The Governing Board met on Thursday 27 October. Items on the agenda included the new statutes for IFLA that will guide the Federation and that reflect the work done on the Governance Review. The Governing Board approved the draft statutes which will be available to members at the General Assembly on 5 November and will be voted on at the Extraordinary General Assembly on 12 February 2021. 

The statutes have been updated and rewritten to make them clearer and simpler and also to ensure they comply with Dutch law. They will guide the work of IFLA and provide clarity, flexibility and the ability to adapt to whatever circumstances may arise. The Statutes are the highest level of document for IFLA, the Rules of Procedure and the Handbook complete the legal and practical documentation.

Other items on the agenda were mainly administrative and will enable us to work within the Dutch emergency law to hold our General Assembly on 5 November in The Hague. While the situation is quite fluid in relation to the national response to COVID the Board is confident that our contingency plans will ensure that the General Assembly is able to go ahead.

The General Assembly will be chaired by President-elect Barbara Lison, as I am not able to travel out of Australia. The IFLA staff team are working hard to make sure that it is a special first “virtual” gathering, and as well as the regular items such as the President, Secretary General and Treasurer reports we will be celebrating the bestowing of IFLA Awards on colleagues who have given extraordinary service to IFLA and the library field. More details on the virtual General Assembly will follow shortly. I hope that you can tune in! 

The Governing Board has just commenced a self-review, looking at how we are all working together and how we can improve our processes – particularly as we will most probably be only meeting virtually for the remainder of our term. As we move into the new structure and a new governance model it is appropriate and timely that we do this.

I will be joining the General Assembly from Melbourne, and look forward to seeing you online!

Christine Mackenzie
IFLA President 2019-2021