On 19-25 August 2017 Wrocław hosted the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2017. It was the third time the Congress has taken place in Poland (earlier it was in 1936 and 1959). The Congress took place in the Centennial Hall complex and gathered about 3100 people from over 120 countries of the world. The biggest number of participants, apart from Poland (475 persons), came from the USA, Germany, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and France. The Organizers of the event were the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the City Public Library in Wrocław, WP Hala Ludowa Sp. z o.o. and K.I.T. Group based in Berlin were responsible for event production.
fot. Jarek Ratajczak
The Congress is the biggest professional event for libraries in the world. This year’s Opening Ceremony hosted the following persons: Piotr Gliński – First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, Tomasz Makowski – Director of the National Library of Poland, Elżbieta Stefańczyk – President of the Polish Librarians’ Association, Donna Scheeder - IFLA President, Gloria Perez-Salmeron –IFLA President-elect, as well as Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski, Professor of the College of Europe who gave a lecture “Where Were you Going, Poland?”. a performance devoted to the history of Wrocław followed the official part.
The leading motif of this year’s edition of the Congress was “Libraries. Solidarity. Society.” Every day the librarians could take part in numerous lectures, sessions, or meetings. The meetings were often workshops, during which the participants could exchange experiences, build a network of contacts, present the libraries’ successes and challenges. In a specially dedicated part of the Centennial Hall there was an exhibition area, where 70 institutions connected with librarianship could present their offer. Among them were: the National Library of Malesia, SAGE Publications, OCLC, as well as the Polish Librarians’ Association.
The programme of the Congress included also various attractions, tours, and accompanying events. One of them, “Reading Room on the Island” was prepared for the citizens of Wrocław, so that they could feel the atmosphere of an international event. On the Słodowa Island people could listen to fairytales in various languages, and watch a film within the outdoor cinema. The citizens could also take part in a location-based game “MOCK: the past returns,” dedicated to the detective stories of Marek Krajewski.