PPM once again has successfully arranged another package from 15 to 24 August 2014 for its members to attend the 80th IFLA Conference which was held in Lyon, France.  The group was made up of 22 PPM members from various libraries/organisations namely ATMA, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; Perpustakaan Perubatan, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, PPUKM; Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Terengganu; Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris (UPSI); Universiti Sains Malaysia Kubang Kerian Kota Bharu; Pustaka Negeri Sarawak; Jabatan Muzium Malaysia; Universiti Teknologi Petronas; Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia; Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Kelantan; and led by PPM.

The group arrived at the Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport on the 16 August 2014 on Malaysia Airlines MH20. An English speaking local guide, Ms Celine Liu took us for the Paris city tour to several locations such as Arch of Triump, Champs Elysees, Grand & Petit Palais, Place de la Concord, Place Verdome, Notre Dame and the Louvre Museum. Due to time limitations in Paris, we only managed to pass by these magnificent places and only stopped over at a few places to take photographs.

Visit to Arc De Triomphe
Visit to Arc De Triomphe

The must visit place in Paris is the Eiffel Tower which is located at the Champ de Mars. The Tower is the tallest structure in Paris and is the most-visited paid monument in the world. Since its construction in 1889, more than 200 million people all over the world visited the 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall building. We were very lucky to see the magnificence scenery using the group tickets. The place was packed with tourists and there was a very long queue.

We then had lunch at Restaurant Indonesia that is located at the rue Vaugirard. Most of the shops were closed on Saturday and it was also the school holidays. Therefore, the city was very quiet. However, we had the opportunity to walk around the city to buy some souvenirs before we took a TGV Super Train from Paris Gare Lyon  to Lyon Part Dieu at 5.00 pm. It was an unpleasant experience for most of us  since we had big bags and our train had technical problems along the way. Thus the trip was delayed for an hour from the expected arrival time.

Upon arrival, a coach with the local guide, Mr Martin Lo brought us to place known as Tandoor & Wor Restaurant located at rue Clement Marot.  After dinner, we had to rush to the Ibis Lyon Centre Perrance, located at the Cours de Verdun Perrance, where we stayed for six  nights. Everyone felt so tired due to the long journey from Malaysia.

The location of the hotel was just less than 10 minutes walking distance  to the train station and it took us more than half an hour because we also had to take a bus to the Lyon Convention Centre. On the 17 August 2014 (Sunday), we rushed to the Conference location for the Newcomers Session and unfortunately we missed the session. A reminder to improve any further trips since we need to arrive a day earlier to register  and to familiarised with the route to the Convention Center. Fortunately, the registration process was so efficient and took us only seconds to activate using the system provided by the organizer. We even managed to get our certificate by only clicking a button on the last day. We collected our conference materials and also registered for the library visit offered with not much choice because most of the locations have been fully booked.

We attended the opening ceremony which had:

  1. A welcome address from Gérard Collomb, Mayor of Lyon and Bruno Racine, President of the National Library of France
  2. The opening address from IFLA President, Sinikka Sipilä
  3. Speeches from the guests of honour: Benoît Hamon, Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research and Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communication
  4. Keynote address from the renowned philosopher Bernard Stiegler titled “The Future of Reading”
  5. Special presentation of the French national culture.
Azlan in the Hall for the opening ceremony
Azlan in the Hall for the opening ceremony
At the Lyon Convention Centre
At the Lyon Convention Centre

The WLIC comprises of 227 sessions in which the theme highlights the inclusive nature of the library as a democratic institution that provide spaces for information-sharing and learning for all ages, genders, ethnicities and socio-economic groups regardless of their needs as well as a critical provider of information, data and knowledge. WLIC was attended by more than 4,000 participants from all over the world including 36 Malaysian delegates from various libraries.  The participants could attend concurrent sessions according to their interest. We also visited the informative and interesting poster sessions which were participated by more than 200 libraries/organisations and visited the product exhibition which were participated by more than 100 companies.

Three of the PPM Council Member attended a discussion with Ms Fiona (Manager, Member Services and Development, IFLA) pertaining to the Building Strong Library Associations or BLSA project.BSLA is a comprehensive programme by IFLA, offering a strategic and coordinated approach to capacity building and sustainability of library associations. The programme benefits associations, libraries, and their communities. We also had the opportunity to attend the General Assembly Meeting of the Federation on the 20 August 2014. PPM also voted and supported the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development. At the Conference, a PPM member from Universiti Sains Malaysia presented a paper entitled “Book Buddies: Nurture and Culture Reading Habits among Paediatric Patients and Guardians at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia”.  The other three papers are from University of Malaya and Universiti Teknologi MARA.

On the final day at Lyon, eight of us visited the Lyon Catholic University Library & Document Resource Centre located in the center of Lyon.  The main library is situated at the Bellecour Campus which contains 200,000 books and 2,000 journals in the areas of philosophy, history, literature, humanities, natural science and theology. The library belongs to the SUDOC network (Service Universitaire de Documentation) which interconnects with some 3,000 libraries elsewhere in France. The University’s creation in 1875 was initiated by the Catholics, following the passage of a law on the freedom of higher education.

