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Embracing Global Insights: BC ELN Staff Attend ICOLC Meeting in Prague
In a stride towards fostering international collaboration and gaining a broader understanding of library consortia operations, BC ELN Executive Director Sunni Nishimura and Licensing Coordinator Reba Ouimet journeyed to Prague in October. Their destination: the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) European meeting. This annual event serves as a hub for professionals from library consortia worldwide, fostering knowledge exchange, networking, and collaboration.
Sunni's presence at the meeting marked an important milestone in her professional journey as she attended her first ICOLC meeting as Executive Director. Reflecting on the experience, Sunni drew parallels between the European and Canadian environments, emphasizing, "In Canada, we often find we have more in common with the European philosophical, political, and strategic environment than the US, so it is important to dip into that well of ideas and initiatives regularly." Sunni appreciated the recognition for BC ELN staff's active roles in various ICOLC initiatives and described the entire experience as "a wonderful learning and connecting adventure in the beautiful city of Prague."
For Reba, attending the ICOLC meeting was an exploration of the diverse service areas that international consortial colleagues are currently navigating. She noted that the experience allowed her to place BC ELN in the broader consortial landscape, "and become more mindful of possible issues that haven’t yet reached North America." While in Prague, Reba connected with members of the ICOLC ConsortiaManager Working Group from the Royal Danish Library, and uncovered new ways to work with ConsortiaManager in the future. She summed up her overall experience as "inspiring and motivating."
Sunni and Reba’s experiences at the ICOLC meeting exemplify the importance of international collaboration and cross-consortial dialogue. By actively participating in global discussions and engaging with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, Reba and Sunni have not only expanded their own perspectives but have also contributed to the collective knowledge and progress of library consortia worldwide.
The International Coalition of Library Consortia is a professional organization of approximately 200 library consortia from around the world. ICOLC serves consortia staff by providing professional development, information and expertise sharing, and peer benchmarking with like-minded organizations. Membership in the ICOLC community provides value through fostering trusted personal relationships with trusted colleagues. These relationships offer opportunities for problem-solving, mentoring, and counseling. The organization advances common goals through peer-to-peer networking, development of best practices, and by facilitating deeper collaborative action and advocacy amongst members.