Reflecting on IFLA

Today I was looking for something in my IFLA files and found myself heading fast down the rabbit hole of memory. And what memories!

My first IFLA WLIC was Milan in 2009 when I went in my role as ALIA President. As gigs go it was pretty good! My friend Vicki McDonald ( who is currently standing for President-elect of IFLA) recounts how at her first Mid-term she was warned she would get the ‘IFLA Bug’ by a German colleague while walking back to the hotel after dinner. I was alerted to the ‘IFLA Bug’ by the then IFLA Secretary General ( and fellow Australian), Jennefer Nicholson, way back in Milan. I poo, pooed the idea. Here I am 12 years later, an IFLA devotee standing for a position as Professional Division Committee Chair!

And what a 12 years it’s been. I have met some amazing people, some of whom are now amongst my ‘bestest’ friends; I have visited over 25 countries to participate in Congresses, mid-term meetings and conferences and have helped in developing programs for these; I have been part of the Global vision journey; and I have been privileged to represent IFLA in India and Iran, two of the most magical countries in the world. But more than that I have been welcomed into libraries around the world, every one centred on their community. Listening to them I have worked with my colleagues to develop initiatives and explore advocacy opportunities to promote libraries.

So getting back to the photos! There are so many of them and some of them are archived on my old PC! I’ve grabbed a few for the video and apologies to my many IFLA buddies who don’t appear (unlike my travel buddies Marian and Margaret, and my friend Anette who is teaching me Swedish by osmosis, who are overexposed). I deliberately kept the misadventures and the shopping excursions to a minimum but the epic 60 hour trip from Columbus Ohio back to Australia has a place in our memory.

This year the IFLA WLIC will be online which is an exciting opportunity in these uncertain times. I might not be able to hug my friends in person but they will be close to my heart.

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