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Montreal – August 6, 2008 – This year, Canada and Québec are the hosts for the 74th conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) which will be held from August 10 to 14th in the City of Québec. Ms Lise Bissonnette, CEO of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, and Mr. Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, and their respective teams are key players in the organization of this prestigious conference attended by representatives from the world over.
IFLA 2008, the theme of which is Libraries without borders: Navigating towards global understanding, will gather more than 4,000 librarians and documentalists from 150 countries in Québec. This conference is a golden opportunity to share on issues related not only to the trade, but also to the evolution of the very role of libraries in society.
Many specialists from Library and Archives Canada and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec will be among hundreds of experts giving lectures and presentations on topics such as digital resources, digitization and remote service deliver, literacy and reading, services for persons with disabilities, intellectual property and documentary heritage preservation and conservation.
"Library and Archives Canada's international involvement is relevant to Canadians as it benefits the professional community and ensures that Canadian needs are represented in the field of global standards," stated Ian E. Wilson. "We are also happy to showcase how our libraries in Canada and Québec are reaching out to communities across the country and are transcending borders in a variety of ways."
In anticipation of this great gathering, Library and Archives Canada and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec teamed up to produce a book highlighting fascinating experiments and innovations implemented by the staff of many libraries from across the country. The launch of this book, titled Reaching out – Innovations in Canadian libraries, will take place during the IFLA conference at noon on Monday, August 11th, in the Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in Québec; each conference attendee will receive a copy of the book.
The Internet portal of the Réseau francophone des bibliothèques nationales numériques will be previewed at noon on Tuesday, August 12th, at the same place (It will be officially launched at the Sommet de la Francophonie which will take place in Québec in October of 2008). This new Portal, created by BAnQ in cooperation with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and several francophone countries and states, is a remarkable example of the implementation of a North-South cultural cooperation project. It offers the public, education community and researchers a free access to heritage documentary holdings selected for their historical and cultural significance. It also offers a remote reference service and valuable tools, in particular a didactic package on digitization and a directory of the national libraries of the francophonie. The reception will be attended by Ms Lise Bissonnette, Mr Ian E. Wilson, Mr Bruno Racine, president of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and Mr Pietro Sicuro, director of the Institut de la Francophonie numérique of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
"Libraries, which are now more than ever the guardians of the knowledge of the world through their state-of-the-art usage of new technologies, contribute directly to making the virtual world truly a place of cultural diversity", stated Lise Bissonnette. "The key role of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec in the implementation of the Réseau francophone des bibliothèques nationales numériques not only serves national interests but is also a tangible demonstration of solidarity between the world's documentary communities, which will be one of the trademarks of the IFLA conference."
Ms Bissonnette and Mr Wilson will be available for interviews throughout the conference.
About the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the main organization representing the interests of libraries, information services and their users. Founded in Edinburgh in 1927, this independent, international, non-governmental and not for profit organization is comprised today of over 1,700 institutional members in 155 countries. The IFLA has the objective of promoting the quality of documentary services and to make the general public and the governmental bodies aware of the importance of libraries in society.
About Library and Archives Canada
One of the most recent and innovative national institutions, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is mandated to preserve the documentary heritage for present and future generations and to facilitate in Canada a joint action of the various sectors interested in the acquisition, preservation and dissemination of knowledge. It is a permanent source of knowledge which is accessible to all and which contributes to the cultural, social and economic development of the free and democratic society of Canada. It is also the permanent memory of the federal administration and its institutions.
About Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec is a cultural institution that has the mission of acquiring, preserving and disseminating the published, archived and filmographic documentary heritage of or about Quebec. It also offers all Quebecers — on the premises, through the Internet or by interlibrary loans — free access to vast universal collections and to the services of a large public library. The BAnQ encompasses the Grande Bibliothèque, the Centre de conservation and nine archival centers in Montreal, Québec, Gatineau, Rimouski, Rouyn-Noranda, Saguenay, Sept-Îles, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières.
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Pauline M. Portelance
Senior Media Relations Officer
Library and Archives Canada
819. 994. 4589 or 613. 293. 4298
Media Relations Officer
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
514-873-1101 ext. 3199