Magazine article Information Outlook

SLA's Place in the World

Magazine article Information Outlook

SLA's Place in the World

Article excerpt

I recently, had the unique opportunity to attend the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Annual Conference in Berlin, Germany. The conference theme, 'Access Point Library: Media--Information--Culture' and logo, which is based on Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, symbolizes the role of libraries of all kinds as gateways to information, knowledge and culture.

As a first-time attendee, I was impressed with the atmosphere, which was most conducive to learning and knowledge sharing. IFLA provided an enriched forum for information professionals who are divided by geographical boundaries but united by core issues, professional development and networking opportunities.

There were 4,500 registered attendees from 133 countries, representing diverse backgrounds and cultures. Access to information and freedom of expression were sub-themes throughout the conference. These topics prompted spirited debates on the impact of global anti-terrorism legislation and raised concerns over threats to the free flow of information because of international security issues (e.g. the U.S. Patriot Act and similar legislation emerging around the world).

Throughout the week, the conference generated exposure and raised SLA's profile immensely. Our visibility was spearheaded by many SLA members who made presentations, moderated panels and networked with their colleagues. We also benefited from a great reception at our exhibit booth and the positive participation in our session "Meet the Executive Director and President," with Cindy Hill and myself. …

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