Last Monday the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, IFLA, presented the first results of their ambitious global vision discussion. Over the past year, IFLA has worked with tens of thousands of librarians from all over the world to identify the challenges and opportunities for the library field, its enduring values and purpose, its boldest ideas and most effective local actions. The summary of this process is a highly inspirational document, and not only for libraries.
IFLA’s global vision discussion is a genuinely bottom-up process that has given a voice to all types of librarians and library workers. The discussion started last year in Athens with a workshop with about 150 international participants and continued to involve 9,291 people in 185 workshops and 22,772 people online. The contributions came from 190 UN member states, and all participants together had 469,152 years of library experience. A team of people worked for weeks to analyze the tens of thousands of data points to create the first summary.
What did they find? The key finding is that libraries are united globally in their goals and values, such as equal and free access to information and knowledge. Also, the library world must connect global and local actions effectively so succeed in years to come. The field has shared challenges, but to address them libraries need to acknowledge regional characteristics and requirements.
Underlying this key finding are ten highlights and ten opportunities, which range from updating traditional roles in the digital age to giving young professionals opportunities to learn, develop, and lead. They look inward, challenging the field to be less bureaucratic, inflexible, and resistant to change, and outward at library’s all-important community service. Continue ReadingRead More »