Minutes of the general assembly of the 29th EAJRS conference, Kaunas.

1. Approval of the minutes

Approval of the minutes of the general assembly of the 28th conference held at Oslo (see program booklet and website). The minutes are approved.

2. Next year’s venue

Mr. Nobutake Kamiya of the Japan Library of the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies at the University of Zürich has graciously accepted to host the 2019 conference.
Dates proposed: 11 through 14, or 18 through 21 September 2019. Zürich will decide.

3. Funding

The EAJRS expresses its gratitude to the Japan Foundation, the Toshiba International Foundation, as well as to the Center for Asian Studies at Vytautas Magnus University who supported the conference. We are also very grateful to the resource providers for their support.

4. Program / Newsletter

As has become customary, the local organizer prepared a program booklet which also functioned as newsletter. The abstracts, the presentations and/or the text of each presentation will be uploaded on the EAJRS website, if and when the speaker has agreed to do so. Many speakers have already given their consent. The speakers who did not deliver their files but do wish it to be uploaded on the EAJRS website, are kindly requested to send it in to the secretary.

5. Format of the next conference 

The role and contribution of the resource providers, both the public or non-profit institutions and the commercial vendors, is vital. We thank them for their presence, their participation in the workshop and for their support in general. I heard nothing but extremely positive echoes about this year’s workshop. Hirotatsu Kanō, of the London office of Kinokuniya, very efficiently prepared and coordinated the workshop.

Hopefully we will be able to include the same features in the program of next year. Growing numbers of presentations and participants pose the question: continue with single session or rather introduce parallel sessions? We prefer single session, which limits the number of slots available for presentations to between 30 and 35. The consequence is that this may entail, and has entailed in the past, rejection of good proposals. Still, we believe that the pros outweigh the contras.

6. Librarians and library resources only?

Last year we deplored the somehow prevailing perception that we are an association of librarians only, whereas we are an association of resource specialists in the most diverse fields, including works of art. This year we had a markedly higher number of contributions in the area of the arts.

7. Deadline for applications for the 2019 conference.

The Board proposes 15 May 2019 as the deadline for the submission of proposals for presentations. At the end of May, screening of proposals will be completed, and the results will be notified beginning of June. Guidelines will be added to streamline the presentations. Presentations should normally not exceed 25 slides. Over the years we have noticed a tendency with some presenters to include far too much information in their presentation. 

8. Next year’s special topic?

Tentative topic: Rethinking resources for Japanese studies. All other topics related to the activities of the members of the association are as always welcome.

9. Scholarships 

Next year we will try to secure two or three scholarship (depending on funding).

10. Keynote speakers

Next year we will try to invite two keynote speakers (depending on funding).

This year we had one invited speaker, professor emeritus Akira Miyazawa. He has a special meaning for our association, or rather for a great number of libraries represented in it. During the nineties, he used to travel twice a year to the UK to implement the Nacsis Union catalogue, subsequently expanding the scope to include several libraries in continental Europe as well.

11. Report from the secretary and local organizer

There were 101 registrations, of which 82 actually participated in the conference. 7 cancelled and 12 did not show up.

Participants came from 20 different countries:

  • Belgium: 3
  • Bulgaria: 1
  • Canada: 1
  • China: 1
  • Czech Republic: 1
  • Denmark: 1
  • Finland: 2
  • France: 5
  • Germany: 4
  • Japan: 33
  • Lithuania: 7
  • The Netherlands: 1
  • Norway: 1
  • Romania: 1
  • Russia: 2
  • Slovenia: 1
  • Sweden: 1
  • Switzerland: 2
  • United Kingdom: 11
  • United States: 3

by continent

  • Europe: 44
  • Asia: 34
  • North America: 4

Apart from the announcements made at the opening (4) and the start (1), at the general meeting (2), and the introduction to the Asian Book Space (1), there were 31 presentations (22 English / 9 Japanese). 46 people took the stage in these presentations.

12. Election

At the time of registration, each participant received two ballots, each ballot carrying a box for yes and one for no, to express your consent or disapproval with the proposal to adopt two new members into the board: Yoshinori Ichikawa and Aurelijus Zykas. The ballots were opened Friday after 17:00 h. Both candidates were elected by an overwhelming majority of the vote. Congratulations, and thank you for accepting.

13. EAJRS liaison to NCC

Alessandro Bianchi, who is based in the US and is an EAJRS Board member, will keep in touch about the report for the NCC meeting, which will be in mid-November. 

14. Words of gratitude

I thank all presenters, for the many excellent presentations. Moreover, virtually everyone respected the allotted time, if sometimes at the cost of neck breaking speed of delivery. In all we registered a delay of only 10 minutes due to some mishap with the distribution of coffee.

Thanks to Arjan van der Werf, the secretary, who once again put in a great deal of effort and time to prepare the conference.

Thanks to the members of the board, who have accepted to chair each one or two sessions.

Thanks to the local organizer, Dr. Aurelijus Zykas, Mr. Linas Didvalis, Mr. Arvydas Kumpis, Ms. Vaida Tumosaitė, and many others whose names I have not been able to retrieve, for the impeccable preparation, the fine facilities, and the free lunch yesterday noon. If this conference has turned out to be such success it is in the first place thanks to them. Dr. Zykas apologized for the many construction works that are presently going on in the city, because they are meant to embellish the city in preparation of the 2022, when the city will be European capital of culture. There is no need to apologize, you can organize the conference once again in 2022.

15. Any other business

No matters are raised.

16. Closing of the general assembly and the conference.