Under the Libraries, Solidarity, Society slogan, the 83rd IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) World Congress took place in Wrocław on August 19-25. The Congress is one of the most important and one of the biggest events in the community of librarians.
The event was attended by over three thousand librarians from all over the world. They discussed about the future of libraries. It was a week of panels, sessions, meetings and interesting events.
The Information Society Development Foundation was represented by President Jacek Królikowski and Agnieszka Koszowska who gave the “Robots and Tablets in Your Library” presentation on new technologies in libraries and experience gained in implementation of ISDF projects (the Library Development Program, Link to the Future, Mobolab). Among those attending the Congress in Wrocław were also Ewa Szabat and Karol Baranowski, the librarians and members of LABiB network established by ISDF for active librarians and innovators. They presented the network promotional materials and a special game for the Congress participants encouraging them to make contacts, share ideas on activities in libraries, as well as to tour Wrocław, the city that hosted this-year’s Congress. The task-solving ideas of the game players amazed with their originality and innovativeness. The LABiB network presented itself also in so-called library passage.
One of the interesting events was a poster session, where numerous organizations and libraries from all over the world presented their activities and achievements, such as underwater reading in Malesia or a library in South Africa, which offers books the way the dishes are served in drive thru restaurants.
Next IFLA Congress will be held in Kuala Lumpur.
19 participants of the IFLA Congress who came from African countries – Algeria, Ghana, Kenia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia took part in study tours to libraries in Olsztyn and Grodzisk Mazowiecki that take part in the Library Development Program. The visits were a part of Young African Public Library Innovators project, partnered by the Information Society Development Foundation.
The principal goal of the Library Development Program, until April 2015 implemented under PAFF and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnership, is to support public libraries in rural communes, municipalities and towns of up to 20,000 residents in transforming themselves into modern, multi-function information, cultural and education centers stimulating civic involvement. Thanks to the assistance received by nearly 4,000 libraries, residents of rural areas and small towns gained an opportunity to improve their quality of life. Raising librarians’ competencies and building the prestige of their profession is an important component of the program.