The CASLIN seminar - Second generation

With this year’s theme we introduce the second generation of our seminar. In contrast to the previous eighteen seminars that focused on listening to international experts, hearing about domestic results, on the mini-workshops and the concluding aquarium, the new iteration of the four day meeting is based on the simple observation that libraries hurt for concrete reasons that call out for possible solutions, which seem to be always out of reach. The reasons are many but chief among them is their sheer clutter. Pressing problems call less for hearing how others do it or what lies ahead on the new IT horizons and more for a cleverly organized brainstorming that will make good use of the four days of our attention, help us recover from the headache and come to some agreement about possible solutions. And that is what we are aiming for. In other words, the new face of our seminar offers a full fledged use of those aspects of our original format that were most popular among the participants, the workshops and the aquarium.


The new seminar has the following format (briefly, for more see the program): The first day is devoted to outlining of the problem and jump starting the brainstorming. The one or two lectures by local librarians who will describe the status quo will be supplemented by an “outsider’s” (but not foreign) perspective, by an expert on legislative, economic or psycho-social or some other region that forms the relevant backdrop to the given problem. One foreign speaker will then offer a mirror to our situation with a discussion of another and therefore also (for us) possible solution. Monday afternoon ends with an explanation of the methodology of scenario workshop planning, the formation of work group and the assignment of the first tasks. The second and third day (including our traditional outdoor excursion) are devoted to multiphase workshops with partial results that will lead to a final outcome, that is, to four model solutions and to their presentation to the whole collective. Thereby hangs the aquarium, on Thursday morning, for us to engage in a pleasant argument over the merits of the results and, most importantly, to allow us to leave with the knowledge of what possible concrete solutions look like. The working languages are Czech and Slovak.