Group Photo from IFLA Regional Workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean

Library representatives from 28 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean came together on 24 May in Buenos Aires for the first step in a new phase in IFLA’s work to build a stronger and more united library field.

Since 2017, IFLA’s Global Vision discussion has provided a response to the need to ensure that libraries do not just survive, but thrive in a changing world.

By bringing the library field together through an conversation unprecedented in its breadth and inclusiveness, more library and information workers than ever before have shared their views and their ideas. The result of this has been the most complete ever overview of the challenges and opportunities facing libraries, and thousands of ideas for how to do things better.

In order to complete the process, IFLA has launched a series of regional workshops, with the goal of promoting coordinated and aligned strategic planning at all levels of the library field.

The Library of the National Congress of Argentina, host of IFLA’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, provided the venue for the first of these, which brought together presidents of national library associations, national librarians and other senior representatives from 28 countries across the region.

IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner (left) and President Glòria Pérez-Salmerón (right)​Focusing in particular on the importance of advocacy efforts that engage all members of the field, participants shared ideas for how we can better make our voices heard, and ensure recognition and support for our sector’s contribution to development. From the global to the local level, it was clear that there is strong potential to work collaboratively in order to work effectively.

IFLA Secretary-General Gerald Leitner encouraged all present to take the message back to their home countries that now was the time to move from vision to strategy to action. Not just those present at the meeting, but all who work in and care about libraries should understand that they are IFLA, and have their part to play in building a stronger and more united library field powering literate, informed and participatory societies.

Find out more about IFLA's Global Vision discussion.