IFLA WLIC 2017 opening

More than 500 speakers and 3100 delegates from 122 countries, not to mention 247 sessions covering all aspects of our profession, makes IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) a unique experience of professional development and networking. The beautiful city of Wroclaw provided the perfect setting, steeped in its own rich cultural heritage that every visitor enjoyed.

Addressing the audience during the Opening Session, IFLA Secretary General, Gerald Leitner prepared the hall for an inspiring week:

IFLA Secretary General, Gerald Leitner, addresses the audience during the Opening SessionWe are coming with a firework of new ideas and services for you to this congress! Colleagues, I’m sure we are going to have a vibrant congress here in beautiful WrocÅ‚aw….use this opportunity, become an active part of it, and build your network!

And a firework of ideas it was! The 83rd WLIC was packed with highlight after highlight that one cannot deny exciting things are happening in the library field. Are you holding on tightly? Here’s a recap of the roller coaster week.

New IFLA President

IFLA President Donna Scheeder and IFLA President-elect, Gloria Perez Salmeron

With the warmest of hugs, Donna Scheeder handed over her presidency to Glòria Pérez-Salmerón. Donna Scheeder received a standing ovation during the Closing Session in appreciation for her tireless work to transform IFLA and the international library field in her call to action to unite in the face of globalisation. 

IFLA President 2015-2017 Donna Scheeder

She passes the IFLA baton over to Glòria Pérez-Salmerón who, in her first address as IFLA president, spoke of how libraries are the “motors of change and we, the librarians, are the gears”. Her words were echoed across social media like wild fire as she captured the imagination of library professionals both in the hall and beyond it. Her energy and passion to continue moving IFLA forward is, without doubt, infectious. Welcome, Gloria Perez Salmeron! 


New Governing Board

It was not just a new president we welcomed in Wroclaw, we also welcomed a new Governing Board to steer IFLA in these exciting times of transparency, openness and fresh ideas. Each member comes with a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to keep the momentum of change always in top gear. Meet the new 2017 – 2019 IFLA governing board here.  

Global Vision Online Voting

The launch of the IFLA Global Vision online voting platform propelled this inclusive global discussion to unite the library field into the stratosphere. After the real-time voting which saw 300 delegates voting simultaneously, it was time to unveil the online platform. Since the launch, the IFLA Global Vision has received thousands of votes. You can vote until Saturday 30 September so join in the discussion and be a part of this global brainstorm. Vote here.

Library Map of the World

Another successful launch during WLIC2017 (and one that has got the library world ablaze) is IFLA’s Library Map of the World. On the day of the launch the website received 1996 users and in just two days 142 countries had visited. The map addresses the critical need of the library field to accurately collect and share basic information about the library landscape. Read more about this great initiative here.

Membership Survey

For the first time in IFLA history, we will be undertaking a comprehensive membership survey to understand the views and opinions of our members. What are the activities our members value most, what motivates you and where can IFLA develop? These and many more questions will be asked to ensure we continue to deliver a service that is relevant to our members in the 21st Century. Read more about the Membership survey here.

Cultural Evening 

Delegates enjoying the silent disco during WLIC2017

The Cultural Evening is always a chance for delegates to let their hair down, mingle with new friends and enjoy the host country’s hospitality with entertainment and cuisine. The National Committee Poland and the city of Wroclaw pulled out all the stops for a memorable evening complete with talented tradition Polish dancing, a breathtaking fountain show, and the popular silent disco. The smiles on everyone’s faces said it all. A wonderful evening of culture and fun! See more images from the cultural evening here.

Biggest Brain Trust in the World

WLIC’s success lies in the role IFLA’s Professional Units play in sharing their knowledge and skills for the improvement of the profession as whole. WLIC2017 continued this tradition of knowledge-sharing with experts from within the library field and outstanding experts from other sectors.

IFLA’s Professional Units with 1200 experts working on all aspects of the library field are the biggest international brain trust bringing together expertise from all over the world.

Live streaming

IFLA’s transparent and open approach is reflected by this year’s live streaming of the Opening, Highlights, President and Closing Sessions which brought, for the first time, IFLA WLIC to the homes of many more professionals unable to attend. Live streaming these sessions was a first in IFLA WLIC history and judging from the comments it was very much appreciated:

On Facebook, Bhalerao Balaji said:  

Thank you for given [sic] opportunity to all library professional to watch livestreaming of conference.”

With less than a month to go before registration opens for WLIC2018 on 1 October, we are excited to see what Kuala Lumpur will bring!