ALCTS > ANO v. 18 no. 5 > Features

IFLA Reports from the 2007 World Library and Information Conference

Durban, South Africa, August 18–24, 2007

ALCTS sponsors representatives to seven sections of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions annual meeting (named World Library and Information Conference beginning in 2003): Acquisition and Collection Development, Bibliography, Cataloguing, Classification and Indexing, Knowledge Management, Preservation and Conservation, and Serial Publications. We regret that reporters were not available to cover the Knowledge Management and Serials Section activities.

Acquisition and Collection Development Section

Lynn Sipe, University of Southern California

IFLA’s Acquisitions and Collection Development Section again enjoyed a productive series of meetings during IFLA’s 73rd World Library and Information Congress, held in Durban, South Africa, August 18–24, 2007. Durban’s International Convention Centre, which is one of the leading conference venues in Africa, provided a very convenient and accommodating site for the conference. Fortunately, there was no need to travel to sites away from the Centre for regular IFLA programs and committee meetings. The city of Durban, situated on the Indian Ocean, is quite an attractive urban environment but not one without problems for a small number of conference attendees. While the issue of security was addressed as a concern prior to the conference, and may well have contributed to a reduced level of registrants, it became a very personal issue for perhaps two dozen delegates who were victims of mugging or robbery at locations away from the Conference Centre. Even so, 3,100 delegates were registered for the Congress, with a record number of 1,100 coming from the African continent, and 400 of these from the host country.

The general conference highlight was the Opening Ceremony with South African themed story telling, dance and music surrounding welcoming remarks from various local and national dignitaries. IFLA President Alex Byrne delivered an excellent address. The Keynote Address delivered by Justice Albie Sachs, a Judge on the Bench of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, was absolutely mesmerizing. He was a former prisoner of the apartheid regime before going into exile and then returning to South Africa as a member of the Constitutional Committee and the National Executive of the ANC. Should IFLA ever make a full-length video of his presentation available, it will make for memorable viewing.

A very good attendance of approximately 180 people was present for the Section’s well-received “Open Program,” held on Tuesday afternoon, August 21. The theme was “Collection Description Models-Next Generation Initiatives.” Speakers from Finland, Scotland, and the United States addressed issues of collection description, collection management and cooperative collection development, respectively. Glenda Lammers of OCLC, and a new member of the Standing Committee of the Acquisition and Collection Development Section, presented the last paper mentioned.

The Standing Committee of the Acquisition and Collection Development Section held its standard two meeting during the course of the conference. This was both an election year in IFLA as well as the beginning of term for new members of Standing Committees. In addition to Glenda Lammers, mentioned above, new American members of the Standing Committee include Judith Mansfield (Library of Congress), Julia Gelfand (University of California Irvine) and Sha Li Zhang (University of North Carolina, Greensboro), who coincidentally is the new Chair of the ALCTS International Relations Committee. Nadia Zilper (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Lynn Sipe (University of Southern California) are continuing members of the Standing Committee. Sipe was also elected incoming Chair of the Standing Committee for the remaining two years of his term.

The Standing Committee addressed a standard range of issues over the course of its two meetings, including determining key elements for a revised Strategic Plan for 2008–2009, as required by IFLA. Additional volunteers were solicited to help move the committee’s draft Guidelines for Electronic Resources closer to online publication. Judith Mansfield volunteered to lead a subcommittee to draft a set of gift guidelines, something that has been on the committee’s radar for the last few years. The decision was made to hold the next midterm meeting of the Standing Committee in Guadalajara, Mexico in March 2008, with the exact dates pending. A collection development workshop with Mexican colleagues will be held the day before the committee’s working meeting. It is likely that the Section’s Open Programme at IFLA 2008, in Quebec, will have the theme of “In and Out (of Copyright): Contrasting Perspectives on Digitization of Library Collections.” A call for papers will be forthcoming in November. The Section will be co-sponsoring, with the Document Delivery and Reference Sections, a satellite meeting in Boston prior to the Quebec conference on “Rethinking Access to Information: Evolving Perspectives on Information Content and Delivery.”

In addition to being elected Chair of the Standing Committee Lynn Sipe was also elected Chair of the Division V Coordinating Board, to which the Standing Committee reports. In this latter capacity one automatically serves as a member of IFLA’s Professional Committee and the IFLA Governing Board. He will attend his first formal meeting of the Professional Committee and the Governing Board at IFLA headquarters in The Hague the first week of December.


