I have just been spending two days in Oslo, attending VIRAK 2017, a conference for academic librarians in Norway. It`s been a couple of fun and interesting days, and I am thinking a lot while I reviewing my notes and writing this blog post.
I rarely go to Norwegian library conferences these days. Excepting an academic writing conference in Bergen last November, I haven`t been to one for years. I almost always stay behind while the others attend the Bibsys convention, by choice I have to add.. Bibsys is no longer of any use to me, since practically everything there is now connected to Alma/Oria. And seeing as I neither work with cataloging (thank heavens!) or with Cristin (research data management system), there is very little of interest to me here.
All the more reason to sign up for VIRAK when I got the chance. For me, the most interesting and important thing about going to conferences is the networking that happens outside the auditoriums. Having the opportunity to listen to other librarians talk about their projects, asking them for input on my projects, having a coffee or a glass of wine while discussing larger issues.. that is the best part. This conference was no exception. I met a lot of colleagues (yay! I have lots of colleagues!!) from NTNU, friends and acquaintances from other libraries and I had the pleasure of being introduced to several others, too.
There are lots of things going on in Norwegian academic libraries. The VIRAK committee got over 90 submissions to their call for papers. There were digital snippets, PechaKuchas, research papers and best practice submissions. The committee was overwhelmed and extremely happy with the variations and volume of contributions. I think it is a little weird, though, that these librarians don`t publish more, generally speaking..?
Anyway – going to a conference right now felt really nice. It`s been a crazy busy spring semester. We have more students than ever, and since my boss and one of my colleagues left it was almost impossible to give sufficient help to all who asked for it. So – taking a step back, speaking to lots of great people and remembering what it is all about.. that felt good.
I`ll get started on the content from the conference in my next blog post. Sorry about the ramblings here.