Monday, 28 Sept 2009

Keynote address (sponsored by the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission). Dr Claude Belpaire addressed the Decline of European Eel populations. Anguilla anguilla spawns in the Sargasso Sea and migrates to the European continental shelf then into freshwater rivers all over Europe. After completing the maturation process in freshwater, the eels then return home to the Sargasso Sea to reproduce. Many factors have lead to the decline of the eel populations. Pollution, hydropower, overharvesting, etc. Pollution has farther reaching effects than just inhibiting the reproduction of eels. Pollution is also having a significant effect on human health. So, the 4 H’s come into play in other fisheries besides the Columbia River, although hatcheries don’t seem to be as much of a problem with this species as habitat, harvest and hydropower. One of the effects of the loss of habitat has been the loss of fat stores in the silver eel. The fat stores are necessary for the eels to migrate back to the Sargasso Sea. Dr Belpaire likes to say that with eels are “survival of the fattest, not survival of the fittest.” Eels are in the experimental stages of aquaculture.

What would an IAMSLIC conference be without loads of delicious food? We had coffee breaks with selections of sweets, coffee, tea, and water. Rather than waiting for noon, many participants chose to surf the large selection of items in the Guin Auction. There are many very tempting items this year. If you’d like to get an idea of what’s up for bid, point your web browser of choice to and search for #IAMSLIC2009. Note the hash mark (#) and lack of spaces.

Euraslic and IAMSLIC both had business meetings, one after the other giving each group some extra time with the coffee and treats. And then (definitely not starving here), we had lunch with a variety of fish entrees, curried side dishes, spicy tomato soup and chocolate mousse for dessert.

Following the break, we were treated to motivating accounts of digital repositories in Eastern Europe. We would have heard from Fred Merceur as well, rounding out the continental coverage, but he was delayed after a woodworking accident. (Perhaps we’ll find out what happened when he arrives later in the week).

Another break with more coffee to wake us up again and we began again with interesting discussions about digital natives and digital immigrants by Elizabeth Connor from The Citadel. The difference in research styles between the two classes of people can be quite startling and has a huge impact on the way we teach information literacy. Steve Watkins followed with a presentation about open source software and how the class of software may or may not save our institutions money.

At that the conference closed for the day and we all went off for various evening activities. A large group followed Bart Goosens on a pub crawl, but since many pubs are smaller in size, they only invaded a couple. Reports are that everyone had a great time and a few people were late on Tuesday morning for the opening sessions.

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