Message from the Swedish Ministry of Culture
And now the time has come. The 76th IFLA Conference is being held between 10th and 15th August in 2010 and it is a great honour for me to wish all its participants a warm welcome to Sweden and Gothenburg! The theme of this year's conference is "Open access to knowledge - promoting sustainable progress", and this will focus attention on a number of current issues in the world of libraries all over the globe.
We are all in agreement that libraries are an important societal resource and that there are also great development possibilities for libraries in the society of the future. The significance of libraries for the ability to read, education, lifelong learning, culture and the dissemination of information cannot be emphasised enough. This is especially true in this day and age, with its technological development and changes in media habits. Together with other public cultural institutions and the media, libraries play a key role as arenas and providers of support for public dialogue and freedom of speech.
On the European level today, digitisation and access to books and other works of culture are placed high on the political agenda. What direction do we want the future digital development to take in Europe? How can one promote digital preservation and digital access to books and other works, and at the same time maintain respect for copyright? Providing access to works of culture through digitization is a great challenge, not just in Europe, but in the whole world.
IFLA's Annual Conference is a unique forum for international exchange in the world of libraries, and it is my hope that your participants will experience rewarding days in Gothenburg - at a conference which will inspire, stimulate and absorb you, as well as making an impact on you.
Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth
Ministry of Culture
Last update: 16 March 2010