Panitza Library

AUBG Welcomes on Campus the 12th Annual AMICAL Conference

June 16, 2015

Librarians, faculty, IT specialists and instructional designers from around the world gathered on AUBG’s campus for the 12th annual AMICAL conference May 27-30. The university hosted the international consortium of American-model, liberal arts universities for the second time since 2008.

The intimate event brought together about 100 attendees from institutions of higher education located in 21 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia. AMICAL, the American International Consortium of Academic Libraries, is committed to close collaboration and a diversity of ideas in supporting the advancement of learning and teaching.

“It is a great privilege for us to host the annual AMICAL meeting for the second time," library director Sophia Katsarska said. "This year’s conference is more than a learning experience from prominent experts and knowledge sharing with colleagues all around the world. It is a networking opportunity for building and fostering strong collaborative partnerships that result in enhanced service and  innovative solutions."

The forum presented an opportunity for AMICAL members to meet with colleagues, discuss problems and solutions, and share experience and best practices. This year’s theme, “Clearing thresholds: information literacy & faculty–librarian–technologist collaboration,” offered insights on new conceptual frameworks for information literacy in international American universities.

A number of presentations, workshops, focus groups and discussions took place during the four-day event. Three keynote speakers approached the conference theme with fresh insights. Anne-Marie Deitering from Oregon State University conducted a workshop on creating research assignments that spark curiosity and collaboration. Lori Townsend from the University of New Mexico explored the approaches to threshold concepts in the liberal arts. Nancy Fried Foster from Ithaka S+R gave a lecture on learning how to do research in a community of scholarship.

Members of the AUBG community were also strongly represented at the conference. Assistant professor of journalism and mass communication (JMC) Dinka Spirovska led a discussion on the importance of sustainability in the context of liberal arts. JMC department chair Lynnette Leonard, AUBG student Stefani Nikolova and educational technology coordinator Evelina Terzieva joined forces to share their knowledge on successfully integrating new technology in higher education. Assistant professor of literature Dannie Chalk and information literacy librarian Krasimir Spasov explained the ways to teach information literacy skills to Generation Z. Associate professor of business Veneta Andonova presented a technology showcase on the effect of technological challenges in the classroom on student engagement. Assistant professor of economics Aleksandar Vasilev and AUBG student Aleks Angelov spoke about using IT to teach economics to undergraduate students.

“The team that has been organizing the conference locally is spectacular,” said Jeff Gima, AMICAL director and faculty librarian at the American University of Paris. “The environment that AUBG has been able to create for the conference here, the way they have organized it, the people that have been involved, have been so helpful and collaborative and friendly that it really makes a difference in creating exactly the kind of environment that we need for this conference.”

Story by Dimana Doneva
Photography by Dimana Doneva

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