August 20, 2015

Torch passed to Columbus for major international library conference

More than 4,000 library professionals expected in August 2016

COLUMBUS—Officials at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress – currently being held in Cape Town, South Africa – have formally handed off next year’s week-long event to Columbus.

The annual congress, which will take place at the Columbus Convention Center Aug. 13-19, 2016, hasn’t been in the United States since 2001 when it was held in Boston. The IFLA Governing Board announced Columbus as the location for the 2016 event at its 2014 congress, held in Lyon, France. 

Experience Columbus estimates that more than 4,000 attendees from 120 countries are expected to fill more than 11,000 hotel room nights and generate an estimated $11 million in economic impact.

“Columbus Metropolitan Library is thrilled that IFLA has chosen Columbus to be the site of its 2016 IFLA World Congress,” said Patrick Losinski, CEO of Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML). “It gives our region great pride to have 4,000 library professionals from across the globe come to our city and visit not only innovative, world-class public and academic libraries but also acclaimed institutions of higher learning, arts, science and industry.”

“We are delighted to host IFLA in 2016,” said Carol Pitts Diedrichs, vice provost and director of university libraries at The Ohio State University. “Columbus, in particular, is a diverse, innovative and progressive library environment that we want to share with librarians from inside and outside the United States.”

“The City of Columbus is thrilled to be host to the 82nd IFLA World Library and Information Congress,” said Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman. “Home to world-class library institutions like the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, the Ohio State University Libraries, and OCLC, a worldwide library cooperative, Columbus is the ideal location to host a meeting of the world’s most curious minds in the library science profession.”

CML plans to complete the renovation of its Main Library and reopen in time for next year’s IFLA congress.

Founded in 1927 and headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Visit for more information.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Club and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.