The 5th International Summit of the Book 2016

The Strand Hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick city

Words are all we have.

The Book: History, Knowledge & Technology. The Voyage.

The Library of Congress is pleased to continue its support for the International Summit of the Book, now in its fifth year. Thanks to the City of Limerick for continuing the tradition that was launched in Washington in 2012 and that since has been carried forward in Singapore, Paris, Alexandria, Egypt, and now Limerick. My colleagues and I wish you a successful summit and stimulating discussions around your theme of “The Book: History, Knowledge and Technology.”
– Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress

About the Conference

In conjunction with the US Library of Congress, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), The Library Association of Ireland (LAI), Libraries Northern Ireland,  The National Library of Ireland, the Society of National, College and University Libraries (SCONUL), the Consortium of National and University Libraries (CONUL), CILIP Ireland, Libraries of Technological Higher Education Association Ireland (LTHEA) and other partners, we are pleased to announce the 5th International Summit of the Book, which will be held in Limerick, Ireland, November 2nd-3rd 2016 . The theme of the conference is “Words are all we have. The Book: History, Knowledge & Technology. The Voyage”.

The “International Summit of the Book” is a Library of Congress initiative. The inaugural 2012 International Summit of the Book, at the Library of Congress  began what library leaders envision as an annual global meeting of minds to discuss and promote the book as a crucial format for conveying societies’ scholarship and culture. The Summit discusses the development of books into electronic formats and its impact on reading; the challenges facing books and the publishing industry and the role of books and reading in societies. The Summit also discusses key issues on technology and manuscripts, including the role of translation in the preservation and transmission of culture, and books as an important tool in cultural exchange.

The Venue for the 5th International Summit of the Book 2016 is Limerick Strand Hotel

Ennis Road, Limerick City

The 4 star Limerick Strand Hotel   is located right in the heart of Limerick City. The hotel has a magical Riverside setting overlooking the River Shannon and is close to such landmarks as Thomond Park, Limerick Milk Market and King Johns Castle. The hotel builds on its reputation as one of the finest hotels in Limerick with award winning dining, state of the art leisure centre and exceptional conference spaces.

Main Topics

Main topics of the 5th Summit include (but not limited with) the following:

  • Preservation through digitization / Preservation and the library as a sacred institution
  • Archival repositories and special collections
  • Etymology & history of the book
  • Rare books
  • eBooks versus print books
  • Books and open access
  • Books & cultural exchange / Role of the book in human knowledge and culture
  • Book industry challenges in World Wide / Book manufacture in modern times
  • Books, literacy, reading and the society
  • Information explosion and the book
  • Books and knowledge economy
  • Future of the book
  • Business of publishing and writing
  • The ever changing relationships between writers, publishers, readers and retailers
  • Developments in innovative book platforms
  • Books for all ages, filling in the gap


Coming Soon.

Ismail Serageldin

Director, Library of Alexandria

Director, Library of Alexandria, also chairs the Boards of Directors for each of the BA’s affiliated research institutes and museums. He is advisor to the Egyptian Prime Minister in matters concerning culture, science, and museums. He serves as Chair and Member of a number of advisory committees for academic, research, scientific and international institutions, including as co-Chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), and serves on the Advisory Committee of the World Social Science Report for 2013 and 2016, as well as the UNESCO-supported World Water Scenarios (2013) and the executive council of the Encyclopedia of Life (2010) and Chairs the Executive Council of the World Digital Library (2010). He has held many international positions including as Vice President of the World Bank (1993–2000). He also co-chaired the African Union’s high level panel for Biotechnology (2006) and again for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in 2012-2013, and was a member of the ICANN Panel for the review of the internet future (2013).

Dr. Serageldin has received many awards including: First recipient of Grameen Foundation (USA) Award for a lifetime commitment to combating poverty, (1999); Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters awarded by the government of France (2003); Pablo Neruda Medal of Honor, awarded by the Government of Chile (2004); The Bajaj Award for promoting Ghandian values outside India (2006); Order of the Rising Sun – Gold and Silver Star awarded by the Emperor of Japan (2008); Champion of Youth Award by the World Youth Congress, Quebec (2008); Knight of the French Legion of Honor awarded by the President of France (2008); The Swaminathan Award for Environmental Protection (Chennai, India, 2010); Millennium Excellence Award for Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize, by the Excellence Awards Foundation, Ghana (2010); The Public Welfare Medal, by the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC (2011); Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters awarded by the government of France (2011).

