By: Chin Loy Jyoon, Vice President II, Persatuan Pustakawan Malaysia
Malaysia, through the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the Librarians Association of Malaysia (PPM) and the National Library of Malaysia (PNM) with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia and the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), hosted IFLA WLIC 2018 from the 24 to 30 August 2018 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur. Based on an online survey held among the attendees of the Congress, IFLA WLIC 2018 was rated as the most successful Congress ever hosted with the highest score of 93.7% compared to the previous eleven (11) host countries. IFLA WLIC 2018 also scored very well on four (4) on-site conference services which included volunteers (93.9%), information desk (91.3%), signs for direction information (88.7%) and self-printing terminals for Congress badge (87.3%) . The Congress themed “Transform Libraries, Tranform Societies” with the tagline “Reaching Out To The Hard To Reach” has transformed the libraries and the library profession in Malaysia to greater heights. Well done Malaysia!
As a reflection of the success of IFLA WLIC 2018, there were 251 sessions, 600 paper presenters, 220 papers, 24 Lightning Talks, 70 IFLA booth exhibitors, 122 participation in the IFLA poster session and 117 participation in the Library Boulevard held throughout the Congress. Besides that, 17 Satellite Meetings including 13 in Klang Valley, one (1) each in Pulau Pinang, Sarawak, Singapore and Kolkata, India were held before and after the during Congress. A total of 44 libraries in Malaysia, comprising of various types of libraries such as academic, special and public libraries, were chosen for library visits on 30 March 2018. The Wellness Programme or the morning exercise routine was held for the first time for the Congress participants at the KLCC Park and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Congress attracted 3,520 participants from 112 countries that consists of 1,241 local participants and 2,279 foreign participants. This included 300 volunteers comprising of 293 local volunteers and 7 foreign volunteers from Greece, Germany, Iran and Sri Lanka. The ten (10) highest number of participants were from Malaysia (1,241), USA (238), China (198), Singapore (150), Germany (93), Australia (86), Republic of Korea (73), Japan (68), Indonesia (64), France (53) and Russia (53).
Better late than never. Even though IFLA WLIC 2018 was held more than seven months ago, an Appreciation Night was held on 26 March 2019 at PNM to say a big thank you to all those involved in the hosting of IFLA WLIC 2018. This included the WLIC 2018 Main Committee, WLIC 2018 National Committee, Cultural Night Sub-Committee, Volunteers Sub-Committee, Library Visits Sub-Committee, Library Boulevard Sub-Committee, Satellite Meeting Sub-Committee, Marketing Sub-Committee, sponsors and all the unsung heroes who were directly and indirectly involved in IFLA WLIC 2018.
The Appreciation Night was held in conjunction with the Annual Conference of Malaysian Libraries (PTPM 2019) with the theme “ #MalaysiaMembaca” or “#MalaysiaRead” which was well attended by more than 350 librarians with invited speakers from Indonesia and Singapore. Organised by PNM and PPM, PTPM 2019 was officiated by Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the keynote address with the theme Library 5.0 was delivered by Datuk Isham Ishak, Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Among the highlights of the Appreciation Night was the buffet dinner with a widespread of local delicacies; cultural performances and the presentation of appreciation certificates to all the IFLA WLIC 2018 Committees and our strategic partners such as Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Express Rail Link Sdn. Bhd. and Kuala Lumpur City Hall. The Guest of Honour for the Night was Datuk Adeline Leong, Chairman of the PNM Advisory Board.
The pinnacle of the Appreciation Night was the bestowing of the PPM Lifetime Honorary Membership by PPM to three (3) distinguished strong supporters of IFLA WLIC 2018 who have contributed to the success of the Congress. They were Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah, former Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia; Tan Sri Mat Shah Safuan, Chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Library Advisory Board and Madam Susan Ooi, General Manager of Access Dunia Sdn. Bhd.
To keep up with the success of the IFLA WLIC 2018, many post conference KPIs have been set up which included more participation of Malaysian librarians in the IFLA Governing Board and Standing Committees, IFLA programmes and activities such as the IFLA Global Vision, Library Map of the World and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030. In order to achive these targets, PPM’s Strategic Plan 2019-2023 has been drawn up in line with the IFLA Strategic Plan. PNM and PPM look forward to the declaration of Kuala Lumpur as UNESCO World Book Capital in 2020 and will be supporting the programmes drawn up.