Ellen R. TiseDear Colleagues

On behalf of all IFLA members and staff I extend my deepest sympathy and sorrow to our Haitian colleagues as they struggle to deal with the damage to their lives and their country.  IFLA will give full support to relief initiatives for destroyed or damaged libraries in Haiti, focusing on collaboration with Blue Shield committees, ACURIL, ABINIA and the National Library of the Dominican Republic. 

Please refer to the IFLA website for news and developments regarding libraries in Haiti.

Bibliothèque Nationale D'Haïti

Bibliothèque Nationale D’Haïti

Although its building, collections and other materials are heavily damaged, the Bibliothèque Nationale is the only building left standing in the area.

Area just to the left of the Bibliothèque Nationale

Area just to the left of the Bibliothèque Nationale

My first 6 months as IFLA President has been an enriching experience, and has demonstrated the value and importance of IFLA to our profession. I would like to share with you some of the highlights. In September 2009, the IFLA Secretary General and I represented IFLA at the centennial celebrations of the National Library of China (NLC). In parallel with this, the NLC has co-sponsored with the IFLA National Libraries Section a symposium under the theme “International Progress of Libraries: Global Knowledge Sharing." This links very closely to my Presidential theme “Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge." Knowledge is the key to success, and equitable access to information is a fundamental right of all people.  Exchange of information/knowledge through people, the media and research is pivotal for better cultural understanding and for the growth of society. 

Ellen Tise speaking at the National Library of China

Ellen Tise speaking at the National Library of China

In the beginning of October I attended the International Conference on Academic Libraries at the University of Delhi, India, and addressed the issue of the academic library of the future, against the backdrop of the changing pedagogy in higher education and the corresponding changes in information technology. Later in October I had the honour to deliver the 2009 Mortenson Distinguished Lecture at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and in November I went back to China as keynote speaker at the International Summit on Public Libraries hosted by Shenzhen Library. Both India and China are considered important new and emerging membership countries for IFLA.

In December I attended various meetings including the Berlin7 conference on Open Access in Paris and the IFLA Governing Board meetings in The Hague.

Advocacy News

Cusco, Peru Internet Workshop

Participants at the IFLA internet impact assessment workshop in Cusco, Peru

Three major projects on the IFLA Internet manifesto
came to an end in October and November. During a series of impact assessment
workshops in Peru,
and the Philippines,
FAIFE trainers were able to hear how
participants had used IFLA training materials to train colleagues, students,
Internet café owners and politicians about the use of a human rights-based
framework for the provision of Internet access. The cascade model used in these
projects had a great impact for the core trainers involved, but also in the
number of library workers reached through the workshops – over 300 in Peru, over
500 in Russia and 2300 in the Philippines!

Workshops on the newest of the FAIFE training workshops, on the IFLA
Manifesto on Transparency
, Good Governance and Freedom from Corruption, also
took place in India
and Vietnam in November 2009, and participants in both countries were
enthusiastic about the materials. A series of follow-up workshops is scheduled
to take place in India in 2010.

The work of the CLM Committee continued to focus on
exceptions and limitations for libraries during the 19th meeting of the World Intellectual Property
Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, which
took place in December. The IFLA/eIFL Statement of Principles on Exceptions and
Limitations was circulated, and a report on the meeting can be found here.

Building Strong Library Associations is a
comprehensive capacity building programme to be delivered under IFLA ALP core
activity available from September 2010. It includes a training package aimed at
developing and sustaining library associations, the continued delivery of IFLA’s
existing policy-based workshops, mentoring and other activities. The programme
is customizable to suit the needs of library associations around the world. The
programme will be supported by an online platform that will provide remote
access to learning materials and resources to all IFLA members.

Strategic Partnership news

On 7 September 2009,  IFLA—along with EBLIDA
, and other library representatives—participated in a hearing in
on the Google Book Settlement organized by the
European Commission. Prior to the hearing in Brussels, IFLA submitted a statement
to the court in New York currently considering the Google Book Settlement in the
US. This statement, approved by the IFLA Governing Board during the IFLA
Congress in Milan, states clearly our concerns with the settlement. On 19
November 2009, the US Court granted
preliminary approval of the Amended

In the past half year IFLA was represented at various International
Conferences. GB member Danielle Mincio was at the ITU Telecom World 2009 conference in
Geneva (5-9 October). On 7 to 10 October 2009, Nancy Gwinn, former Chair of IFLA
Professional Committee, represented the IFLA President at the Annual meetings of
ICOMOS in Malta. 
During this meeting she presented a paper
on the LAMMS initiative.

On 13 October 2009, IFLA in association with the
Frankfurt Book Fair, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights
Organizations (IFRRO), the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO), the International Publishers Association
(IPA) and the European Writers’ Council (EWC),
organized a one day conference on ‘The Culture of
Reading and Books in the Digital Age
’. The conference which took place the
day before the opening of the Frankfurt
Book Fair
, explored the ways in which libraries, writers and publishers can
foster a culture of reading in the age of digital information and communication
technologies. In addition, IFLA’s work and the upcoming Congress in Gothenburg
were promoted in the IFLA booth at the Book Fair; many colleagues dropped by to
greet the IFLA staff or to request for specific information. China was the Guest
of honor of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2009, so many Chinese colleagues were

Sjoerd Koopman (centre, purple shirt) and Chinese Colleagues at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Sjoerd Koopman (centre, purple shirt) and Chinese Colleagues at the Frankfurt Book Fair

UNESCO General Conference endorsed the IFLA Multicultural Library Manifesto. The IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto will help librarians address cultural and linguistic diversity issues in their work, and guide them in providing library services that serve diverse interests and communities and respect cultural identity and values. The road to endorsement was complicated and required a great deal of effort from not only members of the Library Services to Multicultural Populations section, but also from many other IFLA members who followed my call to contact their UNESCO national commissions and ask them to endorse the Manifesto. Many thanks to all who helped out!

On 20-22 October 2009, the Interlending and Document Supply Conference was held in Hannover, Germany; the 11th in the series of ILDS Conferences that have been organized under the auspices of IFLA. A very interesting programme was held and it was attended by nearly 200 delegates from 35 different countries. On 25 January I participated in the BOBCATSSS 2010  as a keynote speaker. Together with the New Professionals SIG an IFLA workshop was given promoting IFLA among the international Students community. Another good initiative to promote IFLA to the LIS Student Community is the Adopt a Student Program, an initiative of the Education and Training Section.

Grants for Gothenburg

It is my great pleasure to announce that 2010 funds are now available to support a number of colleagues from countries in Asia/Oceania, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to attend our IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Gothenburg.
Travel grants can be provided thanks to generous donations from a number of different sources:

For more information please visit the Grants for Gothenburg page on the conference website.

Upcoming events

I am happy to announce that the Annual Presidential Meeting, first introduced by my predecessor, Claudia Lux, will be continuing. I cordially invite you all to attend my First Presidential Meeting that will be combined with the Annual Symposium of the Stellenbosch University on 18-19 February. Finally, I would also like to draw your attention to the Final Announcement for Gothenburg 2010. Registration will open on 1 March.

In closing I would like to convey my best wishes for a successful 2010 and may we continue on our productive journey to provide access to knowledge for all.

Gothenburg 2010 logo
Ellen Tise
IFLA President 2009-2011

9 February 2010

The Letter of the President "LOP" is distributed periodically and provides an overview of some of the current activities of the IFLA President, President Elect, the Governing Board and the Headquarters staff. It is sent to IFLA-L and other mailing lists organised by IFLA. The newsletter is sent in plain-text format and so should cause no reception problems.