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IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2018


August 24, 2018 08:00 - August 30, 2018 17:00


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Theme: Transform Libraries, Transform Societies

On behalf of the National Committee we are pleased to invite you to the 84th World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which will take place from 24th – 30th August 2018.

Our theme is “Transform Libraries, Transform Societies” with the additional tagline: ‘Reaching out to the hard to reach’. The critical role played by libraries in the west and in the east in the development of a nation lies in their ability to transform societies that maketh the nation. Like most countries, Malaysia is guided by 5 National Key Performance Indicators underlying its national development, and libraries are expected to contribute towards the achievement of the national KPIs via their niche area as expressed in the National Library of Malaysia’s policy statement – “Towards developing a [Malaysian] society that is characterised by a reading and knowledge culture, by 2020” (Translation). Since Malaysia is a multinational and multicultural country blending the various traditions and beliefs of the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Dayak, Iban, Dusun, Kadazan, Bajau, Melanau and ‘Orang Asli’ etc. underlying the diversity is a common guiding principle of nation building which is — develop a strong family, develop strong communities, develop a strong society and finally develop a strong nation. It is easy to see why libraries in this part of the world play a significant role in national development by developing families and communities that are literate and knowledgeable. All types of libraries therefore, with their focus on their specific communities, have the unique advantage of being able to help transform societies.

In this digital age, libraries in Malaysia are undergoing transformation—developing digital libraries, upgrading professional competencies, undertaking innovative programs and activities, reviewing library education curricula, embarking on community projects as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs etc. in order to ensure that libraries remain relevant against the competing roles of Internet and other social media. Transforming the Malaysian society is fraught with challenges. Malaysia’s society is not homogeneous. It is vastly multiracial, multireligious and multilingual, with an urban–rural dichotomy, rich-poor socio-economic divide, with varying literacy ability levels, obvious digital and information divides, etc. These are challenges faced in transforming libraries and societies in Malaysia. It would be interesting to know how other countries fare.

We hope that this theme can be applied globally to WLIC 2018 because it would be interesting to know how other countries contribute towards the transformation of their societies through their libraries.

Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-cultural country which undertakes multi-cultural activities such as religious celebrations/events throughout the year (e.g. Eid Mubarak, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Christmas, Gawai, etc.)

The international delegates of the IFLA World Library and Information Congress will not have trouble to feel at home and they will find that many of their needs and wishes are accommodated by the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur. We are proud and honoured to be hosting the 84th World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur.

“Selamat Datang” to Kuala Lumpur

Dato’ Nafisah binti Ahmad
Chair, IFLA WLIC 2018
National Committee & President,
Librarians Association of Malaysia

Dato’ Dr. Zaiton binti Osman
Co-Chair, IFLA WLIC 2018
National Committee & Consultant,
Librarians Association of Malaysia