IFLA 1997: Libraries and Information for Human Development

By McGarry, Dorothy | Information Outlook, January 1998 | Go to article overview

IFLA 1997: Libraries and Information for Human Development


McGarry, Dorothy, Information Outlook


A beautiful city, good weather, a good conference center, many interesting things to see and do, and the company of interesting and knowledgeable colleagues made this year's IFLA conference another memorable one. Many museums and libraries were available for visits, and sightseeing trips were held for delegates and accompanying persons.

At the IFLA Council and General Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 29-September 5, 1997, attendance broke previous records with a total of 2,976 persons from 141 countries, including countries never before represented at an IFLA conference. Included in this number were more than 170 librarians from 86 developing countries who were able to attend because of grants from DANIDA (the Danish Foreign Ministry). Anje Rasmussen (Danida Documentation Centre and an SLA member) worked with the granting process and the delegates who attended.

Robert Wedgeworth (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) finished his second term as President, having served the maximum of six years. Wedgeworth was elected as an IFLA Honorary President. Christine Deschamps (Bibliotheque de l'Universite Paris V - Rene Descartes, Paris and a sitting IFLA Executive Board member) was elected as his successor. During the closing session, Leo Voogt (Secretary General of IFLA) had arranged for a tribute to Wedgeworth, with the conference organizers from each of the countries where IFLA met during Wedgeworth's terms presenting him with a hat or hats representing the nation where the conference had been held and a variety of roles Wedgeworth played during those years. The U.S. association IFLA members, including SLA, sponsored a farewell Presidents' Reception at the end of the conference. Also, on the occasion of his retirement as President of IFLA, the U.S. associations proposed the establishment of a special fund for IFLA Conference participation from the developing world. The IFLA Executive Board accepted this proposal with great enthusiasm during the conference and will be working with the American library community and other interested colleagues to establish the particulars. More news of this will be posted on IFLA-L and on IFLA's Web site: http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/ifla/.

Nancy John (University of Illinois at Chicago) was one of six people elected to the Executive Board of IFLA. The others were Klaus-Dieter Lehmann (Die Deutsche Bibliothek), Kay Raseroka (University of Botswana Library), Derek Law (King's College London), Ekaterina Genieva (Library for Foreign Literature named after M.I. Rudomino, Russia), and Sun Beixin (National Library of China). The first four were elected to initial terms of four years; the last two were re-elected to two-year terms.

Elections were also held for Chairs and Secretaries of Sections, Coordinating Boards, and Round Tables, and for Chair of the Professional Board. Ed Valauskas (Internet Mechanics) was re-elected Chair of the Section of Government Libraries and Chair of the Division of Special Libraries, and therefore as a member of the Professional Board. David McQuillan (University of South Carolina) was re-elected Chair of the Section of Geography and Map Libraries. Zohreh Imam (Knight-Ridder Information) was elected Secretary of the Section on Serial Publications, David Bender (SLA Executive Director) was re-elected Chair of the Round Table for the Management of Library Associations, and Jesus Lau (Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez) Secretary of the Round Table on User Education. Nancy Anderson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) was appointed Information Coordinator for the Section of Science and Technology Libraries, Judith Bernstein (University of New Mexico) for the Section of General Libraries, David McQuillan for the Section of Geography and Map Libraries, Una Gourlay (Rice University), for the Section on Document Delivery and Interlending, Barbara Perry (Joint Bank-Fund Library, International Monetary Fund) for the Section on Statistics, and Jesus Lau for the Round Table on User Education. …

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