Nine associates of IFLA’s International Leaders Programme were selected in April 2016 and started their programme at WLIC 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.

Streams and connected projects

Each associate follows a general programme and specific topics within the following three Streams:

  1. Libraries as Agents for Development
  2. Access to Digital Content
  3. Public Access to the Internet

In their first year, International Leaders Programme associates were welcomed into the world of their stream by attending lectures and presentations by stream specialists as well as by taking part in high-level meetings and workshops around the world. They rapidly got acquainted with the world of IFLA and learned to find their way in the programme and their topics. Among a number of activities, associates took part in the 11th Internet Governance Forum meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) meetings in Geneva, Switzerland.

From 13-17 July 2017, a group of associates participated in workshops and events at the UN High Level Political Forum in New York. During the meeting, the role of libraries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was discussed in an open and straightforward way.  Several associates then went on to participate in the formal launch of the first Development and Access to Information (DA2I) report—a worthy celebration of the work done by libraries around the world and how they already are helping to achieve the 17 SDGs of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

During the first year of the programme, two leaders were elected President of their respective library association; others were elected to and served on a number of important library-related committees in their home country. All in all, some amazing activities!

Next steps

In their second year,  associates will work on a project within their stream. A project should:

  • Be relevant: it should relate directly or indirectly, to IFLA’s advocacy activities
  • Be original: it could fill a gap in IFLA's work and outreach, or try out a new approach. Projects which can stimulate similar efforts elsewhere will be particularly helpful;
  • Be useful: it should strengthen IFLA’s reach and/or capacity to impact decision-making at the regional or international level, contributing to the goal of building a stronger, united library field;
  • Be communicable: it should take account of wider impact, both within the library field, and externally;
  • Be developmental: it should draw on your existing skills, experience and interests, but help you identify and develop new talents as an ambassador for libraries;

The results of the projects will be presented and published via IFLA’s regular communication channels to help push forward the greater international library field.

For more information on the IFLA International Leaders Programme, please contact Ingrid Bon.