Acquisition and Collection Development Section

Sha Li Zhang, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The 2007 IFLA Annual Conference, with the theme “Libraries for the Future: Progress, Development, and Partnerships,” was held in Durban, South Africa August 18–24, 2007. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish are the IFLA working languages at the conference. More than 3,000 librarians from 106 countries gathered in Durban. Among them, 1,100 participants were from African countries, and more than 400 participants were from South Africa. It was a wonderful experience to be able to meet and network with many librarians from Africa during the conference.

Committee Meetings

IFLA Acquisitions and Collection Development Standing Committee held two meetings during the conference, at the beginning and the end of the conference, which allowed us to participate in as many conference programs as possible.

Pentti Vattulainen, Committee Chair/Treasurer, presided at both meetings. At the election session, Lynn Sipe and Corrado di Tillio were elected as Committee Chair and Secretary respectively. The committee’s documents, the Strategic Plan and Electronic Resources Guidelines, were reviewed and discussed prior to and during the meetings. A taskforce to develop the committee’s Gift Instructions was formed. Judith Mansfield, Library of Congress, will chair the taskforce. A draft of the instructions is due in March 2008 at the committee’s midterm meeting.

There was a proposal at the IFLA Governing Board meeting to add one division (Library Collections) to the IFLA structure that will be effective at the next election cycle. Glenda Lammers’ paper on using OCLC WorldCat Collection Analysis as a tool for cooperative collection development was recommended and chosen to be included in the IFLA proceedings at the committee meeting.

The committee’s program for the meeting in Quebec, Canada in 2008 was discussed. A call for papers will be issued shortly. The committee’s midterm meeting will be in Guadalajara, Mexico, March 13-14, 2008. In addition to participating in the mid-term meeting, the committee members are invited to share their experience with librarians in Mexico during the meeting.

Open Programs and Presentations

The committee organized three open programs at the conference. They were well attended. Question and answer sessions followed the presentations.

Glenda Lammers (United States) presented her findings on examining library holdings on the OCLC WorldCat database through the WorldCat Collection Analysis Service. Her project included the library holdings from the ten institutions of the Gauteng and Environs Library Consortium (GAELIC) in South Africa. The collection sizes vary among these institutions, from the smallest holdings of 16,000, to the largest holdings of 900,000. The findings and analysis should help the libraries within the consortium to make informed decisions on discarding old collections, acquiring new collections, preserving or digitizing collections, or moving certain collections to shared storage places.

Gordon Dunsire (Scotland) presented his concepts on landscaping the future for collaborative collection management. Dunsire identified a number of processes in which an end user must engage to obtain needed resources: i.e., entry, survey, discovery, and detail. The set of collections offered at the entry stage and subsequently amended by the user during the survey stage is known as an information landscape, according to Dunsire. He used the two examples, one from the Scottish Collections Network (SCONE) and the other from Co-operative Information Retrieval Network for Scotland (CAIRNS) to illustrate how metadata was used to support collaborative resources acquisitions, cataloging, access, and preservation activities.

Juha Hakala and Esa-Pekka Keskitalo’s (Finland) paper on “Description of Collections in Theory and Practice” briefly reviewed the RLG’s Conspectus in the United States, and the Research Support Library Program (RSLP) Collection Description Schema, a national initiative in the United Kingdom. The paper also reported on a Finnish collection mapping project sponsored by the Council for Finnish University Libraries. The Ministry of Education of Finland funded the project. The Dublin Core Collections Application Profile was used as the description format for this project. Due to the lack of standard collection identifiers, the National Library of Finland has sent a proposal to ISO to develop an international standard collection identifier. The group also recommended providing relevant data elements such as the collection title with multiple languages. As libraries in Finland are facing more demands from the government funding agency for efficiency and on an economy of scale, they will need to manage changes and to find better ways of delivering resources to their users through such initiative as the collection-level description project.

Future Conference Sites

The next IFLA annual conferences will be held in Quebec, Canada (2008), Milan, Italy (2009), and Brisbane, Australia (2010).


Bibliography Section

Glenn Patton, OCLC OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.

The World Library and Information Congress and 73rd General Conference and Council of IFLA took place August 19–23, 2007 in Durban, South Africa. The meeting attracted 3,051 participants from 117 countries. Participants from the African continent numbered 1,463, of which 1,116 were from South Africa. This conference marked the end of the term for President Alex Byrne of Australia and the beginning of the presidential term of Claudia Lux of Germany, with Ellen Tise of South Africa beginning her term as President-Elect.

