“Libraries. Solidarity. Society.”: NSK representatives at the 2017 IFLA World Library and Information Congress and 83rd IFLA General Conference and Assembly
This year’s IFLA WLIC, World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, along with the Federation’s 83rd General Conference and Assembly, was held from 19 to 25 August in Wrocław, Poland.
The Congress once again brought together more than 3,000 librarians from all across the world, as well as a large number of specialists from fields associated with library and information sciences, some 150 publishers and exhibitors. Apart from local librarians, some 380 volunteers from 20 countries helped in the successful organisation of the Congress.
Libraries. Solidarity. Society., the theme of IFLA WLIC 2017, brought into spotlight the need for a further advancement of library profession and its role in the promotion of literacy and offered plenty of opportunities for all participants to exchange their professional experiences and discuss challenges that librarians around the world are facing today.
The programme of the Congress consisted of 248 sessions that included lectures and presentations on a wide variety of topics by more than 500 speakers, as well as 188 poster presentations.
The Buggy Ride, a poster presentation by delegates from Malaysia, was selected as the Best IFLA Poster 2017, and a special award for her overall professional efforts and contribution in the field of the development of government libraries as well as her commitment in the development of library services for people with special needs was presented to Nancy Bolt from IFLA’s Section for Library Services to People with Special Needs.
On the Congress’s closing day the congress participants were given organised tours of libraries in Wrocław and its surrounding area.
Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) Tatijana Petrić and NSK Adviser for School Libraries Frida Bišćan attended lectures and presentations delivered as part of the sessions Libraries’ Commitment to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and More than Green: Sustainability of Practice – Public Libraries & the 2030 United Nations Agenda. Both sessions were organised by IFLA’s Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group, whose activities are focusing on the role of humankind in climate change and on sustainable development as a fundamental global social issue, which also makes it a top issue for all libraries. It advocates the so-called “green libraries”, which are “designed to minimize negative impact on the natural environment and maximize indoor environmental quality by means of careful site selection”, committed to using “natural construction materials and biodegradable products” and whose activities are wholly based on the “conservation of resources (water, energy, paper) and responsible waste disposal (recycling, etc.)”.
Bišćan further attended a session devoted to literacy issues, Literacy Matters: It Takes a Community to Raise a Reader – Building a Nation of Readers and Creating a Reading Culture, which was jointly organised by IFLA’s Literacy and Reading, Public Libraries and School Libraries Sections.
NSK Director General Petrić also took part in the annual Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) and a meeting organised by the Ex Libris software company where she attended the presentation of the Alma library services platform.
Dunja Marija Gabriel, NSK Adviser for Public Libraries, prepared a poster presentation entitled National Campaign for Persons with Reading Difficulties and Dyslexia “I Wish to Read Too!”, which gave an overview of this campaign’s first nine months, from October 2016 to June 2017. Gabriel was also among the participants in the meetings of the Standing Committee of IFLA’s Section for Library Services to People with Special Needs and those organised by the Section’s special group working on the development of the Guidelines for Library Services to Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Deafblind.
Gabriel also took part in the programme of the following five sessions – Access to Programs and Conferences for People with Disabilities: Stories from Three Countries, organised by IFLA’s Section for Library Services to People with Special Needs, Marrakesh – The Road to Implementation, organised by IFLA’s Section for Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities, IFLA Global Vision Discussion, organised by IFLA’s Governing Board, Check Me Out! Human Libraries and Unique Circulating Collections, from Art to Technology Petting Zoos, jointly organised by IFLA’s Acquisition and Collection Development, Metropolitan Libraries and Public Libraries Sections, and Public Libraries as Place Makers in Today’s Cities: Urban Development, Resiliency and Social Equity, organised by IFLA’s Metropolitan Libraries Section.
During the Congress and as part of its programme, Petrić, Bišćan and Gabriel also visited libraries in the historical part of Wrocław – one of the branches of the Tadeusz Mikulski Lower Silesia Public Library, Wrocław University Library and the library in Wrocław’s city prison.