Library visit
Library visit
Library visit
Library visit

In the afternoon, we took the TGV Super Train from Lyon Part Dieu to Paris Gare Lyon. We stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Paris Porte de Clichy. After checking-in, a few of us ventured out to look for more Paris souvenirs.

We flew back to Kuala Lumpur on Saturday via Malaysia Airlines MH. For this  PPM group, the opportunity to attend the international conference was so valuable  as well as memorable because it offered a good opportunity to meet with attendees from more than 50 countries all over the world, create an awareness to the development of libraries and allowed for the building of  networks among the PPM members. Hopefully everyone was satisfied with the package. There is still room for improvement when organizing any PPM trips.  We ended our journey of nine days and seven nights in WLIC, Lyon at KLIA by late afternoon. The relationship and exchanging of photographs amongst the group members continued via our IFLA LYON whatsapp group. More photos can be accessed via the Facebook of Persatuan Pustakawan Malaysia.



A group of eight of us assembled at KLIA check-in counter on Saturday night of 11 October 2014. Altogether  there were nine people but Mr. Wong Vui Yin flew direct to Incheon Airport from Kota Kinabalu. He will meet us at Incheon airport. We were denied a group check-in because we had less than 10 people in our group so with the help of our agent, Mr. James Lee, we tried to do self check-in at the MAS kiosk. However, we had difficulty doing the self check-in so we had to get the MAS staff on duty at the check-in counter to do all the check-in for us. Some were waiting for us at counter L16 for the group check-in and thanks to the whatsapp group that I had created it was easy to redirect them to Counter E with just one message to the OCLC JEJU group whatsapp. Once that was settled all of us proceeded to the Immigration counter and then boarded the aero train to Gate C.

It was a fairly smooth flight and alhamdullilah we touched down at Incheon international airport at 7.10 am on Sunday morning of 12 October 2014. After collecting our luggage we straight away head for the exit hoping to see our local tourist guide and Mr Wong. As we came out I could see Mr. Wong busy talking to a big size man which I had presumed to be our local tourist guide. He introduced himself as Mr. Louis, the friendly local Korean guide. We were taken to our mini bus and the weather was great and the temperature was about 20 degrees Celsius. Our first destination is the Korean National Folk Museum and Gyeongbokgung Palace. The journey was going to take about an hour so along the way Louis was giving us a narration of the history of Korea. Everyone was excited when we arrived at our destination and to start our tour though for some of us this is not the first time. I remember very well when I came for IFLA in Seoul in 2006. That was my first trip to Seoul and was equally excited when we were taken for a tour of the National Folk Museum and Gyeongbokgung Palace at that time. The sun was shining brightly and before we entered the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Louis pointed out to us the persimmon tree which was full of fruits. When I was in Guilin last year I saw a lot of persimmon trees but never had the chance to take a close-up photo of the trese so you can imagine my excitement of being able to take a photo at close range. The sun was shining very brightly and we were feeling quite hot by the time we finished the tour and was so happy to be back on our mini bus for the cool air conditioning. Much to our surprise we were treated to a melon stick ice cream courtesy of Datin Diana. I have never tested a nice melon ice cream before and everyone was enjoying that on the bus. Our next destination is Halal lunch within the Itaewon area. By then we were so hungry and looked forward to that. After the sumptuous buffet lunch many of us proceeded uphill on foot to the only mosque in Seoul to pray.

After prayers we headed to Gimpo airport where we had to take a domestic flight to Jeju. Much to our surprise Louis followed us to Jeju. There was a slight problem when checking in for Norliza Nordin because her name was not in the system. The local agent had apparently made a mistake by entering Datin Nordiana Muhidin’s name twice in the system. I told Louis they probably got the names mixed up but eventually all was settled and we board a local flight by JinAir at about 4.25 pm. after the flight was delayed for an hour.  We landed at 5.25 pm and headed for the Jeju Grand Hotel, our hotel for our entire stay in Jeju. While Louis did the check-in for our rooms Datin did us a favour and went to register for the OCLC conference and collected our conference bags. The organiser had changed the conference venue from Jeju National University to the Jeju Grand Hotel and we were very happy as it would be very convenient for us. Once we got our room keys we said goodbye to Louis who was flying back to Seoul that night. Once settled in, we retired early to get ourselves ready for the conference the next day. The first day of the conference was time for networking and we were busy exchanging name cards with our Korean friends from the National Korean University during tea breaks. Our Halal lunch had been arranged specially for the Malaysian group and 2 librarians from Indonesia in the Azaria restaurant. The first day presentation ended early so at about 3.30pm we boarded our respective buses for a visit to the Jeju National University Library and Museum. When we visited the Museum, we came across this dark stone statue which is a symbol to JeJu Island. Aripah and I wasted no time trying to capture this great moment with our new found friend. By the time we got back to our hotel it was almost 6 pm and since we had an hour before the conference dinner we decided to freshen up by going up to our room for a change of clothes. Much to our delight there was a Halal corner for us but that did not stop some of us wandering to the other buffet tables where they discovered prawns and crabs were being served. While we were having our dinner we were entertained to a cultural show of the famous drum assemble and dances such as the fan dance and the ribbon dance.  Truly entertaining and mesmerising!

