Friday, August 15, 2008

...and the Winner for IFLA 2011 is San Juan, Puerto Rico

Yesterday, Thursday, August 14, 2008, in the afternoon, more or less at 4:00 o’clock, in Room 2000 of the Québec Convention Centre, scheduled for the Closing Session of the 77th IFLA World Congress of Libraries and Information, with IFLA ( delegates, members of the IFLA 2008 Québec National Committee, colleagues and friends, IFLA President, Claudia Lux, announced: …and the Winner is: San Juan, Puerto Rico.

It was a most precious moment. We had already distributed many little Puerto Rican flags among the delegates and friends attending the session and the joy filled the air manifesting itself with a strong applause.

The World Congress of Libraries and Information is held traditionally every year in a country, selected by IFLA’s Governing Board, after visiting the prospective countries, study its infrastructure, and consulting with information professionals that could be in charge of the event organization. The organization of the Congress is really in the hands of IFLA Headquarters and the National Committee of the selected country. IFLA has hired a Professional Conference Organiser who handles all the arrangements and also takes care of the on-site management of the event. This structure and collaborative effort ensures the total success of the library and information world event.

At the request of IFLA’s President Claudia Lux we presented the acceptance message that follows:

Acceptance Message to IFLA for the Selection of the City of San Juan, Puerto Rico, as site for the World Congress of Libraries and Information in 2011

Québec, Canadá
IFLA 2008, Closing Session,
Qu´Ebec Convention Centre Thursday, August 14, 2008

Distinguished Members of the IFLA Governing Board, Madam President Claudia Lux, Executive Secretary Peter Lor, Designated Executive Secretary Jennefer Nicholson, Delegates, Colleagues, Friends convened at this Closing Session,

Good Afternoon,

The Capital City of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been selected by IFLA to host the 77th World Congress of Libraries and Information in 2011, and we are highly honored.

The information professionals in Puerto Rico: librarians, archivists, documentalists, educators in the information field, representatives of the information industry, and others related, express our humble and rejoiced gratitude to IFLA’s Governing Board for the gentle deference bestowed upon us.

For a country within the Caribbean region, the smallest within the Greater Antilles, to be selected as site for IFLA’s World Congress is a special challenge. For a long time, we had been dreaming how all IFLA members could come to our country, to our region, to share experiences. And, today, when the dream really comes true we accept the challenge, filled with emotion.

The information professionals in Puerto Rico commit ourselves to work proactively and continuously, with lots of enthusiasm, to contribute to the organization of this professional event, that we envision will allow us to share knowledge, develop skills, exchange experiences, share new theories and trends with all colleagues in the world; to propiciate the establishment of collaborative agreements, fostering the cultural and linguistic diversity, aligned with the requirements of the information profession in the 21st Century, and geared to benefit all the communities that we serve globally.

Our goal, from now on, will be to work continuously to generate the required synergistic environment, that will contribute to the effective development of a professional program for IFLA 2011 that will be of interest and of benefit to all. Our efforts will be devoted to stimulate the development of learning communities and communities of practice in such a way to achieve the international understanding desired by IFLA and for all of us IFLA members.

We anticipate that this global encounter of librarians, archivists, documentalists, library and information science educators, representatives of the information industry, will open new avenues to undertake joint studies, research, teaching and continuing education, and trigger the motivation for a higher level of shared creativity and collaborative innovation.

We hope that the new innovative avenues developed by all of us, together, will enrich and strengthen our raison d’être of our profession, allowing all libraries, archives, mediathèques, and other information units related, be placed and recognized in the corresponding key place where they belong, in an effort to stimulate achieving the highest well being and the sustainability of our countries, within a global brotherhood endeavor: our library and information global agenda.

The libraries, archives, documentation centers and other information units related, in San Juan and in all of Puerto Rico, will open its doors to all colleagues attending the IFLA-Puerto Rico2011, to share our experiences and best practices.

Puerto Rico is a humble country, friendly, proud of its Indian, African and Spanish roots. Our country values hospitality, the exchange of ideas, the rescuing, preservation and conservation of the patrimony; we treasure the cultural diversity, the solidarity, the equitable access to and use of documentation and information.

And, as a preamble, to bring you just a gist of what is, in part, the treasure of Puerto Rico: its people, its environment and ecology, its culture and economy, its art and music, its tropical flavor, allow me to introduce to you my friend Rosa Luke, from the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, presenting the video Puerto Rico at a glance.

It will certainly be an honor and a pleasure to greet you all with a warm brotherhood embrace in IFLA-Puerto Rico 2011, to share the diversity of knowledge and experiences.

Allow me to express again, our gratitude to you All.

Luisa Vigo-Cepeda, Ph.D. Professor, Graduate School of Information Sciences and Technologies University of Puerto Rico

Executive Secretary Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institute Libraries (ACURIL)