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68th IFLA Conference Logo  

68th IFLA General Conference and Council

Libraries for Life: Democracy, Diversity, Delivery

August 18th - 24th 2002, Glasgow, Scotland







Conference theme


Message of welcome from Her Majesty the Queen

Why we want to be there?



Dear colleagues,

The IFLA 2002 National Organising Committee and The Library Association of Great Britain take great pleasure in inviting you to attend the 68th IFLA General Conference and Council to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from Sunday August 18 until Saturday August 24, 2002. We look forward to welcoming you there. It is particularly significant that this conference is returning to Scotland where IFLA was founded in 1927, and we hope you will join us for this special 75th anniversary.

Conference theme

The conference theme is Libraries for Life: Democracy, Diversity, Delivery. Libraries continue to be valued by people of all ages, races and walks of life throughout the world, but our societies are continually changing as a result of new developments. The conference seminars, lectures, workshops and discussion groups will invite you to examine how libraries can continue to provide a variety of services, adapting them to meet the changing needs of our societies and encouraging democratic access to knowledge in the future.


The largest city in Scotland, and an international gateway, Glasgow has many facets. It prospered on trade with the American colonies and most famously on shipbuilding. Today you can explore its rich cultural and industrial heritage at more than twenty museums and art galleries, most of which are free.

Regarded as the finest Victorian city in Britain, it was designated UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999. The unique style of architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, in addition to that of Alexander "Greek" Thompson, adds a further dimension to be explored.

Besides the cultural pursuits you can enjoy, Glasgow offers visitors sporting opportunities, over 70 parks and gardens, and much else besides. You will find the widest possible range of shops, as the famous Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street will prove. From the chic Princes Square and the monumental St Enoch Centre to the magnificent Buchanan Galleries, shopping is an essential part of the Glasgow experience.

The wide variety of bars, bistros, cafes and restaurants will tempt your palate with choices from wholesome pub food to haute cuisine. You must also not miss tasting Scotland's shortbread or world-renowned whisky.

Many participants are planning to use this opportunity for further travel and holidays after the conference. For more "out of conference" information, a separate web-based picture gallery and information point is being built for delegates to a number of conferences in Glasgow: http://www.ifla2002.org/. Please feel free to advertise this site to colleagues, friends, and other potential delegates and visitors to IFLA 2002 and other events in Glasgow and Scotland.

Message of welcome from Her Majesty the Queen

I send my warm thanks to the members of The Library Association for their kind and loyal message of greetings sent on the occasion of both the sixty-eighth General Conference and Council of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Federation's formation in Scotland in 1927.

As Patron of the Association, I send my best wishes to both delegates and speakers at the Conference and Council for the success and enjoyment of the lectures and activities which have been planned. I hope that the gathering will prove stimulating and of value to all who participate.


Why we want to be there?

Professor Judith Elkin
Dean of the Faculty of Computing Information and English, University of Central in Birmingham

I have been privileged to attend the last ten IFLA conferences. Wherever IFLA has been held, the experience of being a delegate has been exhilarating, fascinating and challenging: whether within the stark and lavish environments of Stockholm in 1990; during the coup in Moscow in 1991; experiencing the dignified poverty of Havana; or realising that Ranganathan still dominated thinking in LIS schools in India.

I have been excited by the enormous diversity of our profession, at the leading edge of grasping the challenges and opportunities of technology, whilst still struggling to ensure that some of the poorer and less accessible parts of the world are empowered through literacy and access to books: 'barefoot' librarians still exist.

IFLA has contributed enormously to my personal and professional growth and has allowed me to feel that I can put something back into the international agenda.

I have always been excited by the opportunity to discuss with colleagues from every part of the world all kinds of professional issues, concerns for raising standards, developing professional profiles and the ability to speak a common professional language even when the actual barriers of language (or translation) intervene. I have been enormously stimulated by the opportunity to share ideas about the future on a global scale, as well as challenged by extraordinary commitment of colleagues in other countries. During a post IFLA three day conference in Bangkok, I was humbled by colleagues from Cambodia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Nicaragua, all coping with war-ravaged communities but determined to restore their libraries and bring books to children and their families.

