Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The book meets the brotherhood in Auckland


The Book and the Brotherhood
The first day of the Future of the Book seminar is in full flow at the Hyatt Regency in Auckland. Curiously, it shares the venue with the Telecommunications and ICT conference [TelCon10] . Seems ironic that the world of telcos and digital publishing should be in the same building, but don't have any sessions in common.

Past and Present
The Hyatt in turn sits at the cusp of Auckland University Campus with the old Government House in between. Alongside both runs Princess Street, famous for the original kauri mansions of the first Auckland merchants, one of which now houses the NZ Peace Foundation, tryst guardian to NZ's hallowed nuclear free status.

Next door, tucked away on the edge of Albert Park, is the flat where recipients of the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship struggle with their muse on a six monthly basis. Some of them will publish. A few will earn a living.

Albert Park - from rifles to global learning commons.
Albert Park in turn was once a barracks for the British troops who arrived to help establish the crown colony. A piece of the barrack wall, with intact rifle slits, runs in and out of the entrance to the Auckland University Library. It in turn hosts one of the best digital repositories of academic research and scholarship in Australasia.

Across the street from the original library building is a brand new learning commons where you will struggle to find a spare seat by 7:30am any term time morning.

All of which feels like a lovely big geographic tiki tour to the issues under discussion today in both parts of the Hyatt - i.e. how can creativity - commerce - and the global knowledge commons extend and enhance both themselves and - the world of the user formally known as the audience/reader/learner?

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