Three thousand information professionals, half of them from Africa, gathered in Durban, South Africa, for meetings, workshops, and presentations at the 73rd annual conference of IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
The delegates came from 118 countries attended the week-long convention. After the host country, the United States, the U.K., China, and the Russian Federation sent the most conferees.
Highlights of the conference included announcement of a $1 million grant to IFLA from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for library advocacy. The funding will support IFLA's work to strengthen awareness of the role libraries play in developing the information society.
Also at the IFLA meeting, the Gates Foundation's Global Libraries initiative presented its 2007 Access to Learning Award of $1 million to the Northern Territory Library, a regional public library system based in Darwin, Australia. The award honors the library's approach to bringing computer and Internet technology to remote indigenous communities. Microsoft, a Global Libraries initiative partner, will donate an additional $224,000 in software and technology training curriculum to upgrade the organization's 300 library computers.
Conference attendees visited several libraries in the region, including the University of Zululand Library, the Eleanor Bonnar Music Library at the Howard College campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the Durban University of Technology Library.
A delegation of SLA members attended the South Africa conference. Some provided reports on their activities:
CLASSIFICATION AND INDEXING SECTION
Dorothy McGarry and Marcia Lei Zeng
The section's program included "Audio Description Text for Indexing Films," by James M. Turner and Suzanne Mathieu; "User Tagging of Library Resources: Toward a Framework for System Evaluation," by Jonathan Furner; "Taxonomy Directed Folksonomy: Integrating User Tagging and Controlled Vocabularies for Australian Education Networks," by Sarah Hayman and Nick Lothian; and "Greater Subject Access to Dewey Decimal Classification's Notation, with Special Reference to Indonesia's Geography, Period and Language Notations," by L. Sulistyo-Basuki.
The Standing Committee of the section had two meetings at which it discussed current activities and held elections. Patrice Landry was reelected as chair and Leda Bultrini was elected as secretary. Plans were discussed for the 2008 meeting in Quebec City and the 2009 meeting in Milan, and the strategic plan was revised.
The Working Group on Subject Access by National Bibliographic Agencies met to discuss a list of tasks that had been prepared by Patrice Landry and Francoise Bourdon and presented by...