On 29 August, the National Library of Latvia — home of the LIBER 2014 Annual Conference — was officially opened.
An impressive list of VIP guests formally addressed the Opening Ceremony in the Concert Hall.
They included the President of the Republic of Latvia, Mr Andris Bērziņš; Her Royal Highness Princess Petra Laurentien of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. van Amsberg, UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development; the Speaker of the Saeima (Parliament of Latvia), Ms Solvita Āboltiņa; the Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, Ms Laimdota Straujuma; the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Ms Dace Melbārde; the Deputy Director General of UNESCO, Mr Getachew Engida; the IFLA President 2013-15, Ms Sinikka Sipilä; and Dr Erland Kolding Nielsen, Director General of the National Library of Denmark.
Dr Andris Vilks, National Librarian of Latvia, received a standing ovation at the opening of Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka as he addressed the audience under the banner Mana Bibliotēka ir mana Pils – My Library is my Castle.
Mr Gunārs Birkerts, architect of the new Library building, received an ovation and a special presentation to mark his magnificent achievement.
At 21:00, the doors opened to the public as several hundred people — families and young children — had queued patiently to be part of this historic event. In front of the Library, a public concert with fireworks completed a sensational evening.
Congratulations, Latvia, on the formal inauguration of such a magnificent testimony to the continuing importance of libraries in public life.