On 24.02.2015 Wroclaw University Library hosted representatives of the IFLA Commission, who came to our city, in connection with making choice of the venue of the IFLA Congress in 2017. IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) cooperates with other international organizations such as: UNESCO, ONZ, WIPO, ISO, WTO, and its member in Poland, besides National Library and Polish Librarians Association, is also Wroclaw University Library.
IFLA World Library and Information Congress is the largest and most important event in the world of librarianship and information science. The annual IFLA Congress takes place always in August, each time in a different country and brings together over 3,500 professionals from approx. 120 countries, providing an opportunity to exchange views, determining a common position and a roadmap for the most important issues as well as helps in establishing and strengthening cooperation between the participating entities - institutions and associations. In 2014 France (Lyon) hosted the congress, in 2013 – Singapore, in 2012 - Helsinki and in 2011 - Puerto Rico. Poland aspires to organize this international event in 2017, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Polish Librarians Association which falls in that year, and the host city filed in 2011 by our country (a joint initiative of the National Library, the Polish Librarians Association and the Mayor of Wroclaw) – is Wroclaw. The proposal, which has passed through the first level of qualification, was co-created, inter alia, by the Wroclaw University Library. The procedure for selecting the host city is long and rigorous and requires the involvement of the national association of librarians and local authorities of the candidate city. The location of each Congress is given in two years in advance. We already know that the IFLA Congress in 2015 will take place in Cape Town (South Africa) and in 2016 in the United States (Columbus, Ohio).
The aim of the visit of the IFLA Commission was to become acquainted with resources and IT infrastructure as well as premises conditions of our Library, in the context of using them to co-organize IFLA Congress in 2017. IFLA delegation was represented by: Jennefer Nicholson – Secretary General of IFLA, Lynne M. Rudasill – Chairwomen of the Vocational Committee and member of the Executive Committee of the IFLA, Josche Ouwerkerk – IFLA Affairs Manager for Conference and Business Relations.
Lynne M. Rudasill
National Library was represented by Katarzyna Ślaska – Deputy Director of the National Library for Digital Issues and Monika Cornell – editor of "Polish Libraries"; and Polish Librarians Association by - Elżbieta Stefańczyk – Chairwoman of the PLA. In addition, guests were accompanied by Andrzej Ociepa – Director of the Public Library in Wroclaw.
Guests were welcomed by the Director of the Library - Grazyna Piotrowicz. During the visit, they obtained full information regarding the potential of Wroclaw University Library, its current status and plans for the development as well as they received promotional packets of library materials prepared in English. They were also shown around the new building of the University Library at. F. Joliot-Curie 12 St., where were presented to them both already developed spaces and functioning library agencies, as well as sites for further development. The building attracted considerable interest and was very liked. In addition, guests were invited to the building of the Library on the Sand Island, where the selected objects from the special collections (old prints, music, manuscripts, maps and graphic collections) were presented to them. Presented objects aroused great interest not only to foreign visitors, but also colleagues from Warsaw.
We remind you that for the country that organize the Congress, it is an opportunity to demonstrate their professional achievements to foreign participants, and also, for the librarians, it gives a wider than usual possibility of contact with leading library representatives from around the world. And the host city may feel particularly distinguished and honored. We hope that Wroclaw will obtain this honor and will cope with a possible, future organizational responsibilities.