BOBCATSSS 2023 – Getting back home

On Sunday January 29 we went home after four great and eventful days. We met in the hotel lobby at 11 am after a final breakfast and check-out.

Before the tour group headed to Oslo S station, one of our students gave a presentation on the similarities and differences between the bachelor’s degree programs in Information Management (and Information Management part-time) at Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts and the Library and Information Science program at OsloMet.

The students at OsloMet were very helpful and answered all of Davud´s questions about their study program. The main differences between the German and Norwegian programs seem to be that the Norwegian courses don´t include marketing or online media such as open access. The program enables the students to work in libraries. The German program allows more flexible career paths but even outside the library sector. The German students have 19 weeks of internship, while the Norwegian students have only five weeks to do. After this interesting lecture, the group headed to Oslo S station to catch the train at 11.54 am to Oslo airport.

On the way to train station Oslo S (taken by Eva)

We arrived on time at Oslo airport and everyone spent the time differently until the departure flight to Copenhagen at 3.10 pm, which however started five minutes late. We met again at the gate. We landed on time at 4.20 p.m. in Copenhagen and had a connecting time of just 45 minutes. However, since the gates were close to each other, this was not a problem. At 5.05 pm we were supposed to take off for Hanover. We landed at 6.25 pm at Hannover airport. There the group separated again. Some of us were picked up directly at the airport, some took the train to Hannover main station, where the group split up at 7.30 p.m. and each of us made the last few meters of the journey home.

We would like to thank the Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts for making it possible for us to participate in BOBCATSSS 2023. Furthermore, our thanks go to Mrs Blümel and Mrs Clausing for the super travel planning and company.

Written by Eva Wirsing

BOBCATSSS 2023 – Day 4

After three days of exciting and interesting presentations at the conference, we used our remaining time in Oslo to have a look around the city. We started by walking around and saw some interesting places.

(taken by Marna)

We already knew the Munch museum and the Deichman Bjørvika, so we booked tickets for a guided tour at the opera house and did some island hopping.

The architecture of the opera house is breathtaking and the building has a unique acoustic. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures in the opera hall, because the play „Cinderella“ was set up there. After the opera hall, we were also allowed to look behind the scenes. There we could see the unique costumes and the elaborately created scenery. In the opera house are presented about 450 plays a year and the hall offers 1.400 seats. The building was opened in 2008.

Norwegian National Opera & Ballet (taken by Kevin)

For the island hopping we took line B1 from City Hall, to the islands: Hovedøya, Lindøya, Gressholmen, Bleikøya and Nakkholmen. On Gressholmen island we got off and explored it. The island offers many opportunities for swimming, so we searched for a fitting spot and decided to go ice bathing. The water temperature was under five degree so we got out really quick. An experience we will never forget. Afterwards we quickly went back to the ferry terminal so we could go to the next Island – Bleikøya.

Gressholmen (taken by Marna)

Bleikøya is the smallest of the 5 islands with small colorful houses. The island of Bleikøya is primarily an island for summer houses. We watched the sunset and hoped for the last ferry this evening.

Bleikøya (taken by Marna)

After coming back to the hotel, we ended the evening together.

(written by Marie Menzel and Marna Witten)

BOBCATSSS 2023 – Day 3

written by Davud Kilic and Kevin Pietschmann

Friday, the final day of the BOBCATSSS conference, we began our day by visiting Deichman Bjørvika, a public library in Oslo, which is the largest public library in Norway and one of the largest in Europe. The library is located in the Bjørvika neighborhood of central Oslo, and we were given a brief introduction to the library before being given the opportunity to explore it on our own. The library has seven floors, each with its own unique theme.

Deichman Bjørvika, Photos by Davud

After the visit, we headed to OsloMet for more lectures and poster presentations, which took us through the downtown area of Oslo. Upon arrival, the lectures began immediately, followed by lunch and a round of „BOBCATSSS-Bingo“.

BOBCATSSS 2023 Closing Ceremony and winners. Photo taken by Davud

After the bingo task, the winners were announced. One lucky winner was also from our group, Jonas Thormann. Afterward, Mrs Blümel started to present the BOBCATSSS closing ceremony. Afterwards, the winners of the BOBCATSSS 2023 papers and posters were announced. One group of ours won the best poster award, Marie Menzel and Marna Witten. In the next session they started to present the next years BOBCATSSS organisers and country. The news are, that BOBCATSSS 2024 is gonna be in Portugal. Therefore, the BOBCATSSS flag also was handed over to the organisers of Portugal. 

