4 September 2018

84th IFLA Congress and General Assembly: Inform, Reform, Transform

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Congress and General Assembly that took place in August 24–30 in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur closed with the motto “Inform, Reform, Transform”.  The conference brought together more than 3,500 delegates from over 110 countries and saw over 250 open sessions and seminars with more than 600 speakers and announcements.  IFLA President Glòria Pérez-Salmeró’s address summed up the highlights of this year’s conference: “We are the beginning of a movement... We are building a better world. Not only with nice words but through concrete steps to build a stronger, more inclusive ILFA. A trusted voice, a strong voice, a reference point for us all.” During the conference in Kuala Lumpur, the leading organization that brings together representatives of the library field presented a new organizational strategy which will ensure its sustainable development, a new IFLA governance structure and changes in the library field. 

For this reason, the biggest focus of the announcements, debates and meetings held during this year’ conference was placed on the transformation of library activities and creation of new operational models and public services.  Libraries are becoming an important part of the countries’ information and knowledge infrastructure and strong partners helping to create an informed, progressive and safe society.

Prof. Dr. Renaldas Gudauskas, Director General of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, presented a new operational model for an open and modern national library emphasizing events and activities dedicated to the upcoming 100th anniversary of the organisation.  “The National Library is a reliable partner providing access to knowledge and information in the fields of culture, education, science, economy and government, and its activities are accelerating the advancement of the Lithuanian knowledge society, and contributes to the implementation of the country’s innovation policy and enhancement of its competitive advantage,” said Prof. Dr. Gudauskas. 

Eugenijus Stratilatovas, Project Manager of the National Library, gave a presentation on the prospects of creating digital library services. The representatives of the National Library took part in the sections on IFLA Management and Marketing, Standards, Acquisition and Collection Development and Library Associations committees.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is setting out on a path of transformation. The “Global Vision” initiative launched in 2017 is entering a new phase.  Along with their partners, the members of the library community are called upon to contribute to developing a new vision for libraries and conceiving libraries’ new role and significance in the future.