Librarians on the road

by | 29 Jan 2018

Being a librarian has its perks. Because there are thousands of libraries worldwide and a ton of international conferences, a librarian gets to travel a lot. In 2017, two colleagues of the Maastricht University Library visited and participated in a number of fascinating events, seminars and conferences. The topics were diverse – from innovation in education and information literacy to fake news and misinformation – but they are all relevant to the day-to-day job of a librarian.


Information literacy

From 18 until 21 September, one of the biggest conferences in Europe, the European Conference on Information Literacy  (ECIL), was held. This year, the main theme was ‘information literacy  in the workplace’.

Next to a full programme with numerous workshops and lectures about the importance of 21st century skills for the working professional, we gave a presentation about our own student-to-student service Peer Point. UM Library hires and trains students, so that they can provide support (in writing, searching, structuring, etc.) to fellow students. And did you know UM students can use Peer Point free of charge?

We also took part in smaller networks, such as the Social Scientific Information Network (SWI , this website is Dutch only). The theme of the last meeting (7 November), was ‘information literacy training’. Next to our own online tutorials, the Library of the Erasmus University Rotterdam developed online tutorials as well. They shared their experiences regarding a portal with information skills modules: you can check these here .


Hot topics

The main theme of the yearly conference of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging van Informatieprofessionals (KNVI) (9 November), was ‘Information is power’  (Dutch only). One of the hot topics of this moment is fake news , which was elaborately discussed during this meeting. As librarians we are interested in the development of fake news and how to train our student critically in being able to detect it. If you are interested in the conference, the conference presentations (Dutch only) can be found here .

During the 23 November NRC Event ‘Future of Learning’ (Dutch only), the focus was on innovative education, such as learning analytics and 21st century skills. Important questions were raised like ‘can we get rid of assessment by using learning analytics instead?’ and ‘what are the actual (evidence-based) skills needed for the present student with the constant update of information?’



By keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in education, librarianship, technology and media, UM Library specialists strive to innovate and improve services. Information is all around us, but the way it is created and presented keeps changing. So it’s a library’s job to keep re-inventing itself as well. Luckily we’re not on our own to face the challenges that lie ahead.


Vincent M.A. Janssen & Stefan Jongen

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