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May 2020

Newsletter

CONTENT :
  1. Introduction
  2. The good news - a new member for the EEPG
  3. Change in the management board
  4. Frankfurt Book Fair - is it going to happen?
  5. Forthcoming AGM in October
  6. Network meetings/conference
  7. Management board meeting February 2020
  8. Image film educational publishing
  9. BELMA
  10. Survey

1. Introduction

2020_05_News_Shutdown.jpg

Shutdown in Berlin


These are crazy and worrying times. This newsletter comes to you in May rather than the usual April edition because the situation amidst the pandemic changes all the time. Today's news is tomorrow's history. As a consequence of these quickly changing conditions, I have decided to send you monthly (shorter) updates rather than just three long newsletters. So, here is the first short one.

2 The good news - a new member for the EEPG

As you know, the Polish publisher WSIP left the group at the end of 2019, but I am very pleased to announce that NAM has joined the EEPG as of May 1st. The decision to let NAM join was unanimously and we are all really looking forward to meeting Sigfríður Símunarson Sólsker, the contact person and managing editor at NAM in person soon.

3. Change in the management board

Since the beginning of March, Irmantas Svazas is not working for the Alma littera group (Sviesa) any more. We were looking into replacing him on the board with another colleague from Sviesa, but Corona but a stop to that, so now the board is one member short. I guess, we are still functioning fine and will address this issue soon. I anybody would like to join the board for the rest of the year, please come forward, so that we can have a ballot.

4. Frankfurt Book Fair - is it going to happen?

I was waiting for a final decision whether the book fair in Frankfurt is going to take place or not. Obviously, this will influence all of the EEPG's further events this year (and maybe next year's also). I've been watching the discussions in the media, but apparently, a decision is not forthcoming in the next few days. As soon as decisions - one way or another - are taken, I will let you know.

Personally, I think it will be very difficult to have the fair, even if the travel restrictions are lifted. Very likely there will still be quarantine stipulations in different countries and especially travellers from outside of the EU/Europe will find it much harder to attend. But the book fair thrives on these customers. Having talked to some of you and many contacts outside the EEPG, there is a real reluctance to attend the fair even if it takes place.

The best option for everybody would be if the German government stopped the fair as it already has stopped the Oktoberfest and other large international gatherings. That way, compensation for all participants would be made possible. As the situation is now, many potential exhibitors have already put down payments for the stands and my understanding is that it will be very difficult to cancel these without loosing the down payments.

5. Forthcoming AGM in October

What will happen to the AGM largely, of course, depends on whether the book fair takes place or not. However, even if it doesn't, I am very hopeful that we'll have some sort of meeting, be it online or indeed a physical one. I'm currently researching the possibilities of video-conferencing without investing too heavily in expensive systems.

I'm currently working with Zoom and Webex (Cisco) and the management board will discuss what other options there are and whether to invest into a license (webex starter/plus or zoom pro/business). It would be really good if you could give me some feedback on what you are using and your positive or negative experience. In addition, if anybody has ideas or good experiences with other (also open source) systems, please let me know and I will look into that also.

6. Network meetings/conference

As far as this year's network meetings are concerned, we have definitely postponed (cancelled for 2020) Barcelona and Kiev as you know, but we are still looking at options to have some kind of network meeting in September - again, most likely online. David Gråbæk and his team from Systime (who were going to organize the big conference) in September have come up with a few alternatives. After discussion with the board, I will make suggestions and write to you.

We have already fixed the date for the Barcelona meeting in 2021 - world book day will be on the Friday.
  • 2021 04 22-23 Barcelona EEPG decision makers and business developers: Learning Analytics - good and/or bad
Dates for the Kiev meeting will be distributed as soon as available.

Meanwhile, if you have any ideas of what you would like to do and would find helpful, please let me know. We could, for example, have half-day online conferences.

I'm also happy to conduct surveys and do research if there is a particular topic you are interested in. You will find one example at the end of this newsletter.

7. Management board meeting February 2020

We had a physical meeting in Barcelona just before the crisis hit and discussed not only the network meetings and conference (that are now being postponed), but also ways of promoting the image of educational publishers in our markets. All our good plans (blog, involving the members more closely in communication to the public, contacts with governments and institutions) have been put on the back burner by the events that followed the meeting.

8. Image film educational publishing

However, I have since at least been able to publish the IPA image film about educational publishing - Brian Gilsenan from CJFallon introduced it first at our meeting in Sofia last year - on the EEPG website in the members area.

I've asked the IPA to put the music and sounds on separate tracks so that you can do your own voice-overs as you wish. You can use it wherever and whenever you want, on your social media accounts or website. Unfortunately, I haven't got the original English script for you to translate, but here is the link to the original IPA version with the original sound. Actually, the reference to health might be quite fitting under the circumstances.

9. BELMA

After a very slow start - as I wrote in the last BELMA newsletter - we have now received quite a number of entries and thankfully not only from EEPG members. We will most likely not reach the number of entries we had in the last few years but we are positive that we will still be showcasing some excellent products.

The EEPG has invested in a new secure server, so everything can now be uploaded in PDF format rather than sending physical copies where we are still talking books. As before, for digital products the jury needs 4 working access codes. Please go to the BELMA website www.belma-award.eu for the new conditions that apply and the image video. If you have been a participant of BELMA before and you want to use the film to promote your products, please contact me about images, footage, etc that you could use

10. Survey: Corona impact on educatio

In the past, we have been experiencing with a few online tools for surveys but haven't found them to be of good value for our purposes. So, once again, I would like you to download this Word document, fill it in and send it back to me. The survey was initiated by the colleagues from Sviesa, and i think it will be very useful information for all of us. The deadline is May 30th, so I can publish the results in the June newsletter. I'm very happy to get multiple answers from one company, so please just fill it in if you have a minute and return. THANK YOU!

Coming up in June: Some country reports from outside the EEPG, looking back at the last IPA/EPF meeting in Georgia in February, results of the survey, useful links, update on events.


Stay healthy!

EEPG
Wielandstr. 33, 10629 Berlin / Germany
Phone: +49 171 275 63 23
E-Mail: helga.holtkamp@eepg.org