I attended the International Cooperation Section (ICS) business meeting on Monday morning. Despite (or in spite) of the 7am time, we had a good turnout.
In recapping some of the extra special events for this meeting, ICS has been busy! To complement the usual MLA Colleague Connection (where a new MLA attendee is paired up with an MLA veteran attendee), ICS offered an ICS Connection to connect new international attendees with an ICS member to acquaint them with and orient them to the meeting. Additionally, using the Doodle poll tool, three Dining Circles were set up during the meeting for various lunch and dinner spots that ICS members and international visitors could attend, highlighting local restaurants with international flavor and all-around good food.
As usual, ICS members also staffed the International Visitors Desk. Like last year, attendees were invited to write “Welcome” in their various languages and post them on a board. This year, we also had a map of the world for visitors to show where they were from, and we also used a Polaroid camera to snap photos of attendees and add it to the board. I worked the desk with Samathi Hewakapuge and we had a fun guessing game from the display of world flags, as well as helping people set up their posters and find out about ICS events at the meeting. I continue to be impressed by ICS members and their willingness to work in these various venues to improve the conference experience for international visitors.
As far as section business, ICS is looking to transition its newsletter into a blog. There was also discussion about improving communications across the section through members volunteering to write about their “normal” in their various libraries, to help us learn from each other and understand the roles we play, the structure of our institutions, and the different world views which we have. These might be “essays” (one or two paragraphs), so not burdensome for anyone, but a new venue to encourage us to share with one another.
We also had a very interesting discussion on the broad topics of plagiarism and copyright, and how these definitions and meanings might be very different, depending on your country and local laws. This can be of broad interest for both those working internationally, as well as those working in the United States. More and more schools in the US have international students, and having them understand what is appropriate and allowed (and within the honor code) could be an education role for librarians to play.
Brief note–the Japan Medical Library Association now has an English website: http://plaza.umin.ac.jp/~jmla/eng/index_eng.html , so feel free to check out the site.
Thanks again to ICS for the work it does to promote and encourage international partnerships, and look forward to continued collaborations across the world with medical librarians.