The IFLA Governing Board and Irish National Committee have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC). Dublin will instead welcome the 2022 Congress, following confirmation that the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland – the previous planned venue – is unlikely to be ready on time.
A Hard but Necessary Decision
As the most international event in the library calendar, providing a great opportunity for learning, networking, and building and continuing friendships, cancelling the 2020 Congress was no easy choice. We know how much inspiration and energy WLIC brings to our field as a whole. It will be the first year since 1946 without such a meeting.
However, for global events such as ours, the challenges are particularly acute. Alongside the overriding need to put the health of our members, volunteers, hosts, exhibitors, sponsors and staff first, we are also facing strict and evolving travel restrictions, and the varied progression of the COVID-19 pandemic in different parts of the world.
While we can and do hope that the worst will be behind us by August, there is too much uncertainty to be able to guarantee an event that is as safe, open and inspiring for all as we want, or that would do justice to all the great work already done by our hosts on the Irish National Committee. As a result, the IFLA Governing Board and Irish National Committee agree that because of the current circumstances, we cannot go ahead as planned.
While disappointing, we hope that providing certainty now will help the field in its planning for the future. Library and information workers around the world – of whom many are facing serious restrictions in their lives and work – need to be able to focus fully on continuing to provide the best possible service to our communities.
In line with our commitment, we will be providing full refunds to those who have already registered for WLIC, as well as to all sponsors and exhibitors.
Given that it will not be possible to hold the General Assembly during the Congress as usual, we will investigate a new date and location for this, to be held at the latest by 30 November 2020.
Read the Complete Statement
Includes comments from IFLA President Christine Mackenzie and IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner
Note: We have added the World Library and Information Congress 2020 to our list of canceled events.