IFLA Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico Aug 13-18

With only less than 10 weeks to go before the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Puerto Rico takes off, we wanted to remind those of you who have not registered yet of what they are about to miss out on. And of course, refresh the memory of those who will come by outlining what they can expect from their participation!

The Programme:
The National Committee selected the theme ‘Libraries beyond Libraries: Integration, Innovation and Information for All’ to set a unique environment to integrate the efforts of all information units to collaborate in order to better serve needs of all.
This theme connects with the theme of the IFLA President, Ellen Tise; ‘Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge’. 
 

The Professional programme embraces these two themes by basing their sessions during the Congress around them. This has resulted in a diverse and high-level programme with approximately 80 sessions providing delegates with platforms to learn and discuss the many facets of these two themes across sectoral and geographic boundaries. 
 

The IFLA Professional Committee has identified five tracks within the congress theme to provide delegates with a guide through the programme outlining sessions of particular interest:

1. Open access and digital resources
2. Policy, Strategy and Advocacy

3. Users driving access and services
4. Tools and techniques
5. Ideas, innovation, anticipating the new
 

The following is an example of what the list of themes to follow might look like, using sessions in track 1: Open Access and digital resources:
78 – Information systems for indigenous knowledge in agriculture — Agricultural Libraries
107 – Dispossessed persons: preserving culture in an age of migration — Genealogy and Local History Section
124 – e-Government: the role of librarians — Government Information and Official Publications Section with Government Libraries
141 – Access to information: the Afro-Caribbean connection — Access to Information Network – Africa (ATINA) 143 – Student access to new and emerging technologies — School Libraries and Resource Centres Section
148 – e-Book technologies: global accessibility and information for all — Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities Section
164 – Access and innovation: delivering information to all — Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section
193 – e-Legal deposit: from legislation to implementation; from ingest to access — Bibliography Section with IFLA-CDNL Alliance for Digital Strategies Programme (ICADS), Information Technology, National Libraries and Knowledge Management
194 – Promoting global access to law: developing an open access index for official, authenticated legal information — Law Libraries Section with Government Libraries, Government and Official Publications and Knowledge Management
198 – e-Legal deposit — IFLA-CDNL Alliance for Digital Strategies Programme (ICADS) with National Libraries, Information Technology and Bibliography
202 – e-Books and the challenges, both technical and legal, involved with making them accessible via interlibrary loan — Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Section

The full congress programme and many of the papers can be viewed on the web-site: http://conference.ifla.org/ifla77/programme-and-proceedings.

Keynote and Plenary Sessions:
Apart from the six consecutive general congress sessions throughout each day, there are Plenary Sessions held each morning. During these sessions a high-profile speaker will give a boost to stimulate discussions throughout the day.

Three speakers from Puerto Rico have been especially invited by the National Committee to give delegates an insight into Puerto Rican history and culture.

On the first day, delegates can listen to an inspiring speaker at the Opening Session – Dr. Fernando Picó S.J., a highly-respected Puerto Rican humanist, historian, and professor is to be the IFLA WLIC 2011 Keynote speaker.

Dr. Picó has made outstanding contributions to the rescue and documentation of Puerto Rican historical patrimony, to its literature, as well as to the work with the needy in the community. Dr. Picó is an expert on Nineteenth-century Puerto Rico and is considered the highest authority in this area of study and more generally in the field of the island’s history.

The second day of the congress will have an emphasis on ‘Copyright’ and related matters, starting with the Plenary Session by Trevor E. Clarke, Assistant Director General, Culture and Creative Industries Sector, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Throughout the day there will be a number of related sessions by the IFLA Copyright and other Legal Matters committee as well as IFLA’s committee for Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression.

The two other Plenary speakers are:
• Dr. Mayra Santos-Febres, Puerto Rican poetess and novelist and Prof. Luis Molina-Casanova, Puerto Rican Film and TV Director as Plenary Speakers for the Congress. Mayra Santos-Febres is a Puerto Rican writer of poems, essays, stories and novels. She is a Literature Professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, and a cultural promoter. She is a prolific writer and her work appears in international journals and newspapers.

• Luis Molina-Casanova, Resident Filmmaker and professor at the Communications Department of the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has successfully taken the Puerto Rican experience and literature into the film industry. Apart from his more than 30 years of teaching at the University of the Sacred Heart, he has taught courses on filmmaking at the University of Guadalajara, in Mexico, and at Harvard University.

 Cultural Programme:
One of the main attractions of the World Library and Information Congress as it moves around the world is the opportunity to fully experience the culture of the host country and/or city.

It starts with the Opening Session on Sunday morning 14 August, with a local welcome to the host country and city, followed by the official opening by IFLA President Ellen Tise. Delegates will be entertained by a cultural performance and the session ends with the Keynote speech by Dr. Fernando Picó. That same afternoon, there is also the Opening of the Exhibition Reception, allowing the delegates to wander around the exhibition and get a first look at what is available, drawing a map in their minds of the booths to visit in the days to come.As well as drinks and some light food, it is said that there will be an opportunity to put into practice in a true ‘Salsa Corner’ some of the entertainment seen at the Opening Session.

