To advance its research base, Kazakhstan is actively working to enhance international standards and practices within its academic libraries. In support of this mission, Nazarbayev University and Elsevier hosted the second annual Library Connect event on June 11-12 in Astana devoted to the issues of developing academic libraries.
This exchange of professional experience at Nazarbayev University took place within the framework of the Eurasian Higher Education Leaders Forum, which explored cooperation between institutions of higher education and publishers, vendors, subscription agencies, and commercial companies.
The Library Connect seminar, attended by 95 librarians from 42 Kazakhstani universities, was augmented by an online webcast, a service requested by librarians from Kazakhstan who could not attend the conference in person. As a result, 22 librarians from 11 cities of Kazakhstan received an opportunity to stream the video sessions and ask questions online to speakers from Saint Petersburg State University, Kazan State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Hacettepe University.
Librarians from Kazakhstan discussed changes taking place in educational processes, and how they affect the current state and the development of libraries. They also shared advice on strategic planning, as well as research findings reflecting the needs of library patrons.
Of particular interest were sessions that covered academic library experiences from the perspective of scientometrics, the promotion of academic journals by a university, and conducting training on academic writing. Librarians learned more about how to assume the role of a research advisor, providing assistance in selecting a journal, indicating its impact, and using citation management tools.
During the seminar, Nazarbayev University staff ran several master classes on how to use bibliographic management tools and bibliometric indicators for research evaluation and evaluation of websites, and how to use social media to the advantage of the library.
For the second year running, the program included the interactive session “Ask-A-Librarian: professional dialogue.” In a professional speed dating format, library staff and invited guests from overseas sat at tables around the reading room, while the seminar participants moved from one table to another to ask questions. Within two hours, everyone had a chance to make inquiries on their topics of interest, to ask for a piece of professional advice, and to share their own experience.
Another session highlighted Elsevier products, including the breadth of tools within Scopus
to track, analyze and visualize research, and new scientific research.
Participants provided feedback that the event was a great way to exchange ideas and information, and suggested organizing such meetings several times a year. The participants especially valued the practical workshops and master classes. The organizing committee will use the feedback provided to plan follow-up events.