The IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) 2017 “Libraries. Solidarity. Society”, 83rd IFLA General Conference and Assembly took place in Wroclaw, Poland, 19 to 25 August 2017. 3100 delegates from 122 countries, representing library associations from around the world, gathered in the Centennial Hall, a magnificent venue listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Centennial Hall in Wrocław, the venue of the IFLA Congress.
I attended this event, which was a unique opportunity for me to represent IAML at the IFLA Congress in my home country. I had also a chance to meet in Wrocław some of my IAML colleagues: Katre Riisalu (National Library of Estonia, the President of the Estonian Librarians Association), Anna J. Shelmerdine (Australian Institute of Music, the President of IAML Australia), Massimo Gentili-Tedeschi (Italy, Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico) and Anders Cato (Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces).
IAML members at IFLA WLIC 2017 (from the right): Anders Cato, Anna J. Shelmerdine, Katre Riisalu, Stanisław Hrabia.
Massimo and Anders were involved in the Congress part of the programme devoted to cataloguing; Massimo – as the chair of the ISBD Review Group and member of several IFLA bodies: IFLA Cataloguing Section Standing Committee, FRBR Review Group, Permanent UNIMARC Committee, ISBD Linked Data Study Group, as well as ex-officio non-voting member of the Committee on Standards. Massimo also serves as the IAML liaison with Permanent UNIMARC Committee, ISBD Review Group, and Cataloguing Section. Anders has finished his term as the Secretary of the Standing Committee of the Bibliography Section and has just become the new Chair of the Linked Data Technical Committee (LIDATEC).
Massimo Gentili-Tedeschi presents his report “Update on ISBD” during the session of the Committee on Standards.
Music libraries and their aspects were visible at the presented poster session. Jarkko Rikkilä and Juhani Koivisto from Finland presented the poster "Metso LIVE – The unique Finnish music library concept of combining people, live music, library content and social media".
IFLA Poster session.
Two meetings of the representatives of the national, international and professional library associations were held during the Congress: Association Members Meeting (22 August) and IFLA General Assembly (23 August). I had the honor to participate in both sessions representing IAML. The main topic was the IFLA Global Vision project.
IFLA President Donna Scheeder on the Association Members Meeting.
The Governing Board provided an update on the most important developments in the last twelve months, particularly dealing with the IFLA Global Vision discussion. Gerald Leitner, IFLA Secretary General, discussed the meetings and workshops that have been organized in different parts of the world (Athens, Washington D.C., Yaoundé, Alexandria, Buenos Aires, Singapore and Madrid) and attended by representatives of 140 countries. “The workshops have focused on how to strengthen the ties within the library field, helped identify future challenges and opportunities for the library field, and prioritise actions that the library environment could take in response to the fast-pacing changes in societies.” (Gerald Leitner, IFLA Secretary General)
At present, the discussion continues online and everyone can participate via IFLA Global Vision voting platform. There are only 6 questions to answer. I encourage every IAML member to visit the site and vote. The online survey is open until 30 September 2017.
The outcomes of the discussions and voting results will be presented in March 2018, in a special report – “a roadmap to help define the agenda to create a more united library field. In the face of increasing globalisation, we need libraries to be connected and stronger than ever before.” (Gerald Leitner, IFLA Secretary General)
Another part of the ILFA Global Vision project presented during the meetings was “The Library Map of the World” – the service collecting basic information about all types of libraries from around of the world.
More information about the Congress programme, IFLA Honours and Awards, and a special video summarizing this successful event are available on the Congress website.
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This was my first IFLA World Library and Information Congress. The presence of the Congress in Wrocław was a great opportunity to strengthen direct international contacts and to learn more about the framework and the course of IFLA Global Vision discussion, which might become an inspiration for the activities within the process called "The Future of IAML". The next IFLA Congress is going to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malesia. Participation at IFLA meetings and involvement with committees and working groups are crucial for our Association to increase IAML’s visibility and professional impact.