IFLA Newsletter March 2024: the diversity, equity and inclusion issue.

The message below accompanies the March 2024 edition of the IFLA Newsletter.

IFLA Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 3

Welcome to the March 2024 edition of our newsletter, focused this month on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)!

The most widely marked event is International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March, but March also contains the International Day to Combat Islamophobia and the International Day for the Elimination Racial Discrimination, as well as International French Language Day, underlining the importance of multilingualism as a pillar of inclusion.

In promoting DEI, libraries come from a strong place. We are institutions intended to make knowledge and information accessible to all, without discrimination. Our existence has, in particular, allowed millions of people who might otherwise never have had the opportunity to learn, develop and grow to do so. Our universalism is a key strength – we do not seek to categorise or label users – everyone is a library user or patron.

Yet we should not and cannot take our ability to reach everyone in our communities for granted. Rather, we need to apply our powers of reflection and observation to see where we are falling short, and how we can get better. In a world where discrimination against different groups is used by populists as a tool for gaining attention, this is also an advocacy issue.

IFLA is lucky to have a very strong professional community which is asking just these questions. This month’s newsletter contains just a snapshot of the work our units are doing to shed new light on how we can get better still at DEI, from the perspective of multicultural populations and urban communities, as well as through a look at how we can develop metadata practices that help move the dial. There are also great examples from libraries in very different parts of the world.

In addition to the stories highlighted, this newsletter offers an exciting update on plans for the IFLA Information Futures Summit, where we will be exploring how to ensure that the future of information and knowledge aligns with our values around inclusion and more.

Beyond that, catch up also on our advocacy work, and the review of our Congress model as a whole. You can also find out about our newest members, and the opportunities you have in the coming month to get involved in IFLA events.

Happy reading! ⚖️📖