On Tuesday evening, 16 August, the National Committee hosts a Cultural Evening, held in the Ballajá Infantry Barracks Building. The actual programme of the evening will be kept as a surprise to the delegates, but we can disclose that delegates will have a chance to get a full taste, both literally and figuratively of Puerto Rican culture.

And be sure not to miss the Closing Session—held on Thursday 18 August— which is a time to celebrate achievements and marksthe changing of the guard between outgoing President Ellen Tise and incoming President Ingrid Parent. During the Closing session, the location of the 2013 World Library and Information Congress will be announced.

Throughout the week, several companies will also host receptions and functions.

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico offers miles upon miles of white sand beaches, an unbelievable rainforest and mountains. As one of the oldest and most diversified cultures in the world, Puerto Rico is a vibrant, modern, bilingual, multicultural society, one that has been molded by Spanish, African, Indian and U.S. influences. With 21st century conveniences in an alluring 16th historical setting, both ultramodern and bewitchingly exotic, Puerto Rico is truly the Island of Enchantment. San Juan is the capital and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico.

The culture of Puerto Rico is the result of a number of international and indigenous influences, both past and present. Modern cultural manifestations showcase the island’s rich history and help to create an identity which is a melting pot of cultures – Taíno (Native Indian), Spanish, African, Other Europeans, Asians, Middle Easteners, and North American.

Puerto Rican cooking is somewhat similar to Spanish, Cuban and Mexican cuisine, it is a unique tasty blend of Spanish, African, Taíno, and American influences, using such indigenous seasonings and ingredients as coriander, papaya, cacao, nispero, apio, plantains and yampee. Locals call their cuisine “cocina criolla” (creole cuisine). The mingling flavours and ingredients passed from generation to generation among the various ethnic groups that have settled on the island, have produced the exotic blend of today’s Puerto Rican cuisine.

REGISTRATION
The deadline for registration at the standard rate is 25 July 2011. Rates are as follows:
Full delegate IFLA Member €510
Full delegate Non-Member €680
Student €245
Accompanying Person €340
Day Delegate €170
Reserve your spot now by registering here!

ACCOMMODATION
Delegates attending the IFLA 2011 Congress in Puerto Rico are advised to make their reservation request as soon as possible, as availability cannot be guaranteed after the 5 June 2011.

All requests will be handled on a “first come-first served basis”. Deadline for Hotel bookings is 5 June 2011. After this deadline, requests will be accepted however it will be subject to availability and no longer be guaranteed. After this deadline, bookings are only possible against full payment by credit card and a late booking fee of USD 40 will be charged. Any change of reservation will be subject to a handling fee of USD 15. Changes or cancellations have to be made in writing to Congrex Travel at ifla2011accom@congrex.com Please do not contact the hotel directly.

Shuttle bus transport services will operate for delegates between the congress hotels and the Puerto Rico Convention Centre as follows:
Friday, 12 August
13.00 – 18.00 (continuous shuttle bus loop)
Saturday, 13 August
07.00 – 19:30 (one shuttle bus per each route every hour)
Sunday, 14 August
07.00 – 11.00 Morning Route
17.00 – 19.00 Evening Route

There will be one shuttle bus per each route only transferring from convention centre to hotels at 13.00 and 15.00
Monday, 15 August – Thursday, 18 August
07.00 – 10.00 Morning Route
17.00 – 19.00 Evening Route

There will be one shuttle bus per each route only transferring from convention centre to hotels at 12.00, 14.00, and 16.00
For an overview of all routes, please visit http://conference.ifla.org/ifla77/travel-accommodation-and-tours

LETTERS OF INVITATION, PASSPORTS AND VISAS
A valid passport is required for entry into Puerto Rico. Participants from some countries may also require a visa for entry into Puerto Rico. Please contact your nearest United States Consulate or Embassy for specific details.
Participants requiring a letter of invitation in order to attend the Congress are asked to fill in the form to request an online personalised letter of invitation. This must be submitted to the relevant Embassy together with a copy of your registration confirmation.

Please note that this procedure aims to assist participants who need to obtain a visa or permission to attend the Congress. It is not an official invitation covering fees and other expenses, nor does it imply any financial support from the Congress.
Please make arrangements for your visa as soon as possible. The procedure may take longer than expected for various reasons and can take up to two months in some cases.

When filling out visa application forms, please ensure that you do not state that you are going to work in Puerto Rico, even though visiting a congress may be considered work. Entering the country as a Tourist is the most suitable, in previous years delegates have been refused entry to a country if it was thought that the delegate came to the country to work.
USA Visa Waiver Program (ESTA)

To strengthen the security of travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, requirements to travel visa-free have been enhanced. Nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries will still be eligible to travel without a visa but will have to obtain an approved travel authorisation and will be required to pay an administrative fee prior to their travel to the United States.

All eligible travelers who wish to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorisation and then pay the fee using the process outlined on the ESTA website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

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