He has lectured widely all over the world including delivering the Mandela Lecture (Johannesburg, 2011), the Nexus Lecture (Netherlands, 2011), the Keynote Address to the First International Summit of the Book (Washington DC, 2012). He was distinguished professor at Wageningen University and at the College de France.

He has published over 100 books and monographs and over 500 papers on a variety of topics including biotechnology, rural development, sustainability, and the value of science to society. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Cairo University and Master’s degree and a PhD from Harvard University and has received over 34 honorary doctorates.

    Ruth Hahn-Weinert

    Chief, Library Services, United Nations Office at Geneva

    Ms. Hahn-Weinert has a wealth of experience both in the field of library and information science as well as with international organization’s information management machinery. She is currently the Chief, Library Services, of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Prior to that, she was Chief Librarian of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Chief, International Nuclear Information System (INIS) and Nuclear Knowledge Management.
    As chair of the INIS Liaison Officer Meeting she built consensus among members to open the INIS database on the Internet. Ms Hahn-Weinert chaired the International Nuclear Libraries Network. She served as Chair of the United Nations Library and Information Network for Knowledge Sharing and was a member of the Steering Committee for the Modernization and Integrated Management of UN Libraries. Throughout her more than 25 years of professional activity, more recently she has been overseeing the implementation of integrated library platforms and discovery tools across international organizations.

      John Van Oudenaren

      Director, Scholarly and Educational Programs, The Library of Congress, and Director, World Digital Library

      John Van Oudenaren has directed the World Digital Library ( since its inception in 2006. The WDL is a collaborative initiative of the Library of Congress, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and libraries, archives, museums, and educational institutions from around the world. Since May 2015 he also has been director of Scholarly and Educational Programs at the Library of Congress. Previously he served as chief of the European Division at the Library of Congress. Prior to joining the Library in 1996, he was a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, and director of RAND’s European office in Delft, the Netherlands. He has served on the Policy Planning Staff of the U. S. Department of State and has been a research associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He received his Ph. D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his A. B. in Germanic Languages and Literature from Princeton University. Dr. Van Oudenaren is the author of several books and numerous articles on European politics, U.S. foreign policy, and international relations.

        Helen Osborn

        Director of Library Services for Libraries NI

        Helen Osborn is Director of Library Services for Libraries NI, the public library service for Northern Ireland which came into being in 2009. It is the largest public library service in the UK and Ireland. Prior to that she was Head of Libraries and Corporate Services in the Western Education and Library Board, one of the predecessors to Libraries NI. Helen has also worked for two library services in Wales and, before that, England. She has been an external examiner for the University of Wales and a library advisor to the Welsh Local Government Association and has lectured on British Council courses. She is an active member of the Society of Chief Librarians and of ALMA UK. Helen has contributed to a number of conferences and journals throughout her career.

          John Tsebe

          President of the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions

          John Tsebe has played a significant role in the development of the South African Library and Information Services sector. He is one of the founder members of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) which is the national professional association for all LIS workers in the country. John Tsebe was National Librarian and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) from March 2004 till February 2014. Before his appointment as National Librarian he was University Librarian at the then University of the North (now University of Limpopo) for 20 years. He has worked in the Library and Information Services (LIS) profession for 40 years. He holds a Master’s degree in Library Science (MLS) from Syracuse University, School of Information Studies, Syracuse, New York, USA. He studied at Syracuse University, as a Ford Foundation Fellow. He also holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA. At Harvard he was a Harvard/South Africa Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government and a Masson Fellow at the Harvard Institute of International Development, for a Mid-Career Master of Public Administration (M-C MPA) degree. He has been recently elected as President of the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA). AfLIA is a new continental organisation established to strengthen the LIS sector in the African continent for Africa’s development and sustainable growth.

