86th World Library and Information Congress and Conference of Directors of National Libraries

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The 86th World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions(IFLA WLIC 86) was held online onAugust 17-19, 2021.


The IFLA WLIC 86 with the theme “Let’s Work Together for the Future” drew more than 2,750 attendees representing 125 countries to more than 160 sessions, 90 hours of content, and received11,461 online comments from all around the world. The sessions focused on discussing how libraries can join and contribute to the partnership to address two key issues: cultural integration into common development and climate action, based on the library’s efforts in Inspiration-Inclusion-Commitment -Innovation and Sustainability.


Following the success of the IFLA WLIC 86, the IFLA General Assembly was held virtually with the participation of hundreds of IFLA members representing libary associations and institutions around the world. The meeting summarized theresults of IFLA’s activities in the last term 2019-2021 under the theme “Let’s Work Together”, which emphasizedthat although the COVID-19 epidemic brought about many difficulties and complexity, IFLA has achieved its Strategic Directions,and especially successfully reformed its structure through governance review to become stronger than it was in the beginning. The meeting bid farewell to outgoing President Christine Mackenzie and welcomed new President Barbara Lison (term 2021-2023) and new Directorial Board. In her inauguration speech, Ms. Barbara Lison announced the Presidential Theme for the next term “Libraries Building a Sustainable Future”focusing on three main directions: Awarness of the library’s potential in promoting sustainable development of the community; Ensuring the sustainability of the institutions, profession and collections for the benefits of users; Ensuring IFLA can benefit from the work done in recent years.

Within the framework of IFLA WLIC 86, on September 8, 2021, Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) was held online under the chair of Ms. Lily Knibbeler, Chairof CDNL. Ms. Kieu Thuy Nga, Director of the National Library of Viet Nam and 43 directors of national libraries and 20 observers attended the conference.


Overview of the Conference


CDNL Chair, Ms. Lily Knibbeler delivered the Opening Speech

The 2021 CDNL took place under the theme “Uncertainties: How National Libraries deal with Risks and Opportunities” gived discussion from different perspectives about the uncertainties, risks and opportunities that libraries are facing at present.

At the conference, the delegates listened to presentations of Ms. Marie Louise Ayres - Director of the National Library of Australia, Mr. Roly Keating – Director of British Library and Mr. Muhammad Syarif Bando - Director of the National Library of Indonesia sharing thoughts on risk and risk management, how to advocate for libraries and experiences in responding to risks during the last time.


Ms. Janne Andresoo – CDNL Vice Chair, Ms. Marie Louise Ayres – NLA Director and Mr. Roly Keating – Director of British Library gave presentations

The Conference also heard keynote speakerofProfessor Martin van Staveren from Twente University giving presentation on “Managing Uncertainties by Risk Leadership”. At his presentation, he offered a new approach to risk leadership that risks arise from uncertainties, structuring risk leadership includes defining objectives, assessing risks and opportunies that uncertainties bring about, thereby identifying appropriate ways to turn opportunities into reality, and minimize risks as well as deal with risks.


ProfessorMartin van Staverenpresented about“Managing Uncertainties by Risk Leadership”

In the discussion section, the delegates worked in groupsto discuss andshare ideas related to the conference’s theme, practical experiences, challenges and opportunities for the libraries they are leading, the risk responseplans and successful experiences to help the library overcome the crisis, especially in the current COVID-19 pandamic situation. Sharings of the delegates focused on such contents as: remote working,online services, serving digital collections,preparing for reopening libraries; seeing the present’s momentas an opportunity.


Ms. Kieu Thuy Nga – Director of the NLV speaking at the Conference

Participating in the discussion, Ms. Kieu Thuy Nga shared her experiences in preparing and implementing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the two years 2020 and 2021, when the NLV focused on two main groups of activities: Enhancing the service of digital collections developed by the NLV (with over 8 millions digital pages) and databases to which the Library purchased subscriptions to…; organized and co-organized many activities, events, exhibitions and book festivals virtually such as: Online Book Exhibition celebrating the 130th  brithday anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh, Online Book Exhibition celebrating 75th anniversary of the National Day of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Online National Book Festival 2020, 2021.

At the conference, directors of the participating national libraries also elected online to extend the CDNL Chair’s term of office for one more year for Ms. Lily Knibbeler – Director of the National Library of the Neitherlands; at the same time elected two vice chairs of CDNL for Ms. Janne Andresoo - Director of the National Library of Estonia and Ms. Marie Louis Ayres - Director of the National Library of Australia.


News: Huong Giang