To promote the international integration and worldwide networking to theological communities, at the beginning of autumn 2019, Wycliffe Hall Library held the 48th General Assembly of BETH (Association of European Theological Libraries) from Saturday 7th to Wednesday 11th September 2019. There were over 60 attendees from 19 countries including New Zealand and North America as well as the EU.
The conference included a packed agenda and started with a tour of the Wycliffe Hall library on Saturday, followed by the Bodleian library, Pusey House library and Regent Park’s library over the next few days. There were over 20 talks and presentations on the theme of ‘Winning more clients for better libraries: challenges and solutions’ from various librarians including the British Library and our own library. The programme started early at 8:30 in true European style and ended around 6:00 to share and exchange each other’s ideas, knowledge and experiences.
Our own Rev. Dr. Michael Lloyd opened the Monday session with a warm greeting stressing the library was the heart of scholarly activity at Wycliffe Hall. Hannie was honoured to be given a slot to talk about our practice at Wycliffe Hall titled ‘Put a ring on it: Engaging your users’ as well as giving a tour of the hall to the group as the host librarian. Her presentation slides can be found from here: https://theo.kuleuven.be/apps/press/beth/files/2019/09/Sep-2019-BETH.pdf. The official reflection on the conference and photos is found here: https://theo.kuleuven.be/apps/press/beth/2019/09/17/beth-2019-oxford-reflection/.
A notable participant, the Bishop of South Italy, President of ABEI Mons, Francesco Miltio, delighted the Wycliffe Hall library with a donation of his recent publication, ‘Professionalita e Carita intellettuale’. Also De Gruyter publishing company gifted €1000 worth of books on theology and religion. The next BETH Assembly will be in Lviv, Ukrainian Catholic University in 5-9 September 2020 with the subject of ‘Information Literacy in European Theological Libraries’.
The success of the conference impressed the attendees from British soil too so ABTAPL’s (Association of British Theological and Philosophical Libraries) 2021 conference is now scheduled to be held in Oxford.