Nominations for President-elect August 2019-August 2021 (President 2021-2023) and Members of the Governing Board of IFLA (August 2019-August 2021)

DEADLINE: 08 February 2019

The Governing Board, in accordance with the Statutes, consists of the following members elected by the membership at large through this nomination and postal ballot process:

  • The President-elect
  • Ten members

Six members of the Professional Committee, consisting of a chair and one officer from each of the five Divisions of the Federation will be elected through a separate process by the Section Officers, and are also members of the Governing Board.

Additional members of the Governing Board include the President; the Chair of the Management of Library Associations Section and the Secretary General (ex officio).

Global representation and participation

As a truly global organisation, representing the interests of library and information services, and their users, worldwide, IFLA needs energetic, committed and capable people whose skills and experience should cover different library types, professional specialisations and global regions to serve on its Governing Board. Members of the Governing Board should have a global perspective; an interest in library politics and advocacy; a commitment to the aims and core values of IFLA; and a desire to work collaboratively in dealing with issues for the profession. Business is conducted in English so competence in English is necessary to enable participation, but it is also important for the Board to have a good representation of IFLA’s working languages.

Being a member of the Governing Board can be time-consuming and challenging work, including work between the meetings, as the Board strives to advance the contribution of library and information services to society and to improve the practice of the profession. It is also rewarding, providing the stimulating opportunity to work with colleagues from different types of library and information environments and from different cultures.

Roles and Responsibilities of the President and President-elect

The President-elect serves in this role for two years, followed by two years as President.

The President leads the Federation and is its chief representative. The President represents IFLA and the world’s library and information profession internationally to key government and allied industry, international and national organisations and bodies. The President chairs the Governing Board and presides over General Assembly meetings which are held at the annual IFLA Congress. The Presidency involves a significant amount of travelling (some 50-70 days a year) for meetings, making keynote speeches and generally representing IFLA and the library and information profession.  As only limited IFLA funding is available to assist some of this travel, the President must have strong employer and other support. The President works closely with the Secretary General.

The two-year term of office as President-elect provides an opportunity to identify priorities to be pursued on assuming the presidency. The President-Elect works closely with the President and Secretary General and deputises for the President as required, for example, to represent the Federation or chair meetings.

Consequently, the post of President-Elect also involves a significant amount of travelling, speaking commitments and representation and therefore demands strong employer and other support. The President-Elect is a full member of the Governing Board and the Executive and Professional Committees.

A candidate for the position of President-elect does not have to be a member. Each candidate must have ten (10) valid nominations by IFLA Members. The successful candidate will serve for two years as President-elect (2019-2021), followed by two years as President (2021-2023).

Roles and Responsibilities of the Governing Board

The IFLA Governing Board is responsible for the governance, financial and professional directions of the Federation, according to IFLA Statutes Articles 13 and 14. 

The elected members of the Governing Board serve for an initial term of two years and may stand for a further consecutive term of two years.

One of the members of the Governing Board is elected by the Board to be the Treasurer of IFLA and other Governing Board members are elected by the Board to be members of committees or working groups. The President may ask a member of the Governing Board to represent IFLA at key conferences or other meetings, to ensure that the Federation’s voice is heard. Funding assistance from IFLA is available under such circumstances.


Members of the Governing Board are expected to make themselves available, usually at no cost to the Federation, to fulfil Board responsibilities which include the requirement to meet on three occasions each year. At the IFLA Congress there are two meetings: one on the day before the Congress starts and one on the day after the Congress ends. The Governing Board and its committees and working groups also meet in December and April at IFLA Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. IFLA covers accommodation costs for these latter meetings. Some additional limited travel assistance may be available under special circumstances. Business is conducted in between meetings by email and teleconference.

Skills and attributes

The Governing Board should comprise individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives who bring with them a variety of skills and experience.

A nominee for the Governing Board should:

  • have expertise, experience and interest in/across the library field;
  • have experience in management and governance at a senior level;
  • have an understanding of strategic planning, implementation and review processes;
  • have an understanding of organizational financial planning, fundraising and risk management;
  • have proven leadership skills, be an experienced networker with an ability to leverage networks and have an interest in library politics and advocacy;
  • have a willingness and ability to devote time and energy to the role – this is usually several hours per week;
  • have financial support and time allowance to attend face-to-face meetings of the Governing Board;
  • act with respect, trust, confidentiality and transparency within the Governing Board and recognize the need to protect personal and privileged information. They must declare any conflicts of interest and abstain from discussions where they have a conflict or potential conflict of interest.

