IFLA Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 3

Welcome to the March edition of the IFLA Newsletter!

This month’s theme is #BreakTheBias, inspired by the theme for International Women’s Day.

We have interpreted this idea of challenging the status quo to refer not only to the deeply important journey towards equality for all genders, but also to encompass many other areas of life where assumptions and barriers intersect to limit and harm our individual freedoms and ability to flourish.

Libraries – when given space and resources to live up to their potential – play a crucial role in helping community members overcome these complex challenges.

Creating safe spaces, facilitating the sharing of stories and enabling access to knowledge are just three of the many ways that libraries help us to overcome these often invisible and sometimes unspeakable forces. In this issue, we dive deeper into some case studies from around the globe, as collected as part of our Library Map of the World project and advocacy work.

Please read, share and discuss what inspires you from this growing collection.

Our call to action – in this time of great uncertainty and complexity – is to resist the path of least resistance. To show up and stand up for peace and understanding each and every day and to take time to listen and to learn from each other.  To recognise our individual biases, and seek out the knowledge required to help us move past them.

IFLA has issued a statement on Ukraine and is encouraged by the solidarity shown by many colleagues, institutions and associations and the concern for freedom of expression amid growing disinformation. Behind the scenes, IFLA is in touch with Ukrainian colleagues and coordinating with Blue Shield International and UNESCO for the protection for Ukraine’s cultural and documentary heritage.

There is much that libraries, librarians and the field at large have done and will do to bring light in through the cracks. We invite you, our Members, to continue on this urgent journey with us.

I was delighted to see that the theme for the United Nations observance of International Women’s Day 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. This is a wonderful coincidence with my Presidential theme “Libraries building a sustainable future” and again shows that sustainability is touching so many areas of our lives. Libraries are contributing to them in countless ways.

In this spirit of togetherness, we are looking very much forward to welcoming many of you to WLIC 2022 in Dublin this July. In this edition, you’ll find more information about early bird registrations which are now open.

For those who are unable to travel during this period, a livestream of key events at WLIC will be freely available online. Be part of our continuing efforts to inspire, enable, engage and connect.

Sign up to read on!

Barbara Lison
IFLA President 2021-2023