Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This webpage includes a number of questions that may arise from the nomination process and also from changes to the IFLA Governance structure. Please check this page and the page related to a specific committee and position, as well as our overview of IFLA’s new structures.

If you still have questions, feel free to contact We’re here to help you through the process as your contributions are essential to the success of our activities.


Why am I not able to vote for all of the open positions?

According to IFLA’s Statutes and Rules of Procedure, there are different electorates for different posts.

For example, only IFLA Members (Associations, Institutions, Honorary Fellows) can vote for the positions of President-elect, Treasurer, and Governing Board Member-at-Large. Only those Members and Affiliates registered to a Section can vote in elections for that Section. Similarly, only Members and Affiliates based in a particular region can vote in the election for the relevant Regional Division Committee.

A candidate that I nominated is not included on the list?

Unfortunately, a number of nominees were disqualified. Reasons for this include not having enough nominations (where more than one was required), not being able to stand again for a position (having served the full number of terms), nominators nominating more people than allowed under the caps for Regional Division Committees, nominators not being active IFLA Members or Affiliates, and missing Nominee Consent Forms.

Candidates in this position are nonetheless encouraged to stay engaged, and to draw on the possibilities to attend meetings as observers. There may be possibilities to join committees as a co-opted member in some circumstances.

There is not an election for my Section or Regional Division Committee – why is this?

In some cases, the number of eligible candidates was fewer than the number of places available. In this situation, there is no election, and rather all eligible candidates are elected automatically. 

Why does the election for the Regional Division Committee for the Middle East and North Africa only include two Egyptians?

The nomination round for Regional Division Committee Members for the Middle East and North Africa resulted in 8 valid candidates. However, two candidates are from Egypt. For the MENA region, there is a limit of one individual per country serving on the committee. Therefore, an election is being held to decide which Egyptian candidate should join the MENA Regional Division Committee now as a member. 

Why is IFLA using an external voting platform?

Aware of the time and complexity involved in using postal ballots, including the risk of ballots simply never arriving, IFLA has opted to use an electronic voting platform this year, for the first time. This should make it much easier and quicker to vote.

We are using an external platform which provides the functionalities that we need, following an assessment of available offers. This provides a simpler and more effective approach than trying to do things in-house.

Getting Nominated

How do I find an IFLA member to nominate me?

Check the list of IFLA Members and Affiliates to find libraries and associations that could nominate you. It is best to try Members and Affiliates in your own country first. However, if there are fewer Members and Affiliates in your country than nominations required, you should feel ready to look at other countries.

For Section Standing Committees, only Members and Affiliates registered for that Section can nominate you. Contact the Chair or Secretary of the Section you are interested in and they will put you in contact with a registered Member. Contact details for the Chair and Secretary are on the Section webpages.

If you have any questions regarding getting nominated, please contact

Can I nominate myself?

If you are the official representative of an IFLA Member (Association, Institution or Honorary), or are an Association or Individual Affiliate, you can nominate yourself. Otherwise, you need to find other people to nominate you.

Can I stand for multiple positions?

We understand that you may wish to keep your options open and therefore want to put yourself forward for multiple positions. For example, you may wish to stand for the Governing Board and a Regional Division Committee.

This is possible, but we note that once the results come in, there are limitations on the number of different committees on which you can sit.

For example, it is not possible to be a member of more than one Professional Section Standing Committee, or more than one Advisory Committee. It is also not possible to be a member of two committees where one is reporting, directly or indirectly, to the other. For example, you cannot be both a Governing Board member and a member of a Regional Division Committee, given that Regional Division Committees report indirectly to the Board.

Even if it is possible to combine two posts, we would recommend that you then select one position to which you want to commit your energy and withdraw from the other to leave a space for someone else. We want to involve as many people as possible in IFLA’s activities.

When should I complete my nominee consent form?

