On November 23-24 2023 at the Europe Regional Division Committee‘s meeting in Brussels, the members drew up an action plan for the coming two years. The Action Plan consists of four key tasks:

Task 1 – Demonstrating the impact of library advocacy initiatives, including improving the understanding of library advocacy initiatives in Europe. Using existing documentation and data, plus the results of a new survey, we hope to arrive at a region-specific view, understanding what librarians in the region expect from us and how we can help them. Our aim is to identify Europe-specific problems and the advocacy responses of libraries to contemporary issues such as depopulation, disinformation, climate change, the welcoming and integration of immigrants, and skills depletion.

Task 2 – Cooperation with European library partners. Libraries must become more visible on a European scale. They need a strong advocacy voice. IFLA EURDC will work on this task together with other associations, such as EBLIDA, LIBER, NAPLE, PL 2030 and EUCLID. The first step will be to establish a regular exchange with these players to learn about each partner’s plans and activities. We hope to define common goals and actions, to be worked on together. A key result of these joint efforts will be the establishment of a common strategy for cooperation between players.

Task 3 – Evaluating the professional development needs of libraries. This task addresses the specific needs of LIS professionals in European regional libraries. The group engaged in this task will focus on assisting the professional growth of librarians and, with this in mind, plans to conduct a comprehensive survey to identify areas where support is needed. Research will also include assessing the frequency of professional development opportunities and understanding the primary obstacles to librarians’ advancement. Additionally, we aim to build an improved database of professional development options and foster stronger collaboration with international organizations, providing valuable resources for LIS professionals.

Task 4 – Democracy and European libraries. Inspired by the presentations and discussion at the session organised by EURDC during the IFLA WLIC in Rotterdam 2024, we want to gain an improved understanding of different problems libraries in the region are facing today. What is the background to these problems? We also want to increase awareness about the role of librarians in fighting disinformation. In addition, we will focus on mapping the perception of freedom of speech and freedom of expression in libraries. To this end we will conduct a number of surveys, the results of which we will present in 2025.

All of the above activities will be carried out in collaboration with other IFLA groups.

We are looking forward to these joint activities and what we discover as a result of them. We believe that they will bring positive changes for our region. Let us join forces – because we are stronger together!