Sakineh Ghasempour | In addition to the official activities of the Congress of Information Science Experts, various academic and library-related bodies and student associations in the country also organize such side events as educational workshops, reading contests, book exhibitions, poster display of student activities, and presentation of hand-made cultural products by student associations.
The Iran Librarianship and Information Science Association (ILISA) has played a very active role in organizing events on the sidelines of the previous sessions of the Congress.
ILISA Reading Contest for University Students
ILISA organized a book-reading contest for university students in the 2nd Congress in 2016, which continued in the 3rd Congress (2017) and is expected to be held this year as well. The contest has been held under the motto ‘reading, knowledge, ability.” The contest intends to promote reading, motivate undergraduate and graduate students in the field of Information Science and Epistemology, and encourage them to participate actively in the Congress programs and ILISA activities. Unlike similar reading contests, no particular book is designated in this contest and the questions are drawn from the book read and introduced by each participant. The contest’s emphasis has been on books on culture, literature and art.
The contest, held in a collective, group format, has also tried to strengthen a spirit of cooperation and team work among the participating students and encourage them to engage in practical group activities on a more regular basis.
Specialized Session: “Read with Me”
The organizers of the “Read with Me” scheme, a program initiated in 2011 aiming at promoting reading among children of poor and low-income families, held a session and a workshop on the sidelines of the 3rd Congress (2017).
The program has been designed to facilitate provision of quality books for the children without easy access to public libraries and books.
Green Library and the Protection of the environment
The question of ‘Green library’ has been a matter of keen interest to the Congress of Information Science Experts since its inception in 2015. A special session entitled “Green Information: Library, a Point of Departure for Thinking about Environmental” was held at the 2nd Congress (2016) with the participation of environmental activists and a number of library managers from across the country. At the 3rd Congress, a special workshop entitled “Green Information: Librarian as a Promoter of the Environment” was held, which addressed raising public awareness on the proper use of environmental resources. Given the importance of the subject, and also in line with the Session’s major theme, a special, innovative design entitled ‘In Tribute to Trees that had been Converted into Books” was created.
The special design involved planting a sapling in the premises of the Congress and a request from the participants to hang a piece of paper containing the name of the books of interest to them from the tree. The design was widely welcomed by the participants in the Congress and led to the introduction of more than 200 books. Subsequently, on the 2nd day of the Congress, in a special ceremony attended by librarians, experts and other participants, the sapling with the hanging paper pieces were planted in the premises of the National Library. Along the same line of thinking and spirit, an event entitled “Green Information: Sustainable Development” is scheduled to be held during the 4th Congress this year.
Two workshops, respectively on data governance and peer review in scientific journals, were held on the sidelines of the …Congress. Both events, reserved for registered applicants only, received a high level of attention and interest among the participants. Despite the exhibited interest in such side activities, they will not be held during the 4th Congress due to time limitation and heavy schedule. However, according to Ebrahim Emrani, Executive Secretary of the 4th Congress, arrangements will be made for holding a number of training workshops following the conclusion of the Congress on topics of interest to the participants.