The UST Library Chief Librarian Ms. Ma. Cecilia D. Lobo, and Assistant Chief Librarian Ms. Diana V. Padilla, attended the 85th International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Conference held at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre (MAICC), Athens, Greece from August 25 to 31, 2019.
This year’s conference theme was “Libraries: dialogue for change.” The theme, according to the IFLA President Sra. Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, “A dialogue is about change and learning; it is about giving everybody an opportunity to listen and to be listened to. It gives a dynamic message; libraries motor for change. She added that what makes the difference is that when ideas work together and the more years we are involved and engaged, the more powerful our movement, our momentum, our ability to enact change. It is a new way of working as global library field because to change the world, we must be ready to change ourselves, our methods, our mindsets. This is the way IFLA wants to work, working together towards a united library field.”
More than 3,600 librarians, museum directors, library science students from 140 different countries were in attendance to network, learn, exchange ideas, and make connections at the biggest international library congress in the world. The participants were welcomed by the IFLA president.
More than 500 speakers, over 250 open sessions, almost 200 poster sessions and 30 lightning talks on Library and Information Science and its many related fields such as cultural heritage, cataloging, digitization, copyright, resource sharing, institutional repository, library marketing, promotion, and services, and others, were made available among delegates.
The Chief Librarian attended sessions on library management, services, cataloging, and library education while the Assistant Chief Librarian joined the sessions on library heritage collections, conservation and digitization practices, and information technology.
IFLA Strategy 2019-2024 was also launched. Its mission is to inspire, engage, enable and connect the global library field; it is a call to action among the librarians to achieve its vision of a strong and united library field powering literate, informed and participative societies.
The business meetings of IFLA professional units were also open to participants and some of the key sessions were live-streamed to connect and engage more librarians and other information specialists across the world. Also, there was an international trade exhibition with over 70 exhibitors representing the needs of the library on electronic books and databases publishers, book scanning equipment, restoration supplies, library designs and furniture, library associations, etc.
The delegates were also treated to cultural networking events that included Greek food, music and dancing, held at one of the most prominent landmarks in Athens, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC).
On the last day of the Conference, the delegates were made to choose the Libraries that they wanted to visit as benchmarking activity. The National Technical University of Athens Central Library and Library of the School of Health Sciences were visited by Lobo while Padilla visited The National Library of Greece housed in Vallianeio historic neoclassical building and the Athens Comics Library.