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PLA eNews - October 2016

October 20, 2016 - 4:45pm

PLA Chair, Ian Greenhalgh

Greetings and welcome to the October edition of PLA eNews!

In this edition PLA is pleased to showcase two reports from the International Federation of Library Associations’ (IFLA) 2016 IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Ohio, USA. 

Earlier this year PLA announced to its eConnect subscribers that they could apply for a $2,000 grant towards their attendance at IFLA. Celia Donellan from Sunshine Coast Libraries was the successful applicant, and has produced a detailed report so that others may share and learn from her experience.

On behalf of the PLA Board and members I’d like to sincerely thank and congratulate Celia for her excellent report which allows us to share both her experience and her learnings from the Congress.

Our former PLA Chair, Paul Nielsen also attended IFLA and has submitted a report of his experiences. 

The PLA Board  of Directors has decided to make the annual Conference Grant more widely available in 2017 i.e. it will be open to all PLA members as well as PLA eConnect users. PLA will release more information and application details in the first quarter of 2017.

The following news item contains the  links to download copies of the two reports.

Best wishes,


2016 IFLA World Library & Information Congress | Report 1

The following report was submitted by the inaugural PLA eConnect Award Winner - Celia Donellan, Sunshine Coast Libraries

The International Federation of Library Associations’ General Conference and Assembly was held in Columbus, Ohio in August 2016. Over 2,500 delegates from 137 countries attended the World Library and Information Congress. Public Libraries Australia sponsored a delegate from Sunshine Coast Libraries, Celia Donnellan, with a conference grant of $2,000 to off-set the costs of travel to the conference. This report provides a summary of Celia’s experience and her learnings from the conference. 

The presentations and sessions held during the Congress ranged over numerous topics related to the management of library services around the world. Not all sessions were of a high standard in relation to the skills of the speaker, the quality of the content being presented and the standard of presentation. Some presentations stood out from the program and they are the ones presented in this paper.

The three sessions that really stood out were:

  • Anythink Libraries rebranding
  • Toronto Digital Labs
  • Homelessness – practical tips for staff

Included in the program was the Exhibitors and Sponsorship section. This section was large in scale and size and hosted a wide range of international and national vendors. My personal interaction in this space was quite limited as my area of interest was primarily attendance at the sessions. The Cultural Evening brought Congress delegates together to showcase the culture of the city of Columbus and the United States. It was an incredibly impressive event of entertainment and fine cuisine. It was also the most useful session for networking opportunities and was the prime chance to meet other delegates in a relaxed and fun environment.  

The key highlight was the opportunity to present at the Congress. It was hugely rewarding to get feedback from delegates about the presentation and to make connections with other countries and library services particularly in relation to their marketing activities.

For anyone working in Libraries attendance at an IFLA Congress is highly recommended. It is a rewarding and information rich experience and a strong reminder of the significance of Libraries around the world. 

Download a PDF copy of the complete report here

2016 IFLA World Library & Information Congress | Report 2

The following report was submitted by former PLA Chair, Paul Nielsen

Back in August I travelled to Columbus, Ohio to attend the 2016 IFLA World Library and Information Congress. This was my 3rd congress in the past 4 years and 2nd in my capacity as a member of the Asia Oceania Regional Committee (RSCAO). While not officially representing PLA as a current board member, I still carried PLA’s vote card at the General Assembly. On the whole, this was the best of the three congresses I have attended. There was a lot of energy and positivity throughout the week, I think in large part due to the vision outlined by the incoming Secretary-General.

Session highlights included:

  • RSCAO Open Session
  • National Associations Session
  • Homelessness Session
  • Latin America and Caribbean Session on Copyright
  • Marketing Section Session

Read the full report here

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