Cape Town, South Africa, was the destination for over 3200 delegates who converged there in August 2015 to take part in the annual World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). An IFLA conference presents attendees with a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with colleagues from over 100 other countries, to network and collaborate, and to consider issues and trends affecting library and information services around the world.
This year, South Africa’s “Mother City” provided a memorable setting, with its striking scenery (such as Table Mountain pictured above), its vibrant mix of cultures, and its complex political history. Attendees from the United States numbered around 230. While Sally Holterhoff was the only member of CALL who participated this year, the 2015 roster of delegates included eleven Chicago-area librarians (from all types of libraries) and library association personnel, as well as another eight from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
As you might expect, a major component of an IFLA conference is educational programs, and this year’s schedule included a total of 87 of them in four days. Many IFLA programs are based on the “call for papers” model, with potential speakers submitting written papers ahead of time, a selection process, and then those whose papers are chosen appearing at the conference to present a condensed version of their papers, as part of a program (which may be two or three hours long overall). Described below (with links to more detailed information) are the two programs sponsored this year by the Law Libraries Section (one of 43 sections within IFLA). Continue reading Meeting the Global Library Community at IFLA