            Dr Sandra Collins

            Director of the National Library of Ireland (NLI)

            Dr Sandra Collins is the Director of the National Library of Ireland (NLI), appointed in 2015. The NLI collects and makes available the shared memory of the Irish nation at home and abroad, caring for more than 10 million items, including books, newspapers, manuscripts, prints, drawings, ephemera, photographs and digital media.
            During 2011-2015 she was the Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) in the Royal Irish Academy, where she established and led a national research centre developing both policy and e-infrastructure for digital preservation of cultural and social data. Prior roles include programme manager in Science Foundation Ireland, senior researcher and manager in Ericsson telecommunications, and mathematics lecturer in Dublin City University. Her PhD is in the area of nonlinear fluid dynamics.
            She serves on many international and national committees including as rapporteur for the Horizon 2020 Expert Advisory Group on ‘European Research Infrastructures’, and member of the Irish National Steering Committee on Open Access Policy and the Irish Government’s Open Data Governance Board. She is a member of the Chester Beatty Library Board of Trustees, the Board of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, and the Council of the Library Association of Ireland. In 2014 she was named as one of Silicon Republic’s Top 100 Women in Technology.

              Martyn Wade

              Chair of the IFLA Committee for Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression

              Martyn Wade was National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland from 2002 – 2014, during which time the Library was transformed into a major cultural and heritage venue, welcoming everyone to use, learn from and enjoy its collections both and in person and online. A major refurbishment created new exhibition and public areas, particularly providing an opportunity to explore the unique John Murray Archive, one of Scotland’s most important cultural acquisitions in the last decade. His previous professional posts include Head of Libraries, Information and Learning with Glasgow City Council, and posts in Cambridge and Leicestershire.
              He has been a professional librarian for almost forty years, focussing on breaking down barriers to the use of library, information and archive services to widen the use, understanding and enjoyment of their collections. He is also interested in the value of historic library collections, as well as intellectual freedom and freedom of expression.
              Martyn is professionally active and is Chair of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals – the United Kingdom professional body for library and information workers. He is a Trustee of a number of library and cultural bodies and contributes to the work of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions where he is Chair of the Committee for Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression.
              He is a Visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, and an Honorary Fellow of the Department of Information Studies at the University of Aberystwyth.
              Martyn is a Chartered Librarian with a Masters degree in Library and Information Management. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to Culture in Scotland in 2014.

                Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen

                President of LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries)

                Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen is the director of Library Network Services at the National Library of Finland (NLF). She is the President of Liber for the term 2014-2018 and she worked as the vice president during 2010-2014. She has been appointed to the Open Science Policy Platform by the European Commission for the term 2016-2018. She is a member of the steering committee on scholarly communication and research infrastructures under Liber. She is a member of the high level steering committee of the Finnish the Open Science and Research Initiative (ATT). She has been a member of Europeana board and Europeana executive committee 2010- 2015.

                The Library Network Services provides national infrastructure services for libraries (university and polytechnic libraries, special libraries as well as public libraries), archives, museums and public sector as a whole. Library infrastructure services include library systems management and development, national licensing (FinELib) and national institutional repository services to mention some. National Discovery Service Finna is developed for the GLAM- sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) and The National Ontology Service Finto ( for the public sector as a whole.

                Fostering Open Science is a priority of Liber. The Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland has launched the Open Science and Research Initiative (ATT) for the promotion of research information availability and open science platform for the years 2014-2017. NLF will be responsible of a subproject of ATT. Activities at European level as well as national level support each other.

                  Uldis Zarins

                  Head of The European Library and Director of Development, National Library of Latvia

                  Uldis Zarins is leading The European Library, a pan-European digital library project initiated and funded by the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL) and operated by the European digital library Europeana, since June 2016. He fills in this position on a secondment from the National Library of Latvia, where he is the Director of Development, responsible for development of the National library, Latvian National Digital Library and the Latvian library sector in general. He is also a Vice-President of Latvian Library Association, a member of European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) Executive Committee and a member of Europeana Network Association’s Members Council. Previously he has been involved in the work of copyright expert groups of both EBLIDA and International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). He holds a Master degree in Library and information science from the University of Latvia, and his professional interests include digitization of cultural heritage, copyright, information literacy, library policies and strategies, and future developments in library and information sectors.

                    Samantha McCombe

                    Librarian of the Linen Hall Library, Belfast

                    Samantha McCombe is Librarian of the Linen Hall Library in Belfast. Founded in 1788 the Linen Hall is the oldest library in Belfast and the last subscribing library in Ireland. Samantha is the twenty-second Librarian of the Linen Hall and the first woman to hold the post. Samantha came to the Linen Hall from global elite law firm Allen & Overy, where she was Library & Research Manager and part of the management team of their Belfast office. Previously she was Assistant Librarian at the Bar Library and the Northern Ireland Assembly Library. She began her library career in academic libraries of the University of Strathclyde and Queen’s University of Belfast. Samantha is active in the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and is the incoming Chair of CILIP (Ireland).