Roles and responsibilities

A nominee for the Governing Board should:

  • contribute ideas, expertise and leadership to the direction of IFLA;
  • have the willingness and ability to absorb complex information, provide opinions and deliberations, and work collaboratively to seek outcomes that benefit IFLA members and the global library community
  • be able to communicate and advocate for the work of IFLA to members and the library community, and to represent the Federation where required;
  • be aware of their legal obligations in terms of ensuring the financial health and sustainability of the organisation;
  • be prepared to contribute actively to the committees, projects and work of the Governing Board;
  • participate in and respond to online communications of the Governing Board during the year, for example, via email, conference calls, document sharing and collaboration;
  • attend and participate in all business meetings of the Governing Board from the moment of their election up to and including the next two years, which means they should attend three World Library and Information Congresses in total (2019 – Athens, 2020 – Auckland, and 2021 – t.b.a.).

Who may be Nominated?

  • A candidate for President-elect or Governing Board Member does not have to be a member of IFLA (or be employed by or be affiliated with a Member of IFLA) to be nominated.
  • Candidates should have a working knowledge of at least one of the working languages of IFLA (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian and Spanish). Since the business meetings of IFLA are conducted in English, reasonable fluency in this language is necessary to be able to fully participate as a Governing Board member.
  • Candidates should have confirmation of employer and other support to fulfill the official duties and representational and financial demands of office.

A candidate for one of the ten elected places on the Governing Board must have five (5) valid nominations by IFLA members.

The successful candidates for these places on the Governing Board will serve for two years commencing on 29 August 2019 until August 2021. Those elected for the first time will then be eligible for nomination for election for a second term of two years (2021-2023).

The current President, who will complete her term of office in August 2019, the President-elect who will begin her term of office as President in August 2019 and any Governing Board members currently in their second term are not eligible for nomination.

How do I nominate a Candidate?

To nominate a candidate for election to the post of President-elect or Governing Board member, complete a copy of the enclosed Nomination Form. This requires the signature of the authorized signatory of an Association Member or Institutional Member. Affiliate members should provide a name and signature. Provide the contact details of your nominee and send this form to IFLA before 8 February.

  • The authorised signatory is the individual listed in IFLA’s records as the organisation’s highest official and whose name appears on the attached nomination form. Please contact us if this is incorrect so that we can re-issue the form. This form may be photocopied, but please note that the nomination form cannot be used by anyone other than the authorised signatory of the member concerned.

Please note:

  • There is no restriction on the number of candidates you may nominate for these positions.
  • You should ensure that your nominee is willing to stand. IFLA Headquarters will seek formal confirmation from each candidate once the required number of nominations for that candidate has been received.
The following table sets out who may nominate and who may vote in the ensuing election.
  May nominate May vote in the election
Voting members
Authorised signatories of Association Members*
Yes Yes
Authorised signatories of Institutional Members* Yes Yes
Honorary Fellows
Yes Yes
  • Association Affiliates
  • Individual Affiliates*

    • Personal
    • Non-Salaried
    • Student
    • New Graduate
  • Institutional Affiliates*

    • Institutional sub-units
    • School libraries
      One-person library centres
Yes No

* Only if membership fees are paid in full for 2018 and are not in arrears.

Nominations DEADLINE

Nominations must reach IFLA Headquarters ON or BEFORE Friday, 8 February 2019. No late nominations will be accepted. To avoid disappointment please do not wait until the last day.

Questions? Contact


  • In accordance with the Statutes, the elections will be conducted by postal ballot. Only those eligible Voting Members as set out in the above table will be entitled to vote. Association, Institutional & Individual Affiliates are not entitled to vote in the elections.
  • It is expected that the ballot will take place during March and April 2019, with eight weeks between the dispatch of ballot papers and the closing date for their return.
  • The results will be announced on IFLA’s Website in May 2019.

These elections are extremely important for the future governance of IFLA. Please consider whether you wish to nominate candidates for these positions on the Governing Board.

Yours sincerely,

Gerald Leitner
Secretary General