Approximately 400 information professionals from throughout Asia attended the SLA Asian Chapter three-day conference in New Delhi, India, 26-28 November. The theme of the conference was "Shaping the Future of Special Librarians; Beyond Boundaries"
Distinguished speakers presented from the US, Canada, the UK as well as Asia. Libraries in Asia are diverse, and the use and adaptation of new technology is varied. It was great to see all the students, professors, information professionals and their strategic partners all come together and have meaningful discussions surronding the current "state of affairs" as well as what is on the horizon for the profession and SLA.
SLA President Stephen Abram was the keynote speaker. When news of Stephen's visit to India became known, he was invited to address in person and via video conferencing a consortium of libraries in Asia and librarians in Pakistan.
The message of how SLA can assist in lifelong learning and professional development was woven into the addresses of all SLA members presenting. The SLA Board of Directors actions to make SLA dues more affordable in emerging economies along with the acceptance of the Indian rupee as an accepted currency helped in our membership recruitment efforts with 45 joining on-site and many more indicating they intend to join upon return to their offices.
One company, TATA Consultancy Services, had more than a dozen info pros join in one fell swoop! The Director of the Information Center Sushma Aurora supports her team and instructed each as they were to participate in a Click U course at least once per month. At an off-site meeting with senior executives of TATA, it was evident the importance they place on their information center and how their services contribute to the overall success of their corporation.
Building upon the success of this mega-event for the chapter, Asian Chapter President Debal C. Kar said that smaller meetings are planned in each country where the chapter has even one member in 2009 in celebration of the SLA Centennial. The conference organizer was P.K. Jain assisted by a number of other chapter members.
Check the chapter's Web site later for more details.