                      Dr Philip Cohen

                      President of the Library Association of Ireland, Head of Library Services at Dublin Institute of Technology

                      Philip Cohen has been Head of Library Services at Dublin Institute of Technology since 2004. Before that, he worked for more than 20 years in various University libraries in the UK.
                      Philip is President of the Library Association of Ireland and serves on a number of other national library-related Committees. He is particularly interested in the role of libraries and librarians in the education process, as well as the education of librarians themselves.

                        Pádraig Ó Macháin

                        Professor of Modern Irish, Head of School of Irish Learning, University College Cork

                        Pádraig Ó Macháin was appointed Professor of Modern Irish at University College Cork in 2012, having formerly held the position of Professor at the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. He is currently Head of the Department of Modern Irish and Head of the School of Irish Learning at UCC. His research and publication interests include Irish palaeography and codicology, the history of the Irish book, and the introduction of paper to Ireland ( He was responsible for establishing and directing the Irish Script on Screen digitization project at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies ( In addition to teaching courses in palaeography, late medieval poetry, and textual history, he conducts two weekly graduate research seminars in UCC on bardic poetry and on late-medieval legal documents in Irish ( He also pursues an active research and publication interest in modern Irish language and literature.


                          Please note the programme is subject to change. Please keep an eye on this website to keep up with any changes.
                          *Titles of papers will be updated as they become available*

                          8:00 – 9:00 Registration

                          9:00 – 9:10 Opening by Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of Limerick Institute of Technology.
                          9:10 – 9:20 Dr Phlip Cohen, President of the Library Association of Ireland, Head of Library Services at Dublin Institute of Technology.
                          9:20 – 9:40 “Message of Support on behalf of the African Library Community” – John Tsebe, President of the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AFLIA)
                          9:40 – 10:30 Ismail Serageldin, Director, Bibliotheca Alexandrina (The Library of Alexandria), Alexandria, Egypt.

                          10:30 – 11:00 Refreshment break

                          11:00 – 11:40 “The National Library of Ireland: Our New Strategy” – Dr Sandra Collins, Director of the National Library of Ireland
                          11:40 – 12:10  “Libraries Fostering Open Science in International Collaboration” – Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, President of LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries)
                          12:10 – 12:40  “Global Information Sharing: The Future of Libraries in the UN System” Ruth Hahn-Weinert, Chief of the Library Services Section, The Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

                          12:45 – 13:30 Light lunch break

                          Option 1:
                          13:30 – 13:50   “From Research to Restoration: collaborating to inform the continued restoration of Ireland’s finest Palladian mansion” – Nicola Kelly, Maynooth University Library
                          13:50 – 14:10   “Go, little Book! From this my solitude I cast thee on the Waters,–go thy ways: Robert Southey. Maynooth University Library: Special Collections new ways: a case study” – Susan Durack Maynooth, University Library
                          14:10 – 14:30   “A Stranger in a Strange Land:  building research collections into a new era?” – Crónán Ó Doibhlin, University College Cork Library

                          Option 2:
                          13:30 – 14:30   “The Future of Academic Books in University Libraries” Roundtable Discussion – Dr Samantha Oakley, Swansea University, Neil Smyth, University of Lincoln

                          14:30 – 14:50 “Developing Rare Book Teaching Collections at Small Academic Institutions” – George Germek, Monmouth University Library
                          14:50 – 15:10  “Bookshare Blossoms in Higher Education” – Jane Bambrick, William Paterson University
                          15:10 – 15:30   “Preserving the 18th century Magazine of Magazines through digitisation: Bringing the experience of the 18th century Limerick reader to life” – Dr Michael Griffin and Yvonne Diggins, University of Limerick

