Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Time Session Name of Speaker Abstract
02:00 - 02:45 PM Bridging the digital divide: the role of librarians in global and disaster health Dr. Anne Brice, Head of Knowledge Management Public Health England

Rapid advances in technology are driving global change and innovation, but ethical and social issuesremain a challenge.... New technologies can help provide rapid and contextualised information, with the power to connect communities, but can also exacerbate existing inequalities, particularly intimes of crisis. TheCovid-19 pandemic has clearly demonstratedthepervasive threats related tomisinformation, poor access to high-quality evidence,and other health information challenges. Howcan we build better resiliencethrough health literacy and knowledge sharing? What is the role oflibraries and information professionals to empower individuals to know whetherinformation isreliablein a global health and disaster context? How canlibraries beempowered to step up to take aleading role in finding solutions?In times of crisis,in addition to providing access to evidence,libraries may aid in disasterpreparedness, response, and recovery, as community first responders, orplaces of safety for vulnerable communities.TheEvidence for Global and Disaster Health [E4GDH]Special Interest Groupprovides anopportunityfor libraries, under the leadership ofIFLA and its Global Vision agenda, to play a critical role insupporting global and disaster health, bringing together partners and stakeholders within andoutside the profession.Our core objectives include: •Advocacy: Global action toraise awareness ofthe potentialroles thatlibrariansplay inglobaland disaster health, including disaster preparedness, managementand risk reduction, workingcollaboratively with researchers, practitioners and policy-makers. •Skills development:Usingtraditional anddigital tools to help librarians gain the skills andcapabilities to respond to new and emerging roles in DRR and global health, and make sure thatopportunities are targeted at areas of most need •Supporting evidence-based practice:Developinghigh-qualityresources and publications topromote evidence-based practice, share good practice to reduce duplication, and achieve bettervalue and impact. Ourmultilingualprojects, recognising that evidence is still predominantly inEnglish so excluding access formany, is a fundamental part of this work.The aim is to improveaccess, and in the process build engagement and collaboration. This session will explore the work of the E4GDH SIG in the wider technological and global contextand consider the moral imperative for working together to bring health information to all.

02:50 - 03:30 PM Combating digital health inequalities in the time of COVID Mr. Bob Gann, Digital Health Literacy Advisor Health Education England / CILIP

Digital technologies have transformed the ways in which health information and care are delivered.... During the COVID-19 pandemic, being online has been crucial to enabling people to live their everyday lives. However, this has brought digital inequalities into sharp focus, as those who are most in need of support (in particular older people and people experiencing social deprivation) are often those who are the least likely to engage with digital platforms. In the UK and in other countries, libraries have been working in partnership with other community agencies to reach populations who might otherwise be digitally excluded. Initiatives include provision of digital devices and data packages for those without access to technical infrastructure, and training in digital health literacy skills for marginalised communities. The response to COVID-19 represents a sustained shift to adopting digital approaches to working and engaging with the populations, which will continue beyond this pandemic. Therefore it is important that we understand the underlying factors contributing to digital inequalities, and act to prevent digital inequality contributing to health inequalities in the future.

03:35 - 03:50 PM DISCUSSION: Q & A
03:55 - 04:10 PM BREAK
4:15 - 04:50 PM Educating the Next Generation of AI Leaders in Libraries: IDEA Institute on AI - Dr. Dania Bilal, Professor University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences
- Dr. Clara Chu, Director and Mortenson Distinguished Professor, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

In this presentation, Drs. Bilal and Chu will describe the planning and teams of the IDEA (Innovation, Disruption,... Enquiry, and Access) Institute on Artificial Intelligence (AI) (, and discuss the curriculum, recruitment of participants, evaluation, and challenges they are facing due to COVID-19. The Institute’s project team is working with an Advisory Board of AI and emerging technology thought leaders and researchers to develop a program where professionals will be learning AI knowledge and skills that will allow them to innovate in their libraries and be AI leaders in the field. Two organizations are contributing to the success of the Institute. The American Library Association (ALA) is a supporting organization for the project through its division "Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures." After it is completed, the IDEA Institute will continue through the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). The School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville is co-sponsoring the 2021 summer Institute.

04:55 - 05:30 PM Legacy system modernization: Moving to Services Platforms Mr. Wajdi Tahmoush, Team Leader Library Services CX, Naseej

The primary difference between the traditional library system ("ILS") offerings and the new library services platform ("LSP")... is that the ILS products were designed around the management of print collections. As libraries have moved increasingly to accommodate digital/electronic collections (at least 80-90% of academic library acquisitions budgets are for electronic resources!), they’ve found the legacy ILS products unable to effectively and efficiently handle the integration of all the workflows that are different, yet necessary, for both print and electronic/digital collections. More important the accessibility of the resources by patrons should deliver a single unified user experience; a problem that discovery solutions tried to answer but were faced by technical limitation of the legacy systems. Legacy systems are based on 25+-year-old client-server technologies with limited interoperability, and high cost of ownership in relation to its value. Data exchange, bibliographic services are primarily via ad hoc, manual loading with no or limited linked data support. Interfaces are extremely outdated, and usability is poor. Advanced and BI reporting requires expertise in writing SQL statements, and report formats are constrained. Finally, most legacy systems require client applications and don’t deliver all services via a native web interface; this limitation makes legacy systems unable to respond to emergency situations like the Corona pandemic that obliged staff to work from home. The presentation explains how Library Services Platforms (LSP) respond and address the above-listed problems and empower libraries and communities with better management and improved user experience.

05:35 - 06:00 PM DISCUSSION: Q & A