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WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2017 > Frankfurt Bound

Apple wine (Image: Josh Evnin)
Apple wine (Image: Josh Evnin)'

We hope many WESSies will be bound for Frankfurt am Main in October. Not just to visit Goethe’s birthplace or to sample Frankfurt’s Apfelwein (apple wine)—both worthy pursuits. But more importantly, you should attend the CIFNAL/GNARP symposium New Directions for Libraries, Scholars, and Partnerships: An International Symposium and the Frankfurt Book Fair. This will be a week of professional learning, exploration and networking. You’ll be able to meet librarian colleagues from Germany, France and elsewhere as well as hang out and support fellow WESSies. And there will be time for apple wine!

New Directions for Libraries, Scholars, and Partnerships: An International Symposium will be held on October 13, 2017 at the German National Library in Frankfurt. We’ve teamed up with a number of LIS organizations to provide a day of learning, presentation, and discussion around digital scholarship, European and North American collaborations and partnerships, French and German-language collections, and new service models to faculty and students. You’ll hear from leading LIS professionals, such as Emmanuelle Bermès, the Deputy Director for Services and Networks in charge of Technical and Scientific Matters at the French National Library. Bermès will be presenting on digital libraries and digital corpora. Dr. Doris Grüter, Head of the Romance Studies Information Service (Romanistik FID) at the University of Bonn, will present on changes in specialized service to scholars in German academic libraries.

Reading room in German National Library (Image: Raimond Spekking, 2008).
Reading room in German National Library (Image: Raimond Spekking, 2008).

The American Library Association, Bavarian State Library, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (French National Library), Center for Research Libraries, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library), École nationale supérieure des sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques (the French national LIS school associated with the University of Lyon), Humboldt University’s LIS school, the University of Bonn, and the University of Frankfurt are some of our partners for the Symposium.

Besides the Symposium, there will be other activities during the week, including an orientation to the Book Fair for newcomers, meetings with European librarians and LIS students, as well as local library and museum visits. Additionally, because France is Guest of Honor at the Book Fair this year, there will be many cultural events related to France and Francophone culture both at the Fair and in Frankfurt. To get totally psyched for the Fair, see this short video “Francfort en français/Frankfurt auf Französisch” from the Institut français.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest book fair and there is very literally something for everyone interested in publishing and related media. Many sessions are in English. Attendees can plan an experience that is both professionally significant and productive for their own institution. The Book Fair is a great place to learn about smaller presses which may not be covered by distributors. With France as Guest of Honor, there will be a special exhibit on French publishing and culture, sure to appeal to professional and amateur Francophiles. Many WESS members have found that the experience of attending the Frankfurt Book Fair contributes to their effectiveness as selectors and library liaisons.

Frankfurt Book Fair in 2016 (Image: Arielinson, 2016)
Frankfurt Book Fair in 2016 (Image: Arielinson, 2016).


For the Symposium, it will open up very soon—the end of April or beginning of May. The fee will be reasonable. It will be publicized via WESS, CIFNAL, GNARP email lists and the Symposium website. The Book Fair trade visitor pass costs about $90 and includes regional transportation for the five days of the Fair, October 11-15, 2017. Trade visitor passes will go on sale June 1, 2017. See Frankfurt Book Fair site for more details. We will also keep you informed once passes are available.

Other practical information

Public transportation in the Frankfurt region is excellent and reliable and the airport is close to the city. Trains run frequently to nearby towns where it is possible to stay more cheaply. For example, WESS members have stayed recently in Gelnhausen for around $100/night, and in Mainz (home of the Gutenberg Museum) and Wiesbaden (home of Harrassowitz) for $50 (Airbnb) to $150 (hotel)/night. You will make your own lodging arrangements, but we will offer suggestions and advice.

See our “Frankfurt Area Guide” for information on lodging, transportation, food, sight seeing, and book fair events.

More information
Additional information can be found on the Symposium website. Questions may be directed to

Brian Vetruba
Germanic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, and European Studies Librarian
Washington University in St. Louis

On behalf of the Frankfurt Symposium Planning Committee: (Sarah How (Cornell; Co-Chair), Heidi Madden (Duke; Co-Chair); Judy Alspach (Center for Research Libraries), Jill Baron (Dartmouth), Paula Carns (Illinois), Katie Gibson (Miami U.), Dick Hacken (BYU), Rex Hatfield (Princeton), Meredith Levin (Columbia), Michael Seadle (Humboldt University, Berlin), Sarah Sussman (Stanford), Kristen Totleben (Rochester), Brian Vetruba (Wash. U.), and Sarah Wenzel (Chicago).

WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2017 > Frankfurt Bound

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