The IFLA Building Strong Library Associations programme (BSLA) is supporting projects in Africa, Asia and Oceania and Latin America and the Caribbean following the regional convenings held in 2014. A full list of current and completed BSLA projects is available.

Cross Border Mobility of Librarians in the ASEAN region: Pre-CONSAL Convening

On 9 June 2015 the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI) and the Thailand Library Association (TLA) organised a convening prior to the CONSAL (Congress of South East Asian Nations) conference in Bangkok, Thailand. The convening on ASEAN Integration: Cross Border Mobility of Librarians aimed to create a platform for common understanding of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Economic and Socio-Cultural Communities, and cross-border mobility of librarians amongst leaders of the library profession in the 10 ASEAN member states. Library associations have an important role in this process, as they have contact with Labor and Education Ministries responsible for implementing cross-border mobility programmes and an essential role in providing ongoing education and advice about initial librarian training to their members.


The workshop was intended to create consensus among the CONSAL Executive Board members and library associations in the region on how to proceed with cross-border mobility and draft recommendations on areas of mutual collaboration through Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) and initiate the creation of a repository of information on libraries and library associations, on skills and qualifications requirements in terms of the librarianship profession, and on laws and regulations to practice and work across the region which can be made available to the public for reference.

The goals of the convening were to;

  • Build a common understanding of the effects of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in the practice of librarianship in the region
  • Discuss issues of integration,  including requirements to practice in selected ASEAN member states, skills and competencies required of a library professional and country restrictions for foreign professionals
  • Strengthen and build a more unified library associations willing to share best practices and learning experiences

Project Outcomes

Common areas for strengthening integration within the ASEAN Economic Community were identified including;

  • The requirements to practice the profession in selected member states;
  • Skills and competencies required of a library professional;
  • Language barriers;
  • Accreditation of LIS faculty and students;
  • Mutual recognition arrangements.

PLAI will continue to lead advocacy efforts on this issue.

For more information, download the convening presentations:

For more information about the BSLA programme, visit the IFLA website.