Magazine article American Libraries

This Month, 74 Years Ago

Magazine article American Libraries

This Month, 74 Years Ago

Article excerpt

IN AUGUST 1927, representatives of library associations from a number of European countries were preparing to attend the Library Association of the United Kingdom's 50th Annual Conference, scheduled for late September in Edinburg. Several members were contemplating French librarian Gabriel Henry's call (issued at the 1926 International Congress of Librarians and Bookmakers in Prague) for a permanent Association international committee representing all nations. Henry's suggestion was also a topic of conversation at the 1926 American Library Association 50th Annual Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The call served as a prelude to September 30, 1927, when representatives of the library associations of 15 countries resolved at the LAUK conference to establish an international organization. Swedish National Librarian Isak Collijn was elected the first president and ALA Executive Secretary Carl Milam drafted the organization's constitution, which was approved in 1929 at the first World Congress of Librarianship and Bibliography in Rome. Thus the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions was born.

IFLA's early years reflected the interests of its early leaders (e. …

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