We Got It! IFLA WLIC 2013 – Letter From Gene

The time has come!

Singapore has won the bid to host the prestigious IFLA in 2013 – the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress (WLIC)!

This announcement was made officially at the closing session of the IFLA WLIC 2011 on 18 August in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at about 5ish – ie about 5 am Singapore time on 19 Aug 2011. Unfortunately, I had to fly home for major work commitments and had to receive the news via sms from our Singaporean library colleagues who were so lucky to be there for this historic announcement.

The bid to host the Congress was jointly submitted by the National Library Board (NLB) and the Library Association of Singapore (LAS) and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We will be expecting at least 3000 delegates from more than 100 countries who will converge in Singapore for eight days including a five-day conference programme.

This would be a major milestone for the library community in Singapore and LAS would be right at the forefront of it. Not only will this be putting us on the international map, it would be a major rallying call for librarians all over Singapore.

Isn’t this amazing? This will be the first time ever that Singapore is hosting this and we have huge plans for it.

As the Council taking LAS through to 2013, we have been thinking about this even before the announcement and these are some initial thoughts:

a. Flagship Events in 2013 eg Gathering of Library Associations; World Librarians’ Dinner Party at Istana (with our new President Tan!), etc.

b. Library Branding eg communications and publicity events eg Singapore Libraries’ Week or World Librarians’ Week. ie for LAS to have a presence beyond its limited circle and to reach out to the wider media to demonstrate the value of librarians – to utilise the press to showcase stalwarts and emerging talent from the field from all over the world.

c. Joint projects we could do with librarians and library associations around the world in 2012 and 2013 leading up to and to be showcased in 2013. We are thinking digital projects and apps.

d. Showpiece Publication of Libraries and Librarians in Singapore – a prestige publication as well as an online app to find the greatest libraries and the coolest librarians.

It’s time to gear up.

This will involve contributions from librarians and libraries from all over Singapore as well as collaboration with international library associations and libraries.

So do drop us a note if you want to help in any way.

We also want to hear your thoughts and plans on how we can make this the most memorable IFLA event yet!

Write to me at president@las.org.sg or post your thoughts on our facebook page www.facebook.com/las.org.sg

Good times for LAS and all librarians in Singapore 🙂




Library Association of Singapore