This post was written by Samir Hachani, who received an International Fellowship to attend this year’s DLF Forum.
Samir is lecturer at the School of Library Science, University of Algiers. I hold a PhD from Algiers University titled “The Future of peer review and the challenge of open access.” I graduated from The School of Library and Information Management (University of Southern California, Los Angeles) with a Master of Science in Library Science. I have published extensively in the subjects of peer review, open peer review, open access, digital divide and related fields. I currently teach courses pertaining to the above cites subjects such as electronic publishing, open access, electronic periodicals and English language for librarians. I’m a member of a number of professional association and Vice President of “Association Science et Bien Commun” (Science and Common Goods Association) that militates for equal access to information to everybody and fights exclusion on the basis of geographical settings. I have authored more than 10 peer reviewed papers and participated in more than 20 international conferences. At the national level, I participate in a project pertaining to Algerian scientific journals (ASJP –Algerian Scientific Journals Platform) and that aims to bring them up to par with international criteria. I am peer reviewer for a number of scientific journals at the national, regional, and international level.
This was my first (and hopefully not the last) DLF Forum. Beside the beauty of the city, I really was surprised at the wealth of the different presentations I did attend. I have a 100% library science background (from Bachelor’s, Master’s and then PhD) but have not practiced in a library and instead have been teaching at my home institution (Cataloging, English for Special Purposes-Libraries and Archives, and, actually, Electronic Publishing and Open Access). Being far away from the “field” and being more into theories made me lose sight of what libraries have become. The Forum was an eye opener as the different sessions were of a very high level. I attended, for example, “Unconference Session: The Next 25 Years of DLF”. To be frank, being new to DLF, I wanted to see what the next 25 years have in store for us. I was really astonished by the form the session took. I was among a group of distinguished colleagues from different institutions and different levels of seniority who spoke freely and I understood the meaning of “Un-conference”, a really revolutionary concept that makes a conference an open agora where everybody is welcome, where everybody is treated on equal footing with the others. I came out from that session impressed and determined to try the experience back home. The other session I attended and that really impressed me was “No fear digital collections at Harvard: enabling user access from Alpha, to Beta, to Version 1.0“. The depth of the presentation and its different aspects showed how much libraries have changed and lead the way in the Information Revolution we are living live under our eyes. Besides these two sessions that really impressed me, I had the opportunity to meet number of dedicated professionals open on the others and, more than that, knowledgeable about issues that are not, per se, issues pertaining to the Global North. I even had colleagues proposing to me to apply for a digitizing program.