1st Regional Meeting of the Ibero-American System of National Public and School Library Networks, Lima, Peru
23 November 2022
IFLA representatives played a central role in the first meeting of a new network focused on strengthening and realising the potential of public and school libraries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
From 9 to 11 November in Lima, Peru, the 1st regional meeting of the American System of National Public and School Library Networks took place.
The meeting was opened by Jeimy Hernández Toscano, Manager for Reading, Writing and Libraries at CERLALC, Fabiola Vergara, Director of the National Library of Peru, and Betsy Chávez, Minister of Culture of Peru.
This meeting brought together all of the representatives of the national systems or networks of public and school libraries in Ibero-American countries in a single space. It provided a possibility to identify needs and areas of joint working, with a view to creating and implementing a roadmap for regional cooperation, and that, from IFLA’s point of view, can promote the development of libraries in every single country.
The meeting saw the participation of fifteen countries focused on the implementation of a regional agenda for the development of libraries and reading promotion.
To this end, on 9 November, IFLA’s representative, the Coordinating Director general of the Library of Congress of the Argentinian Nation and Chair of the IFLA Regional Division Committee, Alejandro Santa, and Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, Chair of Stichting IFLA Foundation, from Spain, participated as panellists in the session on ‘Alliances for Library Cooperation and Development in Ibero-America”. In this, they set out the importance of cooperation and joint working between libraries and other societal institutions as a motor for the development of stronger public libraries.
On the second day, the meeting split into smaller working groups, coordinated by the IFLA representatives, providing an opportunity to simulate dialogue and regional integration in efforts to strengthen public and school libraries as key spasces for democratic participation and the exercise of cultural, education and social rights for all citizens. It was also a chance to boost the role of IFLA as a key institution for generating strategic alliances for joint working.
The meeting was carried out by the Regional Centre for the Promotion of the Book in Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLALC), which, following the mandates of UNESCO around libraries, set up in 2021 the Ibero-American System of National Public and School Library Networks (SIRBI), an integrated regional initiative for the leaders of national systems or networks of public and school libraries of the 21 Member States of the Centre. It also depended on the support of the Ministry of Culture of Peru, and from the National Library of Peru.