Wrocław, Poland, has been designated as the site of the 2017 World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Announced during the August 20 closing session of the 2015 IFLA conference in Cape Town, South Africa, by IFLA President Sinikka Sipilä, the selection of a Polish site fulfills a dream the Polish American Librarians Association has had almost since its inception.
“We urge Polish American librarians across the country to plan to join us in Wrocław for this momentous occasion,” said PALA Executive Director Leonard Kniffel. “In recent years, we have met with Polish librarians at IFLA conferences to lobby for Poland as host for a future IFLA, and our wish has come true.”
This will be the first time since 1959 that the 88-year-old organization has hosted its World Congress in Poland. That conference and the 1936 IFLA conference were held in Warsaw. “It is my understanding,” said Kniffel, “that Wrocław was chosen over Warsaw or Krakow because it is better equipped to handle a conference of this size, but we hope attendees will take the time to explore other parts of Poland before or after the conference.”
According to Andrzej Ociepa, head of the Municipal Public Library in Wrocław, the application to host was submitted by the city in collaboration with the National Library and the Polish Librarians Association. Wrocław Mayor Rafał Dutkiewicz, said in a statement, “The fact that the city organizes the congress a year after the European Capital of Culture celebrations shows clearly that culture is Wrocław’s main priority. It must be added that Wrocław ‘s tenure as the World Book Capital comes to an end in 2017, and collaboration with librarians is most welcome as part of the event.”
“The fact that Wrocław was selected to host the congress in 2017 means a lot both to the city and to Poland’s library industry, which has undergone a massive transformation over the last ten years,” says Ociepa. “It’s worth showing these achievements to librarians from all over the world. This is also a great opportunity to promote Wrocław. Several thousand librarians, many of them highly influential at home and abroad, are expected to attend.”
Read more about IFLA at IFLA.org and more about the 2015 conference in Cape Town at American Libraries magazine’s Inside Scoop blog. PALA is an IFLA institutional member and a partner of the Polish Librarians Association.