the Forum’s participants coming from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and – of course – China during the official dinner offered by Hangzhou Municipality.

The 53 European libraries involved in the project signed an agreement and committed to achieving an action plan for future professional and cultural exchanges.

Cooperation is at the core of library activity. Cooperation helps to bridge borders, to share energies, pool resources and improve skills envisaging new visions for libraries and to shape a common future. Cooperation pre-supposes mutual understanding, which is the basis for bringing different cultures closer together. Within that dialogue between cultures, peace is built. Libraries, fostering mutual understanding and reciprocal knowledge, is the best institution for further achievements.
1st China-CEEC Curators' Forum of Libraries Union in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Oct 20.European library cooperation is widening its borders: EBLIDA is present and doing its best to accompany this process, driving toward a world of shared and accessible knowledge for all, without barriers.


New EBLIDA Director

We are in the on-boarding phase with our new Director, Giuseppe Vitiello and very much looking forward to welcoming him in January in The Hague. We are thinking ahead to 2019, when there will be a new EBLIDA Strategy. A work group has already been set up and more will be revealed about this after the next EBLIDA Executive Committee meeting in March 2019.

EBLIDA-NAPLE 2019 Council and Conference

Finally we are almost ready to announce the Council and Conference. We are in close conversation with Ireland and will be able to tell you in our December edition.
We’re really excited to spend our next Council and Conference in Dublin’s fair city. Please look out for an announcement from us in December.
How to become a Member?

Events and Dates


8 - 10 Zagreb/Brijuni, Croatia 1st International Conference on Green Libraries: "Let's Go Green"
13 - 18 Zagreb, Croatia INTERLIBER 2018 - 41st International Book and Teaching Tools Fair  

14 -17 Ürgüp, Nevşehir, Turkey First International Children’s Libraries Symposium
19 - 21 Birmingham, UK Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities (DCDC)
23 London, UK EUROLIS 2018 - Reaching New Audiences
26  - 28 Bonn, Germany SWIB18 - 10th Semantic Web in Libraries Conference
Stay informed, sign up today!

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