The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) confirmed in Kuala Lumpur last night that the Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) and Te Rōpū Whakahau have won their bid to host the World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Auckland.

The congress will see more than 3,000 library and information sector managers and professionals descend on Tāmaki Makaurau from across the global community and have an estimated economic benefit of over $7 million.

It will be the first time the flagship annual congress of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) will be held in the Pacific region in nearly 40 years.

The world congress represents an extraordinary opportunity for LIANZA and New Zealand to showcase our innovative library and information sector, our bicultural approach and commitment to indigenous knowledge, and the valuable role libraries, librarians and information professionals have in our society.

In a video message announcing the congress, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was fantastic to hear New Zealand’s bid had been successful. “Libraries, access to information, to education, [and] to creative spaces for adults and children is at the core of who we see ourselves as a country,” Ms Ardern said.

LIANZA President Paula Eskett said the announcement was a triumph for the member-based organisation. “We’re proud to create this global learning opportunity for LIANZA members and the library and information communities of New Zealand,” she said. “The exposure to, and immersion in an event which hosts such a large number of like minded professionals is, for many, a once-in-a-career experience.”

National Librarian Bill Macnaught also recognised the opportunity the conference represented for the hundreds of Kiwi librarians who will attend it, as well as those from the Pacific. “It’s a breakthrough to be able to bring the most important global library conference within reach of our neighbouring Pacific library colleagues,” he said.

The congress will be held in the new state-of-the-art New Zealand International Convention Centre from July 28 to August 5, 2020.

The bid was generously supported by Ngāti Whātua o Orākei, Tourism New Zealand, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Conference Innovators, and the National Library Te Puna Foundation.

Tourism New Zealand Global Manager of Business Events Lisa Gardiner said the win was yet another example of what can be achieved through collaboration to build New Zealand’s reputation as a world-class business event destination. “We work closely with universities, regional convention bureaus and industry to attract international business events like this one to the country. Over the past five years alone this approach has helped secure over $400 million worth of international business events for New Zealand that will showcase the country’s cutting edge research and hospitality on the world stage.”

Economic impact is calculated on MBIE averages of what each delegate would spend and estimated delegate numbers based on previous congresses.


Header image: ©New Zealand International Convention Centre