Glasgow 2002 gives us all a wonderful opportunity to show, on a global stage, the strengths of all aspects of our profession in the UK. It also gives us a splendid opportunity to meet and network with a huge diversity of fellow professionals from throughout the world.

Sissel Nilsen
Director, National Library of Norway, Oslo Division

Of course I'm going to Glasgow for the IFLA conference next year. I'm sure it will be a splendid 75 year birthday-party for IFLA in beautiful Scotland.

Ever since my first IFLA conference in 1979 I have been fascinated by the international library network. Participation in IFLA has given me the opportunity to implement new ideas in order to improve the service to our library-users. Communication, understanding and resource sharing between library and information professionals throughout the world are essential in building a global information rich society.

One of the big things about IFLA is that you meet colleagues from the whole world and you easily make friendships that last for years. You get new personal friends with whom you can communicate easily these days, whom you can visit and who can visit you, with whom you can discuss professional matters as well as sharing personal interests and have great fun.

IFLA work is exciting, sometimes tiring if you engage yourself, but indeed very satisfying!

Will see you in Glasgow next year . Go ahead - read Robert Burns beautiful poems in the year to come and next year we'll all be singing his great song Auld Lang Syne.

Gloria Rodriguez
Director, Department of Culture and Libraries Comfenalco Medellin, Columbia

In attending the IFLA conference in Jerusalem I could not only keep active in the different sections of IFLA to which I belong, but also keep myself up-to-date of events, developments and issues of the profession. The conference gave me the chance to share experiences and make contacts with people from all over the world. This was one of the most rewarding aspects of this trip for me.

I visited a poster session where I was glad to find posters from countries of my region such as Argentina and Venezuela, portraying experiences of which I had never heard before.

I found very fruitful and rewarding the visits we made to the exhibition. Particularly important was the visit to the booths of the different library associations, which reflects their importance in the development and strengthening of the profession in a country.

Attending an IFLA conference gives an invaluable opportunity to have a closer look at the library developments of the host country. A country such as Great Britain, with a consolidated tradition in the public libraries field, has the commitment to show the world their advances achieved.

I believe it is important to establish strategies to make the Glasgow Conference attractive not only to the new generations but also to the librarianship students".

J. Margaret Shaw
Chief Librarian, National Gallery of Australia Research Library

I was recently asked why I shall be attending the IFLA Conference in Glasgow, which is really two questions.

Why the IFLA Conference?
After attending 18 IFLA Conferences in a row I am both addicted and convinced that it provides the ideal combination of general and specialised professional updating, extended networking and project participation. Furthermore, I’m an art librarian and art librarians work in a very international field. Professional skills are enhanced by the opportunity which IFLA provides to taste the cultures of other countries in a very accessible [dare I say privileged?] way, to see the art collections held in those countries, to view the architectural riches of cities in all parts of the globe and to observe contemporary art, design and architecture.

Why Glasgow?
Why ask? It is the city of Charles Rennie Mackintosh whose use of colour and line stands out even among art nouveau designers and architects and whose influence was international. For an example of his influence have a look at the graceful Glasgow Conference logo. The library at the Glasgow School of Art is one of his most celebrated buildings so you can combine a professional visit with sight-seeing. Glasgow is also home to some of Scotland’s [and the UK’s] outstanding art museums: the Burrell Collection, the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum with is Glasgow Room showing the work of the "Glasgow Boys" and the "Glasgow Girls" and its Mackintosh collection and, for lovers of James McNeill Whistler, the Hunterian Art Gallery. The question is not "Why Glasgow?" but "why is it so long since I have been there?"

Of course, the IFLA Conference also offers an opportunity, particularly for those who combine it with the annual holiday, to do a bit of touring. Glasgow is ideally located for getting to know Scotland. I’m already planning a quick trip to Edinburgh [a very short train ride from Glasgow] to see the art museums there an drop in on the Edinburgh Festival. After the IFLA Conference I’ll be driving up to the West Coast and hopping on a ferry to the islands before crossing to Aberdeen in the East [one of Scotland’s best kept secrets].

