ALCTS Members Participate in World Library and Information Congress

78th IFLA General Conference and Assembly Conference and Assembly

ALCTS sponsors representatives to eight sections of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions annual meeting (named World Library and Information Conference beginning in 2003).

This year, the World Library and Information Congress: 78th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, was held in Helsinki, Finland, August 11–17, 2012. The Finnish library community was a driving force to make this Congress a successful one. More than one thousand Finnish librarians were at the Congress, with more than three hundred volunteers. ALCTS representative Sha Li Zhang noted the efficiency and enthusiasm demonstrated by the Finnish volunteering colleagues who helped with the Congress.

More information about the Helsinki conference can be found in the full program, including conference papers, online. There is also a special conference website for news, available from, which includes conference blog posts and tweets as well as pictures and video.

Next year's IFLA meetings will be August 17–23, 2013 in Singapore. Locations for the following years are 2014 in France, 2015 in Africa, 2016 in North America, 2017 in Europe, 2018 in Latin America & the Caribbean, and 2019 in Europe.

Following are summaries of the keynote presentations and reports from sections which include an ALCTS delegate who was able to attend. To see conference papers from any of the sessions, visit, click Daily Programme from the left-hand navigation bar, and click on the session date to browse that day’s session agendas and papers.

IFLA Acquisition and Collection Development Section

By Sha Li Zhang, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries

Dinner at Alahovi Berry Farm
Participants of the Acquisition and Collection Development Section satellite meeting enjoy dinner at Alahovi Berry Farm on the Island of Vaajasalo, Finland. Photo by Sha Li Zang.

The satellite meeting of the Acquisition and Collection Development Standing Section Committee was held in Kuopio, Finland, on August 9–10, 2012, prior to the IFLA Congress. Mr. Pentti Vattulainen, Director of the National Repository Library of Finland, worked closely with the University of Eastern Finland Library, and Kuopio City Library to host the satellite meeting. More than fifty people participated in the meeting, which featured fourteen papers from librarians all over the world. The full papers and slides of these presentations are also available at the satellite meeting website:

The satellite meeting hosts did their best to help with the meetings, reception, and the dinner event. The participants were invited to a delightful reception prior to the satellite meeting at the University of Eastern Finland Library, with food, live music, and library tour. The dinner at the Alahovi Berry Farm on the Island of Vaajasalo was a special treat. The participants were taken to the Island by a boat through Lake Kallavesi, east of the City of Kuopio. In addition to delicious meals, the participants were able to visit the berry-wine processing facility on site, taste the products of the Farm, or purchase bottled wines. At the end of the satellite meeting, a tour to the National Repository Library was arranged to show the facility where the print materials were stored for the country. Special thanks for the successful satellite meeting go to the library colleagues at the National Repository Library, University of Eastern Finland Library, and the Kuopio City Library, especially, for Mr. Pentti Vattulainen who chaired the IFLA Acquisition and Collection Development Standing Section Committee in 2004–2007.

University of Jyvaskyla in Jyvaskyla, Finland
University of Jyvaskyla in Jyvaskyla, Finland – The library visits were organized by the IFLA Congress. The bus took us to the Jyvaskyla, over 170 miles North of Helsinki. It is also a hometown of Alvar Aalto, an internationally renowned architect. In the city, one sees more buildings designed by Aalto than any other cities in the world. The Library hosts Jyvaskyla University Digital Archives (JYX) which includes postprints of scientific articles published by researchers at the University. Photo by Sha Li Zang.

The Standing Committee’s open program, “Treating Print in an Increasing Digital Collection: Issues, Dilemmas, and Directions,” was held on August 14, 2012, during the Congress. Six speakers were selected for presentations on the topic:

“Print Co-existing with Growing Digital Collection in Public Libraries of China,” by Mao Lingwen, Huang Qunqing, and Liu Honghui from Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province, China. The presenters observe that many public libraries in China have become hybrid libraries. It has been challenging and difficult to integrate heterogeneous data. De-selecting is a dilemma. Digital reading may be limited by insufficient access to computers and internet, in addition to information illiteracy. In their survey, most people still prefer reading print materials.