                          15:30 – 15:50 Refreshment break

                          15:50 – 16:10   “No cover to judge: books, format and the digital landscape” – Johanna Archbold, RCSI Library, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin
                          16:10 – 16:30   “A community of Irish rain (1860-1870): building a dataset from archival collections for analysis using GIS technologies.” – Mairéad Treanor, Met Éireann (Irish Meteorological Service)
                          16:30 – 16:50   “The Future of the Scholarly Book ” – Lara Speicher, University College London Press
                          16:50 – 17:10    “One Book, One Campus, and the Library: Community-Building with a Common Reader Program” – Christina Miller, York College of the City University of New York, Anamika Megwalu, San Jose State University
                          17:10 – 17:30    “Publishing the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland in the 1840s” – Bernadette Cunningham, Royal Irish Academy
                          17:30 – 17:50   “Haptics, immersion and the fetishisation of print” – Clive Moore, University of Wolverhampton
                          17:50 – 18:10    “Fishing in a Sea of Stories at a University in the Arabian Gulf ” – Melanie Wood, Zayed University

                          9:00 Opening
                          9:05 – 9:45       “The Book and Reading in the Digital Age.” – John Van Oudenaren, Director, Scholarly and Educational Programs, The Library of Congress, Washington D.C. and Director, World Digital Library
                          9:45 – 10:05   “Ethics and libraries in the digital age” – Martyn Wade, Chair of IFLA’s Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Committee (FAIFE)
                          10:05 – 10:45  “Digitization of margins” – Uldis Zarins, Head of The European Library and Director of Development, National Library of Latvia

                          10:45 – 11:10 Refreshment break

                          11:10 – 11:50    “Vellum, paper and print: a confluence of media in Gaelic books of the 16th century” – Pádraig Ó Macháin, Professor of Modern Irish, Head of School of Irish Learning, University College Cork
                          11:50 – 12:30    “The Power of the Book: Changing Minds, Changing Lives”Helen Osborn, Director of Library Services, Libraries Northern Ireland
                          12:30 – 13:00    “Who if not the public library” – Liz McGettigan, Vice President CILIP Scotland, Director of Digital Library Experiences
                          13:00 – 13:20    “Sssshhhhh! The Explosion of the Audiobook in the Digital Age” – Imogen Church, Professional Audiobook Narrator, UK

                          13:20 – 14:00 Light lunch break

                          Option 1:
                          14:00 – 14:20     “Digitising the Dublin Guild Merchant Roll (1190-1265)” – Dr Mary Esther Clark, Dublin City Library & Archive
                          14:20 – 14:40     “Reassembling a forgotten library: the library of the Royal College of Science for Ireland” – Evelyn Flanagan, UCD Library
                          14:40 – 15:00     “Paper Minds: Searching for the Research Notebooks among the Scholar’s Paper Sea in the late Seventeenth Century” – Simon Dumas Primbault, PhD Student in ‘History and Civilization’ at the European University Institute

                          Option 2:
                          14:00 – 15:00     “Developing a Writing and Research Culture among Librarians” Roundtable Discussion – Helen Fallon, Maynooth University, Jane Burns, RCS/UCD iSchool and Mary Delaney, Institute of Technology, Carlow

                          15:00 – 15:20     “Building a data-driven strategy: The distribution and dissemination of books and archival content in the Digital Age” – Catherine Williams, Altmetric LLP
                          15:20 – 15:40      “Using print focused collections development policy (CDP) in digitally born libraries: dilemmas. Which dies first: the print or the print CDP” – Stephen Buck & J. K. Vijayakumar, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology

                          1540 – 1600 Refreshment break

                          16:00 – 16:20     “There is no limit to your powers for good or evil”: public librarians and private ambitions in the early Free State” – Mairéad Mooney, PhD Candidate, School of English, University College Cork
                          16:20 – 16:40     “St. Canice’s Cathedral Library Collection” – Barbara McCormack, Yvette Campbell, Maynooth University Library
                          16:40 – 17:00    “The Library as Publisher—The Human Genome Project Documentary History: An Annotated Scholarly Guide to the Human Genome Project” – Ludmila (Mila) Pollock, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library
                          17:00 – 17:20      “Ireland: Battle of the Book – The First Copyright War”– Gerard Cullen, Technische Universitat Dresden, Germany

                          Registration Fees

                          Delegates who wish to attend the Summit and hear presentations, engage with presenters, network and just enjoy the discussions are welcome to attend.  Registration is open.

                          Presenters, please submit your abstracts or full papers before the deadline and continue on to the registration and payment page.

                          There will be no on-site registration for this conference. Online registration is required to attend.


                          *Teas, coffees and light lunches will be provided for delegates.


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