In August of 2005, IFLA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Reading Association (IRA) and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) for the purpose of establishing a closer working relationship between the three organizations around the intrinsic value and importance of reading and literacy. In so doing, the organizations agreed to work together on the formalization of the partnership between IFLA, IBBY and IRA through: establishing associated status with each other, based on common interests, and on maximizing each others’ strengths in order to enhance effectiveness and outreach. This includes: exchange of expertise, joint statements, declarations, and manifestos, etc., joint advocacy and support for each others’ own advocacy activities, joint research activities, joint workshops and/or training sessions, joint projects and publications, as well as establishing active links to each other on our websites. In subsequent meetings between the three organizations, two major initiatives have been agreed upon: the creation of a common database for Reading Promotion projects, and an appeal to the national sections, affiliates, associations, offices or centers of the three organizations to work more closely with each other at the national level.

For IFLA this means reaching out to local IRA and IBBY members in your country and inviting them to join your national association/section and by doing so strengthening your work by expanding the number of people you are working with. The member of the joint working committee, Ellis Vance from IBBY, was asked to draw up a list of possible connections that can be made at the national level among IBBY Sections, IRA Affiliates, and IFLA National Associations and their sections and Regional Offices. The document is a part of this message. We ask that our national associations, institutions and sections work toward implementing some of the suggestions in this document. In countries where IBBY, IRA and IFLA all have sections, affiliates, offices or centers, we have the chance to work more closely together in co-sponsoring projects and activities. There are countries around the world where IFLA has representatives but IBBY and IRA do not, and opposite. A joint actions could help in establishing national and local connections. We hope that this information not only will help to strengthen the natural ties between IFLA, IBBY, and IRA at the international level, but will also strengthen what you do for literacy, literature, children and libraries at the national and local levels.

We would appreciate receiving any suggestions for further possible connections between our organizations. Please, report to Ellis Vance, IBBY Treasurer, Email: