But I digress.
So I'll be off to 72nd IFLA General Conference and Council, held in Seoul this year. This year I'm better prepared for my section's Standing Committee meetings (Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section). It would be nice to meet up with colleagues from the committee. You probably won't be interested in our Standing Committee's meeting agenda so I won't bore you here (however, if you are interested, I'd be happy to share it with you -- or you can read about it when we post our meeting minutes in the newsletter and at the webpage, after the conference).
However, I will share this -- my section's colleague from Denmark, Mr. Lars Aagaard, will be proposing that our section set up a blog! I'll certainly second his proposal, though I'm not quite sure how we could effectively explain the relevance of a blog to the section. In fact, the issue of blogs for IFLA was mentioned at the Information Coordinators' meeting last year. I'm curious if this would be mentioned again at the meeting.
If we don't get to start a blog for the section, I would be proposing that we start a mailing list. Currently, there are 52 IFLA mailing lists. The main issue about starting a mailing list is how to maintain it. IFLA committee members serve on a voluntary basis. Whatever posts and assignments we have, it's in addition to our regular work at home. I've since learnt that one really needs the passion in the section's work, or less you won't find it meaningful.
This year, our section has combined forces with the Reading Section for a joint conference programme (organising the conference programme is also part of the section's work). See item 81 at this page.
I'll see if I can blog about the conference like the last time. It won't be 'live' though. For one, it's not easy to 'live' blog and still concentrate on the speaker. I'm just not a multi-tasker. Second, it's going to be a hassle bringing a laptop due to the increased airport security measures on cabin baggage -- no thanks to the recent terrorist threat.
Here's a new norm for travellers -- it's practically a must to check the airline's security advisory information. Like this one from SIA (you need to scroll down the page if you don't see the information at first). One never knows when tighter controls would be in place, so it helps to keep up to date.
This line in the SIA General Advice to passengers got my attention : "... don't take out your frustrations on check-in or security staff or air crews."
Yeah, why blame the crew? We should be blaming the terrorists for the inconvenience! (I don't buy the argument that terrorism is a response to a certain country's foreign policy etc... killing is killing).
Might be useful to share this here, from Singapore Airlines (note: advisory information differs from airlines to airlines, so check with your specific one):
GENERAL ADVICE TO CUSTOMERS ON CABIN BAGGAGE12 August 2006
Governments around the world are imposing restrictions on the contents of cabin baggage in response to specific security threats and intelligence.
For the most part, these restrictions ban the carriage of any liquids, fluids and/or gels in cabin baggage. This includes drinks of any type, toiletries (toothpaste, shower gels, shampoos and perfumes), pre-purchased duty free liquid products (alcohol and perfume) and contact lens solution.
In addition, security screening procedures are being tightened at airports around the world.
Singapore Airlines provides the following GENERAL ADVICE to customers:
- Be alert to developments. Stay in touch with the news and check our website – www.singaporeair.com - and other official sources for changes.
- Pack hand luggage as lightly as possible. Keep it simple.
- Do not pack any fluids, gels or toiletries in hand luggage on flights to countries where they are prohibited, especially if you have an onward connection.
- Try to pack toiletries, contact lens solutions and other liquids or gels in your checked baggage, wherever you are traveling, as more countries may extend the restrictions with little or no notice.
- Get to the airport early.
- When returning from your destination, know the new hand luggage restrictions and pack anything else not essential: especially fluids and gels.
- If traveling with medicines (especially in gel, cream or liquid form), make sure they are properly labeled and you are carrying copies of your prescriptions or certifications.
- Wear light, comfortable shoes that can be easily removed for security checks. You can expect to be asked to remove your shoes, belt and any jewelry while proceeding through the security screening point.
- Be patient and co-operate with instructions from security staff. Understand everyone is in the same position, and these checks are being done for a real reason. It will make the travel experience a lot more comfortable if you relax and be patient during the screening process.
- Do not joke with security staff about the contents of your baggage and don't take out your frustrations on check-in or security staff or air crews.
- Do not buy duty free alcohol or perfumes prior to departure, or in flight, to countries where cabin baggage restrictions now apply - buy at shops on arrival. Major airports have duty free retailers for arriving customers.
We apologize in advance if flights are delayed because of the implementation of these new security requirements. We seek your understanding and co-operation that these procedures are being implemented for your protection and safety.
Source: Singapore Airlines - "General Advice to customers on Cabin Baggage", last accessed 15 Aug 2006
There might be unexpected flight delays... Well I'd better pack a book to go with my hand-luggage (if even books are banned, then I really don't know what to say). Delays are OK. So long as everyone on the plane makes it to their destination safely.
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