IFLA Strategy Key Initiative 3.4

The goal of the IFLA Section on Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning is to develop effective continuing professional development opportunities for librarians around the world. One of the most successful programmes of this work is the IFLA Coaching Initiative.

IFLA Strategy Key Initiative 4.2

Aligned with the IFLA Strategy Key Initiatives 3.4 and 4.2, the programme is already having a great impact on the global library community.

The IFLA Coaching Initiative

One2one coaching conversation during IFLA WLIC 2019

The IFLA Coaching Initiative is a collaboration between the IFLA Section on Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (IFLA CPDWL Section) and the IFLA Management and Marketing Section (IFLA M&M Section).

The IFLA Coaching Programme matches volunteer coaches with IFLA WLIC participants who are interested in developing their careers, tackling challenging situations and realising their goals through the process of coaching. During the coaching conversation, the participants also learn how getting involved in the work of IFLA can help them expand their career and professional development opportunities.

Screengrab from the IFLA Coaching YouTube videos

The coaching training programme consists of two parts, recorded webinars and live presentations, are designed specifically for those who want to become IFLA volunteer coaches. Trainees develop their coaching skills, offer their time and expertise and become confident in their ability to coach others during the IFLA congress.


The programmes started at WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, where the IFLA CPDWL Section hosted a session for delegates, focusing on career and professional development coaching. 24 experienced coaches from across the IFLA sections offered coaching sessions on a wide range of subjects: general management skills, change management, career planning, leadership, work-life-balance, professional reorientation, IFLA work and structure.

After the programme was accepted as an official IFLA initiative, the two-hour coaching session during the next IFLA WLIC 2019 in Athens was again well-attended. Collaborations with the IFLA M&M Section and Certified Leadership Coach, Vera Keown, have improved the programme’s quality, outcomes and effectiveness.

IFLA Coaching Session set-up, IFLA WLIC 2019

Part 1

Certified Leadership Coach, Vera Keown has planned and produced a training course for coaches in the form of recorded webinars. This training course is available online in five of the seven IFLA official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, German and Russian, and is offered free of charge.

Participants can follow it at their own pace, by watching the recordings uploaded to YouTube and by following the slides of each training.

YouTube video, Enhancing your strengths through coaching webinar

The five IFLA Coach Training Series YouTube vdeos cover the following themes:

  • IFLA Coach Training: 1A – Introduction to Coaching
  • IFLA Coach Training: 1B – Coaching Principles, Mindset, & Roles
  • IFLA Coach Training: 1C – Coaching Process & Session Guide
  • IFLA Coach Training: 1D – Asking Questions
  • IFLA Coach Training: 1E – Listening & Providing Feedback

Access the IFLA Coaching training course materials for free.

Other coaching-related webinars have been uploaded to the CPDWL Section’s YouTube channel, such as: “Enhancing your strengths through coaching

YouTube video, IFLA Coach Training, Introduction to Coaching, offered by Vera Keown, Certified Leadership Coach

Part 2 – coming up soon

With the first IFLA Coaching training series already being held successfully, the IFLA CPDWL and M&M are now ready to kick off Part 2.

In Part 2 of the training program, participants will join a live online webinar offered by Vera Keown. In these live webinars, participants will have the opportunity to review the coaching concepts and process introduced in Part 1 with the instructor available to answer questions related to the training content. To participate in Part 2, please be sure to have watched all 5 of the Part 1 coach training recordings, linked above.

Live Zoom webinars:

Dr Gillian Hallam and Ulrike Lang, chairs of the IFLA CPDWL had this to say about the IFLA Coaching Inititive:

Since the beginning of the IFLA Coaching Initiative, we’ve been revising the programme’s content and process to optimise the trainings for coaches. We started with groups and moved toward individual coaching only, in a setting which ensures a high level of confidentiality. We hope that all who wish to become an IFLA volunteer coach will take the opportunity to complete the training course over the next few weeks.

IFLA Coaching Initiative working group:

Ewa Stenberg (Convenor), Almuth Gastinger, Barbara Schleihagen, Carmen Lei, Ulrike Lang, and Vera Keown.