Presidential Theme: "Libraries: a force for change"

Libraries – A force for change
Les bibliothèques – Une force pour le changement
Bibliotheken – Kräfte des Wandels
Las bibliotecas – una fuerza catalizadora del cambio
Библиотеки – сила, ведущая к переменам
لمكتبات – دفعة نحو التغيير
图书馆 – 推动变革的力量

Libraries play many roles that benefit individuals, communities and society in general. To realize their full potential, libraries must provide inclusive and transformative services, innovate and forge new collaborative alliances.


Libraries serve all without judgement, prejudice or bias. By democratizing access to information, libraries empower individuals to learn freely, improve their lives and create knowledge.


Libraries transform lives and in doing so transform society. Libraries are community repositories, gathering places, digital depositories, interactive learning centres, research catalysts, and much more.


By harnessing the power and potential of today's rapidly changing technologies, libraries play an essential role for people who wish to access information in any form. To remain relevant new means of enhancing the user experience and services must be implemented continuously.


Increasingly collaboration is both expected and required among institutions supporting learning and culture. As institutional goals align, new opportunities for enhanced collaborative services emerge.


Acceptance Speech

Delivered by Ingrid Parent at the 77th IFLA Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2011

The 2011-2013 Presidential Theme, 'Libraries – A force for change,' provides continuity by building on the past two Presidential themes—Libraries on the Agenda and Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge. It also inspires new external and internal IFLA initiatives in accord with the four directions identified in the IFLA Strategic Plan for 2010-2015:

  • Empowering libraries to enable their user communities to have equitable access to information
  • Building the strategic capacity of IFLA and that of its members
  • Transforming the profile and standing of the profession
  • Representing the interests of IFLA's members and their users throughout the world.

The Presidential Theme and Strategic Plan provide the necessary scope to provide an integrated approach for IFLA's communications enhancements and in shaping external programme delivery, services and engagement.

I am planning a 2012 Presidential meeting on issues relating to traditional knowledge which will touch on all four of the Presidential Theme sections. A further 2013 Presidential meeting is tentatively planned to address issues relating to the growing importance of digital content – replacing print on paper content.

In the words of an attendee at the President-Elect Brainstorming session at the 2010 World Library and Information Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden: "We are all prisoners of our preconceptions."  It is intended that the 2011-2013 Presidential Theme prompt consideration of our attitudes and assumptions and leads to dialogue on how we can better serve our users as institutions and professionals and how IFLA can better serve its members.

Access to information through libraries enables individuals to engage and advocate for positive change. As IFLA President I pledge to work with all of you to ensure our Association remains strong and supports libraries in fulfilling this essential role.

Ingrid Parent
IFLA President 2011-2013

President's Programme


2nd IFLA President's Meeting
Date: 6-7 March

Location: University CIty, Mexico City, Mexico
Theme: Our Digital Futures
Venue: MUAC (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo)
Organisation: IFLA and National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexican Librarians Association, National College of Librarians (Mexico)


1st IFLA President's Meeting
Date: 12-14 April

Location: Vancouver, Canada
Theme: Indigenous Knowledges: Local Priorities, Global Contexts
Venue: University of British Columbia (UBC)
Organisation: IFLA and University of British Columbia

President's Newsletter