“Building Library Collections – Common Guidelines Help Public Libraries to Update their Collection,” by Aija Laine, Turku Public Library and Virva Nousiainen-Hiiri, Helsinki City Library, Finland. This paper introduced a planned project by the Council for Public Libraries and funded by the Ministry of Education in Finland, “Electronic Materials for Public Libraries” to respond to increased digital contents and the use of mobile devices. The goal is to create national collection policies for electronic materials to avoid inequality.

“Uniting the Corpus of Our Collections through Visualization,” by Alex Byrne, State Library of New South Wales. Australia. In this paper, the presenter explores challenges facing searchers, students, and the public on discovery of digitized heritage collections, print materials, media, and born-digital materials.

“EVA Assists in Collection Building: Using ILL Data for Patron-Driven Acquisitions,” by Ania Lopez, University Library of Duisburg-Essen and Peter Mayr, Northrine-Westphalian Library Consortium, Cologne, Germany. The presenters introduced “ErwerbungsVorschlag-Assistant (EVA)” for assessing the methodology of patron-driven acquisitions for print materials. The ILL requests were automatically compared with established criteria for acquisitions, with input from subject librarians and external data. The project was in place for three months. Ten percent of the patron requests were filled through acquisitions. The EVA has been welcomed by librarians in building collections.

Dinner at Alahovi Berry Farm
Attendees had the opportunity to view nearly 200 poster sessions during the Congress. Photo by Sha Li Zang.

“Inclusionary Tactics for Print and Digital: Managing and Remembering in Order to Improve Access, Resource Sharing and Preservation of Print Collections,” by Jeanne Drewes, Library of Congress, U.S.A. In this paper, the author covers the topics of HathiTrust Project, Internet Archive Project, and other initiatives that digitize print materials and provide digital copies of these materials. The print materials are then moved to remote storage space. Avoiding duplicated efforts in digitizing these materials has received attention from research libraries. In some cases, duplicated titles are more than 30 percent. Using some program applications and ILS may help detect duplicated titles.

“The De-selection en-masse at TUT: Enabler for Implementation of Hybrid Collections,” by Vivian Agyei, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa. Though the University was established in 2004, it serves more than 51,000 students, with limited library resources. The Library uses designed criteria for de-selections of its print materials and replace them with electronic materials. In the hybrid environment, the Library has become a major source for students not only for its materials, but also for its computer hardware, software, and other equipment.

Papers from the August 14 program can be accessed directly from

Also during the Congress, the Standing Section Committee held two business meetings. The first one was on August 11, prior to the official opening of the Congress; the second meeting was on August 15, 2012, before closing of the Congress. The meetings were well attended by the section committee members and other guests. These meetings focused the following agenda items:

  • Reviews of major accomplishments from the Satellite Meeting in Kuopio: The strengths and improvements were discussed for future satellite meetings. Overall, the Satellite Meeting held in Kuopio, Finland was a huge success.
  • Preparation for the election of officers for 2013–2015. The elected positions include the section chair, secretary, information officer, and vacant positions on membership with an ending term in 2012.
  • Reviews on progress of the Section Committee’s Current Action Plan for 2011–2012 and revisions of Action Plan for 2012–2013.
  • Decisions on future satellite meetings: The Section Committee decided not to hold a satellite meeting in Singapore in 2013 because there is no committee member in that country to help local logistics. A suggestion to have a satellite meeting in 2014 in France was considered.
  • Consideration on open program in 2013 in Singapore: The program theme will be closely tied to that of the Congress in 2013: Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities.
  • Communications: The Section Committee has used blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools on communication. For instance, the committee has used blogs for its newsletter. Jerome Fronty, the committee’s Information Officer, received the IFLA Award on using social networking tools to promote the committee’s activities.
  • Electronic Resources Guide: The committee’s publication, Electronic Resources Guide, is available in English and Russian. The translations of this publication in other IFLA working languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Spanish) are under the way. Additionally, Polish librarians offered to make it available in Polish language.
  • Midterm Meeting: The committee members were asked for possibilities to host a midterm meeting in spring 2013. Due to limited funding, the attendance would be low. Therefore, there will be no midterm meeting in 2013.

