Association of College & Research Libraries

Conference Circuit: New Delhi, India, hosts librarians from around the world

By Barbara J. Ford Barbara J. Ford is director of university library services at Virginia Commonwealth University

From August 30 to September 5, 1992, the 58th General Conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) was held in New Delhi, In- dia. The theme of the conference was “Library and Information Policy Perspectives.’’ Approximately 1,500 people from 80 countries at- tended the meeting including about 100 delegates from the U.S. and about 500 from India. Robert Wedgeworth, now of the University of Illi- nois at Urbana-Cham- paign, presided over the meeting as IFLA President.

Attending the conference were (l to r): Robert Wedgeworth, IFLA President; P. Mangla, Univ. of Delhi; U. Baxi, Univ. of Delhi; and R. N. Sharma, Univ. of Evansville.

The 100th anniversary of the birth of S. R. Ranganathan (the father of India’s library movement) was celebrated and discussed during the IFLA programs and a postage stamp in his honor was released during the opening ceremony. The exhibits provided a good introduction to Indian libraries and the opportunities they face. Conference attendees were able to tour libraries at Delhi University and Jamia Hamdard University.

Many programs were of special interest to academic librarians including ones covering CD- ROM, advances with ILL automation and interlibrary lending in India and the former Soviet Union, Latin-American and Caribbean libraries, the role of national libraries in developing countries, and library services to multicultural populations.

One of the most interesting meetings I at- tended at the conference was the program on “Women’s Status in Librarianship and Infor- mation Needs of Women.” Speakers from the United Kingdom, the U.S., and India spoke on those topics; Indian women were especially vocal in discussing their programs and needs. A proposal to establish a working group on women’s issues in librarianship in IFLA was developed. This group would promote research and the gathering of information on the role and status of women in libraries by orga- nizing programs and providing a source of expertise on these is- sues for IFLA. The program was well at- tended and well re- ceived.

Those from the U.S. presenting pa- pers included: Thel- ma Tate (Rutgers University), Michele Cloonan (UCLA), Jay Lambrecht (University of Illinois at Chicago), Darlene Weingand (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Marilyn Miller (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), Suzine Har Necolescu (Medgar Evars College), Barbara J. Ford (Virginia Commonwealth University), Sharon Hogan (University of Illinois at Chicago), R. N. Sharma (University of Evansville), Mohamed Aman (University of Wisconsin), Josephine Fang (Simmons College), Donald Davis (University of Texas at Austin), and Robert Holley (Wayne State University).

IFLA will meet in Barcelona, Spain, in 1993; in Havana, Cuba, in 1994; and in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1995. The conferences are fascinating and provide a unique opportunity to learn about libraries around the world. ■

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