Brazilian libraries: places of affective listening
06 October 2020
It is time to defend and promote libraries as places of affective listening, in order to receive a society marked by significant losses. This is how Adriana Ferrari, the Vice-President of the Brazilian Federation of Associations of Librarians, Information Scientists and Institutions (FEBAB), chose to describe the importance of aligning Brazil’s library actions to the IFLA Strategy.
Closely aligned to Key Initiatives 2.1 and 3.1 of the Strategy, FEBAB began by translating relevant IFLA strategic material into Portuguese. This version was immediately made available on the FEBAB website and distributed to their 17 affiliated associations.
IFLA Strategy and alignments: a panel discussion
To deliver this important information to associations, FEBAB organised the panel discussion “IFLA Strategy and alignments” using the hashtag #JuntosSomosMaisFortes! (in English: Together We Are Stronger”) during the 28th edition of the Brazilian Congress of Library, Documentation and Information Science. This took place 4 October 2019, in Vitória, Brazil. This is the largest event in the region and has an audience of approximately 1 200 people, including professionals, students, researchers, teachers and sponsors.
Given the importance of mobilising every member of the field in order to deliver on the Strategy, FEBAB’s goal was to reach the event’s entire audience.
They organised a panel discussion, where board members presented each IFLA Strategic Direction and how FEBAB had worked to align its local actions and so build a stronger and more integrated network of libraries.
This reflects a key characteristic of the IFLA Strategy as a “global guide for actions” in different countries, with associations such as FEBAB helping to disseminate its ideas and build spaces for reflection and, above all, action.
The FEBAB Vice President, Adriana Ferrari, highlighted the importance of being aligned with IFLA’s thinking:
Promoting this discussion on the main stage of the event and seeing the full audience is a sign that Brazilian professionals want to be aligned with IFLA’s thinking. In times of pandemic, it is imperative to strengthen the global voice of libraries as strategic partners of the SDGs. It is time to defend libraries as places of affective listening, in order to receive a society marked by significant losses. Therefore, libraries need to prove essential, supporting the community in the defence of their constitutional rights and, moreover, be an additional force against fake news and misinformation.”
Access for all: FEBAB’s webinars use sign language interpretation
FEBAB’s work is not limited to those actions. The FEBAB President, Jorge Prado detailed the importance of collaboration and networking among its associations:
This is an ongoing effort. We intend to resume the discussion with our affiliated associations, with our Commissions, Working Groups and Training Schools. It is important to identify our local strengths and outline common projects to overcome the challenges imposed on the cultural and educational areas that affect Brazilian libraries. The IFLA Strategy document also contributes to our advocacy with decision makers, as it presents a world view, voices from all continents, which added to ours, can be heard even more. We need efficient public policies and we are fighting for that to happen, especially now with the disastrous economic effects of the pandemic, we will need more than ever, to show that libraries are essential for building a society where all lives matter.”
In addition to the congress, FEBAB has offered, through the Brazilian commissions and working groups, many possibilities to Brazilian librarians to learn, engage and embrace the society’s diversity. A great example is their recent webinar on “User education and information competence: links and outcomes,” which was accompanied by sign language interpretation.
Read more about the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024
How is your library or library association engaging with the IFLA Strategy? Let us know! Post on your social media, using the hashtag #IFLAStrategy and #WeAreIFLA or send an email to Despina Gerasimidou, IFLA’s Strategic Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.