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Vol. 23, No.1/Fall 2000

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Global 2000
By Richard Geiger


In October SLA held its second international conference, the Global 2000 Worldwide Conference on Special Librarianship, in Brighton, England. The first conference was held in Honolulu in 1979.

650 delegates came from over 50 countries to learn about and to discuss the trends shaping the information industry around the globe.

SLA President Donna Scheeder, a former News Division chair, presided over the opening general session and introduced the first keynote speaker, Dame Stephanie Shirley, founder of the information technology company F.I. Group, PLC. Dame Shirley started her software company on a shoestring, mostly hiring women as part-time employees. The company eventually became a huge success, making her the wealthiest businesswoman in the U.K.

On Wednesday, the keynote speaker was Yves-Michel Marti, founder and president of the leading business intelligence company in Europe, EGIDERIA. Marti discussed competitive intelligence and the roles of librarians in this field.

The last day of the conference featured a French radio and TV journalist, Chantal Cuer. She spoke of ethics in the media and stressed to attendees to take responsibility in their organizations for communicating truth and accuracy.

On both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings strategy-sharing sessions were held to discuss the issues brought up by the speakers. In the afternoons, SLA units and other cooperating library organizations held a number of excellent subject-specific programs. Receptions each night added many opportunities for international networking. And the pubs and restaurants were just a short stroll away.

In the closing session, Dr. David Bender, Executive Director of SLA, encouraged the delegates to "not let this end here! Go home and share what you have learned, and work to build relationships with your colleagues around the globe. More importantly, commit yourselves to renew your profession by building bridges through your local, regional and global associations. It will make your profession stronger."

Richard Geiger is the Director of Editorial Research and Archiving at the San Francisco Chronicle. You can contact him at

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