IGeLU Chair’s Update -August 2020

What a year 2020 is turning out to be and we are only halfway through the year.

During the IGeLU Steering Committee meeting in late February we were discussing the COVID-19 situation. At that stage we were speculating that the pandemic would be resolved within 6 months. So how wrong can you be! The pandemic has affected us in many ways including the way we work and interact. Zoom and other web conferencing tools are now the norm. In person conferences are being replaced by webinars. Cloud-based applications are preferred so that staff can work anywhere and anytime. Working from home is now acceptable and is proving to be a success.

The pandemic has also affected the way IGeLU carries out its activities. As a global organisation we have been active in using web conferencing and cloud-based tools for many years. However there has been a major impact on the annual conference. This year, the annual IGeLU conference will be delivered as a ‘Digital Conference’ (https://igelu.org/archives/12679). We will be delivering the conference via the Zoom Webinar product and making recordings available for those that cannot ‘virtually’ attend. The plan is to have shorter presentations (no more than 25 minutes) and that the conference will be open to all Ex Libris customers at no cost. We plan on releasing the program and registration information next week. I hope you all can attend or if unable access the recordings after the event.

We have also seen the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, which was founded in 2013, suddenly hit major worldwide attention. I would like to re-iterate that the IGeLU Steering Committee (SC) condemns all forms of racism and all other types of discrimination in all of its forms as fundamentally contrary both to human rights and to the values of our profession. We are striving to be more diverse and welcome suggestions that can further advance this objective. Suggestions and thoughts can be forwarded to me via email – chair@igelu.org

Please keep safe and healthy and hope to see you all virtually at our Digital Conference.