Congress theme: “Open access to knowledge - promoting sustainable progress”

Opening ceremony of the 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly

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Last year’s conference in Milan ended with a greeting from the Swedish IFLA committee; “See you in Gothenburg!” As the delegates entered Hall B for the opening session on Wednesday they were greeted by librarian volunteers and given a bag of popular Swedish candy with the words “Happy to see you!” The atmosphere was happy indeed. How can it not be when over 3000 librarians are gathered in the same room?

After a warm welcome from Agneta Olsson, the Chair of the Congress National Committee, Ellen Tise entered the stage. The IFLA president thanked the Swedish national committee and commented on the fact that Sweden, with this conference being its fourth, has held more IFLA conferences than any other country.

She also spoke passionately about her presidential theme “Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge” after which she declared the meeting opened.

The hall full of delegates from all over the world reminded the next speaker, Jan Eliasson, of his time as president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Drawing from his experiences he spoke about the power of the word and how access to knowledge is crucial for peace.

The ceremony ended with a performance by an ABBA cover band which, judging by the numbers of photos taken and all the cheering and dancing in front of the stage, was a great success.




more pictures are available in yesterday's Gallery...