Greetings from the National Committee of the Netherlands

Dear Delegates,

On behalf of the National Committee of the Netherlands, we would like to welcome you to the IFLA 88th World Library and Information Congress in Rotterdam from 21 to 25 August 2023.

The goals of the IFLA Global Vision will be the central theme during this congress. With the motto Let’s work together, let’s library, we explore how libraries can contribute to an inclusive society, one in which everyone has the opportunity to participate. Key topics include personal development, the stimulation of reading, the development of language and digital skills, free access to culture, digital knowledge and innovation.

The conference is linked to the spirit of Rotterdam’s most famous thinker: Desiderius Erasmus. A world-famous humanist, whose books changed the world, his ideas contributed to the development of the universal values of humanism and the Enlightenment. Many of Erasmus’ views are relevant to how libraries interact with the community and to how IFLA connects libraries internationally. Exemplary of this is his statement ‘Without languages and literature, states cannot flourish, life cannot be civilised, man cannot be human’.

Discover Rotterdam and the Netherlands

Rotterdam is centrally located and is equipped with excellent public transport. This makes it very easy to explore the many inspiring libraries and cultural institutions in Rotterdam and across the Netherlands. The new Ahoy Convention Center is the perfect central venue for this congress. It has all the desired facilities for an extensive and diverse programme. It is easy to reach by metro, and one of the newest branches of the Rotterdam Library, on the Zuidplein, is within walking distance. The location is particularly well situated to serve IFLA’s goal of facilitating visits to other innovative libraries elsewhere in the Netherlands.

Let’s work together… in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is known as a city of hard workers. They are known more for their deeds than for their words. This mentality served the city well during its reconstruction following the Second World War. The contemporary character of the city has been shaped by this history and connects Rotterdam with cities around the world that also have dealt with the aftermath of wars. With a modern, recognizable and unique skyline, present day Rotterdam has a diverse population with 178 nationalities and hundreds of thousands of individual stories. To promote a truly inclusive society, in which every story counts, the possibility to participate is essential. Let’s work together is therefore a particularly fitting motto, not only for IFLA’s ambitions for development, access, and innovation, but for Rotterdam’s no-nonsense, hardworking mentality as well.

We invite everyone to come, share and work together during what is shaping up to be a very special conference!

Kind regards,

Mr Dr Th.C.M. Theo Kemperman

Chair of the Dutch NC

Director of the Rotterdam Public Library

Mrs Dr E.J.B Lily Knibbeler

Co-chair of the Dutch NC

Director of the National Library of the Netherlands

Mr Dr M. Matthijs van Otegem

Co-chair of the Dutch NC

Director of University Library Utrecht

Mr Klaas Gravesteijn

Co-chair of the Dutch NC

Director of the Dutch Association of Public Libraries – VOB