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62nd IFLA General Conference and Council
25-31 August 1996
Beijing, China

"The Challenge of Change: Libraries and Economic Development"



The Challenge of Change: Libraries and Economic Development

As we move towards the end of the century libraries are being presented with fresh demands and challenges. At the same time society is re-examining the value of information as a component of the engine of economic development. The social functions performed by libraries are evolving towards new and expanded roles: greater recognition is being given to the educational role of libraries in assisting the development of the intellectual capital of every country; information is valued as an economic resource and new technologies have made it instantly and globally available. Librarians can use their information management skills to play a leading role in this new information environment. China has therefore chosen the Challenge of Change: Libraries and Economic Development as the theme for the 62nd IFLA Conference in Beijing 1996 to reflect different facets of information as one of the key elements in contemporary economic and social life.

Despite the fact that the level of Library development may differ from region to region and from country to country, there are still many common concerns which professionals and institutions in the library and information communities share. Nowadays, libraries in different countries must face and accept the challenges offered by new information technologies. At the same time these changes and favourable circumstances have also opened new possibilities and opportunities for library services. The 62nd IFLA Conference will provide a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and share experiences with professionals from different parts of the world.


  1. Libraries as gateways to information
  2. Continuing education of librarians in a changing environment
  3. Resource sharing: local, national and international issues
  4. Identifying user needs
  5. Taking information to the users
  6. Networking and document delivery
  7. The library as a key to exploiting economic resources
  8. Funding of library and information services: dilemmas and solutions
  9. The role and image of libraries in developing countries