Academic Libraries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: One Librarian’s Perspective

May 6, 2019 Chloe Wenborn

Last year the NEICON conference was held in Armenia and was a hotly anticipated event by many in the industry.

That’s because annually the conference brings together global and Russian industry experts to discuss hot topics, developments and burning issues within research, education and culture. One significant aim of this conference is to support the increase in the quality of Russian education and science.

We spoke to Kamilya Assylbekova, Head of E-resources Management at Nazarbayev University Library in Kazakhstan, who attended in Armenia in 2018 and we asked her to tell us about her experience.

Tell Us About Yourself

Q. Please give us a brief description of your institution and your role:

A. Currently my role at Nazarbayev University Library is to control the coordination of e-resources subscription, licensing, and renewal processes.

Q. Tell us more about how you became a librarian:

A. I’ve been working at the Nazarbayev university library for 6 years. I started as a Reference Librarian, then E-Resources Coordinator, and now I am a Head of E-Resources Management service. I graduated in 2012 from University Malaya, with a Master of Library and Information science, Kuala-Lumpur (Malaysia). I also have a Bachelor in IT, Computers and Software, from Karaganda State Technical University, Kazakhstan.

Tell Us More About Your Experience at the NEICON Conference:

Q. What did attendance at the conference offer you?

A. Attending the conference enabled me to learn about hot topics in the academic librarian industry especially within the Russian region. I was also able to get an insight into the trends and directions that library services have been developing in.

Q. What was the most interesting thing you learned at the conference?

A. Some of the most interesting things I learned about were the different experiences of colleagues working within research ethics, and colleagues participating in library research projects. I also learned about the development of a local citation index which had been gaining more interest.

I also found that I got a chance to learn about the publishing process within Russia.

I learned that the process can be very resource consuming and isn’t cost effective. Alongside this, I learnt about the development of an Open Access project called ‘NORA’, and new resources like digital science products ‘Dimensions’. And many more.

Q. While at the conference did you get the chance to learn new things, meet people and network?

A. Yes, I learnt a lot and got a chance to meet experts and make new connections.

Q. What effect did attending the conference have on your role?

A. It made me confident that we have been moving in the right direction.

Q. Have you shared the information you learned at the conference with your colleagues?

A. Yes, I used the knowledge I learned in our local School of Library Technologies for Kazakhstani librarians.

Q. What did you personally gain from the conference?

A. Personally, I discovered that my Russian Colleagues are very innovative, have cutting edge ideas and are hard working.

Q. What did your university gain by you attending the conference?

A. The university now has a more knowledgeable library specialist, with new professional connections, who is aware of trends that take place in other regions.

Q. Have you ever attended other conferences? If so which ones did you attend?

A. I don’t attend conferences on a regular basis. Sometimes I speak at local Kazakhstani conferences.

Q. Did you discover any trends/insights from the conference that you might not have got from your own regions had you not attended NEICON?

A. I gained more of my own personal insight. Because of the conference, I personally changed my opinion in terms of our university having its own research journal. Before I used to think that it is a matter of prestige for our university to have its own publication. After attending the conference, I also realized that it is obvious that the affiliation field in the authoritative bibliographic database will always show who is the first in a rating.

I also discovered that Russian colleagues are very innovative and very professional. Many of them work on projects on a voluntary basis, which I think is admirable. I found their passion and love for what they are doing impressive and motivating.

Thanks Kamilya!

About the Author

Library Services, Wiley //

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