FFLA '85: What's in It for Us?

Article excerpt

WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE INternational Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) holding its 5 st Council and General Conference in Chicago August 18-24?

For Robert Doyle, who works for the U.S. Organizing Committee in office space contributed by ALA, it's all pretty special: As IFLA '85 Coordinator, he, as much as anyone, has to make it happen.

We talked with Doyle recently to preview the most interesting aspects of IFLA '85 for the library community at large.

What's different about this meeting?

Doyle: IFLA was founded in 1927, but has only met twice before in the U.S.--Chicago, 1933, and Washington, 1974. It may be the last time IFLA will meet in the U.S. this century. Future conferences are scheduled for Tokyo, Brighton, Sydney, Paris, and then possibly India and Brazil. So it's a great chance for U.S. librarians to get a taste of an international conference. The meetings are open to all interested person paying the conference registration fee of $175 or the daily fee of $50. The exhibits are free.

Naturally, as host, the U.S. wants to show-case its libraries, library services--and librarians. IFLA Headquarters in the Netherlands coordinates the general program of the conference, but the U.S. impact will be been in the opening session, exhibits, social and cultural events, and professional tours.

And will they have impact?

We think so. Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin will greet the delegates. Octavio Paz, the Mexican diplomat and writer, V.S. Lesokhina of the U.S.S.R. Library Council, and others will develop the theme of libraries from the earliest times to the frontiers of the future. The setting itself will relate to the theme, considering our nation's frontier tradition and Chicago's architectural history. In the span of 60 minutes, delegates will go from Louis Sulivan's classic Auditorium Theater to Helmut Jahn's ultramodern Illinois State Office Building.

In the exhibits, the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, with the assistance of AT&T and others, will demonstrate a spectacular, 12-booth model information center. It will show how today's technology provides information to organizations or to developing countries. It will also provide a conference data center. Other exhibit highlights will be the first national libraries joint exhibit and four ALA booths, including an ALA Store.

Four large receptions will give participants a chance to socialize and sample special cuisines and entertainment. The U.S. member associations of IFLA are giving a block party in front of ALA Headquarters, with food samplings from local restaurants. And a full day has been set aside for tours of area libraries.

Who will the IFLA participants be?

We're estimating about 2,000 registrants, with 60 percent from the U.S. and Canda, 30 percent from western Europe, and maybe 10 percent from developing countries. …