Chair’s Greeting 2023

Greetings to the BOBCATSSS community! I would first like to thank the Board for electing me as the Chair of the Board for 2023-2024. It is my great pleasure to serve the BOBCATSSS community in this way.

Thank you to the outgoing Board Members Paavo Arvola (Tampereen yliopisto, Finland), Carla Colombati (Università degli studi di Teramo, Italy), Jesus Gascón Garcia (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain) and, former Chair, Tania Todorova (University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, Bulgaria).
Welcome to the new Board Members Juan-José Boté (Universitat of Barcelona, Spain), Jamie Johnston (OsloMet University, Norway), Alica Kolarić (University of Zadar, Croatia) and Dóra Szabó (University of Debrecen, Hungary). I look forward to working with the 2023-2024 Board to carry forward and build upon the work and initiatives by the previous Board.

Thank you to the organizers of the BOBCATSSS 2023 Conference and to all of you who participated. The diversity and high academic quality of the paper and poster presentations made for a very dynamic and rich scholarly exchange. Many new connections were made during the conference’s sessions and social activities that will be central in growing our LIS community in the years to come. The BOBCATSSS 2023 Proceedings and IFLA Special Issue will be published in the next few months. Currently, BOBCATSSS 2024 is being organized by the University of Coimbra – Portugal with co-organizers the State University of São Paulo (UNESP) in Brazil and the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (ULSIT) in Bulgaria. The conference theme will be the Information Profession and Sustainable Development. We hope to see you in Coimbra!

New initiatives are underway! We are currently working to establish BOBCATSSS as a legal entity. This will allow us to develop and grow our community in ways that will be of greater benefit to community members. The BOBCATSSS Newsletter has two new editors, board members Jamie Johnston and Juan-José Boté. They are currently applying for an ISSN number and will be working to include more reader contributions, such as short articles, opinion pieces and updates. A new column titled Community Spotlight will highlight the current research and professional activities of BOBCATSSS community members. In this issue, we hear from lecturers and students from the Information Management study program at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany. Check it out!

Warm Regards, Joumana Boustany

Call for Organizers and Contributors 2025-2026

The BOBCATSSS Board invites European LIS departments to submit applications to be the main organizers of the BOBCATSSS 2025 and 2026 conferences. 

Applications can be submitted between July 17, 2023 and November 30, 2023. 

The call for co-organizers and other contributions is continuous. Other contributions may be as simple as an open offer to assist. All offers to be involved and assist are greatly appreciated. 

Selection of the main organizer for the 2025 conference will be made by the Board before or by December 15, 2023. Selection of the main organizer for the 2026 conference will be made before or by March 15, 2024.

Link to the application form

Questions? Please contact the board members.

Bobcatsss Newsletter n° 46

BOBCATSSS Community Spotlight

In each issue of the BOBCATSSS Newsletter, we ask BOBCATSSS community members from a selected educational or professional organization about their research interests and experiences and/or other activities within the field of library and information science. The community spotlight in this issue is cast upon lecturers and students from Information Management study program at University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover, Germany.

Ina Blümel

Silke Clausing

Nils Dille

Marie Menzel

Welcome Marie, Nils, Silke and Ina to the BOBCATSSS Community Spotlight! Tell us, what are your areas of research or current research projects?

Silke: I am an academic teacher, so I am less into research, but do a lot of teaching at our faculty, more than professors regularly do. I teach many subjects that are related to subject indexing in libraries. I work with students on standards of cataloging, such as RDA: Resource Description and Access, and how they are used in practice in library systems.

Ina: I would call myself an Open Scientist, and my current major topic is Open GLAM. Recently I established a Joint Lab “Future Libraries & Research Data” of our university and the German National Library of Science and Technology to better connect library and university practices. I integrate students into ongoing research projects and teach them a lot about open, collaborative knowledge creation.

Marie and Nils, you’re about to start with your bachelor thesis – What is the topic?

Marie: My bachelor thesis will be about open research information. During my practical phase, I worked on a project for research information in Lower Saxony. The basis for this is the Guideline “Transparency in Research”, which will be the central topic of the thesis.

Nils: My bachelor’s thesis will be about audiovisual media in archives. More specifically, it is about such media in the Archive of the Hannover Medical School. It will offer guidance on how to properly handle, archive and digitize the various media. Many smaller archives have such media, but they are often rather neglected and I want to help them get the attention they need.

What inspired you to pursue this line of research? How does this correlate with the areas of specialization in your studies?

