LZ Volume 8 Issue 4, Conferences

Global Library Summit Series

This year, our library marketing teams attended numerous summits with our library customers around the world. These were fantastic opportunities to meet with our customers – and friends – to discuss a number of issues impacting libraries today including ebooks, business models, technology and the role of the library in the 21st century

ROW by Angela Timmerman

The European Library Summits began shortly after the European Library Advisory Board meeting, starting with Tel Aviv. Fifteen librarians from smaller institutions and government organizations came together to learn more about the Springer Book Archives and to share their views and experiences of ebooks and purchasing models. The meeting opened with a keynote session led by Isaac Ramot from Ort Braude University, the first college in Israel to purchase the Springer Book Archives. The talk outlined the benefits of purchasing large ebook collections such as Springer Book Archives while Jasper de Vaal from Springer discussed the importance of MARC records. Participants then took part in a quiz all about Springer products and services, which was a light-hearted way to share information. The winning team received “Keep Calm” T-shirts and other Springer goodies.

Following Tel Aviv, we turned our sights to the French capital for the West Europe summit. Key note speakers at this event included representatives from CSIC, the National Research Council in Spain, University of Vigo, University of Bordeaux and CNR, the national research council in Italy. Important issues were discussed including the selection of electronic resources in tough economic times, how librarians need to reposition themselves in this changing world and how libraries can evolve to efficiently manage e-resources, ebooks and their usage.

Twenty attendees took part in the summit and from feedback received, the summit approach and structure was appreciated. All attendees recommended that we repeat the format of the event for next year as, to quote one librarian, ‘this working-group experience is much more useful than just a commercial presentation’.

Moving further south, the South Europe summit took place at the European University Institute, Italy. Here, attendees enjoyed accommodation that nestled in the Tuscan hills with glorious views of Florence. As with the French summit, the topic focus was on ebook models, practice and usage, but unlike the other summit discussion was held simultaneously in Italian, Spanish and English! This made for lively conversations which only enhanced the atmosphere of our surroundings. For many attendees, it was the first time they had attended a Springer summit, so we were pleased to learn that they appreciated the format and found the program interesting and informative.

Both summits concluded with a celebration of the launch of the French and Italian Springer ebook packages. Comprising French and Italian titles published between 2005 and 2013, the packages were developed in response to customer feedback for ebook collections in their local language to support, in particular, undergraduate students who typically have a lower command of the English language.

With a fantastic quote “I really would like to recommend events like the Springer Tag für Bibliotheken to my colleagues,”Annemarie Otto (Consortia Leader Baden-Württemberg Consortia), summed up the German summit meeting. And it really was an excellent day. Taking place on a warm day in June 2013 at the University Library of Stuttgart University, the Springer Tag der Bibliotheken in Baden-Württemberg welcomed 27 librarians from across Germany to share in discussions about Springer’s ongoing business strategy, Open Access, usage of e-resources and the launch of the Springer Book Archives. The meeting included a keynote presentation by Mr. Matthias Müller, Deputy Library Director SULB Saarbrücken, Germany, who was invited to discuss his views of Open Access. We were also pleased to learn more about the current activities of the Baden-Württemberg consortia.

Librarians and Panelists were motivated for the event from the day the invitation was sent out. The Q&As after the presentations were very interactive and presenters and participants were very involved in the responses that were given. Attendees also mentioned how important it is to assist to events about these topics and they are looking forward to similar events in the region, organized by Springer. Even though one presentation less next time would be better to have more room for discussions. The online feedback-survey showed a very satisfying overall picture.
The key objective of the German summit was to enhance the relationship with the consortia members. The Q&A sessions following the presentations were very lively and informative, both for Springer and for the attendees. We were pleased to receive feedback from the group that they appreciated the open discussions as well as the opportunity to share knowledge with each other and with Springer.

Angela Timmerman, Director Academic / Government Marketing & Account Development EMEA; Nora Schneider, Library Marketing Specialists; Wouter van der Velde, eProduct Manager

APAC Library Summit Meetings

By: Mabel Tang

My region is Asia Pacific (excluding India) and this year we held numerous customer engagement events, including road shows, Library Advisory Board meetings, conferences, author workshops and training. It was a busy year – in total we held 135 different events!

Springer serves several core customer groups. These include librarians who use and promote Springer products to their patrons; researchers/authors who are end-users of Springer products as well as contributors to journal articles and books, plus key decision makers at institutions who influence purchase decisions for libraries. As such, the topics covered at each event differed depending on its type and purpose but the primary themes were new Springer products, new Springer tools and new publishing models.

