The Nazarbayev University Library in partnership with the Association of University Libraries in the Republic of Kazakhstan successfully organized the 9th Eurasian Academic Libraries Conference (EALC) from September 30 – October 2, 2020. The conference was completely virtual and was able to reach more than 200 active participants from 26 countries during the three-day event. More than 40 nationalities registered proving that access to information has no boundaries.
With a theme “Alive to Changes: Engage. Embrace. Ensure.”, this year’s theme was very timely as libraries transform to adapt to changes especially during challenging times like the pandemic.
The steering committee was very pleased to welcome two keynote addresses from Jayshree Mamtora who has been actively involved with IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) and Charlotte Wien, Ph.D, board member of SPARC Europe and a very active member of LIBER. Ilesanmi Adesida, Provost of Nazarbayev University gave an inspirational message during the event.
Ten paper presentations were selected alongside four invited papers. The best paper award went to the paper entitled Developing a Competency Index for Librarians: Benchmark for Capacity Building, LIS Education and Continuing Professional Development by Reysa Alenzuela, Ana Mae Cantel, and Ma. Cynthia Peleña from Central Philippine University while the best speaker was bagged by Kamola Ibragimova from Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The third day was devoted to workshops that highlight local and international experiences during the time of pandemic and how to prepare for the new normal. During the virtual conference, participants were asked to engage through virtual challenges and exercises. The conference organizers are indebted to all its sponsors. The recorded presentations and proceedings will be available after the conference.