International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
|Type||International nongovernmental organization|
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of people who rely on libraries and information professionals. An independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, IFLA was founded in Scotland in 1927 and maintains headquarters at the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague. IFLA sponsors the annual IFLA World Library and Information Congress, promoting universal and equitable access to information, ideas, and works of imagination for social, educational, cultural, democratic, and economic empowerment.
IFLA closely partners with UNESCO, with several IFLA manifestos recognized as UNESCO manifestos. IFLA is part of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS), which works to protect the world's cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disaster.
IFLA was founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927 when library associations from 14 European countries and the United States signed a resolution at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Library Association of the United Kingdom. Isak Collijn, head of the National Library of Sweden, was elected the first president. The first constitution was approved in Rome in 1929 during the World Congress of Librarianship and Bibliography.
During the 1930s the first library associations from outside Europe and the US joined, these being China, India, Japan, Mexico and the Philippines. By 1958 membership had grown to 64 associations from 42 countries. A permanent secretariat was established in 1962. By 1970 there were 250 members from 52 countries. The secretariat was moved to The Hague in 1971. By 1974 IFLA membership had become virtually global with 600 members in 100 countries.
Membership criteria were expanded beyond library associations in 1976 to include institutions, i.e. libraries, library schools and bibliographic institutes. At this time, the word Institutions was added to the organisation's name. Since then further new categories of membership have been created, including personal affiliates.
IFLA has now grown to over 1,400 members in approximately 140 countries. It is headquartered in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands, in The Hague.
IFLA's objectives are:
- To represent librarianship in matters of international interest
- To promote the continuing education of library personnel
- To develop, maintain and promote guidelines for library services
The objectives are informed by the following core values:
- The endorsement of the principles of freedom of expression embodied in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- The belief that people, communities and organizations need universal and equitable access to information, ideas and works of imagination for their social, educational, cultural, democratic and economic well-being
- The conviction that delivery of high quality library and information services helps guarantee that access
- The commitment to enable all Members of the Federation to engage in, and benefit from, its activities without regard to citizenship, disability, ethnic origin, gender, geographical location, language, political philosophy, race or religion.
Action for Development through Libraries Programme (ALP)
Launched in 1984 and initially known as Advancement of Librarianship in the Third World before changing name in the 1990s, the programme supports capacity building through a series of small grants and projects in developing and transition countries and advocacy for access to information Its main activities include:
- Building Strong Library Associations Programme
- International Leaders Programme
- Advocacy for the role of access to information and libraries in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM)
Copyright and intellectual property issues and laws have long been recognized important to the library profession. A volunteer-driven committee, the CLM was created to advise and represent the IFLA on matters of international copyright law.
- Copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives
- Copyright limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons
- Relations with WIPO Secretariat
- Opposition to the Broadcast Treaty at WIPO
- Development Agenda at WIPO
- Preservation of Traditional Knowledge at WIPO
Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE)
One of the core activities of IFLA is the Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression, which monitors the state of intellectual freedom within the library community worldwide, supports IFLA policy development and co-operation with other international human rights organisations, and responds to violations of free access to information and freedom of expression. FAIFE provides guidance and leadership on issues of intellectual freedom around the world through the publication of annual reports, guidelines, manifestos, special reports, and statements.
The mission of FAIFE is to:
- Raise awareness of the essential correlation between the library concept and the values of freedom of expression.
- Collect and disseminate documentation and aim to stimulate a dialog both within and outside the library world.
- Act as a focal point on the issue of freedom of expression, libraries and librarianship.
IFLA/FAIFE is a member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global network of non-governmental organisations that monitors freedom of expression worldwide. It is also a member of the Tunisia Monitoring Group, a coalition of 16 free expression organisations that lobbies the Tunisian government to improve its human rights record.
Strategic Programme on Preservation and Conservation (PAC)
Established in 1984, the Strategic Programme on Preservation and Conservation (PAC) focuses on efforts to preserve library and archive materials, in any form, around the world. Unlike other IFLA Strategic Programmes, PAC features a decentralised approach, with global strategies implemented by a Focal Point and activities managed by Regional Centres.
PAC aims to ensure that both published and unpublished library and archive materials are preserved in an accessible form. In doing so, the programme follows three main guiding principles:
- preservation is essential to the survival and development of culture and scholarship;
- international cooperation is a key principle;
- each country must accept responsibility for the preservation of its own publications.
