INTRODUCTION & WELCOME
by EBLIDA president, mag. Gerald Leitner, Austria
May 2012 will be a very special time for all of us since we will celebrate EBLIDA’s twentieth anniversary.
The Jubilee Conference on Friday the 11th of May aims to draw the attention of the European Union both to the risks and threats at stake for libraries and their patrons, and therefore also to the citizens of Europe with the current situation in the volatile market of ebooks in which libraries have very few rights.
Libraries have to find ways to create and ensure attractive services in this new media environment and ever changing market, while e-books will become increasingly relevant for libraries. But it appears that at the moment the acquisition policy may be decided by the publishers and not by the library, meaning a threat to access to information, and by extension to democracy. Therefore we need a change.
It is time for library organizations to take action and to advocate for more rights in the increasing market of e-books before it is too late.
During the conference, EBLIDA will give you the word through active workshops where you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions and to work on possible solutions that might enable libraries to evolve in a balanced environment. The conference has been set up to provide the first steps to initiate a European wide campaign for libraries.
The conference is taking place in Copenhagen during the Danish EU-chairmanship.
In praxis the conference is organized by the Danish Library Association together with EBLIDA – and the Danish Agency for Culture (earlier: for Libraries & Media) and supported by the other Danish library organizations, all members of the Library Umbrella in Denmark.
I invite you all to join us for the Council Meeting on Thursday the 10th May, 2012, when the elections for a new Executive Committee and President will take place. This event only happens every three years and is of utmost importance for the future of the association. The more people who attend the more democratic the elections will be.
We wish you a pleasant stay in Copenhagen. And I personally look forward to a fruitful, forward looking debate identifying constructive new initiatives for the benefit of the European library and media sectors. And not least for the European citizens.
Welcome to Copenhagen in May.