IFLA supported a new Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) project in Spain in 2017.  After completion of the project we had some questions for the project team and this is what they told us!

Get inspired by the path of FESABID took in getting input for a new Strategic Plan!

What were your goals?

Our goals were to:

  1. Widen the vision of information professionals by bringing together–through work and common objectives–workers from the public and private sectors in both public administration and companies;
  2. Define strategic lines of joint work, both at national and regional level;
  3. Create proposals for action, in order to achieve recognition from the entire sector and to contribute to that single, global and strong voice;
  4. Provide a bases for the preparation of the strategic plan of FESABID 2018-2022.

How did you plan to make this happen?

In May 2015, the Spanish Federation of Societies of Archivists, Librarians, Documentalists and Museologists (FESABID), organised the first workshop for professional Associations/Chartered Institutes that are members of FESABID, under the title "F3 – Formación (training), fortalecimiento (strengthening), FESABID" – and based on the BSLA (Building Strong Library Associations) methodology. This workshop brought to life the line of associative strengthening included in FESABID's 2015-2017 Strategic Plan and was the start of collaborative work focused on achieving better visibility, recognition and commitment from and to our professionals.

Ather all this actions achieved, we consider it was necessary to continue working in this way with information professionals, specifically with the Associations members of FESABID and companies of the sector. The BSLA programme has enabled us to carry it out.

How did it work?

The project has been very effective.

Some of the issues considered most relevant and currently of greatest interest include: strategic lines of joint work, both at national and regional level; the analysis of how information is consumed; public policies of access to information and digital transformation; training, the new competences of our professionals and the defence of the profession.  During past six months, the professional Associations and Chartered Institutes, who are FESABID members, have been working alongside the Cluster on these issues.

How did you use communications during the project?

We utiised our standard channels of communication within FESABID Association members and FESABID Cluster members, inlcuding email and Google Docs to share documents.

What did you learn in the process?

  1. The need to talk straight about the common problems faced and to solve them;
  2. Problems are minor when they are shared;
  3. Listening to the members of the associations enrich and keep our finger on the pulse of the profession. The active participation of people who are not linked to association boards broadens the vision of both the associative and professional world;
  4. The effort of reserving a time and a space for reflection extends the commitment level of the people involved.

What are your next steps?

Work in the following lines:

    FESABID must widen its actions of awareness and therefore articulate an infrastructure and means of action (much wider than the members of the Management Board and FESABID's Management team) at all levels (national, regional, provincial, etc). These actions would both enhance the lines of action put forward as well as help assure their alignment with the actions set out by the federations of which they are members and in which they participate (IFLA/EBLIDA).
  • SECTOR FESABID has two aspects to work on in order to represent the ENTIRE sector. These are:

    • Resume the union/integration with the Spanish Federation of Associations of Archivists, Librarians, Archaeologists, Museologists and Documentalists (ANABAD)
    • Reconsider its relationship with the third leg of the sector: universities (which could be represented by RUID)
  • NEW WAYS OF WORKING between FESABID and its members.

Out of everything put forward in the two BSLA-F3 sessions, and of the proposals formulated, the need for Associations/Chartered Institutes to work in a coordinated way and with common objectives (regardless of their individual work as an association/chartered institute) is apparent.

This coordination would result in a twofold channel. That is to say, associations would have the national voice in their region or autonomous community, but they would also provide the national vision thanks to their work and autonomic experience.