In December, the first calls for papers for next year’s IFLA (in Helsinki this time) are published. This time, people started to complain about the high conference fees that IFLA charges. The original issue had to do with members of the IFLA sections – who are (s)elected for four years and have to find money for five consecutive conferences.
I am glad this debate has started – supported by the power of digital technology
IFLA is a progressive and democratic organization with a rather traditional structure. This includes the high cost of the annual conferences and the “sequence of hurried lectures” format.
Much has been done to adapt the organization in recent years – but the conference itself has only seen small changes. Process oriented small group sessions and spontaneous “unconferences” remain experiments. The high cost means that participants tend to come from senior positions in big libraries and hence to be above fifty or sixty (like myself …).
To flourish, IFLA needs young and innovative participants from not-so-rich institutions and countries.
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