CDNL 2017


Approximately 100 high-level representatives and observers from around the world attended yesterday’s annual Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL)* meeting. The session was organised under the theme of National Libraries Connecting Continents and Communities and included a special segment devoted to IFLA’s Global Vision discussion. IFLA’s President, President-elect and Secretary General all participated in the meeting.

IFLA Secretary General Gerald LeitnerNational libraries have special responsibilities, often defined in law, within a nation's library and information system and therefore are key institutions for effecting change at a national level.  The actions National Libraries take, especially when acting in concert with each other, can ultimately have global reverberations. Taking leadership in national library-related campaigns is an important aspect of their ability to leverage, influence and advocate for the core values of the global library community.

During the meeting, IFLA’s National Libraries Standing Committee (NLSC) presented the results from its own Global Vision report, which are part of a larger set of just-released reports addressing the idea of a united library field tackling the challenges of the future. The discussions were carried out during both face-to-face and online meetings.  NLSC’s paper highlighted a common theme among respondents, namely that the crucial mission of the national libraries to collect, preserve and make available cultural heritage as well as the need to strengthen cooperation and engagement among other communities and institutions, can all be strengthened by helping achieve the goals of the Global Vision discussion. 

IFLA’s NLSC report was followed a real-time Global Vision voting segment, facilitated by IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner. NLSC representatives from 50 countries with 1124 combined years of library experience and almost 500 combined years of involvement with IFLA took part in the voting.  Voting results were presented in real-time.

As National Libraries get more involved in the Global Vision discussion, we expect to see significant impact on the project’s future, as they are strategically placed both geographically (global) and institutionally (government-supported). 

*CDNL is an independent association of chief executives of national libraries, established to facilitate discussion and promote understanding and cooperation on matters of common interest worldwide. CDNL meets annually, usually on the Tuesday of the week of the IFLA conference. The annual meeting is hosted by the National Library of the country which hosts the IFLA conference. The Chief Executive or Director of the national library of every country is a member of CDNL as of right. Members may be represented at the meeting by their deputies.