Here we are in Nelspruit on Wednesday morning, and no one has got as far as blogging the conference yet .... mainly because we were battling to find internet facilities ... some of the hotels do have connectivity in the rooms (which you pay an arm and a leg for), some have hot spots (hooray) (Mugg & Bean have a hot spot too) ... so thank heavens for the computer labs in the library on campus which was made available! So if the postings haven't been happening, it is because the group are on a learning curve!
It has been unbearably hot in Nelspruit and the Cape Town librarians have been looking at the weather in CT and wishing they could bring up some of the cooler weather to here. There has been a promise of thunderstorms, but nothing has transpired.
So a quick report back:
What do you call an aeroplane full of librarians? A Biblioplane
Despite the Nationwide strike, there were no delays, but the flight (at least the take-off and landing) was very bumpy -- could have sworn that the wings of the aircraft flapped. But we arrived in Nelspruit on time and waited, and waited and waited for the shuttle.
Conference organisation has been a bit chaotic to say the least, but no LIASA conference has ever run too smoothly -- there always is something that goes wrong & this time for us it was the shuttle transport. And we eventually got a lift through to the hotel from one of the Local Arrangements Committee who happened to be dropping someone off! Our accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express is fine, except despite requests/emails to the conference organisers to make sure that Jean Uys and I had twin beds in the room, we were given one double bed!!!! (We have twin beds now)
So, first day of the proceedings:-
The keynote address was a short, pithy presentation "When Libraries reach the People" given by the Cuban National Librarian, Mr E A Matos, who said that the development of a country was not possible without libraries. He gave a brief outline of Cuban history up until the Revolution in 1959. At that time, there was a 30% illiteracy rate and 32 public libraries. Fidel Castro promoted a cultural policy of "We don't tell people to believe, but to read"