At the World Library and Information Congress 2014 in Lyon, the 12 Associates were recognised with certificates marking the completion of their two years in the programme. Three Counselors and Nancy Gwinn, serving as seminar chair at the Congresses in Helsinki, Singapore and Lyon were also recognised for their contributions. The Governing Board will now be evaluating and reviewing the programme, and making recommendations for the future. Many of the Associates will continue to be involved in IFLA activities in the coming years as expert contributors to working groups, representatives at regional and international forums, and officer bearers.

IFLA Leaders at WLIC2014 in Lyon

International Leaders Programme Associates, Counselors, Session Chair Nancy Gwinn, and IFLA programme manager Fiona Bradley 

During the Closing Session in Lyon, programme Associate Sarah Kaddu was invited to make an address on behalf of the whole cohort and programme:

Thank you IFLA President- Madam Sinika Sipila,

Thank you IFLA Secretary General – Madam Jennefer Nicholson.

On behalf of the Associates, I wish to commend the Governing Board’s vision and commitment to the IFLA International Leaders programme over the last two years, and, the Delegates for participating in the 80th IFLA Conference and Congress.

We are very honoured to have been selected for this great IFLA International Leaders programme. It has been a very important programme to IFLA and to the library community because it has nurtured its future leadership.

We have had incredible opportunity to engage with leadership and participate in IFLA’s activities at the highest level. To us, this has been a tremendous learning opportunity, and also an opportunity to pay back to IFLA and the library community.

Within the IFLA Leaders programme, we have strengthened and benefited from networks within and outside the library community. For instance, we have participated in various Internet Governance Forums (IGFs) across the globe.

We have been resource persons for: Copyright, Open Access and Advocacy. We have created resources to support IFLA’s work on: eLending, libraries and Development; and Regional Collaboration. The Associates have contributed their knowledge, skills and established networks across all these areas over the last two years.

However, the programme has had a few challenges.

It hasn’t always been easy to work as a group across the globe. Not only, did we deal with different time zones, but also balancing our work and other professional commitments.  We have also been responding to the shifting landscape of issues that required us to sometimes change approaches and activities.

Despite the challenges, we are happy to report that, participation in the IFLA Leaders  programme, has enabled a number of Associates to get new jobs because of the newly acquired knowledge and skills;  have impacted on the future of the library sector, for instance, the Post 2015 MDGs, & the Lyon Declaration on Access to information and Development; gained experience in the development of policy and position statements; developed negotiation and intervention skills at policy levels; built capacity to advocate and set political agendas; built relationships and developed networks internationally; and we have benefited from counselors and IFLA officials’ experiences and from the IFLA Governing Board.

We therefore, strongly recommend to the Governing Board to continue running this programme.

We also wish to confirm to IFLA, that, this is not the end of our engagement with IFLA because we have onward plans to continue contributing to IFLA.

Finally, our sincere gratitude goes to the IFLA Governing Board; Fiona Bradley, who has worked tirelessly on the programme activities, Nancy Gwinn, the seminar Chair, Ellen Tise, former IFLA President, our Counsellors, All members of the IFLA International Leaders Programme working group, Our home institutions that supported us to be part of the programme, Our National Associations, and, finally, our families for supporting us and also bearing with our absence whenever we were undertaking assigned activities.

Thank you very much
Merci beaucoup