Technology imposes itself sometimes in very peculiar ways. To raise questions about its appropriateness does not mean to be necessarily against. The scenario being laid to frame surrogate strategies was becoming so unbearable that we thought the time was mature to discuss existing arguments that were more or less contradictory with a large audience. It has never been librarians' intentions to turn their back to technology developments, but their risk assessment did not seem to be taken very seriously. There was then an urgency to clear up the somewhat cloudy atmosphere between microfilm followers and digitisation fans.
This Workshop also proved that there is room to combine theory and practice when questions raised by speakers can be deepened later at the working tables. One just needs to identify convenient premises for meetings to take place. That was exactly what happened, and we feel very fortunate for having had the Koninklijke Bibliotheek hosting the Workshop.
Private companies are library partners. Whatever their views, companies have a say in the overall development of libraries. It is in their own interest to listen to potential clients, but it is also up to potential clients to raise questions at the right moment. Both partners push in the same direction, so it is in no way wrong to meet and discuss matters of common concern. Private companies not only have had the opportunity to introduce their products and also to display them in the showroom.
It was very rewarding when participants were already talking about a follow-up possibly in two years' time. I am sure this hint will not be forgotten.
LIBER Quarterly, Volume 13 (2003), No. 2