20 August 2017
From the Annual Conference
Official address to Congress delegates: Letter by Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland
the Republic of Poland
Warsaw, 20th August 2017
Organizers and Participants of the opening ceremony
of IFLA World Library and Information Congress
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Let me extend my warm greetings to all those gathered in the Wroclaw Centennial Hall to participate in the opening ceremony of the IFLA World Congress. I am delighted that Poland can host so many eminent representatives of your profession. I hope that, apart from being a venue for interesting and inspiring discussions, the visit will provide our foreign guests with an opportunity to get better acquainted with our national culture and history. I believe that choosing Poland as the host of the Congress is a great distinction and an expression of appreciation for the huge work and achievements of our country in the area of library science and scientific information. I congratulate all those who have contributed to this remarkable success with their daily efforts.
Gathering, storing, maintaining, developing and making available book collections constitutes a fundamental and indispensable form of preserving one`s cultural heritage. Librarians are true custodians of human knowledge, seasoned experts and excellent promoters thereof. A school library and its staff are the ones who open, for the very first time, the window to the world of science and art for young people across the globe. Also in adult life, a library is usually the primary contact point between man and literature or the contemporary thought. And, last but not least, scholars too are the ones who consume the fruits of librarians’ work every day, whenever they look for publications needed to carry out research, or use bibliographic specialized tools and tools pertaining to book studies.
I firmly believe that today the role of librarians and their efforts should be better understood and appreciated. For, in the information society it is of particular importance to know how to get at a reliable and verified knowledge. Today, surrounded by information noise generated by mass media and the social media, ordinary consumers usually find it difficult to differentiate between what is true and false, to discern between facts and gossips, between sensations and manipulations. Given these circumstances, huge responsibility for the content and the way the information is conveyed rests with journalists, columnists and experts who speak out in public. Those of them who perform their profession with utmost care for every word they utter, are perfectly aware of the fact that the support and advice of experienced librarians is the first and indispensable assistance in their work.
Conscious of the numerous roles and significant tasks carried out by the library staff, I wish to convey to all of you the words of gratitude and my best wishes. Thank you for your professionalism, care and patience for everyone who turns to you with a request or a question. Thank you for being excellent guides for students, companions for adult readers, and an invaluable support for the people of science. May your hugely important work be respected and valued. I congratulate you all on your so far achievements and wish many more to come in the future.
With kind regards,