Owing to information and communication technology, the world has become a smaller place,
but people seem more isolated
and lonely than ever before,
as they do not get along and are afraid of each other.
The COBISS 2007 conference was a success
The COBISS 2007 conference, dedicated to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, is now officially over. The conference dealt
with different types of support provided by the COBISS library information system to the region of South-eastern Europe.
Regarding the participation, the conference was an undisputed success – the list of participants included 414 participants: 42 from
Albania, 36 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 51 from Bulgaria, 24 from Montenegro, 10 from Croatia, 25 from Kosovo, 45 from Macedonia,
59 from Serbia, 119 from Slovenia and three from other countries.
The conference programme also proved to be a great success, which was confirmed by the participants' positive feedback. All speakers
gave excellent lectures; the key note speech by Ingrid Parent from the Library and Archives Canada and Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik from
the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts stood out especially. The speakers from IZUM justified
the title of the conference, which suggested that COBISS was a very important support structure for intercultural dialogue, to its
full extent. The four round table discussions showed a great interest of the participants to participate in the conference
actively. The 39 introductory speakers from nine different countries shed some light onto the different aspects of multiculturalism
in libraries. The conference lectures will be published in the next issue of the journal OZ – Organizacija znanja (Organisation of
A part of the conference programme was also dedicated to the Award Ceremony celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the COBISS System. A
total of 23 awards were presented to those people, who in different ways significantly contributed to the establishment of our
library information system both in Slovenia and abroad.
The conference was also honoured with the presence of some special guests. We would especially like to mention Mojca Kucler Dolinar,
the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology.
The conference represents a part of the COBISS.Net project, which is funded by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia through
different Ministries. The informal part of the conference was sponsored by Sinfonika, HP and ProQuest.
Now that the COBISS 2007 conference is over we have already begun with the preparations for COBISS 2008. Our approach is based on
the words of Toma¾ Seljak, MSc, the Director of IZUM: "Modern information and communication technology does indeed enable us to
keep in touch over a great distance and become acquaintances. However, in order to become friends, personal contact