In summary

The IT Section meeting was attended by 70+ delegates over a course of 1.5 days.   On the first day the workshops were attended by 20 – 25 delegates per workshop.  Following on a decision made at the WLIC 2014 in Lyon to start a Special Interest Group focussing on Big Data, a first workshop on Big Data in Libraries was presented by Siang Hock Kia from the National Library Board, Singapore.  Another workshop on Digital Libraries saw numerous presentations from postgraduate students of the University of Cape Town (UCT) on their research done in the Digital Libraries Laboratory of the UCT Computer Science department – please visit the Programme page for the complete listing of all the papers for the plenary sessions and workshops.

The second day covered a broad range of aspects related to open source software and its use in libraries.  A strong emphasis was placed on the fact that open source software provides flexible software solutions, but careful consideration must be given to the type of software solution (e.g. hobbyist, commercial or community-based) that can be implemented and the different implications which accompany decision-making.  The fact that open source solutions greatly enhance open access to information was also highlighted, along with the various considerations that should be taken into account when planning for the implementation of open source solutions across institutional borders.


Images from the plenary session

Hosted in South Africa the Section Meeting also provided the opportunity for good representation of delegates from African countries, while simultanously providing a good networking platform for IT and Library professionals across country borders.  To facilitate further social networking a welcome dinner was held at Bodega Restaurant on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, with good local wine and food produce helping to keep out the cold and rainy weather which is typical for a Cape Town winter.


Social networking opportunities

A workshop on DSpace for Digital Repositories was presented on the afternoon of Day 1 by the IT and Digital Services division of Stellenbosch University's Library and Information Service, with a specific focus on how the DSpace platform can be utilised for various purposes related to digital libraries, such as an Institutional Repository, a Heritage Repository, and a preservation platform.  This included a hands-on session giving a broad overview of the DSpace functionality to support such applications, as well as how DSpace benchmarks against similiar digital repository platforms.


Workshop images

Workshop 2: DSpace for Digital Repositories (J.S. Gericke library) 

The IT Section would like to thank all delegates for their contribution to the meeting, and look forward to meeting up with everyone at the 2016 meeting in Chicago (USA).

With warm regards,

The IFLA IT Section Standing Committee (SC)