It's a gray and drizzly morning in Kyoto, but I can see mountains in the distance. By the time we got to the hotel last night, I was too tired to do anything but send a message to Lynn and tumble into bed. Now I look out, from the 12th floor of my hotel, and see another vast city spread out below me. A tree-lined boulevard down to my left, what appears to be a large park in the middle distance to my right; a jumble of office blocks and apartment buildings that could be anywhere, and a scattering of smaller buildings that couldn't be anywhere but Japan.
On the bullet train from Tokyo, Yuki was looking through the evaluations from the seminar. "Here's one that says you were 'inspiring'."
Good. "Inspiring" is good. I certainly can't tell anybody here how to overcome the obstacles that they face in their organizations -- all I can hope to do is share with them some of my own passion and enthusiasm and excitement about being a librarian in the 21st century, and hope it connects with, and reinforces, their own.
I'd been warned by my hosts that the Japanese librarians would be reserved and hesitant to ask questions, but I thought there were quite a few good ones. Not much different from what I've seen in US or UK audiences. And I had a chance to talk with a number of people during the breaks and at the reception in the evening. I was particularly impressed with Mr. Iizawa, director of the Meiji University Library, who was also one of the presenters and appears to be doing great things with establishing partnerships with faculty to set up information literacy classes for the freshman & sophomores in his university.
As far as I know, the translation went fine. I met with the translators ahead of time for about twenty minutes. They had printouts of my slides, along with the detailed notes I'd sent a couple of weeks ago. They had just a few specific questions about words or phrases, or what I was trying to get across with a particular image. Afterwards, one of them came up and thanked me and said I'd made it very easy for them. I was grateful for that. I was surprised, though, how many people were not wearing the earphone while I was speaking (close to half?). As far as I could tell from body language and facial expressions, at least some of what I was trying to say was coming through.
I was also quite delighted to meet Tamiko Matsumura, Emeritus Professor at the University of Library and Information Science and Professor at Sugiyama Jogakuen University. Turns out that she was an indexer at NLM back in the late sixties and early seventies. Ritsuko had arranged for her to have lunch with the speakers, and so we had a fine time sharing stories about some of the NLM people we knew in common.
The program today is an exact repeat of yesterday. (I was joking with Joep that by the time we get to Korea, he and I will be able to do each other's presentations). A somewhat smaller audience (there were just over one hundred in yesterday's session and there are 65 signed up for today). Different set of translators. And we don't have to dash for the bullet train at the end of it!