ALIA Blog Article

ALIA Blog: Day 2 at IFLA 87th World Library and Information Congress 

Friday 29 July: ALIA President Vicki Edmunds reports on the second day of the IFLA 87th World Library and Information Congress. Read her highlights from the second day. 

 This morning I was front and centre for the 8.30am session on ‘Climate Actions - How can Library Collections Support Climate Adaption and Resilience’. I learnt about the Europeana Climate manifesto and how Climate Activists become Climate Action Groups by planning, collaborating, operating and advocating.

Kate Robinson spoke on CILIP’s Green Libraries project which went back to COP26 held in Scotland. Have a look at this video clip for more information and here for CILIP’s green libraries manifesto.

Following this, a representative from IFLA challenged the audience by saying that we, as a profession, had been called to action yesterday during the keynote by Mary Robinson and to use the IFLA website and case studies to help with when developing a green library initiative.


The next session I attended was another keynote speaker, Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist for Trinity College Dublin. Helen spoke on ‘The intertwined digital and cultural heritage: a view from the library of Trinity College Dublin.’ This is a huge physical restoration project of the library and digitisation project to enable users to experience Trinity Library virtually. Trinity College Library is the most recognised interior in Dublin and is considered the nation’s ‘front room.’ It is the home of the Book of Kells and a very active working library of 750,000 items.

After lunch I attended the IFLA Marketing Awards. First up, we heard from Ireland’s Waterford Library who outlined their local and national campaigns to get the nation reading and using libraries throughout the pandemic. We then heard from Chattanooga Public Library, and whilst nominee Peking University Elementary School did not attend they sent a video outlining how they re-engaged with their students after their school and library was shut for 18 months.

In exciting news, the winner was Yarra Library from Melbourne Australia who ran a highly successful campaign ‘Libraries Change Lives’ to attract non-library users into the library. Congratulations to all involved.

I then attended a session on how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals can change your life. This was a session run by the Irish Ambassador to the United Nations back in 2015 when they made the bold move to introduce the SDGs. He spoke about how managed to get all countries on board and to reach an agreement on the wording. It was great to hear how this never before attempted global approach was endorsed. While it is yet to be legislated, all countries in the UN have taken the SDGs and rolled them out in their countries. 

While the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are two major setbacks in the comprehensive roll out of SDGs, there are still achievements to celebrate. The SDGs have an agreed achievement date of 2030 that may not be met but at least all nations are moving in the right direction - together. I really enjoyed hearing about the back story to this global movement and encourage everyone to check out the SDG Open Source Academy.