IFLA Annual Congress

Debbie Benrubi, Gleeson Library Technical Services Librarian, attended the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Annual Congress in Wrocław, Poland, August 19-25th, 2017.

From the website: “…(IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Founded in 1927 in Edinburgh, Scotland at an international conference… we now have more than 1,400 Members in over 140 countries around the world.” Gleeson Library is a member of IFLA.

Debbie noted that the Secretary General of IFLA, Gerald Leitner, is leading an effort to unify and amplify library voices worldwide with the Global Vision Discussion. Everyone interested in libraries was invited to participate. The responses to the questionnaire, will form the plan of action for IFLA’s goal: “to build literate, informed and participative societies.”

The American Library Association (ALA) Video Round Table nominated Debbie to represent ALA at IFLA and she was elected to the Standing Committee of the Audiovisual and Multimedia Section (AVMS) session in 2015. She chaired the AVMS’s joint session with the Information Literacy Section and the School Libraries Section at the 2017 World Library and Information Congress, with “Media is the Message: Critical Use of Video in the Digital Age” as the theme. 5 papers were presented, each showing different ways of using video in libraries, to an audience of approximately 200 people.

As a cataloger, Debbie was particularly interested in a session on enhancing controlled vocabularies to make it easier for researchers to find information about different aspects of indigenous people and cultures. Subject headings in a catalog use a controlled vocabulary to bring together resources on a particular subject. For instance, one cataloger presented his work in augmenting Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) to include more Native American tribes’ names. Another presentation discussed a joint project of three Scandinavian national libraries developing subject headings to bring out aspects of the Sami people and culture of the far North.