About the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section

Scope

The parliamentary libraries of the world, as a distinct type of librarianship, form a Section of their own within IFLA. This Section (Section 03) belongs to the Division of Library Types (Division I).

Purpose

The purpose of the Section is to apply the general objectives of IFLA to the particular situation of legislative libraries, the national legislatures in the case of unitary states and both national and second-tier legislatures in the case of federal countries. Parliamentary librarianship is a distinctive form of information work, mainly for Members of the Legislature, who work under great pressure, and who both use and create information. For this reason they need adequate information support. In the last twenty to thirty years there has been a great growth of this work, not just in terms of quantity, but in many legislatures in terms of quality and depth also. Research services have sprung up, and other specialist services such as economic modelling. Whether these come under the Library or not depends on the administrative structure of the legislature. But all forms of information for legislators and also any personal staff they may have is of interest to the Parliamentary Libraries Section.

Objectives

Specific concerns as set down in the Section's Strategic Plan include:

  • To assist in the development of parliamentary libraries by providing assistance and support in accordance with the interest, requirements, and stage of development of parliaments in various regions of the world; to encourage bilateral assistance and development programmes; and to act as a clearing house in this regard;
  • To encourage programs which would foster the adaptation of the latest information technologies to parliamentary library services;
  • To examine the relationship of the research work carried out in parliament and by public and private institutions and the needs and work of parliament with special reference to the library and research services of parliaments themselves;
  • To examine the administrative arrangements within parliaments with regard to library, information, and research services;
  • To strengthen the cooperation between the Inter-Parliamentary Union and parliamentary libraries, and explore possibilities of joint programmes and activities;
  • To encourage the establishment of regional groups of parliamentary libraries like the European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation.

A particular aspect of the Section's work is to promote cooperation between legislatures and especially their libraries because of the growing need for legislators to be well informed concerning developments worldwide.

Organisation and Activities

The Section's work is steered by a Standing Committee which, in turn, elects the Section's Executive Committee, i.e. the Chairman and the Secretary. IFLA holds meetings throughout the world once a year at which the Section presents a programme of papers for open session, sets up a workshop on a particular theme and sometimes holds a pre- or a post-IFLA meeting lasting two days or so. These meetings are often held in connection with the legislature of the host country.

Mailing List

IFLAPARL2 list is a discussion list open to all members of IFLA Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments and those attending the Section's activities. Information about the Section's preconferences and conferences will be distributed on this list.

Note: IFLAPARL is a closed list (you must subscribe to it before you will receive emails.  Either members of the Section or those interested in the work of the Section may subcribe).

Publications

In addition to the benefits derived from Section membership, IFLA members receive free of charge:

  • IFLA Journal (quarterly)
  • Divisional and Section Newsletters

Publications of the Section of Parliamentary Libraries:

  • Newsletter (biannual - Spring and Autumn)
  • World Directory of National Parliamentary Libraries (biennial)
  • World Directory of Parliamentary Libraries of Federated States and Autonomous Territories (quinquennial)

Enquiries on the Section's publications should be addressed to the Secretary.

Library and Research Services for Parliaments

Last update: 26 October 2015