ALIA Blog Article

ALIA Blog: Vicki Edmunds at IFLA 87th World Library and Information Congress 

Wednesday 27 July: ALIA President Vicki Edmunds is in Dublin for the IFLA 87th World Library and Information Congress. Read her highlights from the first day.

Today was the Opening Ceremony in the huge auditorium of Dublin Conference Centre. 2,100 delegates from over 100 countries were welcomed by representatives of the IFLA governing body. What impressed me during this welcome was that every delegate used their own language to welcome and outline their section – an inclusive approach and a beautiful one to see. The languages included (besides English) Gaelic, Spanish, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic and Dutch


The keynote address was by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland/Chair of The Elders and Adjunct Professor of Climate Justice, Trinity College Dublin. Mary’s address ‘The Challenge of the Climate Crisis’ explored the role libraries and librarians could play in tackling a range of environmental issues and how to open up the conversation and talk about the climate crisis in productive ways.  Mary also recommended the book Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World Katharine Hayhoe and finished her address with two quotes: one from Archbishop Desmond Tutu - “I am not optimistic, I am a Prisoner of Hope” – and one from Nelson Mandela -“It always seems impossible until it is done”.

This just shows we are on the right path embracing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Thank you!

I then attended the Public Library of the Year Award where we saw presentations and videos from the four finalists:

  • Ogre Central Library, Latvia
  • Ithaca Library, Saudi Arabia
  • Missoula Library, Unites States of America
  • Gellerup Public Library, Denmark

The winner was…..Missoula Library, Montana, USA! They were so excited. You can find more information on the four finalists here.

I then attended Applying Agile Principles for ICT operations management in Libraries which included an overview of systems such as Kanban, Tallo and other interesting ways to keep track of projects as a collaborative group.

I also visited the Exhibition Hall, chatted to sponsors (some I know from Australia!) and the last session I attended was on the role of local government and localisation and libraries.