BOBCATSSS flag. Photo taken by Davud

That’s how the event came to an end. After the event, we got some free time so explore the city. We went to the Storting (parliament) in the center of Oslo and spent some time in the center of the city.

Oslo’s Storting (parliament). Photo taken by Davud

In the evening our group met to eat delicious sushi together at the Sabrura Sticks & Sushi Markveien.

Sushi Restaurant Sabrura Sticks & Sushi Markveien. Photo taken by Davud

Thats the end of the day and we’re looking forward to an exciting sightseeing tour tomorrow.

BOBCATSSS 2023 – Day 2

The second day of the conference greeted us with sunshine, and we were grateful not to have to wake up quite as early, so we even got to see a few minutes of it before setting off. A good start to another day at BOBCATSSS! After an invigorating walk to the Oslo Met building the first thing on the agenda was another keynote session. Geoffrey Yeo of University College London presented us with some fascinating insigths on the nature of information, records, and archives, and the things archives, libraries, and information management professionals can learn from each other—but also cautioned us that there was value in keeping the disciplines distinct.

The scenic route to campus. Photo by Erit

After this and a short break with some more mingling with our international colleagues the next session awaited us: School libraries and services aimed at children. Here one of the authors of this piece sprang into action and presented his group’s poster titled „Children’s games in libraries and the promotion of cognitive skills“. The main theme of the presentation was the often unrealised potential that video games have to offer for libraries. All of the group members were quite pleased with how the presentation turned out and the crowd seemed to be invested, too. This presentation concluded the session, which was otherwise filled with interesting presentations and a lot of questions from the audience, which let the session go on for a bit longer than it was supposed to. Which is a good thing in this case, we would say.

Answering questions from the audience. Photo by Ina Blümel

Your other author for today was up next, in the LGBTQIA+ Themes in LIS Session, with a poster profiling the library of the Andersraum, Hannover’s very own queer community centre. And of course it was the last poster of the session, following 4 other presentations of great scholarly work. No pressure! The room was packed, unexpected but a very pleasant surprise, and once again the questions and discussions kept going into the lunch break. It really is encouraging to see so many students taking on the biases of systems and barriers to information access for minority communities. We hope BOBCATSSS keeps encouraging this kind of content!

Presenting the poster. Photo by Silke Clausing

After all this intellectual stimulation our energy was a bit low, so we retreated to rest and prepare for the evening’s formal dinner. Meanwhile, some of our colleagues proved their true commitment to BOBCATSSS and took part in the Wikimedia Workshop, one of a number of workshops offered at this years conference.

In the evening it was time for the big gala dinner, a rare opportunity to see information professionals all dressed up. We enjoyed a pleasant evening of stimulating conversation and good food. Groups were mixing as intended and everybody seemed to have a great evening. After we had to vacate the banqueting hall, some of us felt compelled to sample Oslo’s nightlife. So we hope you’ll forgive us the late posting of today’s entry.

Ending the night on a fun note! Photo by Andreas Barthel

(written by Erit Grünefeld and Jonas Thormann)

BOBCATSSS 2023 – Day 1


by Viktoria Zettisch and Kristin Vieweger

After a short night, the day started with a delicious breakfast. So now we’ve been ready for the day.

At the beginning we couldn’t find the right way, so one of our teachers guided us perfectly to Oslo Metropolitan University. We arrived at exactly 08:30 at the campus and were impressed whit this nice and inviting building. At the registration we received a lively yellow welcome bag with thoughtful presents.

The front of the university building (taken by Viktoria)

After the registration the welcome session began on schedule at 08:45. It was a pleasant surprise, that a famous pianist was invited to play for us Griegs „Wedding Day“. After the opening session, we heard the first Keynote Session from the director of the National Library of Norway about “Digital Library Dead Ends”.  It was very informative and entertaining at once. 

The first sessions of the day were about the themes in „Digital collections“ and „Repositories & content hubs“. Each of these offered very interesting presentations from the participants of the conference.

We were fairly nervous before our 11:30 presentation. And it didn’t make it easier, that we had some technical difficulties,  which is why the beginning was postponed even further. But after all, our groups first two presentations, „The role of scientific libraries in the Open Access transformation in Germany“ from Kristin Vieweger, Eva Wirsing, Viktoria Zettisch and „Open access Publishing – lessions learned from BOBCATSSS 2022 and recommendations for the future“ from Marie Menzel and Marna Witten, went very well. Unfortunately one of the online presentations at the session was cancelled due to technical difficulties.

