LAI/CILIP Ireland Annual Joint Conference 2017

The LAI/CILIP Ireland Joint Conference and Exhibition was held in the Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, Co Offaly from 29th to 31st March 2017.

The Conference theme was "Dynamic Innovative Libraries: Connecting with the User" and delegates enjoyed a packed programme with plenary sessions and workshops over the two days.

Events began with a Welcome Reception on the evening of the 29th March. The Conference was formally opened by President of the LAI Mary Stewart. In her welcome address Mary highlighted that libraries must adapt and provide services for new users and remain relevant going forward.

Nearly twenty exhibitors were on hand to display and demonstrate awide variety of library supplies. Delegates were afforded the opportunity to network in a relaxed environment, explore the exhibitions and meet the exhibitors.

Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal Mr Damien English TD delivered a very enthusiastic Opening Address about the future of Libraries in Ireland. He discussed the development of the new strategy for libraries 2018-2022. We must build on the achievements of the previous public library strategy ‘Opportunities for All’, as the Minister said ‘The only thing you need to know in any town is the location of the Library’. Libraries have to face the challenge to embrace change and technology. Going forward the Minister identified that the challenges are threefold, implementing Opportunities for All, the next 5 years and working together.

The next speaker was Andy Priestner creator and Chairman of the international UX in Libraries. Andy gave an enlightened look into the behaviour of Users and how to engage and learn from the user experience.

Other speakers included David Dalton of Housing Planning and Local Government, Jane Leonard from Really Useful Training, Eileen Morrissey County Librarian in Wexford Public Library Service, Terry Wogan Senior Librarian at Dublin City Libraries, Suzanne Fitzpatrick Communication Manager with Codema, Mark Ward Library Assistant South Dublin Libraries, John Concannon Director of Creative Ireland, Jukka Relander President of the Finnish Library Association, Kate Kelly Director of Library Services at RCSI, and Samantha McCombe Librarian of Linen Hall Library in Belfast.

We are facing unprecedented technological change and our speakers challenged us to be dynamic and innovative in delivering quality services, with our users central to the development of our services.

The dynamism and energy of the conference was excellent with plenty of innovation and information to take home and implement within our own organisations.

Conference slides will follow.

Report by Karen Scattergood, Conference Secretary LAI

Next year the Annual Joint Conference will be moving North. Planning is already underway and further details will be released later in the year.