The meeting elected a 7-member Executive Council, including UNESCO and the Library of Congress in their capacity as ex-officio members. In connection with this meeting the Carnegie Corporation of New York supported a conference of directors and technical staff from libraries, archives, and museums in 11 countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan – to identify important documents and collections from these countries that should be added to the WDL.
“Libraries, especially digital libraries, are truly at the heart of knowledge societies; they enable people to access, share and apply knowledge. UNESCO is committed to further expand universal participation in the World Digital Library (WDL) which reflects the values and priorities of our Organisation” said UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Communication and Information at the opening of the first official meeting of the WDL partners held in Washington, DC on June 22-23.
Under the same grant, which was awarded in July 2009, the World Digital Library worked with the National Library of Uganda (NLU) to establish a Digital Conversion Centre at the NLU in Kampala. This centre, the first of its kind in Uganda and one of very few in sub-Saharan Africa, is enabling the National Library to digitise documents relating to the history and culture of Uganda for inclusion on its own website and on the WDL. The items digitised are from the NLU and other cooperating institutions in Uganda. Future activities planned under the grant include efforts to build capacity at libraries in South Africa so they, too can contribute collections to the WDL.