Viktoria Zettisch, Eva Wirsing und Kristin Vieweger (taken by Silke Clausing)
Marna Witten und Marie Menzel (taken by Silke Clausing)

For lunch we got different yummy wraps and of course delicious coffee and tea. And we had a chance to chat with interesting people from all around world.

After lunch the second Keynote Panel took place with the title „Libraries, Archives and Museums in Transition“. This podium discussion covered central themes of the conference with the authors of the book with the same title as the Panel. Ms. Blümel had a question regarding the publication method of the discussed book, but unfortunately the authors didn’t give a direct answer. 

In the afternoon from 14:30 – 15:30 participants could choose between the sessions „Inclusion and Representation in Libraries“ and „Libraries serving diverse Communities“. Both sessions offered very interesting contributions, but the ones with the title „Discrepancy in libraries concerning race, gender, and the public sphere“ from Charlotte Osdalen and „The ALES-Project“ from Jenni Reinholm and Jemina Nurmi were especially captivating. Unfortunately, the presentation which we wanted to attend, „Millennials in the libraries“, was canceled. After these presentations the posters were introduced in the lobby of the building.

The last session of the day was either a workshop, „Let’s discuss and co-create a LIS curriculum to advance sustainable development“ or three lectures with themes about „Libraries and accessibility“.

When all the presentationen and workshops were over, all the participants got pizza for dinner.

Pizza Party at the end of the day (taken by Viktoria)

At the end of the day we all were very tired, but happy too, because we could spend the day so productively. Despite the tiredness some of the group went in the evening to the Munch Museum because an wednesdays the admission is free. And after a few of us even spent a nice evening in an irish pub.

BOBCATSSS 2023 – „We made it to Oslo“

Tuesday, 24th January 2023, ten students, as well as Mrs Clausing and Mrs Blümel, set off for Oslo to take part in the BOBCATSSS Conference 2023. The first flight went from Hamburg to Copenhagen and then on to Oslo. Everyone was responsible for their own journey to Hamburg, but since many had booked the same train, we ended up travelling together from Hanover to Hamburg via ICE.

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (taken by Leandra)
„Chillen“ at Hamburg Airport (taken by Eva)

The flight was scheduled to take off at 3:35 pm and surprisingly did so without even a slight delay. Between the two flights we had a bit time and most of us ate something because prices wouldn’t get any cheaper in Norway and most of us were already really hungry.

Hamburg Airport (taken by Leandra)
Københavns Lufthavn (taken by Leandra)

Afterwards the second flight also took off according to plan and we arrived in Oslo at about half past eight. For some it was quite cold and we are curious if there will be more snow the next few days. We took public transport to the hotel and checked into our rooms. Some stayed in their rooms and called it a day, others prepared the last bit of their presentation. Since everyone had been out all day, we went to bed quite early so that everyone would be well rested for the conference the next day.

On the first day, some of us will already have to give their presentations and we are excited and looking forward to spend the next few days together in Norway. If you are interested you can find the link to the program here.

You are welcome to follow us on our journey and read our blog posts over the next few days.

(written by Leandra Janus)

BOBCATSSS – Travel back home

After three exciting days of the BOBCATSSS Conference it was finally time to fly back home. We were, of course, a little reluctant but also hopeful, that this time our journey would have less unexpected changes of plans.

The way from the hotel to the airport went relatively well, but because of some shuttle related issues, we were divided in two groups – The first one with only two students and Frau Clausing, and the second one with Frau Blümel and the rest of the students.

Group 1 left the hotel around 7:45h and arrived around 11h at the Budapest Airport. Meanwhile, Group 2 could sleep a little longer and arrived at the airport less than one hour later.

Everything was going smoothly, until it was time to board – our flight had a 20 min. delay, which is not much, but it was enough to make us lose our train. We still tried to rush to get our bags and run through the Frankfurt airport to the train station, but in the end, we missed the train by 5 minutes.

But it was not the end of the world, Frau Clausing soon managed to get us in another train to Hannover with only one change in the middle and we arrived safe and sound around half past eight in the night. 

BOBCATSSS 2022 – Day 3

After the wonderful gala dinner in the main building of the University of Debrecen, the last day of the conference started. After the last three presentations was the closing sesion. The winners of the voting for the best posters and presentations were chosen. Sofia and Erit from our program won the title of the best poster and the prize was tickets for the BOBCATSSS 2023 in Oslo.

Winner of the poster competition:
Erit Grünefeld and Sofia Morais

To top it off, the BOBCATSSS flag was presented to Magnus from Norway by the organizers from Hungary and Germany.

