General Assembly of Francophone Digital Network Annual Meetingin Ottawa, Canada

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From April 24-26, 2019, the annual meeting of the General Assembly of Francophone Digital Network (RFN-AISBL) took place in Ottawa, capital city of Canada with participation of more than 20 delegates representing 13 libraries and archives of the Francophone countries. Ms. Catherine Cano, the newly appointed General Director of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) attended and delivered the speech.

At the meeting, the official recognition of full membership status for National Library of Benin, National Library of the Democratic Republic of Congo, National Library of Côte d'Ivoire, National Archives of Côte d'Ivoire was announced, bringing the total number of full members of RFN-AISBL to 19 libraries and archives.

The meeting listened to executive board members reporting on the association's operation in 2018, and spent a lot of time discussing and working in groups to determine the action plan for period of 2019 – 2021. Delegates also agreed to set up two main pillars, including cooperation and gathering collections; Communication, connection. All groups discussed about details of each pillar of activity based on the research and full survey of each member about their Francophone collections, as well as their actual context and conditions, thereby giving priority proposals for each topic of materials, on that basis, the secretariat will synthesize the information in order to develop the master plan.

Also within the meeting program, the participants have discussed about the draft statement on the role of libraries in the Francophone community, training activities of the association, especially listening to the introduction of the Francophone Digital Library blog (BRFN). This blog was launched to promote the association's activities and contents of BRFN. BRFN is a digital library serving 300 million users in Francophone, built on the basis of Gallica, and provides the most advanced searching features in the world. As of December 2018, BRFN has had 1469 titles and 38,410 serials, increased 73 titles and 150 serials compared to 2017. In 2018, BRFN welcomed 26,133 visits from 25,241 users, equivalent to 170,429 document pages viewed (2017 - 113,807 pages). The operation of this digital library site has received significant financial support from OIF.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the NLV delegation has discussed and worked with the Director of the Library and Archives Canada, the President of the National Library and Archives of Quebec, the Director of the National Library of Morocco, the Library of Alexandria (Egypt) to introduce about the Vietnamese library sector and the possibility of cooperation in future projects. In a private meeting with representatives of the National Library of France, the two sides has mentioned the implementation of the Franco - Vietnamese Portal expected to be launched in late 2019.

Within the framework of the meeting, the delegates visited the Gatineau Preservation Center, Library and Archives Canada. The center was put into operation in 1997 for the purpose of preserving Canada's documentary heritage. Collections are stored in ideal environmental conditions and modern equipment.

The RFN-AISBL General Assembly expects the 2020 meeting will take place at the Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt.

Photos of the same event:

Overview of the Meeting

Ms. Kieu Thuy Nga, Director of the National Library of Viet Nam at the meeting

Visiting the Gatineau Preservation Center, Library and Archives Canada

Delegates taking souvenir photos


News, photos: Huong Giang