If you wish to stand for election, we suggest you have contact first with an IFLA Member or Affiliate and ask them to submit your nomination. Once you have organised your nominator(s), you should complete your nominee form and provide the details and statement required by the deadline set out on our website.

Can I submit my nominee consent form without confirming that I have received enough nominations?

Yes, but you should remember that if you do not have sufficient nominations for the position for which you are applying by the deadline, your candidacy will be invalid.

What will happen to my candidate statement?

Your statement will be made available to all those who are asked to vote in the election for that position, in order to help them make their decision.

What does it mean to “serve in a personal capacity”?

All individuals elected to an IFLA committee or role serve in a personal capacity. Although you may have been nominated by an organisation or employer if they are an IFLA Member, you serve in your own right and not as their representative. They nominate you because they believe you will bring expertise, experience and skills to your volunteer work and to the benefit of IFLA. This means that should you change employer or leave an organisation during your term of office, you remain in your role on the committee until the end of your term.

Nominating others

I would like to nominate more than one person for a type of position – is this possible?

Yes, when there is more than one place available. In the description for each position, you will read how many nominations a nominator can make.

For example, you can only make one nomination for the position of President-elect, as there is only one place available. However, Regional Division Committees can have up to 20 members, and so you can nominate up to 20 candidates. Nonetheless, in this situation, do bear in mind that there are limits on the number of candidates who can be elected from any one country to a Regional Division Committee.

If you are nominating more than one candidate, we strongly encourage you to propose candidates who bring diverse experiences to the committee, including people from different countries.

Do I have to nominate someone from my own country?

No, you can nominate anyone eligible for a post. IFLA Members and Affiliates have an important role to play in supporting the nominations of a diverse range of candidates.

In the case of Regional Division Committees, you do however need to nominate someone based in your region (see the list of countries/territories per region).

Can I join or rejoin now in order to be part of the nominations?

Unfortunately, only those Members and Affiliates who had paid all fees owing before 28 February 2021 will be able to take part in the nominations and elections. This includes members who paid their membership for 2020 and new members who have already paid for 2021. However, we welcome all associations, institutions and individuals who wish to support the mission of IFLA to join the Federation and be part of future activities.

Can I change/swap or add to my registered Sections?

Not at this time. For the purposes of this election cycle, and due to the shorter time frames for nominations and elections, the Governing Board has decided that your membership status and registered Sections as of 28 February 2021 will form the basis for your ability to nominate and elect. We will be happy to amend or add Sections to your membership after the close of elections in May.

I’ve already submitted a nomination – can I change it?

Given the volume of positions available, we are unfortunately not able to amend nominations which have already been submitted. We apologise not to be able to offer this possibility this year, and encourage you to be sure about your nominations before you send them.


May I serve on two Section Standing Committees at the same time?

No. It is not possible to serve on more than one Section Standing Committee at any one time. Section Standing Committees need energetic volunteers who can commit wholeheartedly to advancing the work and activities of the Section.

Can I be a candidate for a Section Standing Committee I was on in the past?

You can serve up to two terms which is usually eight years (2 x 4-year terms) on one Standing Committee. You must then leave the committee. You can stand for election again, provided that your new term does not commence until at least one term (four years) after the conclusion of your previous role on that committee. Terms already served do count – for example, if you have already served four years on a Standing Committee, you can only be a member for one more term before taking a break.

If I have finished two terms with one Standing Committee, can I be a candidate for another?

Yes, if you wish to continue your engagement with IFLA, you can stand for election on another committee. We invite you to explore the different opportunities across all IFLA committees where you could contribute your expertise.

Is a second term automatic?

No. If you have completed one term on a Section Standing Committee and wish to continue, you must stand for re-election. This means finding a nominator and submitting a nominee consent form.

I have only served two years of a four-year term. Do I need to do anything?

No, you can continue to serve out your term.

* Please note this does not apply to current members of Regional Section Standing Committees which will no longer exist and will be replaced by Regional Divisions.

