A European Student’s View of ASIS&T in Europe

by Christine Meschede

For the European Student Chapter (ESC), the Annual Meeting kicked off Saturday evening with the opening of our miniBARcamp. Beside the presentation of the winning video of the Movie Meets Science Contest from Tjaša Jug, this innovative experimental project included an open discussion aimed at bringing together students and researchers from all over the world. We had an interesting time with inspired discussions and great guests. The next day, Sunday the 16th, was the official start of the conference.

Our first meeting was the Chapter Assembly which brought us a little surprise in the form of an award for our chapter: We won 3rd place in the Student Membership Growth competition!

What a promising start for the day – and we were not disappointed. After the plenary session with Greg Welch, University of Central Florida, ESC was involved in an exciting panel session about Open Innovation in Smart Cities: Civic Participation and Co-creation of Public Services. Agnes Mainka, her advisor Wolfgang Stock from Duesseldorf and Walter Castelnovo from Milan discussed actual developments in co-creation of public services and the role of information science within it. An important finding of Agnes was that open space is one of the key factors in a modern library. After the panel, we took part in the ASIS&T Leadership Development Program held by Ixchel Faniel on the topic Building and Cultivating your Mentoring Network. In small groups we discussed the role of mentors at our institutions. The day ended with SIG Rush and the student reception, a nice opportunity to get to know the goals and activities of the various ASIS&T special interest groups and to meet other students in an informal way.

The following days also provided good opportunities for networking, interesting discussions and showcasing the European (Student) Chapter. Just to mention a few examples, we represented the ASIS&T community in Europe at the European Chapter Table, had an active exchange of ideas on diversity with Toni Carbo and Nadia Caidi at the Diversity and Inclusion Luncheon and contributed to the International Reception with a basket from Duesseldorf. In the Poster Session both Agnes Mainka and Isabella Peters discussed the importance of information science by summarizing the topics that were raised in the protest against the closing of the Department for Information Science at the University of Duesseldorf.

Yet another important event, particularly for students and new members eager to get to know the leaders of the organization, is the Annual Awards Lunch. For many participant this was not only the last social event of the meeting, but also time to say goodbye to the first Annual Meeting held in Europe.

Why You Should Attend the ASIS&T Annual Meeting

The European Student Chapter enjoyed the time in Copenhagen. The Annual Meeting is always an excellent change to meet important people in the ASIS&T community and to expand your network. For students in particular, ASIS&T reaches out in a number of ways. For those who might need a little extra cash to facilitate a trip to the Annual Meeting, different awards, contests and programs arise from year to year. For instance, Tjaša won a trip to Copenhagen via the Movie Meets Science Contest sponsored by jointly by the European Student Chapter and the European Chapter. Other programs, like the New Leaders Award, support students financially if they are active ASIS&T members. Once in attendance at the meeting, students are addressed specifically with various activities, such as this year’s Student Reception, Student Design Competition and Doctoral Seminar.

For those of us planning careers in the information profession, there’s never a shortage of opportunities to meet the people who might help us out in years ahead. Thus, come and join this awesome community next year in Washington, DC!

Christine Meschede is a student at Heinrich Heine University, Duesseldorf, and member of the board of the European Student Chapter of ASIS&T. She can be reached by email at christine.meschede<at>