Boost for region as Auckland wins flagship library congress

Auckland will host the world’s most significant gathering of librarians after a successful bid for the event.

The nine-day World Library and Information Congress will be held at the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) from July 28 to August 5, 2020.

It will be the first time in almost 40 years that the flagship congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions will be held in the Pacific region.

The congress, estimated to be worth around $7m to the New Zealand economy, is expected to attract more than 3,000 information sector managers and professionals from across the world.

The Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) worked with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) to secure the winning bid, with support from Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme.

National Librarian Bill Macnaught said New Zealand’s bicultural partnership approach and commitment to indigenous knowledge made the bid stand out from other destinations.

The world congress represents an extraordinary opportunity for LIANZA and New Zealand to showcase our innovative library and information sector, and celebrate the valuable role libraries, librarians and information professionals have in our society,” he said.

The congress will also provide a unique opportunity for Pacific librarians and information professionals to participate on the world stage. Auckland has one of the largest library networks in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting around 12 million visits a year, along with an increasing number of people utilising the network’s digital services.

Head of ACB Anna Hayward said: “This is a fantastic result for Auckland and New Zealand, and thanks to the scale of NZICC means we can accommodate the large numbers of delegates which usually attend the annual World Library and Information Congress. Business events play an important role in fuelling the value of Auckland, and New Zealand’s visitor economy as well as being valuable contributors to growing the region’s knowledge economy.”

The bid was also supported by Ngāti Whātua o Orākei, Conference Innovators, and the National Library Te Puna Foundation.