After the conference was officially closed, we all had some free time before meeting for dinner in the evening. For us, we went to Régi Posta, where we were welcomed with live music. With the closing of the conference also the good weather of the last days said goodbye and there was a small thunderstorm.

Restaurant Régi Posta in Debrecen, Hungary

BOBCATSSS 2022 – Day 2

We were really looking forward to this day. Today we could all cheer for our three lecturers on stage. Mr. Wartena during his lecture on „Don’t be afraid of Artificial Intelligence: realistic expectations for information specialists“ and Mrs. Blümel and Mrs. Clausing during their tasks as so-called chairs. But let’s start at the beginning of the day. After a small breakfast we went to the university by bus. Once we arrived in the hall, the first lecture started. It was the lecture of Mr. Wartena. In order to introduce him appropriately, Mrs. Blümel took over the chair that morning. After the introduction we listened to the lecture of Mr. Wartena.

„Don’t be afraid of Artificial Intelligence: realistic expectations for information specialists“
– Mr. Wartena on BOBCATSSS 2022

Afterwards we followed further presentations in the morning and then lunch. The afternoon sessions were then taken over by Mrs. Clausing. All our lecturers did a really great job by the way.
Afterwards we met at 5:30 pm at the UD University and National Library in Debrecen. Here we were able to take part in a successful guided tour in addition to nice impressions of their library systems.

The official end of the day was the gala dinner. It took place next to the library and offered besides delicious food some surprises. Apart from two birthdays we celebrated with cake, we were able to learn a traditional Hungarian dance with the help of students from the University of Debrecen. We could probably not keep up with them, but everyone had great fun.
We ended the evening with a visit to the favorite bar of one of the organizers.
Tomorrow is already the last day of the Bobcatsss, what will happen there?

written by Marna Witten and Marie Menzel

BOBCATSSS 2022 – Day 1

Monday was the first day of the BOBCATSSS Conference in Debrecen. Despite our long two days of travel, we started bright and early, and the atmosphere and the overall mood was very positive. Our group arrived at the Faculty of Informatics of the University of Debrecen around 8:30 and set up for registration together with some of the Debrecen students. Soon, the first attendees began to arrive and receive their badges and welcome packs.

Students from Debrecen and Hannover, ready to register attendees.

At 10:00 the BOBCATSSS conference officially started with the opening session, led by Atilla Gilányi. It featured Péter Murányi, a BOBCATSSS veteran who was there at the birth of the conference in 1994 in Budapest, and was even one of the signatories of the Letter of Intent. Since this year is the 30th anniversary, there was a competition held for students to create a poster or essay about their BOBCATSSS memories. One of the prizes was won by Dóra Szabó, a PhD Student of the University of Debrecen and one of the main organizers of this year’s conference.

The first plenary speech was given by Gyöngyi Karácsony, the director of the University and National Library at Debrecen, with the title “Dare to be Open: Transparency and Integrity in Science” in which she extolled all of us to embrace Open Science in our studies and work. After this inspiring lecture we gathered for a group photo and made our way to the university canteen for lunch. The vegetarians among us struggled a little with the options, but we appreciate the efforts of our hosts to feed such a large and diverse group of information scientists.

After lunch was the first session of short talks chaired by the one and only Nils Dille, 6th semester BIM student, who did an excellent job and always managed to keep the discussion animated with charm and humour. Congratulations Nils! At the same time, a parallel session of online talks was streamed in another room, in which scholars from as far afield as Japan and the USA presented their research. The innovative hybrid format is making BOBCATSSS ever more international! It’s only too bad the online participants couldn’t join us over coffee to continue the conversation.

After the coffee break, it was time for another session of short talks, this time chaired by Péter Mészáros. They too were very interesting but your authors for today’s blog entry may have been a little too excited to pay as much attention as they deserved, because it was almost time to start the poster session. There were five interesting posters on display, including ours: “Decolonisation as an Information Science Problem”. Each group had 2-3 min. to present their posters, after which the audience was invited to look closely and ask questions. There is even a competition for best poster—we hope we can count on your vote!

Sofia Morais and Erit Grünefeld during the poster session

We all walked together to the main building of the University of Debrecen, a very impressive building worthy of being a fantasy movie setting, which hosted the BOBCATSSS welcome dinner in an impressive banquet hall. We had a good time chatting with our fellow attendees over a goulash and wine (tofu and wine for vegetarians) but didn’t stay out too late, to be ready for another full day of BOBCATSSS sessions on Tuesday.

The main building of Debrecen University.