2023 International Academic Exchange Experience Sharing Session held in Zhejiang Library
By Zhejiang Library | December 29, 2023

International academic exchange plays a crucial role in the ongoing development of libraries, offering librarians rich working experiences while exposing them to diverse cultures, languages and work practices. This exposure prepares them to communicate and cooperate with colleagues from various backgrounds around the world.


In 2023, two delegations of librarians from Zhejiang Library embarked on separate journeys to Moscow, Russia and Rotterdam, Netherlands, participating in the First Sino-Russia Library Forum and the 2023 IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC). Attendance at these events not only reached our aim of academic exchange, but also presented a new way for library development in the future.


First Sino-Russia Library Forum



From July 24 to 26, the First Sino-Russia Library Forum was held in the Russian State Library. Ms. Zhang Qun, deputy director of the Ancient Books Department of Zhejiang Library, was invited to attend and deliver a speech at this significant event. During the forum, hundreds of librarians from both China and Russia engaged in discussions covering various aspects of the library industry.






Over the years, China and Russia have achieved remarkable success in inter-library cooperation and book exchanges, fostering opportunities for people in both nations to gain deeper insights into each other’s culture, history and development. As one of the most important networking events for people-to-people and cultural exchanges, the First Sino-Russia Library Forum established a new platform for scholars to engage in dialogues and exchanges on an equal footing, facilitating mutual learning in library field.



The forum was structured around four key themes: general session, prospect for cooperation, “preserve priceless heritages for future generations”, and “libraries in the new era”. During these sessions, participants delved into discussions on inter-library cooperation, cultural exchanges, mutual learning, responsibilities of library associations, cultural promotion, AI applications in libraries, digitalization process, promotion of smart library construction, and collaborative restoration of rare books. Ms. Zhang, in her forum participation, introduced the history of Zhejiang Library, the features of its collections, the new Zhejiang Library and its digitization process of ancient books.



2023 World Library and Information Congress



From August 21 to 25, 2023, four colleagues representing Zhejiang Library embarked on a journey to Rotterdam, Netherlands, for the 88th World Library and Information Congress held by the International Federation of Library Association (IFLA).


Themed as “Let’s work together, let’s library”, this congress attracted more than 3000 librarians and officers from over 100 countries to be a part of this international event in the library and information field. Over the course of this five-day congress, representatives engaged in discussions around library construction from all aspects, offering innovative thoughts, ideas and visions. “Put people first” is the centerpiece throughout the congress and also the core concept guiding the development of public libraries. Most libraries tried to simplify and enhance information access by prioritizing people and catering to their special requirements.



During the congress, our colleagues actively joined specialized sessions, including “Libraries for children and young adults”, “Inclusive and access to digital knowledge through digital preservation”, “How can we make libraries accessible and welcomed for everyone”. Together, they shared two posters designed by our team, “Green Technologies Work Together to Promote a Sustainable Future for Public Library - A Perspective from the Zhijiang Library”,and “Use Your Voice as a Gift: Reading for the Visually Impaired”. Through these sessions, they not only listened to the voices of librarians from all around the world, but also discerned both opportunities and challenges in the process of library development.



Looking ahead, the Zhejiang Library aims to glean insights from others’ experiences, optimizing working strategies, enhancing professional trainings and extending networks. Based on the sustainable development goals, a more scientific plan would be made in order to build an equal, welcomed and comfortable environment for readers and an open-minded atmosphere for librarians to research and create.