Invitation for Expressions of Interest from potential host countries for the
13th International Congress on Medical Librarianship (ICML) 2021

By : The Health and Biosciences Libraries Section of IFLA

1. Introduction
The IFLA Health and Biosciences Libraries Section (HBS) invites expressions of interest to host the 13th International Congress on Medical Librarianship (ICML) in 2021.  The ICML takes place in a city selected through a competitive process.

The Congress normally attracts 500+ attendees from around the world.

The host organisation will be responsible for the Congress budget which will be generated from delegate registrations, exhibition sales, sponsorship and industry and government support.  There will be no funding from IFLA.

The Congress programme runs over several days, usually Monday to Friday, including plenary and concurrent sessions, posters, continuing education seminars/workshops, tours and a trade exhibition.  The host organisation is responsible for working with the Congress Planning Committee (CPC).

Expressions of interests with all required information should be submitted by 31 August 2017 to Professor Maria G. N. Musoke, Chair, IFLA Health & Biosciences Libraries Section; email [email protected]
Please include in the email subject field “Confidential – ICML 2017 Expression of Interest”.

Brief about ICML

The first ICML was held in London by leaders of medical libraries not long after World War II.  Around that period the Armed Forces Medical Library (USA) was being transformed and would eventually become the National Library of Medicine in 1956.  Topics included library education, administration and operations, the high costs of journals and the history of medicine.  UNESCO had established an international exchange of publications in medical libraries which was helping those countries impacted by war to re-establish medical library services.  At the inaugural meeting, the “difficult state of libraries in Asia, Africa, Australia and Latin America was of great concern”.


2017 Dublin, Ireland 12th: Diversity in practice: Integrating, inspiring and innovative – in conjunction with EAHIL
2013 Boston, Mass, USA 11th: One Health: information in an interdependent world – in conjunction with MLA
2009 Brisbane,  Australia 10th: Positioning the Profession
2005 Salvador, Bahia, Brazil 9th: Commitment to Equity
2000 London, UK 8th: Converge on London
1995 Washington DC,USA 7th: Health information for the global village
1990 New Delhi, India 6th: Medical libraries: keys to health information
1985 Tokyo, Japan 5th: Medical libraries- one world: resources, cooperation, services
1980 Belgrade, Yugoslavia 4th:  Health information for a developing world
1969 Amsterdam, The Netherlands 3rd:  World progress in medical librarianship
1963 Washington DC, USA 2nd : To foster the development and improvement of medical library service throughout the world
1953 London, UK 1st: Survey the current position and activity of medical libraries throughout the world

A detailed history is available in HLA News,

2. Outline of the selection process

2.1 Stages
There is a two-stage process of selecting the ICML host country.

• Stage 1 – A call for expressions of interest to host the 13th ICML in 2021.

After the call, submissions must include the required information as set out in the criteria indicated in this document.  All submissions will be reviewed by IFLA HBS for completeness and if necessary clarification may be sought on some details.

• Stage 2 – Receiving the submission, selection and notification

In September 2017, submissions that meet the criteria will be considered by the IFLA HBS, which will make the selection based on the information provided relevant to each criteria.
In November 2017, IFLA HBS will advise the successful and unsuccessful candidates.
In February 2018, the successful applicant will launch ICML 2021.

2.2 Proposed Timing schedule for the selection process for 2021 ICML

ICML 2021 Dates

Stage 1
EOI released
Call for ICML 2021 presented during ICML 2017 3rd June 2017
12-16th June 2017
Host country bid application submitted by 31 August 2017

Stage 2
Selection, Confirmation of successful bidder and notification of successful and unsuccessful bidders 1st September to 30th November  2017

Launch of ICML 2021 at the successful host’s venue February 2018

3. Criteria on which selection will be based
The following will be required:

3.1 The host
a. Details of host organisation, background, size and level of support available for health science libraries and information sector.  Please include details of the persons responsible for the bid.
b. Explain how the host organisation will form the International Congress Planning Committee (ICPC) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC).  Explain how the LOC will work collaboratively and productively with other national organisations.
c. The goals of the bid representative body and local profession for hosting a successful ICML.
d. Opportunities that the host organisation will provide to place an international focus on the local and regional profession, and for the local and regional profession to take an international focus.
e. The types of support already existing and expected for hosting ICML.
f. Current and potential membership of IFLA within the host country, such as participation in past ICMLs and membership of IFLA committees.
g. Letters of Support/Testimonials.

3.2 Committees’ Roles and Responsibilities
ICML normally has two committees: the International Congress Planning Committee (ICPC) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC).

The ICPC is the principal organising body of ICML 2021.  The ICPC should be comprised of representatives of the international, national, regional and local health library and information sector.   It is expected that meetings of the ICPC be held electronically e.g. Skype. The main responsibility of the ICPC is to provide advice to the LOC.

The LOC responsibilities are:
a. Organise national, regional and local government sponsorship or incentives
b. Develop the Congress logo, theme and programme
c. Prepare and manage the budget
d. Arrange keynote speakers
e. Recruit volunteers, allocation of tasks and liaison during Congress
f. Organise the opening ceremony and cultural evening social events
g. Organise Library visits
h. Organise the programme and tours for accompanying persons
i. Organise host country invitation letters and visa application assistance and liaise with embassies and consulates
j. Organise local and national media campaign
k. Organise trade exhibition
l. Carry out any other activity that will support a successful ICML 2021.

3.3 Proposed Programme
a. Date of congress
b. Theme suggestion
c. Proposed programme content
d. Library tours
e. Plans to promote the congress

3.4 Local and regional professional activity
a. Professional activity and innovative ideas that would be of interest to delegates
b. Recent medical librarianship activity in the host country, such as meetings, seminars, workshops, conferences
c. If the applicant is proposing that the ICML could be held jointly with or adjacent to a national or regional conference, please provide a clear outline for this
d. Other conferences scheduled in your region for 2021 that may also attract ICML delegates, or detract from ICML attendance
e. Unique characteristics of the country or region, that could benefit the ICML programme and the delegates experience
f. Suggested venues for social events e.g. cultural events, proposed continuing education programme.

3.5 Financial Feasibility
a. Indicative budget and registration fees
b. Government and industry incentives and sponsorship
c. Expected level of financial and other support from host organisation

3.6.  Host City
a. Locality map
b. Location
c. City cost comparison
d. Climate
e. Safety
f. Cultural and religious considerations
g. Local costs

3.7 Congress Venue
3.8 Description, capacity, facilities, location, etc.

3.8  Accommodation
a. Rooms per star rating (within 1-5kms of Congress venue)
b. Proximity of hotels to the venue
c. Proximity of hotels to airport
d. New hotel development
e. Availability of University students’ accommodation from nearby Universities.

3.9 Airport Access and Transport
a. Airports – International
b. Airports – Domestic
c. Local transport

3.10 Entry Visa and other requirements
a. Visa policy and process
b. Identify visa restrictions on any countries
c. Other requirements e.g. vaccinations.

3.11 Recreation & Pre and Post Congress Tours
a. City
b. Country
c. Other.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact their local Convention Centre to find out what support they can offer in the process.

Please submit any supporting documents, such as official letters to provide evidence of any promised support.