A key focus for Asia Pacific was the Springer Book Archives (SBA) and eBooks. In fact, at the launch of SBA in Beijing, we held a ceremony where attendees were asked to place their hands on a giant ball in the centre of the room. This then lit up with the words ‘Springer Book Archives’. It was purely a symbolic gesture but our guests found it meaningful.

For me, the main highlights of these events are the opportunities to engage with customers to discuss their needs and concerns. Asian people are, by their nature, quite shy and not used to speaking openly in public. But with encouragement from other group members, there was great dialogue which resulted in lots of interesting and inspiring angles for Springer to think about.
Overall, these events showed that there is great interest in Springer products. Asian universities want to be ranked among the global top 100 universities and see our products as key resources to help researchers and students increase and improve the quality of research output. We will continue to work with our customers in this region to ensure our products and services meet their needs and look forward to the opportunities that 2014 will bring!

Mabel Tang, Senior Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific

Springer India Library Summit Meetings

By: Surbhee Dhamija

The team from Springer’s India office were engaged in many activities to support librarians across their region. Themes covered included eResources and their impacts on research activities plus the future of academic libraries in the digital world. One key conference attended in the region was Asia Pacific Digital Libraries.
Again, the Springer Book Archive played a significant part in discussions at these meetings and Springer hosted dinners as well as sponsored some events. The opportunity to interact with existing clients and prospects is always a great highlight of these meetings as the team can gauge a better understanding of the customer and the market to determine how Springer can best serve their needs.

Surbhee Dhamija, Senior Marketing Specialist, India

Abu Dhabi Summit Meeting

By: Thafeer Atta

In September, Springer was pleased to welcome more than 30 deans and library directors from education and research institutions across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who attended a one-day summit in Abu Dhabi. The aim of the meeting was to further build the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in UAE, known as eFADA, which was created six months ago and currently consists of seven universities. The meeting discussed a number of topics including how to adopt global best practices learned from other institutions with regards to handling print and e-resources.

Keynote speakers Mr. Ertugrul Cimen, from the ANKOS Consortium, Turkey, and Mr. Ger Spikman, from the UKB Dutch Consortium of University Libraries and National Library were invited to share their experiences of working with consortia while a third keynote speaker, Dr. Ahmed Dabbagh, from eFADA / Ankabut, shared information about the current challenges facing the newly created Emirate Consortium.

The meeting was a great success not least because of the excellent attendance rates, good group discussions and great interactivity between attendees and keynote speakers. We look forward to working with this group throughout 2014.

Thafeer Atta, Academic/Government Marketing & Account Development

The Americas Library Summit Meetings

Leon Bolivar, Library Marketing Manager, also provides his input on this years Americas Summits.

Springer has held more summit meetings this year than ever before. How many were held in total? What were the reasons behind this approach?

In the Americas, we hosted a total of eight separate summits in countries such as Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and the US. It is important for us to keep increasing awareness, at the librarian level, of all our resources on how they can be an asset to academic research. These summits also allow Springer to discuss industry trends and build relationships with local librarians.

What were the key themes of the summits? Did each meeting focus on the same topics

It depended on the location. For example, the Canadian market is extremely mature in its migration from print to digital, so the main theme there was a deeper look at assessing the libraries holdings to ensure a high return on investment. In the US, also a mature market, the conversation focused on different business models and what the means to the libraries. In Latin America, the summits were geared towards introducing eBooks as a must-have resource and on how to get started building a digital collection.

What was the audience profile? Did the meetings include libraries from across sectors?

For the academic summits, our audience was comprised of head librarians and acquisition librarians representing both large, medium, and small/college level institutions.

What were your own personal highlights of the meetings that you attended?

It’s always fun getting to meet new librarians and hearing about their challenges and success stories when it comes to the acquisition process. This allows us, as marketers, to refine our communication into the market to ensure relevancy in our activities. I also like moderating the events in different languages.

What were your key takeaways from the meetings held in your region?

Well, it’s loud and clear that librarians in the US want the publishers to offer different business models when it comes to selling their content. Our heads of sales are cognizant of the fact and are exploring what can be done to accommodate these types of demands.

What will be your next steps as a result of the summits?

We survey all our attendees, and based on their responses, we are proactive in keeping in communication with them regarding new developments in our business strategy, our products, and our services. Some librarians even walk away from the events requesting product quotes, which we then hand over to sales for them to continue the conversation.

Leon Bolivar, Library Marketing Manager, Springer