Visit the website for the Acquisition and Collection Development Section:

IFLA Bibliography Section

Charlene Chou, Columbia University, and Glenn Patton, OCLC

Prior to the beginning of the Helsinki conference, the Bibliography Section cooperated with the Cataloguing Section in presenting a satellite meeting, “Bibliography in the Digital Age,” in Warsaw, Poland. The meeting was hosted by the National Library of Poland and, through their generous assistance, the meeting was offered free of charge. The program was organized as a continuation of the 2009 publication, National Bibliographies in the Digital Age: Guidance and New Directions, with the purpose of presenting information about what has happened in the intervening years as national libraries continue to incorporate e-resources into national bibliographies. Speakers included Aniko Dudás (Hungary), Marcin Roszkowski (Poland), Anna Sitarska (Poland), Neil Wilson (United Kingdom), Karin Kleiber (Austria), Hanne Hørl Hansen (Denmark), Tuula Haapamäki and Sinikka Luukkanen (Finland), Pat Riva (Canada) and Anke Meyer (Germany). The sessions were moderated by Carsten H. Anderson, Chair of the Bibliography Section. The meeting website ( includes all of the presentations as well of videos of all of the speakers.

During the conference, the section also presented a session titled “What Is a National Bibliography Today and What Are Its Potential Uses?” The session program consisted of four presentations. Jaroslaw Pacek and Magdalena Krynicka of the National Library of Poland jointly presented their paper, “Are you trying to kill me?—the National Bibliography asks the Internet,” in which they attempt to identify the outlook for the future of the national bibliography ( Lars Swensen of the German National Library presented “The German National Bibliography as linked open data: applications and opportunities,” on behalf of himself and several DNB colleagues ( Gildas Illien, Bibliothèque nationale de France, presented on the topic “The Data Deluge: A Threat or a Chance for National Bibliographies?” in which he described French attempts to deal with massive amount of Internet data. Neil Wilson closed the program by recapping the main themes from the Warsaw satellite meeting.

While many issues were discussed at the business meetings of the section, the key topics can be summarized as follows. The revised version of the UBC statement (IFLA Professional Statement on Universal Bibliographic Control), drafted by Barbara Tillett and Glenn Patton, was approved by the members of the Bibliography Section after a lively discussion, and will be submitted to the Professional Committee for endorsement. The working group in charge of revising the Guidelines for National Bibliography in the Digital Age led substantial discussion on the timeline, project plans, next steps, etc. Translations of the guidelines are available from, and now include Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Latvian and Lithuanian. The National Bibliographic Register Working Group reported that a detailed list of countries that were candidates for inclusion was supplied and mailings in French, Spanish, Portuguese and English attempted to identify appropriate contacts. As a result the total number of bibliographies listed rose from thirty-six to forty-four during the year; the current listing is online at The Task Group for next year’s Open Forum was formed, and looks forward to having another successful forum.

Visit the website for the Bibliography Section: The section also has a blog, available online at Blog postings have been added throughout the year, but further contributions would be welcome, especially from new members.

IFLA Cataloguing Section

ALCTS does not currently have a representative liaison to the IFLA Cataloging Section. If you are interested in this post, please contact the ALCTS office ( Visit the website for the Cataloguing Section.

IFLA Classification & Indexing Section

By John DeSantis, Dartmouth College

In the morning on August 14, the Classification and Indexing Section presented a two-hour program session “Subject Access Now: Inspiring, Surprising, Empowering.” The program was well attended and included presentations on subject access to fiction, enhancing subject access through linked data, and topic maps. The section is looking into publishing one of the presentations. Links to most of the full papers are provided at

The section met twice during the conference to coordinate and report on activities, evaluate the Helsinki program, finalize plans for the upcoming satellite conference in Tallinn, Estonia, and make plans for its 2013 program in Singapore. The tentative theme of the program in Singapore is “Subject Access: Infinite Possibilities.”

Due to the unexpected resignation of the section’s Secretary, Sandy Roe moved from her position as Information Coordinator to Secretary, and John Hostage became the section’s new Information Coordinator. The section will be electing a new chair in 2013 at the conclusion of current chair Jo-Anne Belair’s term.

The section’s Working Group on Guidelines for Subject Access by National Bibliographic Agencies, chaired by Yvonne Jahns, saw the publication of these guidelines earlier this year:

Guidelines for Subject Access in National Bibliographies, ed. by Yvonne Jahns (Berlin/Munich: De Gruyter Saur, 2012) ISBN 978-3-11-028089-0. (IFLA Series on Bibliographic Control; Nr 45)

The two-day satellite conference held by the Classification and Indexing Section held in Tallinn on August 17–18 immediately followed the IFLA conference. The theme was “Beyond Libraries: Subject Metadata in the Digital Environment and Semantic Web.” The conference attracted more than one hundred participants from around the world and was considered by all to be a great success.

