At last week’s IFLA General Assembly 2022, President Barbara Lison set out the Governing Board’s concrete plan for further enhancing the way that the Federation operates. This both sets out steps already taken, responds to questions raised by members, and identifies Board priorities for making IFLA stronger.

IFLA’s Governance Review in 2019-21 started an important process of updating and improving the way in which IFLA works, with a view to improving effectiveness, inclusiveness and transparency.

It addressed a wide range of questions around the size, structure and role of IFLA’s different committees, promoting simplicity, support to volunteers, regional diversity, and financial sustainability.

However, it is clear that this is an ongoing process. Further steps are necessary in order not only for IFLA to deliver for its members, but to do so in a way that ensures that all can feel that they are informed, engaged, and heard.

IFLA’s Governing Board, strengthened by the addition of its new President-elect and Treasurer, has therefore put together a plan for the coming year. This tackles both the key issues raised by members, and priorities already identified by the Governing Board itself.

The key points include the following:

  • A clear acknowledgement of the situation facing IFLA at the moment, also with regard to its Secretary General, and the issues raised by the Governing Board, members, and volunteers alike
  • Stronger prioritisation and planning of current work, as well as a review of delivery of the Strategy 2019-24 in advance of the inclusive development of the Strategy for the years 2025 to 2029
  • Steps to improve the work environment at IFLA Headquarters, including stronger communication, more appropriate structures, and a clear plan for recruiting a new Secretary General
  • Clarifying the relationship between IFLA and Stichting IFLA Global Libraries, including a shift to more project-based funding
  • Strengthening our basis for operations, including finalising a Handbook in time for elections, reviewing the Code of Ethics for GB members and officers, and completing our set of internal policies and updating our project management framework. A crucial part of this will be to communicate more often, both following GB meetings, and through spaces for discussion with the Board at the World Library and Information Congress
  • Review of IFLA’s financial and related practices, as part of the process of working with a new auditor, in line with standard practice, as well as quarterly financial reporting on the IFLA website
  • Reflection on the format and scheduling of the General Assembly and World Library and Information Congress in future years

As highlighted in the above, the Governing Board provide an update after each meeting. It will also, in line with the resolution passed at the Assembly, produce a roadmap for making IFLA a more communicative and transparent organisation.

The plan set out in the President’s address received a broadly positive response from participants at the General Assembly, with high expectations for its implementation.

Keep an eye on our website for updates on implementation!