One of the best things about attending an international conference is that you get to meet people that you would probably never have come across otherwise. And that’s exactly what happened at IFLA. After spending some time at the ‘Cocktail evening’ with some lovely librarians from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario we made arrangements to visit them at their library in Toronto.
It was great to get a behind the scenes tour of a government library; it offered so much more than a simple ‘tourist visit’. It’s interesting because the Government Librarians were discussing the same issues that concern us in public libraries. For example, how to keep attracting users to visit the physical building when more and more of the resources are appearing online…I guess we’re all under increasing pressure to create desirable destinations for our users to visit.
We also got a chance to have a look in their ‘vault’ and I got to flick through a book that was written in 1425, which was a real treat. Afterwards we had some time to chat with some of the cheeriest cataloguers I’ve ever met and I think we’ve made a couple of friends for life, which is great!
So, there you have it…a visit to a government library turns out to be one of the highlights of our trip – who’d have thought it?