Claudia LuxDear Colleagues,

In the latest issue of IFLA journal I devoted my page to the threats of the economic crisis and the way this could have an effect on libraries. The economic crisis is something that we can fight with our human powers; that is clear. But just before finishing this Newsletter, we were shocked by the news of the terrible earthquakes in the Abruzzi region of Italy.  This of course makes us realize the vulnerability of life. Our thoughts are with our Italian colleagues who have suffered the loss of loved ones and must also cope with the devastation of their cities. The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) has released a Statement on this terrible event.

From the 5th to 11th of March, I visited several public and University libraries in Kyoto and Tokyo. Invited by the National Diet Library of Japan, I was lucky to see their new, impressive facilities near Osaka. In Tokyo, I had intensive and fruitful talks with Dr. Makoto Nagao, the Librarian (director general) of the National Diet Library. His innovative spirit is an inspiration for librarianship in Japan.  In the afternoon, about 120 people attended my lecture ‘Libraries in the Knowledge Society – visions for the future’. Questions from the audience were taken up in the following on-stage discussion with Dr. Nagao.

I am pleased to convey the news that the IFLA congress in Quebec-2008 was recognized as a most successful event by receiving two remarkable awards. The IFLA Quebec World Library and Information Congress 2008 won a "Prix Fidéides" award for the "business event of the Year" from the Quebec Chamber of Commerce, and a "Grand Prix du tourisme québécois" from the Quebec Tourism Bureau, also for "business event of the Year." Both recognized the IFLA Congress as the most important conference being held in Quebec in 2008, generating $CAD 8.8 million in economic impact in the Quebec region alone (more in the country as a whole if we take into account the satellite meetings and the fact that many delegates stayed in Canada more than a week). The increased visibility offered through these awards to libraries, IFLA and national associations and institutions, among politicians, business people, tourism industry and the general public, is surely a benefit we are very proud of.

Prix Fidéides


At the running up to this years’ IFLA Congress in Milan, IFLA was represented by a strong delegation at the Stelline Conference, the Italian national library conference that takes place each year, also in Milan. At this 14th edition—held on 12 & 13 March—Governing Board Members Trine Kolderup-Flaten, Patrice Landry, Ingrid Parent, Anna Maria Tammaro and IFLA HQ’s Communication & Services Director Ingeborg Verheul promoted IFLA and the upcoming conference in their presentations for a public of over 200 Italian librarians.

Libraries and ICT for Development (ICT4D)

IFLA has formed a small team to look at activities undertaken by organisations working in the ICT4D sector and see what libraries can learn from them. Developments in this sector often take advantage of new technologies and cutting edge techniques for information dissemination and IFLA, alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Initiative and the Centre for Information and Society (CIS) at the University of Washington, has begun to move towards greater involvement with active ICT4D organisations. Christel Mahnke (President’s Information Society Working Group), Reinhard Altenhoener (Chair, Information Technology Sector), Karolien Selhorst (Knowledge Management Section) and Stuart Hamilton (Senior Policy Advisor) will work as a steering group for IFLA’s ICT4D activities, and will share information with Global Libraries Initiative and CIS. A meeting will be organised at the Milan World Library and Information Congress for interested parties to meet and discuss future work. For more information contact [email protected]

Ellen Tise, IFLA President-elect, attended the Annual Meeting of the Danish Library Association which was held in Aalborg, Denmark from 12-13 March. She was invited to give the Opening Speech on her presidential theme, “Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge”. The conference was opened by the Danish Ministry of Culture, Carina Christensen. Representatives from other Nordic Library Associations also attended the conference and participated actively in a Discussion Group on the presidential theme. The Discussion Group was moderated by Sinikka Sipillä, Chair of MLAS and Secretary General of the Finnish Library Association. It was an excellent, professional, and stimulating meeting and impressive examples of successful innovation in libraries were discussed. On her return, Ellen Tise also had the opportunity to visit two public libraries and the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen.

Ellen Tise and representatives

Strategic Partnerships

Blue Shield

The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBC) decided to approve the establishment of a National Committee of the Blue Shield in Indonesia. For a complete list of current national committees see: This is also the website where you can stay informed with news about the Municipal Archive in Cologne (Germany) that completely collapsed earlier this month.


The 8 NGOs* forming the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) held their annual meeting on March 12 and 13 in The Hague, hosted by IFLA.
Amongst the main topics on the agenda were the relationships of the Council with UNESCO and with the NGOS forming the “Group on convergence”.
Concerning UNESCO it was decided:

  • to join the Working Group on Information preservation of the Information for All Programme
  • to confirm Ray Edmondson (SEAPAVAA) as representative in the Register Subcommittee of the International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Programme
  • to organise a competition for a logo for the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

In the field of training, next year CCAAA is organising a Joint Technical symposium on the theme “Digital Challenges and Digital Opportunities in Audiovisual Archiving” (May 2010 in Oslo) and seeks contact with ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) to set up a programme for a course on Safeguarding Sound and Image Collections.



My best wishes to all of you.

Claudia Lux

President of IFLA 2007 – 2009
March 2009


* Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA), International Council on Archives (ICA), International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT) Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA).

The Letter of the President "LOP" is distributed at least once a month providing an overview of some of the current activities of the IFLA President, President-elect, the Governing Board and the Headquarters. It contains LINKS for further consultation and will be sent to IFLA-L and all other mailing lists organised by IFLA. Concise (one page), with no illustrations or special layout, it should cause no reception problems.