NZ's first-ever international librarian conference on its way

10:52 am on 31 December 2018

New Zealand will host its first-ever international librarian conference.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The World Library and Information Congress would be held in Auckland in 2020, with 3000 librarians from 130 countries expected to attend.

It would follow next year's conference in Athens.

A librarian and former president of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa Louise LaHette said it was extremely exciting to host the event.

"It was announced this year at the conference in Kuala Lumpur in August," she said.

"When they made the announcement it was just like when the Olympic Games are awarded to a country," she said.

"All the New Zealanders who were there pulled out our flags and went on stage ... and in a true New Zealand way, we sung a waiata."

A pre-recorded message from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also played, welcoming the librarians to New Zealand.

"The theme of our congress is 'Open, Trusted, United'," she said. "We want to make the point that New Zealand is that it is a country that's very open to diverse communities."

"We have a very good history of women's rights... and we're an incredibly diverse community."

Louise LaHette said the conference would be a great chance to show off New Zealand's libraries, like Christchurch's new central library, Tūranga.

"That is both beautiful in an architectural sense, but it really shows the breadth of services and the way a public library can be a heart of a community."

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