Unni Knutsen (Oslo University College) chaired activities of the Bibliography Section for the past two years with Beacher Wiggins (Library of Congress) serving as section secretary. Unni’s term as chair ended with this meeting. Section members elected Beacher Wiggins to serve as chair and Christian Lupovici (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) as secretary. Claudia Werner (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek) continues as the Section’s Information Officer and Newsletter Editor.

During this conference, the section participated in two programs. The first, presented jointly by the National Libraries Section and Classification and Indexing Sections, was titled “Rethinking National Libraries in the Digital Age.” Speakers included Ingrid Parent (Library and Archives Canada), Maja �umer (University of Ljubljana), Beacher Wiggins (Library of Congress) and Patrice Landry (Swiss National Library). Find papers from the session online (see session 89).

The second program, titled “National Bibliographies—the African Landscape: Partnering to Enhance National Bibliographies in Africa” included a survey of the current state of sub-Saharan national bibliographies by Amadou Békaye Sidibé (Bibliothèque nationale du Mali), a history of the South Africa National Bibliography by Susan Battison (National Library of South Africa), a paper on the current status of the Namibia national bibliography by Paul Zulu (National Library of Namibia), and a paper on Library of Congress Nairobi Office’s work by Pamela Howard-Reguindin (Library of Congress). Find papers from this session online (see session 136). Find the usual survey of national bibliographies in the region where the IFLA conference is held posted on IFLANET.

Both the papers from the session and the survey report point to problems in funding the production of a national bibliography, in maintaining a regular publication schedule, in finding both appropriately trained staff and reliable infrastructure for the National Bibliographic Agency, and in making the transition to production of a national bibliography in electronic form. Discussions at the second of the section standing committee meetings touched on whether some kind of cooperative project among the sub-Saharan national libraries and the Africa, Bibliography and National Libraries Sections might be able to assist with these problems.

The section’s principal activity is working on the publication Guidelines for National Bibliographies in the Digital Age. A working group, chaired by Maja �umer, is completing work on these guidelines, which are designed both to give guidance on the inclusion of digital resources in national bibliographies and to guide national bibliographic agencies in transitioning printed national bibliographies to electronic form.

At its meetings during the Durban conference, members of the section worked on plans for programs at the Quebec and Milan conferences as well as a potential satellite meeting associated with the Milan conference.

Other activities of the Section are described on IFLANET in the section’s newsletter.

Future IFLA meetings are now planned as follows:

  • 2008 – Quebec, Canada, August 10–14, 2008
  • 2009 – Milan, Italy, August 23–27, 2009
  • 2010 – Brisbane, Australia (dates to be announced)


Cataloguing Section

William Garrison, Syracuse University and John Hostage, Harvard Law School Library

The World Library and Information Congress and 73rd General Conference and Council of IFLA was held in August 2007 in Durban, South Africa. Judy Kuhagen of the Library of Congress chaired the activities of the Cataloguing Section; Anders Cato of the National Library of Sweden was elected to succeed her as chair. The following officers were re-elected to continue in office: Ben Gu, National Library of China, as secretary; Bill Garrison, Syracuse University, as newsletter editor; and John Hostage, Harvard Law School, as information coordinator.

A topic of discussion at the Durban conference was the report of the fifth IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code (IME-ICC5). It was held in Pretoria, South Africa, August 14–15, 2007. This was the last in a series of regional meetings to draft a statement of international cataloguing principles that will serve as a guideline for rule makers. The participants in the previous meetings will prepare a final draft of the statement for review, and the statement will be submitted for worldwide review in 2008.

Barbara Tillett, Library of Congress, opened the program held by Division IV, Bibliographic Control. The Division members heard reports presented by Glenn Patton, OCLC, on the draft report on Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD), by Marcia Zeng, Kent State University, on Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR), and by Ina Fourie and Marlene Burger of the University of Pretoria on bibliographic control in South Africa.

The program of the Cataloguing Section featured a report by Elena Esclano Rodríguez of the Biblioteca Nacional de España on the just-published consolidated edition of the International Standard Bibliographic Description; a report on cooperative cataloging in South Africa by Hester Marais of the University of South Africa; a report on the challenges facing libraries in most of Africa by Mary Adwoa Arkorful of the University of Education in Ghana; and a report on IME-ICC5 by Barbara Tillett.

The FRBR Review Group is chaired by Pat Riva, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. The group provides a place within IFLA for the support and development of the FRBR (Functional Requirement for Bibliographic Records) conceptual model. The Working Group on the Expression Entity has completed its work on a revision of that part of FRBR. The amendment will be sent to the Review Group and the Cataloguing Section for approval. The Working Group on Aggregates is studying the modeling of different categories of aggregates. The Working Group on FRBR/CRM Dialogue is continuing to work on an object-oriented model of FRBR.

Elena Escolano Rodríguez chairs the ISBD REVIEW GROUP. Now that the preliminary consolidated edition of the International Standard Bibliographic Description has been published, the group will focus on the first round of updates. There is still work to be done in harmonizing the provisions of the ISBD. The Material Designations Study Group is proposing that a content/carrier component be created in the ISBD. Exactly what form this will take is yet to be determined. The Study Group on Examples is continuing to collect examples to be published in a supplement to the ISBD.

The Working Group on Metadata for Digital Objects is continuing its work with a new name and a new charge. It will now focus on guidelines and recommendations for metadata. The chair is Erik Thorlund Jepsen of the Danish Library Agency.

The next World Library and Information Congress and 74th IFLA General Conference and Council will be held in Québec, Canada, in August 2008 with the theme: “Libraries Without Borders: Navigating towards Global Understanding." Future IFLA meetings are now planned as follows:

2009 – Milan, Italy

2010 – Brisbane, Australia


Classification and Indexing Section

David Miller, Curry College and Edward T. O'Neill, OCLC Office of Research

The IFLA World Library and Information Congress held in Durban, South Africa, will be remembered for many things, beginning with the warmth and hospitality of our hosts, including International Convention Center (ICC) and hotel staff. The ICC is itself an outstanding facility, capacious and attractive, but fortunately not so enormous as to require significant hikes between meeting rooms. The Opening Session was notable for featuring the "South African Mother of Books," Gcina Mhlophe, and an unforgettable keynote address by Justice Albie Sachs, a Judge on the Bench of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. The Ministry of Arts and Culture showed great generosity in providing plentiful and efficient shuttle buses, as well as sponsoring the Cultural Gala. The Mayor’s Office deserves thanks, as well, for a most enjoyable and wonderfully catered Beach Party. At the same time, it true that there were real concerns for personal safety, so for most attendees there was probably less opportunity for independent exploration of a new city. Those interested in the numbers may find it significant that out of a total of 3,051 attendees (as of August 23), 1,463 were from Africa, and 1,116, well over a third, from South Africa itself. A total of 120 countries were represented.

The Classification and Indexing Section's program (Session 157) was titled “Partners for Subject Access to Bring Libraries and Users Together.” It was given during the final timeslot on Thursday morning, just before the Closing Ceremony. This scheduling caused a bit of concern, but in fact, nearly 200 people attended the program, a very respectable turnout given the total number of attendees. What is more, almost everyone stayed through the entire program (which conference-goers know is not a sure thing), with much informal discussion among speakers and audience members afterwards. Jonathan Further (University of California Los Angeles) and Sarah Hayman (Adelaide, Australia) presented two papers on user tagging, similar in content, but approaching the topic from different perspectives. James M. Turner (Université de Montréal) described a project for deriving index terms for the content of film shots and sequences from audio description text. The program concluded with a discussion of Indonesian geography, period and language notations in Dewey Decimal Classification, presented by L. Sulistyo-Basuki (Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia). Find these papers online.

The Section also participated in a joint program with the Bibliography and National Libraries Sections (Session 89), in which the Working Group on Guidelines for Subject Access by national libraries and national bibliographic agencies presented its interim report. The Working Group on Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR) continued its work with two meetings, featuring lively and sustained discussion.

The WLIC will be held in Québec City in 2008, and will be a good opportunity for many North Americans who would like to find out more about IFLA to attend without a daylong plane flight. The Classification and Indexing Section will hold a program with the theme of “Classification and Indexing without Language Borders." A call for papers for this program will soon be made.

See the section’s home page, which features newsletters, annual reports, meeting minutes and other information.


Knowledge Management

We regret that there was no Knowledge Management report.