Who are the Officers?

Under the new Rules of Procedure, the Section Standing Committee Officers will be the Chair, Secretary and Information Co-ordinator. The Officers will be elected at the first meeting of the newly elected Professional Section Standing Committee.

In the new Rules, Information Coordinators are Officers. I am currently an Information Coordinator, may I stand for election for Chair of a Professional Division?

Yes, current Information Coordinators may stand for the position of Chair of a Professional Division.

What has happened to Corresponding Members?

The position of Corresponding member has been discontinued. Up to five additional members can be co-opted to a Standing Committee if they fulfil a criterion of supporting the diversity of the committee and following consultation with the Chair of their Professional Division Committee. All current Corresponding Members will cease their terms in August 2021.

What is the role of Mentors?

Following elections, the Chair of the Professional Section Standing Committee, in consultation with the Chair of the Professional Division Committee, shall determine whether up to three mentors shall be appointed to support the work of the Professional Section Standing Committee.

Mentors may be appointed to work with new members of the committee or to lend expertise to specific projects that are still to be finished.

They are not members of the Standing Committee and can only serve one term of four years.

Special Interest Groups

Do SIGs now have committees?

Yes, Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will have committees of up to 9 individuals. Individuals interested in participating in SIG committees should self nominate using the relevant Nominee Consent Form. The Sponsoring Professional Section’s outgoing Standing Committee will assess the nominations and appoint a committee in June/July. The term for members of SIG committees will be two years, renewable once.

Do SIG Convenors have to stand as a candidate?

Yes, if you wish to be the Convenor of a Special Interest Group, you will need to submit your nominee consent form. A Convenor will then be chosen by the SIG Committee once this is formed.

Regional Divisions

What is the purpose of the Regional Divisions?

IFLA’s new Regional Divisions are there to support the development and delivery of action plans that respond to the needs of the library field across different regions of the world (see the list of countries/territories per region), in line with IFLA’s overall strategy and working with other relevant committees and groups.  They will contribute actively to efforts to engage Members and reach out to non-Members and have a particular role in supporting effective advocacy for libraries.

How can I join a Regional Division Committee?

If you are interested in joining a Regional Division Committee, you should find three (3) IFLA Members or Affiliates who can support your candidacy as nominators (see the list), and then fill in the relevant nominee consent form. One of these nominators can be yourself, if you are a Personal Affiliate of IFLA.  Your nominators do not have to be from the same country as you, but they do need to be from the same region (see the list of countries/territories per region).  

May I serve on a Regional Division Committee and a Section Standing Committee at the same time?

Yes, but it is not possible to serve as an officer on more than one committee. For example, you cannot be a Chair or Vice-Chair of a Regional Division Committee and a Chair, Secretary or Information Coordinator of a Section Standing Committee.

To which region do I belong?

Please see the list of Regional Divisions and their countries.

What has happened to Regional Sections?

IFLA’s pre-existing three regional sections have been upgraded to become Regional Divisions, each of which will have a Regional Division Committee. Three more have been added – Europe, Middle East and North Africa, and North America – allowing for truly global coverage. The focus of their work will be on advocacy.

I have completed two terms on a Regional Section Standing Committee. Can I stand for a Regional Division Committee?

Yes. Regional Division Committees are new and so we will start from zero and not impose restrictions based on previous service.

I have only served half of my term on a Regional Section Standing Committee. Do I need to stand again for a Regional Division Committee?

Yes, you will need to stand again as a candidate.

Access to the online forms

If you have any problems in accessing the online forms either to nominate or to complete the nominee consent form, please contact

Terms used

  • IFLA Member – National Associations, International Associations and Other Associations, in additional to Institutions and Honorary Fellows
  • Association Affiliate – Association Affiliates have restricted nomination and voting rights
  • Individual Affiliate – Personal and Student Affiliates
  • IFLA Section Standing Committee Member – Individuals who have been elected to a Section Standing Committee