Of course, if you happen to be an Australian with 15/16ths Scottish blood the following web-site could be handy during a visit to Glasgow [but you must be over 18]: http://www.pubcrawler.net

Yuriko Miyaji
Shirayuri College Library, Tokyo, Japan

An IFLA Conference gives us a great opportunity to meet people in the library world from all over the globe, to participate in various kinds of events and programmes, to get the latest information about books and technological advances.

Next year Glasgow is going to host the IFLA Conference and I'm one of those who are looking forward to visiting the city.

I've just resumed working in the library from the journey to Boston for 2001. I returned home full of nice memories and mementos, along with the inspiration and encouragement I experienced throughout the conference.

I'm sure IFLA 2002 Glasgow will offer those who are planning to attend the same excitement as we had in 2001.

Dinesh Gupta
Associate Professor and Head, Dept of Library and Information Science, Kota Open University, India

  • A true example of world collaboration and partnership to improve the quality of library services.
  • The organizers of the conference are making every effort to develop this as the most significant conference of the last 75 years. Through a series of thoughtfully designed learning activities, the conference will empower delegates to significantly boost the quality and impact of their professional activities.
  • Five continents will be present, there will be on-the-job learning, face-to-face learning, peer learning, virtual learning. It will be global learning, thus…. evidence of the fact that learning has no boundaries.
  • The theme of the conference "Libraries for Life: democracy, diversity, delivery" is timely and relevant.

The world has already witnessed a transformation in every sphere of life. It is marked by the diffusion of IT in al walks of human life. This has given us a wider set of options from which we can select the best mix to meet the needs of our customers. The real challenge for us is not to manage our collections, staff and technology but to turn these resources into services. Even the notion of service has changed, from basic to value added, from staff assisted to self-service, from in-house to out-reach, from free to priced, from reactive to pro-active, and from mass-customization to individualized service. In this context there is always a need for LIS staff to develop a more responsible attitude towards their customers and ensure credibility and a positive attitude to face new challenges and opportunities. The IFLA Conference, 2002 provides us with an opportunity to see how libraries can support effective learning and deliver efficient services to our customers. As such, the theme of the conference "Libraries for Life: democracy, diversity, delivery" is timely and relevant. My participation in this conference will provide me with useful critical analysis, discussion, and case studies - required input for the new situations I am facing. In Glasgow, I will have the opportunity to consolidate my present knowledge; to understand the changing information environment and its impact on LIS education; to develop the necessary skills to achieve international standards; and last but not least to network with the international community.

Christine Wellems
Leiterin Parlamentarische Informationsdienste, Hamburg, Germany

I need wind for my sails....

We have seventeen parliaments in Germany and consequently seventeen parliamentary libraries and information centres. There are regular exchanges between us, including bilateral meetings and work done in specialist groups and on specific projects. It is, nevertheless, sometimes difficult to see beyond one´s own horizon. I am afforded a better view with the yearly meeting of my section during the IFLA General Conference which includes workshops, lectures and discussions, and the exchange of information with specialists from a variety of countries. Anyone who manages a library or information department or wishes to shape their development, has to look further than the immediate horizon at new and different development experiences and ideas. How could one possibly achieve this aim better than by association with skilled and experienced specialists in an international group? Therefore I definitely intend, having already visited Bangkok and Boston, to be present in Glasgow and consider myself fortunate that the Hamburg Parliament has provided wind for my sails.

Ich brauche Wind unter meinen Flügeln . . .