Nils: It was actually part coincidence. I did an internship at the Hannover Medical School and the leader from the archive asked me if I wanted to write my bachelor’s thesis there. I took a lot of interest in the AV-Media there and we developed the concept from there.

Marie: I was inspired by my internship at the Open Science Lab at the German National Library of Science and Technology in Hanover,  where I am writing my bachelor thesis. During my studies, Prof. Dr. Ina Blümel lectured us in the module Management of Research Information. The focus was on open access, e-science and digital research infrastructure. Already there I developed an interest in free and open infrastructures of data and information and was able to apply this during my internship. 

Ina: I’m glad to hear that. – When I look back at why I chose this particular line of research, I think it was partly coincidental. As a trained architect, I came to information infrastructures via a project on integrating 3D architectural models into digital libraries and eventually ended up in cultural heritage data. At some point, it was logical for me to start teaching, because I’ve gained quite a bit of experience that I’d like to pass on.

Silke: I never planned to become a teacher, but my life path has led me there.

What key competencies and/or areas of knowledge have you drawn upon in pursuing your research? (here I am thinking about both competencies and areas of knowledge that are directly related to LIS, and also those that are outside of LIS)

Silke: Through my training as a librarian and many years of working in a library, I have gained a lot of experience in cataloging. From 2012, I was able to work on the introduction of a new standard in the German-speaking world and was able to use my knowledge in teaching. I constantly try to keep up to date and pass on the latest developments to my students. I am not only interested in the field of cataloging, but also in the usability of websites, for example, and have already been able to work on this topic in several projects with students.

Marie: During my studies, a lot of content was taught that was useful to me such as researching scientific information, project management, SPARQL, RDF, and especially Management of Research Information.

Nils: We had a course called Media Knowledge and I also worked at the Film Institute in Hannover. I learned a lot there about film and video, but I also had some personal interest and knowledge beforehand.

What have you found to be the most challenging about the research? And what has been the most rewarding? 

Ina: Doing good teaching on the one hand and research on the other is not easy. There are only a few people who can do both really well. If you then also have the ambition to open up your science, to communicate about it sufficiently well, and to ensure that your students generate usable results and be part of the community as early as possible, that can be quite challenging. Because at the same time you have to keep bringing in new grants to ensure the continuity of the team. But whenever students or team members achieve their goals better with my guidance, it makes me happy.

Silke: Cataloging is not a particularly exciting subject. That’s why I have to try to make the lessons as interesting as possible. I try to do that by using many real examples and let the students work on them. This creates a practical reference and makes the lessons more lively.

As for you students: What have you found to be the most challenging / the most rewarding about your LIS studies?

Nils: Our course of study here at the Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts is called Information Management and it offers a quite diverse subset of lectures. Some of them are more on the fringe of LIS studies and while they were still helpful for the job later on, they were a bit outside my comfort zone at times. 

Marie: The biggest challenge for me was to choose the best fit for me from the many interesting specializations in our LIS studies. The most rewarding part has been participating in various excursions such as those to the BOBCATSSS symposia. There, besides interesting lectures, you also get an insight into different cultures, you can network with other participants and improve your English skills.

Finally, do you have any tips (general or specific) for students embarking on related or similar paths, such as in BA theses?

Marie: Try to combine your bachelor thesis with a practical phase or at least try to write it at a suitable and experienced institution. And it is important to get along well with the examiners of the bachelor thesis.

Nils: Starting my work on the bachelor’s thesis was a big break in my studies for me. Now it was more or less working on my own. So I would advise you to build your own structure and deadlines. This was certainly a big struggle for me.

Silke: In the field of cataloging, there are always innovations, both in terms of the rules and the systems. This provides good opportunities to find topics for theses. In addition, there are often practical application references in the field of cataloging that allow what has been learned to be put into practice, e.g. a suitable catalog system can be found for a library collection or existing metadata can be transferred to another set of rules as part of a thesis.

Ina: Research can fail, studying doesn’t always go smoothly either – be open and communicate about the things that work and don’t work so that others can learn. And contact your supervisors, colleagues or fellow students if you get stuck, because usually four eyes see more than two.

Read our newsletter n°46 to find out more about our interviewees.

BOBCATSSS 2023 Proceedings and Special Issue

by Nafiz Shuva

The BOBCATSSS 2023 Proceedings and Publication Committee is pleased to announce that the work on the BOBCATSSS 2023 IFLA Journal Special Issue is underway. Edited by Dr. Steve Witt, University of Illinois, USA, IFLA Journal is an internationally recognized journal in the field of library and information science. 

