87th IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Dublin, Ireland

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From July 26 to 29, 2022, the 87th World Libraries and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA WLIC 87) has taken place in Dublin, Ireland.

With the theme "Inspire, interact, exchange, and connect" the Congress attracted 1,934 attendees in person and 493 online, representing the information library sector of 96 nations worldwide. Due to the evolutionof the Covid-19 epidemic that still exists in some countries, the number of delegates and sessions this year was reduced, as was the length of the congress, which was shorter than normal. There were 160 sessions, 174 poster presentations on library achievements and practices, dozens of satellite conferences, seminars, open forums, and 50 exhibits showcasing library products and services. Because the Congress were held in both face-to-face and online modes, the organizing committee has broadcastedthe major sessions live to reach thousands of individuals across the world. This year, the sessions focused on the present and future concerns in the library industry's development, including exchanging experiences, best practices, and attempts to offer library services during the Covid-19 epidemic and the future of library activities.

Many focus sessions were organized by IFLA within the framework of the Congress, including a workshop on implementing IFLA's new guidelines on undergraduate and graduate information and library science education programs and continuing education programs; workshops on using open source programs and applications to help users create digital content; an IFLA history review session in preparation for IFLA's 100th anniversary in 2027; workshops on advocacytraining using the Advocacy Capacities Grid to advocate for library activities; the focused session on empowerment and leadership development in the library and information sector.

The Vietnamese delegation, directed by the Director of the National Library, participated in IFLA 87 meetings, such as:

- The Opening ceremony with important statement of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, opening speech of IFLA President Barbara Lison, online address of IFLA President-elect Vicki Mc Donald, and keynote speech of Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson. Thesespeeches expressed their joy at being reunited with librarians from all over the world after such a long time apart, as well as their commitment to IFLA's strong governance and transparency for the advancement of the global library industry, emphasizing the importance of librarians in addressing the global climate crisis.

- The Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) with participation of 57 delegates of38 national libraries from all over the world.The conferenceheard the IFLA President's report on the organization's major action plans and programs for the coming years, particularly in terms of organizational restructuring, human resources, finance, operability, transparency, and sustainability; discussed inspiration in library activities; practiced storytelling skills for advocacy work, and exchanges experiences on running library activities during and afterthe Covid-19 pandemic; and electednew CDNL Chair.

- Sessions with IFLA President and IFLA President-elect underthe theme"Engaging, Enabling, and Connecting for the Future" exploring perspectives of leaders from within and outside of the library field talking about five key trends identified at the 2021 IFLA President-elect’s session: combining the analogue and the virtual, tackling inequality and discrimination, promotingsustainability and life-long learning as well as advocacingfor digital access and equality of participation, discussing  the effect of Covid-19 on inequality and sustainability and sharinglessons to tackleissues caused by the Covid-19 epidemic...

- IFLA Board of Directors meeting to report on the results of IFLA's activities and the global library industry's participation in the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, efforts and commitments of the library industry in supporting the implementation of the SDGs with the theme "Inspire: How the SDGs Can Change Your Life."

- The celebration of the 75th Anniversary of IFLA’s partnership withUNESCO, as well as the release of the updated IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto 2022, which highlights UNESCO's belief in the public libraries as a living force for education, culture, and information, and asan essential agent for the fostering ofpeace and wellfare through the minds ofallpeople.

- The Knowledge Café Dialogue discussed the ways that libraries can demonstrate their value, adapt to thepost-pandemic world and increaseaccess to technology in cases where it is unevenly distributed.

- Sessions to share experiences in document preparation and exhibition organization in the library; report on the findings of the HERMES Project on improving digital resource sharing during the Covid-19 epidemic; discussion of incorporating open access content into the collection; identify difficulties and possibilities in developing national collections at the junction of the future and the past; exchange and assess research support services in the library; renovate the library building; theregional session on "Asian-Oceania Library Cooperation: Meeting Challenges"...

Parallel to the conference activities, the NLV’sdelegation maintained effective contacts and collaborated with the libraries and international organizations that have a cooperative relationship with the Library, actively participatedin library field trips and activities that create a connection point for the librarian community during the Congress; and attending library equipment and product exhibitions to learn about new library development solutions. The Director of the National Library of Vietnam, in particular, has had a meetingwith the President of the National Libraryof Franceto discuss the signing of a collaboration agreement between the two libraries in the field of cooperation in sharing digital resources and developing the French - Vietnamese portal.

Many IFLA titles and honors were bestowed to persons and organizations who have made significant contributions to the cause of global libraries at the Congress's Closingsession. The IFLA Medal was awarded to Mr. Lorcan Dempsey for his distinguished contribution to international librarianship and IFLA, through the development of information infrastructures and digital networks that enrich and shape libraries as memory institutions, and to Mr. Filiberto Felipe Martnez Arellano for his distinguished service to IFLA, advancements in cataloguing practices and open access, and enhancing capacity building for librarians throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; the Missoula Public Library, USA, receives the Public Library of the Year Award - a library with excellent management, combining open architecture and functionality with innovative IT solutions that cover digital and local culture achievements, offering its citizensa unique place to meet for play, learning, and experimentation; The National Library of Singapore received the Green Library Prize, while the Gazi Husrev-beg Library Museum received the best poster award.

In her closing remarks, IFLA President Barbara Lison underlined the necessity of building a sustainable, future-focused IFLA, which at the same time createaninfrastructure to support emergingleaders and groundbreakingnew ideas.

From August 21 to 25, 2023, the 88th World Library and Information Congress (IFLA WLIC 2023) will be placed in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Some images from the IFLA 87th Congress and the activities of the Vietnamese delegation:


Overview of the Opening Ceremony of the IFLA WLIC 87


IFLA President Barbara Lison delivers the opening speech of the IFLA WLIC 87


Former Irish President Mary Robinson speaks at the Opening Ceremony of the Congress




Conference of Directors of National Libraries around the world







Contact and exchange with international library colleagues





Some sessions duringthe Congress Program


Cultural Eveningin Dublin




Awarding at the Closing Ceremony of the Congress


Introducing the host country of IFLA WLIC 2023


News and photos: Bui Thi Thuy