The next day, the second day of the conference during the tea break, apart from taking the opportunity to take pictures with our Korean friends I asked one of the librarian what is the name of the statue of the black stone that is so symbolic of Jeju. It is called Dol Hareubang. Dol means stone and Hareubang means Grandfather , in other word it means  grandfather’s rock or statue.

At the end of the conference it was announced that the next host for OCLC 2015 is Melbourne, Australia. There was no dinner for the second day so Datin had suggested we all go to a sea food restaurant. She had asked the hotel for advice and wrote the address for the taxis to take us. The restaurant is called Shabu-Shabu. Sounds familiar? The owner speaks good English and was very friendly indeed. We decided on seafood steamboat. The company and the wonderful menus made that dinner a wonderful memory.

We had to retire early for the night because a local tour guide was meeting us at 8 am the next morning and therefore we need to have our breakfast early and check out before 8 am. Our local Jeju tour guide’s name is Ang and met us in the lobby of the hotel.  I had asked him where he will be taking us. Ang replied “Up to see the Pig and Pork land”. Can you imagine the horror on my face and I quickly said No, No Pig and no Pork. Actually it was his pronounciation that got me worried. He meant going up the Peak and Folklore village. All of us started laughing after we knew what the mistake was all about.    After making sure our luggage is loaded on the bus we started our Jeju tour by heading to the Mysterious Road. The journey took an hour and because all of us were still sleepy we decided to catch up with our sleep on the way. When we got to the Mysterious Road, the bus driver switched off the engine and the bus moved by itself for about 500 metres. The Jeju people believed the strange phenomena has got something to do with the Halla mountain. Next, we headed towards the Seongsan Ilchulbong mountain which literally means sunrise peak which is 180 metre high but with very well laid steps to ascend and descend making it an easy climb for tourists. Only four of us made to the top, i.e. Wong, Zawawi, Sabri and I was the only lady. The view up there was breath taking but it was hot as the sun was shining down on us. From there we were taken to visit the Songup Folklore village as the last stop before our flight to Seoul.  We were given a briefing by a local guide who mentioned there are three “No” in Jeju. There three are: No gate, no thief and no beggar. In Jeju there are more women than man, a lot of wind and a lot of black stone.  We were told the oldest sea woman (who dives without an oxygen mask) is 92 years old. They are strong because they take the bones of the Jeju pony which is well known in Jeju for its strength. Once we completed the tour, we were taken to the airport to catch our flight to Seoul. We bid farewell to Jeju  Island. It was certainly a wonderful stay at Jeju Grand Hotel and we learned a lot of new things during the conference.

When we exit the arrival hall at Gimpo, our friendly Korean guide, Louis was waiting for us. It was almost 3 pm and we were feeling very hungry. I told Louis we better stop for takeaway of fast food to save time. We were required to visit an amethyst factory, cosmetic shop and the ginseng shop and therefore time was really limited. We bought shrimp burgers and fries for everyone and ate our so called late lunch on the bus on the way to the amethyst factory. A few of us bought some amethyst rings and pendants. Since I was wearing my clove amethyst bracelet bought from that factory way back in 2006, the shop assistant insisted to have mine polished. From there we went to the cosmetic shop which was supposed to be famous among the Japanese and Chinese tourist. Our last stop was a ginseng shop and by then it was already dark even though it was only 6.30 pm. After that we were taken to a Turkish restaurant near  the mosque in Itaewon for our dinner which consists of chicken kebabs, lamb stew and rice. It was a very nice change of menu and goes well with everyone. By the time we finished dinner it was almost 8.30 pm and Louis said he will take us to Dotta in Dongdaemun market. It is actually a night market which stays open till 5am. Dotta is actually an eight floor building where we can shop for Korean souvenirs and brooches but nothing is comparable to Namdaemun market. We could not go to Namdaemun because it closes at 7 pm. We were given up to 10.30 pm before we board the bus back to Capital Hotel in Itaewon. Once in our room it is time to start packing because after breakfast we will be taken to the airport for our return flight home. Alhamdullilah another smooth flight back and we arrived at KLIA at 4.35 pm on Thursday of the 16 October 2014. All in all we had a great conference and enjoyed our stay in Jeju and Seoul and what is most important we had bonded as a group by exchanging photos of the times in Jeju and Seoul via our group’s whatsapp.


From Malaysia
From Malaysia
The performance - traditional Korean dance
The performance – traditional Korean dance
The performance - traditional Korean musicians
The performance – traditional Korean musicians
Dinner at Shabu Shabu
Dinner at Shabu Shabu
Our group selfie courtesy of Zawawi