The Special Issue has received 28 submissions and the guest editors are Drs. Péter Murányi, Tanya Todorova, Jamie Johnston, and Nafiz Zaman Shuva. All the authors of the special issue should receive a decision on the first round of peer reviews by the end of June 2023. 

The Proceedings and Publication Committee is also focused on publishing the Proceedings of the BOBCATSSS 2023. The committee has met several times to discuss the format and platform of the proceedings and has decided to host the proceedings on Zenodo, a multidisciplinary open repository. The conference proceedings will be published by the end of August 2023. The editorial board for proceedings consists of both students and faculty. On the board are Dafne L. Henriksen, Mahmood Khosrowjerdi, Jamie Johnston, Maciej Liguzinski, Nafiz Zaman Shuva (chair), Johanna Skaug and Tirill Bjørkeli Svaler. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Proceedings and Publication Committee if you have any questions about the IFLA Journal Special Issue or conference proceedings. Questions can be sent to The Committee Chair Nafiz Shuva (

Thank you, Team BOBCATSSS 2023

Organizers of BOBCATSSS 2023 Jamie Johnston (Chair), Åse Kristine Tveit (Co-Chair) and Heidi Kristin Olsen from Oslo Metropolitan University, Alison Hicks from University College London, and Thomas Nyström from University of Borås thank everyone for their hard work, enthusiasm, expertise, creative input and teamwork. The conference could not have happened without you, nor would it have been as fun and inspiring.

A very special thank you to Heidi Kristin Olson for her vision and leadership in bringing BOBCATSSS to OsloMet and thank you Ragnar Audunson for his years of involvement in the BOBCATSSS community.  

To our keynote speakers – Thank you to Aslak Sira Myhre, Director of the National Library of Norway, for challenging our thoughts on libraries and digitisation in your talk Digital library dead ends

Thank you to Geoffrey Yeo, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in archives and records management in the Department of Information Studies at University College London (UK), for his insightful exploration of the conceptual and practical boundaries and intersections between the field of archives and the field of LIS. 

Thank you to LIS researchers Casper Hvenegaard Rasmussen, Håkon Larsen, Kerstin Rydbeck, Jamie Johnston, and Henrik Jochumsen for their insightful discussion of conference themes covered in their recently published anthology titled Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Transition: Changes, Challenges, and Convergence in a Scandinavian Perspective.

A warm thank you to Knut Skansen and Annike Selmer for welcoming us to Deichman Bjørvika and sharing with us the library’s approach to the ongoing development of the library’s services and programming. We were inspired!

Thank you to Svein Amund Skara, renowned international concert pianist and concert organist, for performing at the opening ceremony the piece Wedding Day at Trollhaugen by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.

A round of applause for our session chairs for sharing their expertise and facilitating session discussions. As they say in Norwegian, tusen takk to Camilla Holm Soelseth, Maciej Liguzinski, Thomas Nyström, Terje Colbjørnsen, Johanna Skaug, Sunniva Evjen, Håkon Larsen, Idunn Bøyum, Dafne Henriksen, Tine Lodberg Frost, and Jennifer Lea Thøgersen.

Our gratitude to Erik Adrian Eileng and Svein Amund Skara from the Section of Finance in The Faculty of Social Sciences at OsloMet. Thank you for keeping the books and offering your insights and advice on conference organization – from both the practical and financial perspectives!

Three cheers for the fantastic BOBCATSSS 2023 logo that was designed and created by Oslo-based illustrator Rebecca Smith with input from their collaborating partner Tirill Bjørkeli Svaler.

Gratitude and appreciation are showered upon our Managing Committee members Unn Davidsen, Aurora Gjone-Ring, Dafne Henriksen, and Jennifer Lea Thøgersen. You went above and beyond! 

To the presenters and attendees – thank you for your contributions that made the conference a rich exchange of knowledge and for your exploration of innovative ways forward as a unified professional community! We succeeded in exploring the possibilities and expanding the boundaries in this new era for libraries, archives and information services.

Thank you to Tor Arne Dahl, Head of the Department of Archivistics, Library and Information Science,  and OsloMet for the support and sponsorship of the conference!
One last time – thank you, Team BOBCATSSS 2023!

Bobcatsss Newsletter n° 45

Bobcatsss Newsletter n° 44