Annual Conference of International Group of ExLibris Users (IGeLU) 2019


The Annual International Group of ExLibris Users (IGeLU) conference was held in Singapore from the 26th – 29th of August, 2019, hosted by Singapore Management University (SMU) Libraries. This is the first time the annual event is being held outside of Europe and in Asia, since its inception 23 years ago.

Elected to the IGeLU Steering committee in 2015, I have been lobbying to bring the annual conference to this part of the world to encourage participants from the region to play a proactive role in shaping the systems landscape while opening up collaborative opportunities with other member institutions. Taking an active role in such organizations also opens up productive conversations with vendors and allows us opportunities to influence the systems and product roadmap.

The conference was a unique forum, bringing together various stakeholders – librarians, technologists, system developers and vendors to discuss and exchange ideas on how ExLibris library systems and services could be enhanced to meet the evolving needs of academic and research libraries worldwide. With such a wide variety of participants, the conference provided the opportunity to engage with professionals from academic, national, government and specialist libraries with differing perspectives, experiences and new ideas. For example, the Developers’ Day focused on the work done by customer institutions to enhance or add functionality to their library systems, which made for an interesting and engaging knowledge sharing session.

With the expanding presence of ExLibris systems in the APAC region, Singapore proved to be the perfect launching pad, with world class conference and travel facilities. Additionally, with 5 out of 6 academic university libraries in Singapore having recently implemented Alma/Primo, the conference was a prime opportunity to seek and provide advice on common issues encountered. Tackling issues unique to this region, such as the CJK cataloging and copyright support, the participants received expert advice and practical actionable solutions.

The theme of the conference was “Driving Change, Creating Value Together”. The choice of venue speaks directly to the whole “change” aspect. The focus of the conference was on processes, people and partnerships that redefined/redesigned traditional library workflows and created value for their parent institutions.

IGeLU 2019 – By the numbers

  • 1st IGeLU conference in the APAC region
  • 400+ attendees
  • 29 countries represented
  • 3 separate venues, ~ 120 sessions
    • Li Ka Shing Library, SMU
    • National Library Board
    • Max Atria @ Singapore Expo

Some of the participating institutions who presented at the Conference –

The event ran over a period from the 24th – 29th of August, 2019, and comprised of the following activities –

A detailed programme can be found here: https://igelu.org/archives/11911

It was also a great opportunity to showcase SMU student clubs and their cultural talents – Sound Foundry and the Malay Language & Cultural Club, who were very enthusiastically applauded by the delegates during the opening night social event.

Thanks to the efforts of everyone, the conference drew to a close with positive feedback from participants.


Contributed by:
Shameem Nilofar
Head, Information Access and Resources
SMU Libraries