The message below accompanies the September 2023 edition of the IFLA Newsletter.
IFLA Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 9

Welcome to the September issue of the IFLA Newsletter!

This is a special editorial for me, my first as IFLA President.

As those of you who followed the closing session at WLIC – in person or online – will know, I have chosen ‘stronger together’ as the theme for my presidency.

I set out the steps I think we need to take in my speech there – concerning how we meet, how we work with our membership, how we work with partners and beyond. But the common goal in there is that it by working more effectively with each other that we can deliver for the communities we serve.

A key way in which we do deliver to our communities is by building literacy, or perhaps more correctly, literacies, as key enabling skills that open up new possibilities and opportunities.

This month, the world marked International Literacy Day, under the theme ‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition – building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies’.

The theme is well suited for our work as libraries. A reminder that we should always keep in mind why we are doing what we do and measure our success in terms of the lives that we change for the better.

At the State Library of Queensland, where I work, literacies are reflected in one of our Strategic Plan: “Grow literacy, storytelling and lifelong learning through physical and digital experiences that enable and inspire”. The First 5 Forever programme, delivered in partnership with public libraries, recognises that the first 5 years of life has lifelong impact. When children are encouraged to talk, read, sing and play, every day, these positive interactions help build a strong foundation that sets them up for educative success and a lifelong love of learning.

This newsletter highlights some great examples of work being undertaken across the globe. In our reports from our professional units, find out about our Children and Young Adults and Literacy and Reading Sections’ work to share experience and ideas around promoting reading, as well as new tools for information literacy.

There are also updates on our advocacy work, in particular on how libraries can build climate literacy, as well as our engagement around the United Nations, and on our regional activities, such as on supporting youth entrepreneurship in Africa and our new Regional Offices for 2024-26.

You can also find information about open calls, new members, and upcoming events.

And of course, we’ve got a look back on our time together at WLIC in Rotterdam.

Happy reading!

Vicki McDonald, IFLA President 2023-2025
Vicki McDonald
IFLA President 2023-2025