IFLA Global Vision regional workshop participants outside the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

The first regional workshop of IFLA’s inclusive and high-level Global Vision discussion started on 3 May 2017 at the iconic Library of Congress (LoC) in Washington D.C., United States. For the first time, major representatives from different types of libraries from Canada and the US were gathered by IFLA for two days to discuss how a united library field can tackle the challenges of the future. During the opening, Robert Newlen, Deputy Librarian of Congress, remarked: “It is a great honour for the Library of Congress to host this workshop. LoC will always support IFLA’s activities.”

IFLA President Donna Scheeder during her opening remarks

IFLA believes that creating a global vision for a united and connected library field will help meet the challenges of the future, while achieving one of the true potentials of libraries: to build literate, informed and participative societies. IFLA President Donna Scheeder confirms this: “Indeed, my travels as IFLA President reveal there is excellent work going on all around the world, but in many places this is happening in isolation. What is clear is that the issues libraries face today require individual commitment to a joint response in order to successfully achieve a joint vision. Today we begin a very important journey.”

IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leiter introducing the Global Vision Discussion to North American participants

For the first time, IFLA’s Global Vision is bringing together thousands of librarians around the world through face-to-face and online interactive participation to explore libraries’ future opportunities and challenges. The engagement of the library field has never been more present in IFLA’s activities.

Gerald Leitner, IFLA Secretary General, strongly argues: “How to tackle the challenges? Some people think the solution is to build walls. We think the solution is to break down walls: To break down walls in our minds and to break down walls between libraries to improve people’s lives. Therefore, IFLA convenes the library field to develop a global vision for the future of libraries that only a strong and connected library field can achieve.”


About the IFLA Global Vision

IFLA is facilitating a Global Vision discussion through a series of high-level meetings and workshops in different parts of the world following our kick-off event in Athens, Greece on 4 April 2017.  Face-to-face and online, future-oriented conversations will be taking place throughout the year. See the Global Vision discussion website: globalvision.ifla.org for more details, and join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using the #iflaGlobalVision hashtag.

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