Siebzehn Parlamente gibt es in Deutschland - und damit siebzehn Parlamentsbibliotheken und parlamentarische Informationsdienste. Wir tauschen uns regelmäßig aus, treffen uns bilateral, arbeiten in Fachgruppen und an Projekten - und dennoch: manchmal fehlt der Blick über den Tellerrand. Diesen Blick ermöglichen mir die jährlichen Treffen meiner Sektion während der IFLA-Generalkonferenzen mit ihren Workshops, Fachvorträgen und Diskussionen und der Austausch mit den FachkollegInnen aus unterschiedlichen Staaten. Wer eine Bibliothek oder Informationsabteilung leitet oder ihre Entwicklung mitgestalten will, muss über den Tellerrand schauen und neue, andersartige Entwicklungen, Erfahrungen und Ideen kennenlernen - und wo könnte er oder sie das besser als bei den klugen und erfahrenen FachkollegInnen in einem internationalen Verband? Deshalb werde ich nach Bangkok und Boston auch in Glasgow bestimmt mit dabei sein - ich habe Glück, denn das Hamburger Landesparlament fördert ihn - den Wind unter meinen Flügeln.

Heinz Fuchs
Senior Assistant Librarian, State and University Library of Lower Saxony at Goettingen, Germany

As a German member of the (UK) Library Association I am quite well informed about English librarianship and have seen a number of academic and public libraries in England. British librarianship has often been a forerunner of interesting developments and has sometimes been a model for us. That is why I (and certainly a number of my colleagues) have followed closely what is going on in the British Isles.

As a member of the Section of University Libraries and Other General Research Libraries, I am the co-organiser of an open session on "Change and its Impact on Staff" to be held during the Glasgow Conference. Whilst attending the conference, I also hope to hear some relevant papers from England and Scotland. I am sure that Scottish librarianship, with its long and distinguished history, has a lot to offer in other fields as well as in my prime area of interest. So I have decided to undergo a personal voyage of discovery and to go back to the origins of IFLA, on the occasion of its 75th anniversary, at the same time.

Ayub Khan
Principal Project Officer, Library of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Until recently my perception of the annual IFLA conference was that it was mainly attended by senior librarians, who met in exotic places and deliberated over library matters with little connection to practising librarians on the ground and the issues they face.

This myth was dispelled when I attended my first IFLA conference a couple of years ago year in Jerusalem and saw for myself the work of this international organisation - actively seeking to encourage participation in its work to benefit library and information centres world wide.

With IFLA coming to Glasgow this August (2002) you have an ideal opportunity to find out for yourself what this international gathering is all about and get involved in the work of IFLA. I guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed. The conference theme, Libraries for life: democracy, diversity, delivery, and the sub-theme, Building on the past - investing in the future, will provide a common thread throughout the conference.

I am particularly keen on the ‘diversity’ theme of the conference, and eagerly look forward to meeting colleagues from all parts of the globe, particularly from the Arab world.

Glasgow is a great city to host the conference - it is a vibrant, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual city with people from all denominations and faiths living together side by side. I am sure that visitors to IFLA 2002 will receive a warm welcome and will have a chance to experience the culture of this cosmopolitan city.

There will be something for everyone. Special events will include a gathering of mobile libraries and the Carnegie Librarians’ Worldmeet - a programme for representatives of the 2,500 libraries founded through the philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie... and, of course, a full programme of social events.

Hope to see you in Glasgow.

Winston Tabb
Associate Librarian, Library of Congress, United States of America

Librarianship has increasingly become a profession without walls and without national boundaries. And the annual IFLA conference has become the single most important venue for celebrating and capitalizing on this phenomenon.

As Chair of IFLA’s new Professional Committee, I look forward to the landmark 75th anniversary conference in Glasgow as a time to reflect on IFLA’s past accomplishments, focus on its present needs, and plan for its future. In particular, I am eager to complete the development of action plans that will show how each of IFLA’s professional units will support the fulfillment of IFLA’S eleven professional priorities - the road map for IFLA’s impact on library patrons throughout the world.

On a more personal note, I look forward to this conference, as I have to the 13 past IFLA conferences I have attended, as a time for renewing existing professional and personal contacts, and for establishing new ones. Our profession is about books, libraries, networks, and public service. But it is also very much about people. My professional life has been deeply enriched by the professional relationships I have developed through IFLA with colleagues from every continent. I eagerly anticipate the opportunities the Glasgow conference will provide for creating and enriching links with professional colleagues from many countries and many types of libraries.



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