Sunday, August 18, 2013

IFLA 2013: My Day-One #wlic2013

Registration was a breeze. I'm wasn't sure if that was a setup particular to the conference venue (Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre). After registering, I just had one more step to do, which was to collect...
IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013

...the official conference bag. Didn't look like the typical conference bag, did it? The only outward sign was a luggage tag with the conference logo. That was removable. The bag was sponsored by a home-grown fashion company, Charles & Keith.  I tweeted that it was probably the most talked-about conference bag in IFLA's history. I felt rather metrosexual carrying the bag around. Not complaining though.
IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013

The conference venue was a large one. Had to be. We were later told there were 3,500 delegates from 120 countries attending the conference.
IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013

The opening ceremony opened with a Dragon Dance, featuring a souped up dragon in neon electric lights. I've seen plenty of Dragon Dances but never one with a jazzed up dragon like this. Two thumbs up.
IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013
IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013

Next came a Malay-Chinese-Indian drums routine, ending with a short Lion Dance. If I was told of such a routine without having watched it, I would have thought it a cliche. But it didn't feel that way. In the context of an event involving participants from all parts of the world, such a symbolic display of racial integration was quite appropriate (it's more than mere symbolism though; go read Bertha Henson's brilliant piece on what it means to be "in Singapore").
IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013

The speeches began next.

I had to step out of the for a while. Saw a group of children preparing for the next routine.
IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013 IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013

There's something special about a gathering of like-minded people. You just had to be there.

I thought the conference was off to a great start.

IFLA World Library & Information Conference 2013

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