IFLA International Leaders Programme: 2016 Call for applications

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The International Leaders Programme is a two year Programme designed to increase the cohort of leaders who can effectively represent the wider library sector in the international arena, and to develop leaders within IFLA.

The Programme provides opportunities that IFLA is in the unique position to offer through our global role and reputation and our extensive and diverse framework of activities and expertise.

Programme details

The Programme will bring participants together at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 IFLA World Library and Information Congresses (WLIC) as the main face-to-face forum. In this dynamic and interactive environment, participants will have direct access to international leaders, and undertake eight days [excluding travel time] of activities including: seminar and workshop sessions on issues with a global impact led by leaders in the sector and related fields; participation in specified business meetings; attendance at specified professional programme sessions; working within groups to prepare presentations or reports; liaison with Governing Board members; building support networks.

This experience will be reinforced throughout the Programme by involvement with IFLA professional units and working/advisory groups to contribute to projects of direct relevance to IFLA’s international agenda, Strategic Plan and Key Initiatives. These activities may require the participant to undertake a number of tasks including: evidence-based/secondary/comparative research; writing documents such as policies, submissions, interventions, statements, speeches; liaison with other bodies at national, regional or international levels; representing IFLA at international or regional forums as identified by IFLA as being within the framework of the Programme. Participants will learn through practice, and be mentored as they strengthen their skills and knowledge.

The project areas will focus on topics including:

  1. Advocating for frameworks that support equitable access to information covering topics such as national and international copyright reform, internet governance and e-Lending,
  2. Empowering libraries as agents for development and critical community assets, contributing to national development plans and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

It is expected that participants will already have demonstrated their leadership within IFLA and/or a national or regional association that is a member of IFLA, and have the level of experience and knowledge to fully participate in and benefit from the Programme, with the aim of being an advocate at the international level.

Prospective applicants seeking a general leadership or management training course should not apply for this programme.

Through participating in the programme, participants will:

  • Contribute to important issues impacting on the future of the library sector
  • Gain experience in working at the international level
  • Gain experience in working with organisations at regional and international levels such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), UNESCO, the European Commission, the Internet Governance Forum
  • Gain experience in the development of policy and position statements
  • Develop negotiating and intervention skills
  • Develop the capacity to advocate and set political agendas,
  • Build relationships and develop your networks internationally
  • Build skills to have a broader impact as an advocate in your own library community

In selecting participants IFLA will seek to have diversity in the range of experience of participants and geographic representation. The IFLA Governing Board reserves the right to determine the number and composition of the Programme cohort for 2016 – 2018. The maximum number of participants is 8.

Financial assistance is provided within the Programme for participation costs [for the participant only] to attend the WLIC component and any other required representational commitments [for the participant only]. This will be in accordance with IFLA’s guidelines. Financial assistance is not available to individuals or employers to subsidise or compensate for work time or salary costs/loss due to time committed to the Programme. Obtaining visa and other entry requirements for foreign travel is the responsibility of the participant. Participants will be responsible for their own travel insurance and liability.

The Programme is administered by the Action for Development through Libraries Programme (ALP) under the general direction of the IFLA Governing Board.

The working language for the Programme is English.

Participants will be known as IFLA Leaders Programme Associates during the Programme. There will be a cohort of Leader Counsellors from across IFLA’s membership to provide support and guidance to Associates throughout the Programme.

Successful participants will be required to sign a formal agreement with IFLA outlining the mutual responsibilities for participation in the Programme. Non-participation in aspects of the Programme such as projects or non-attendance at required events may result in removal from the Programme.

Selection process

The IFLA Governing Board has formed a selection committee comprising members of its Steering Group. Applications will be shortlisted by the selection committee against the selection criteria. A member of the selection committee may contact applicants where they need to clarify any part of an application. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by telephone/Skype. The final selection of participants will be endorsed by the IFLA Governing Board in April 2016.

Application timeline

Applications open: 5 February 2016

Applications close: 2 March 2016

Applicants to be informed of the outcome: 25 April 2016

IFLA WLIC Columbus, Ohio programme dates: 12-19 August 2016

Selection criteria

  • Demonstrated active participation or leadership within IFLA and/or a national or regional association; together with standing and influence within the profession at a national and/or regional level;
  • A demonstrated capacity to move into an international leadership role during or closely following the completion of the Programme;
  • A depth of understanding of issues that have a current or expected impact on the library and information services sector on a global level;
  • Demonstrated relevant knowledge and experience to work on key strategic projects with experts and mentors within the Programme; particularly in the preferred projects;
  • Proven ability to build networks and professional relationships;
  • Proven ability for creative thinking and innovative ideas; results motivation;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including negotiating skills;
  • Proven ability to adapt quickly to, and achieve results in, different situations and circumstances;
  • Capacity to participate in the Programme to a satisfactorily full and constructive level over two years, including undertaking all components of the Programme and the required international travel.

Preparing your application

  1. Read through the Programme information and project descriptions on the IFLA website;
  2. Download and complete the application form in the English language;
  3. Answer all the descriptive questions;
  4. Ask for your two references in time to include these with your application.

Submitting your application

Download and complete the application form [English – MS Word]

Email your application form together with two references and a brief CV by
2 March 2016 to: applications@iflamail.org

Some tips on writing your application

Make sure that you:

  • Share the best examples of your work that demonstrate your experience and expertise in the two project areas
  • Share examples of your previous/current involvement in national, regional or international work
  • Demonstrate examples of your leadership in your own library community
  • Tell us how this programme will help you achieve your leadership aspirations
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of current and future trends in libraries
  • Demonstrate your commitment to taking part in the whole programme over two years, and support from your library association

See also: Past Programme and Projects (2012-2014)

ALP (Action for Development through Libraries Programme), leadership, IFLA International Leaders Programme

Last update: 8 March 2016