Visit the website for the Classification and Indexing Section.

IFLA Knowledge Management Section

Unfortunately, the ALCTS representative to the Knowledge Management Section was unable to attend the conference, but the papers from the main session, “Potential of Knowledge Management in Public Libraries” are available online:

Visit the website for the Knowledge Management Section.

IFLA Newspapers Section

By Sue Kellerman, Penn State University

The IFLA Newspapers Section held its business meetings on Saturday, August 11 and Tuesday, August 14, 2012. Frederick Zarndt presided as Chair of the Section and Sue Kellerman served as secretary. The leadership of the IFLA Genealogy and Local History Section was also in attendance as well as numerous guests and committee members from both sections. Topics discussed at both standing committee meetings included the 2013 satellite meeting to be held prior to the IFLA Singapore General Conference, the mid-year 2013 conference, the newspaper digitization guidelines and recruitment of new members.

At the Saturday, August 11 meeting, Mr. Gene Tan, Director of the Singapore Memory Project, National Library of Singapore offered a proposal to host a joint Newspapers Section and Genealogy and Local History Section satellite conference at the National Library of Singapore prior to the 2013 IFLA Singapore General Conference. This satellite conference would be held in conjunction with the National Library of Singapore’s “Roots Reviewed,” an exhibition to educate and promote family history. Tan’s conference proposal was unanimously accepted by both sections. A Skype conference call was set for early fall to begin planning venue logistics and setting the conference theme.

After much deliberation and discussion the Newspapers Section decided not to hold a mid-year conference in 2013. The economic burden for attendees to travel to two conferences in one year was deemed too expensive. Moreover, it was thought that the current world economic situation would cause attendees to choose to attend either the mid-year conference or the Singapore satellite conference, but not both. All were in agreement to encourage attendance at the 2013 National Library of Singapore satellite conference.

Christoph Albers, Newspapers Section Information Coordinator, proposed a new direction for the Newspapers Section’s digitization guidelines. His proposal to link the current guideline categories to existing online resources from established digitization programs such as those from Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Singapore, Brigham Young University, and the Library of Congress (USA) was approved. The updated guidelines are available at

Frederick Zarndt encouraged all section members to recruit new members. Singapore and Denmark agreed to submit a nomination. If you are interested in joining an IFLA Standing Committee, see the official call for nominations:

On Tuesday, August 14, nine papers from six countries were delivered at the joint Open Session of the Newspapers and Genealogy and Local History Sections. Topics included regional portals and newspaper content in Germany, small town newspapers in the US, newspapers as a source of scientific information in Croatia, Portuguese-American newspapers collection at the University of Massachusetts, digital newspapers for historic research, and preservation of local newspapers in the digital process. Each paper has since been translated into Russian, Spanish, French and Chinese. Full papers and abstracts from this session are available from

Visit the website for the Newspapers Section.

IFLA Preservation & Conservation Section

By Julie Arnott, Notre Dame University

There were two section meetings during the conference. The Core Activity on Preservation and Conservation (PAC) program was discussed by Director Christiane Baryla, who distributed new program brochures and described the network of fourteen centers around the world.

The program for next year’s IFLA conference in Singapore was discussed; it may be a special session with Rare Books and Manuscripts Section. The impact of digitization on special collections was mentioned as a possible topic. The section will also investigate working with the Risk Management Section on disaster prevention.

Additionally, the Preservation and Conservation Section sponsors the Environmental Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group, and also sponsored two programs in Helsinki. Session 102 focused on “Storage and Repositories: New Preservation and Access Strategies,” and Session 200, cosponsored by Education and Training Section, was titled “Empowering Staff through Preservation Training. How Your Library and Users Will Reap the Benefits.” Papers from both sessions can be found on the IFLA conference website,

Visit the website for the Preservation & Conservation Section.

Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section

Editor’s note: This report was added on February 7, 2013. ALCTS Newsletter Online originally reported that Paul, a member of the Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section, was unable to attend; this information was incorrect.

