The opening IFLA session was Sunday morning at 9:30am. This meant getting up at 7:15 am to get ready and have breakfast at the Laval mess hall. Breakfast is included in the dorm stay, it is by no means a bed and breakfast kind of breakfast. We are allowed to take eight items. I had skim milk, eggs(powdered, probably wont have those again), potatoes, and a little croissant. Disappointing. Then Anne and I grabbed the bus to the convention center and decided to walk to a coffee shop. I have learned that coffee shops here do not use skim, rather whole milk. Bah.
The conference has 4,000 delegates attending from +150 countries with + 100 workshops.
The opening session consisted of several speakers such as Her Excellency, Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada (PS who is brilliant, obv.),
IFLA’s President Claudia Lux,
along with Canadian cultural performances. The musical performance by Inuit Throat Singers was incredible. They stood facing each other and used their throats to project sound (kind of like human beat boxing). It was amazing.
Ismael Serageldine, Director of Egypt’s Alexanderia Library also received a Doctorate Honoris Causa.
The ceremony was scheduled for two hours and ended up being three hours, a little disappointing.
After the ceremony, thought it may be a good idea to grab some lunch. We walked a few blocks away from the conference center and found a little bakery with sandwiches, I had a veggie pâté wrap, to my surprise it was delish.
After lunch I attended the introduction to the IFLA new comers session. Stuart Hamilton made the introduction and I really admire this guy. Why? Check out this link.
I dipped out on this session to attend the Art Libraries session, which happened to be going on at the same time. There is a lot of really brilliant work going on in art libraries (how do artists research?) right now and it made me lean towards reconsidering pursuing this direction again.
The night before, Anne and I had dinner with one for the Art Library presenters, Heather Gendron from UNC, so I definitely wanted to check out her presentation. I had told Heather that I was originally interested in art libraries, but am somewhat discouraged because I do not have an art history background. She informed me that there are several art librarians without art history degrees and she said to keep my chin up.
After the Art Library session, Caralyn and I went to the old city to see what was going on and to catch a cup of coffee. Due to the 400 year anniversary of Quebec City, the walled city was a bit overwhelming and crowded; think Renaissance Festival and State Fair in one.
After coffee we made our way back to the convention center for the Exhibition Party. This meant beer and wine while looking at vendor goods. Wow, awesome stuff that happens to be really expensive, what every library loves to see [read sarcasm]. Immediately following the Exhibition party was the Cultural Event. I stayed for the beginning of the event and then thought I could get some better QC culture at Drague, a pub just behind the convention center.
Surprisingly, the performers were the same performers Mucha and I saw at Mado’s in Montreal. However, Drague is a much more intimate and the queens engaged in non-stop banter; obviously in French, but I happened to pick up some of it.
The Official Day 1 of IFLA was encouraging. With three more days I hope for more inspiration and more great people to meet.