3 December 2018

Dil Ruksana Basunia’s Experience at her First IFLA Congress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

By Dil Ruksana Basunia, Deputy Librarian, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh

One of my biggest professional dreams came true when I was awarded the “IFLA, ARL Grant Winner 2018” to attend the IFLA WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 24 to 30 August 2018. I have always desired to attend the IFLA Congress. Being selected for this grant was like a dream comes true for me.  I had the opportunity to meet other library professionals around the world. I am keen to put into practice everything that I had learnt through the program. 


My IFLA WLIC 2018 experience
Newcomers Session: At the Newcomer Session, Gloria Perez-Salmeron (IFLA President), Christine Mackenzie (IFLA President-elect) and Gerald Leitner (IFLA Secretary-General) welcomed the new comers.   The new comers were encouraged to attend a mixture of sessions. With this, I made a conscious decision to explore as many different conference tracks as possible.                     

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Opening Session: The Opening Ceremony reflected the IFLA’s WLIC 2018 theme “Transform libraries: Transform Societies” in the context of Malaysia. IFLA President, Secretary General and Government. officials of Malaysia gave speeches. There was a special message from the Honourable Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohammad, The Prime Minister of Malaysia.   

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IFLA Highlights: The IFLA Highlights Session was the quickest way to find out all about the IFLA’S main projects and initiatives. The IFLA WLIC 2018 was attended by more than 3500 participants from over 112 different countries. IFLA’s two initiated projects on Global Vision and Library Map of the World were also discussed during this session.

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Exhibition: There were an estimated 70 booths in the exhibition hall. Some of the exhibitors included Digital Books, American Library Association (ALA), Bibliotheca, EBSCO, Elsevier, IEEE Explore Digital Library, IFLA and IFLA WLIC 2019 Athens, OCLC, Oxford University Press, ProQuest, SAGE Publishing, Taylor and Francis Groups, Wiley, etc.  

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Poster Presentation: Posters were an idea festival. There were approximately 122 unique poster presentations. The IFLA conference participants had the opportunity to learn from Poster Presenters on the new ideas, service concepts and programs during the Poster Sessions. 

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Establish Networking with International Librarians and Professional Bodies:  During the congress time, I have met with many librarians from all over the world. I also had the opportunity to network with colleagues from the professional bodies such as IFLA, American Library Association (ALA), OCLC, and Library Associations of different countries: Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the National Library Board Singapore etc. 

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Photos with International Library Professionals and Professional Body Members

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Twin Tower Sky Bridge visit and Cultural Program at MaTiC

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IFLA WLIC 2018 was one of the highlights of my career.  I had a great experience for the duration of the conference. By meeting with library professionals around the world, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and have been inspired by many of them. I plan to put some of my IFLA WLIC 2018 experience in my current role as Deputy University Librarian. My attendance at the IFLA Congress has helped boost my professional confidence which would always have a great impact in my future career endeavor. 

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