IFLA Trend report
The first IFLA Trend commissioned report entitled "Caught in the waves or caught in the tide? Insights from the IFLA Trend Report," was published in January 2013 and launched at the World Library and information Congress in Singapore on 19 August 2013. The IFLA trend report resulted in the identification of high level societal emerging trends which may affect the global information environment. The research consists of a number of documents—including an overview, annotated bibliography and research papers—is intended as a web platform for ongoing consultation.:3 In this first stage of the review from November 2012 through 2013, "social scientists, economists, business leaders, education specialists, legal experts and technologists"—who were mainly outside the library sphere—were consulted.:3
One of the key focal points of the report was the inundation of the archives with a tidal wave of information. By 2010 this represented more than 1 zettabytes of data or 1.8 trillion gigabytes.:3
The report listed "five key trends" which will change the "information environment...New technologies will both expand and limit who has access to information... Online education will democratise and disrupt global learning ...The boundaries of privacy and data protection will be redefined... Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower new voices and groups... The global information economy will be transformed by new technologies...":4
Manifesto for Libraries Serving Persons with a Print Disability (LPD)
Endorsed by the Governing Board of the IFLA in April 2012, the first draft of the Manifesto for Libraries Serving Persons with a Print Disability was intended to support the Marrakesh VIP Treaty. After further drafts, the LPD Manifesto was passed in November 2013 at the 37th UNESCO General Conference in Paris. The LPD Manifesto encourages libraries to provide more accessible library and information services for blind and visually impaired patrons. According to the IFLA, lack of access to information is the biggest barrier for persons with a print disability to fully and effectively participate in all aspects of society.
The six statements of the LPD Manifesto are as follows:
- IFLA recommends that all library and information providers, as part of their core services, put in place services, collections, equipment and facilities, which will assist individual users with a print disability to access and use resources that meet their particular needs for information.
- IFLA encourages library and information service providers to consult individuals with a disability, and groups representing them, in the planning, development and ongoing delivery of services.
- IFLA acknowledges that the best services are provided by professionals who are aware of the needs of, and service options for, people with a print disability. Therefore, IFLA encourages all library and information services to ensure that staff are adequately trained and available to work with users with a print disability, and supports career-long professional development and formal library and information studies programs, which will facilitate the strengthening of equitable library and information services to people with a print disability.
- IFLA supports efforts to improve access to resources by people with a print disability through service agreements, referrals and sharing of resources between library and information services; and between these and other organisations specialising in services targeted for people with a print disability. Therefore, IFLA encourages the establishment and development of an international network of libraries of accessible materials.
- IFLA supports efforts to ensure that copyright legislation enables equal access by people with a print disability to information from all libraries and information providers.
- In addition to meeting legislative requirements, IFLA encourages the observation of universal design principles, guidelines and standards to ensure that library and information services, collections, technologies, equipment and facilities meet the identified needs of users with a print disability.
Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program
Sponsored by the IFLA and OCLC, the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program "provides early career development and continuing education for library and information science professionals from countries with developing economies." Each year, the four-week program provides up to five individuals with the opportunity to interact with important information practitioners in the field. Additionally, the Fellows deliver presentations that grapple with libraries' challenges and formulate development plans that benefit their personal career growth.
2017 IFLA/OCLC Fellows
Announced in August 2016, the five selected 2017 IFLA/OCLC Fellows are:
- Patience Ngizi-Hara, The Copperbelt University, Zambia
- Eric Nelson Haumba, YMCA Comprehensive Institute, Uganda
- Sharisse Rae Lim, National Library of the Philippines
- Jerry Mathema, Masiyephambili College, Zimbabwe
- Nguyen Van Kep, Hanoi University, Vietnam
According to IFLA "The most important work in IFLA happens in the various groups that make up the organisation".
More than 60 sections and special interest groups are organized in five divisions to carry out a variety of IFLA's activities and programs.
- IFLA Journal is an academic journal in the fields of libraries, library and information science, and freedom of information published quarterly by SAGE Publication on behalf of IFLA
- IFLA Publications Series
- IFLA Series on Bibliographic Control
- IFLA Professional Reports
- Public library ratings
- Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Association
- UNESCO Public Library Manifesto