IFLA standards are internationally reviewed, published and regularly updated documents. Each IFLA standard reflects current consensus on rules, principles, guidelines, best practice or models for a particular activity or service. IFLA standards in their diversity of styles and subject matter provide optimum benefit for the international library community. Standards are established by IFLA professional units who work in collaboration and by consensus.

IFLA generally uses the term ‘standards’ to refer to the following types of documents:

  • Conceptual models
  • Rules for resource description
  • Digital format codes
  • Guidelines (documents consisting of instructions, advice and models of preferred practices)
  • Best practice (documents consisting of procedures and techniques based on experience and research)

The terms ‘standards’ and ‘standard’ are used to describe all of the above in theĀ IFLA Standards Procedures Manual.

The IFLA Standards Procedures Manual provides guidance for the development of standards and guidelines by IFLA professional units. It seeks to establish: how to present the need for specific standards and guidelines; maximize consensus about the content and applicability; ensure high technical and editorial quality; promote consistency; and earn endorsement by IFLA and the wider library and information community.