Newspaper Section

L. Suzanne Kellerman, Pennsylvania State University

Hartmut Walravens, Staatsbibliotek zu Berlin, chaired the business meetings of the Newspaper Section with Edmund King of the British Library serving as secretary. The focus of the business meetings held on Saturday, August 18 and Friday, August 24, 2007 centered on the refinement of the Newspaper Strategic Plan for 2008–2009. The committee agreed to add several actions items to the Plan including: updating the United States entries on the Directory of Newspapers on IFLANET; developing a process of selecting newspapers in sub-Saharan counties with priority for preservation microfilming, working with the Center for Research Libraries to determine titles already on film; and to review the development of Resource Description and Access (RDA) and determine how they may affect future version of the Guidelines for Newspaper Cataloging.

Edmund King reported on the International Newspaper Collection Management “Printed and Digital Challenges” conference held in Santiago, Chile on April 3–5, 2007. The conference promoted good practices in newspaper collection, management and preservation, and was co-organized by the National Library of Chile and the IFLA Core Activity on Preservation and Conservation. One hundred seventeen delegates from eleven Latin American countries attended the event.

Plans for the upcoming spring 2008 newspaper conference were reviewed. The title of the conference will be “Old Issues, New Issues: Impact of Digital Technology upon Contemporary and Historic News.” The National Library of Singapore will host the event and it will be co-sponsored by the IFLA Core Activity on Preservation and Conservation and the IFLA Preservation and Conservation Section.

It was agreed that the theme for the Section’s 2008 Quebec program would be on Canadian ethnic newspapers. A call for papers will be publicized in fall/winter 2007. Papers from Canadian newspaper publishers are encouraged.

Hartmut Walravens announced that he has been in contact with the Russian Book Chamber in Moscow, and they expressed an interest in hosting the Newspaper Section’s spring conference in 2009.

The Section reviewed the International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON) report authored by Linda Ronan, Center for Research Libraries, and brainstormed on grant funding opportunities with ICON to improve access to African newspapers.

Three new Section committee members were recognized: Suzanne Kellerman, Jasenka Zajec, and Dolores Rodriguez Fuentes.

The report of the IFLA Professional Structure Committee was discussed. It raised issues such as the fact that the Section must secure additional members or risk a change in its status such as becoming a Special Interest Group or merging with another Section. After much discussion, the Section agreed to pursue additional members to keep its existing status as a Section.

On August 20, 2007, the Section held its Open Session on “African Newspapers: Access and Technology.” Four papers were presented, and Dale Peters, University of KwaZulu-Natal served as moderator. One hundred seven delegates attended the afternoon session, with a lively discussion following the speaker’s formal remarks.


Preservation and Conservation Section

Jeanne Drewes, Library of Congress

Preservation issues were definitely on the agenda at the 2007 IFLA Congress in Durban, South Africa. The kick-off event was a Satellite meeting on “Mould, Integrated Pest Management and Dust in Collections” organized by Johannes Maree, University of Cape Town, South Africa for the Preservation and Conservation Section, IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, the IFLA Newspapers Section, and the IFLA Preservation and Conservation (PAC) Office. An audience of 120 learned from presenters from Great Britain, (Helen Lloyd and David Pinniger) the United States, (Diane Vogt-O’Connor) and case study speakers from France and the African continent. See the upcoming issue of International Preservation News for complete information.

In Durban, the Preservation and Conservation Core Activity presented a program on “Preservation of Audiovisual and Oral Tradition Archives” with a special focus on Africa. Five speakers presented a full range of projects from a New Zealand to South Africa collection connection to South Africa multimedia Project to Gabon and Namibia. The program showed the importance of digital projects to provide access to a wide variety of materials and stressed the importance of preserving materials. Another program also focused on preservation issues and was sponsored by the Asia & Oceania Section titled “Information Providers Coping with Disaster in Asia-Oceania.”

Standing Committee meetings completed the election of officers. Per Cullhed, Uppsala University Library, Sweden, is the new chair. Much of the meeting focused on program plans for the 2009 Quebec Congress, where a preconference in Ottawa, hosted by the Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC), will include opportunities to visit the LAC’s exemplary conservation facilities, as well as those of the Canadian Conservation Institute.

Lars Bjork, Head of Preservation at the Royal Library, Stockholm, continues as editor of the committee’s publication on IFLANET, First Do No Harm: A Register of Standards, Codes of Practice, Guidelines, Recommendations and Similar Works. Now a Word document, Bjork is moving forward to create a searchable database for ease in updating.

The Standing Committee will have an interim meeting in March 2008 at University of Lausanne, Switzerland, in connection with a COSADOCA training session.

The 2010 Milan World Library and Information Congress program and satellite meetings are already in the planning stages.


Serial Publications

We regret that there was no Serial Publications report.