2008 World Library and Information Congress - One of Quebec City's biggest conventions in 2008 launched to great fanfare

    QUEBEC CITY, Aug. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The World Library and Information
Congress, IFLA 2008, officially opened this morning at the Quebec City
Convention Centre attended by close to 4,000 delegates from 150 countries. The
event, which will run until Thursday, August 14, will explore the theme of
"Libraries without borders: Navigating towards global understanding,"
discussing the development and future of libraries around the world, both at a
national and provincial level.
    The opening ceremony was attended by the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean,
Governor General of Canada; Marguerite Blais, Minister responsible for Seniors
and the representative of Quebec's Minister of Culture, Communications and the
Status of Women; Denise Trudel, representing the Quebec City mayor; and IFLA
president Claudia Lux.
    The colorful opening ceremony began with traditional First Nations
dancing. Speeches were interspersed with storytelling and history, painting a
vibrant picture of the dissemination of culture and knowledge, and author Dany
Laferrière gave a lively performance illustrating the important role of
humankind in today's information society.
    This is only the third time Canada has welcomed the prestigious
conference since IFLA was founded in 1927. The IFLA annual congress has been
held in Toronto before, in 1967, and in Montreal in 1982.

    Making knowledge accessible

    Worldwide, two out of every five people visit libraries. In Canada, this
number rises to more than one in every two. Throughout the congress-the
biggest international meeting of librarians-hundreds of conference speakers
and panelists will discuss the issues surrounding the preservation and
dissemination of documentary heritage, namely the digital shift, equal access
to information, freedom of expression, the social and economic impact of
libraries, and the role of libraries as public forums promoting social
integration, continuing education, and the sustainable development of society.
"We need to consider the mission of libraries in a world where technology has
erased many borders, and where opportunities for discussion and cooperation
have grown constantly, to the point of becoming indispensable," Mr. Claude
Bonnelly, chair of the IFLA 2008 Congress national organizing committee, told
    ASTED (Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de la
documentation) has been preparing this congress since 2003 in cooperation with
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), Library and Archives
Canada (LAC), Université Laval, and other associations and institutions.

    Library of Alexandria director honored

    The opening ceremony of the 2008 IFLA Congress also saw the director of
the prestigious Library of Alexandria, Ismael Serageldine, awarded an honorary
doctorate by Université Laval.

    About IFLA

    The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
(IFLA) was founded in 1927. It aims to promote the development of first-class
libraries and documentation services around the world. IFLA is a
nongovernmental and nonpolitical organization that brings together over 1,700
associations, institutions, and individuals in 150 countries worldwide.

    About ASTED

    Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de la
documentation (ASTED) is a nonprofit, Quebec-based cultural and scientific
association that has been in existence since 1973. ASTED is dedicated to
advancing documentation science and techniques by combining member expertise,
publications, activities of all sorts, services, and the ties it maintains
with documentation and information bodies as well as society as a whole.

    About Library and Archives Canada

    One of Canada's youngest and most innovative institutions, Library and
Archives Canada (LAC) seeks to preserve the country's documentary heritage for
present and future generations and to facilitate cooperation among Canadian
groups interested in acquiring, preserving, and disseminating knowledge. It is
a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the
cultural, social, and economic advancement of the free and democratic society
that is Canada. It also serves as the continuing memory of the federal
government and its institutions.

    About Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

    Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec is a cultural institution
whose mission is to acquire, conserve, and disseminate published, archived,
and film documentary heritage from or relating to Quebec. It gives all
Quebecers free access to the public library's vast universal collections and
services, onsite, online, and through interlibrary loans. BAnQ comprises the
Grande Bibliothèque library, a conservation center, and nine archive centers
in Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, Rimouski, Rouyn-Noranda, Saguenay,
Sept-Iles, Sherbrooke, and Trois-Rivières.

    About Université Laval

    Located in Quebec, a world heritage city, Université Laval is the oldest
French-language university in North America. It is one of Canada's leading
research universities and ranked 8th out of 93 higher education institutions
across the country last year with a research budget of $259 million.
Université Laval boasts 1,500 research professors, who teach 38,000 students,
including over 10,000 postgraduates.

For further information:

For further information: Jonathan Gendron, HKDP Communications and
Public Affairs, (418) 929-2318, jgendron@hkdp.qc.ca; Source: World Library and
Information Congress, IFLA 2008

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