By Paul Lloyd Hover, Virginia Tech

My five education abroad students and I were returning via Shanghai from a six-week intensive Mandarin Chinese course held at the University of Science and Technology in Hefei, Anhui Province, when we collided with a typhoon. My students and I were only six of about 1.8 million people evacuating Shanghai ahead of Typhoon Haikui, and we only got as far as Pudong International Airport. We actually made it to the departure gate and watched in awe as our airplane, parked in front of the panoramic windows, shook violently in the “great wind.” Quickly the runways turned into canals from the typhoon’s horizontal rain, and then the canals expanded and merged into one vast, frenzied, airport lake. The next morning we boarded a specially scheduled airplane at 4 a.m. Gaining clock-time on the brutally long flight, I arrived home the same afternoon in the USA and sent the following email to my fellow committee members:

Skies were clear after Typhoon Haikui passed inland early this morning in Shanghai. All my students are well and I delivered them home to their parents in Blacksburg, Virginia, a few hours ago. I will be arriving Saturday afternoon in Helsinki, and will definitely be able to make the opening session and our second Standing Committee meeting. May I ask someone to forward to me notes on our first meeting Saturday morning? Kind regards, Paul

And so it is that I thank Maria del Tura Molas Alberich, Head of Serials Section of the Biblioteca de Catalunya in Barcelona, for the notes of the proceedings of the first of two Standing Committee meetings.

The Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section partnered with the Acquisition and Collection Development Section to host a satellite meeting in Kuopio, Finland, just before the main conference on August 9 and 10, 2012. The theme was “Global policies, Imperatives and Solutions for the Efficient Library Collection Management and Access to Less Used Documents.” As print collections shrink, how will “long tail” documents fare in the digitization process? Might they be neglected, and thus disappear? There is a need for efficient management of less used research documents on a global level. More about the program may be accessed from; the program may be accessed from

In Helsinki, the Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section held two meetings and hosted an Open Session during the 78th IFLA World Library and Information Congress. During the first meeting on August 11, the committee reaffirmed points from our action plan, which is committed to good practices in Serials and eResources management, standards, management of continuing resources, and accessibility and sustainability in the Serials and eResources information chain. They also discussed the need to translate the glossaries of standardized ISSN equivalences into multiple languages, and Françoise Pelle, Director of the ISSN International Center, volunteered to head up the task force with Maria as additional volunteer.

Our second Standing Committee meeting took place Wednesday, August 18. As the managing of serials is sometimes extraordinarily difficult, we determined to make the topic for next year’s call for papers something along the lines of “the nuts and bolts of researchers’ usage of scholarly journals.” Further discussion of the multiple tasks involved in the ISSN translation project prompted the topic of the need for more committee members, and it was decided to issue a call for membership during the coming year. We concluded the meeting with a number of items pertaining to the running of the committee, like next year’s elections for officers, and reflected on the excellent papers that had been presented at our Open Session the previous day.

For the Open Session, the Section was part of Conference Session 149, Congress track 5: Ideas, innovations, anticipating the new, and our program was entitled “Evolving serials – managing, discovering and supplying highly innovative and dynamic content.” The presentations, with links, are listed as follows:

The official program page of our presentations is available from, and the other conference programs are available from

Library Visit to Estonia: Kumu Art Museum and Library of Estonia - It is amazing how a short ferry ride across the Gulf of Finland can give you the impression you have landed in an entirely different part of the world -- and then you realize, you have! There was much art to fall in love with in the Kumu Art Museum and Library, but what I found most memorable was a rather eerie room of talking busts. Each sculpture of someone’s head and shoulders contained an embedded recording of the person’s spoken voice. Our guide explained to us that the heads chattered all at the same time, and she enchanted us with stories of how it made the room come alive. Of course we librarians immediately clambered to hear them, only to be told that they were not speaking that day because of technical difficulties. The remarkable room with hundreds of vociferous busts (the photo only shows one wall) was silent that day, in contrast to the babbling images conjured up in our imaginations, making it even more eerie, but nevertheless memorable.


These words, stacked in giant letters at the harbor, announce Finland as the world capital of icebreaker shipbuilding. That’s just one of the things Finland is known for globally. Helsinki was voted World Design Capital 2012, and everywhere one turns one sees reasons for this distinction. Perhaps most remarkable of all the global honors this country of the far north is known for is its unique, unorthodox education system; it’s the best in the world. Could one expect the librarians of Finland, whose friendly smiles and readiness to lend a hand were ever evident, to be less than extraordinary? They will always be an inspiration to me.

Visit the website for the Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section.