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OCLC meeting in Cape Town
OCLC Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Council (EMEARC) held its fifth annual member meeting from 24 to 25 February 2014 at the Cape Town International Conference Centre. The theme of this meeting was: ‘Library Community in Action: advancing knowledge, collaboration and innovation’.

This was my first time to attend this meeting. I got a chance to understand the business of OCLC, both national and international. The speakers were great, topics were really informative and ideas were shared.

We were welcomed by Eric Lubeek, Managing Director of OCLC EMEA and Robert Moropa, EMEA Regional Council Chair; 2013-2014.

On day one I attended the Breakout Talk: ‘Growing WorldCat: What the Global Community Wants’, facilitated by Ted Fons. The speakers, Jos Damen (African Studies Centre, Leiden) and Susan Murray (African Journals Online, AJOL) talked about the continuing importance of metadata and abstracts for African journal articles, and the availability of scientific publications on and from Africa.

The afternoon I attended the Plenary Session: ‘South African Libraries Spotlight’, chaired by Ellen Tise, Senior Director, Library and Information Services, University of Stellenbosch. These were called ‘lighting talks’ and our former CEO, Mr John Tsebe, was one of the speakers. He presented a paper ‘The Role of National Libraries in Collaboration: National, Regional and Global Perspective’.

On day two I attended the Breakout Talk: ‘Innovation and Change Management in Libraries’, facilitated by Hanita van der Meulen, with Jacques Malschaert and Fiona Parsons as speakers. The theme of this talk was ‘You need to change to stay the same’. Libraries are reinventing themselves to meet the changing needs of users. This session included case studies of how institutions are redefining themselves. Jacques Malschaert explained the way public libraries are organized in the Netherlands and how they have adapted to the changes happening around them.

As part of the EMEA Regional Council Meeting delegates were offered an additional Enrichment Programme prior and following the main conference. They were invited on a number of tours and visits. On 26 February a group of delegates visited the Centre for the Book and the National Library of South Africa Cape Town campus. At the Centre for the Book, they were welcomed by the Executive Head, Mr Mandla Matyumza, informed about the various programmes, toured the building and visited the Conservation Department. At the NLSA the Chief Librarian, Ms Najwa Hendrickse, informed them about the library and its collections and took them on a guided tour of the Information Services section (Reference, Special Collections and Reading Room). They also visited the Reprographics Department (Digital and Microfilming Services).

To find out more about OCLC please visit

Nomthandazo Dyantyi



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