8 May 2009

IFLA Presidential Newsletter No. 4 April 2009

Claudia LuxDear Colleagues,

April in Germany normally means weather that changes by the hour, but this year it was consistently sunny and warm—the warmest April since the start of the meteorological records more than 100 years ago. Along with the sun, much good news came from the Headquarters and lots of goals were achieved like the creation of the new Website.

On April 6, I chaired the second meeting of the international NGOs on convergence. The meeting was held at the office of ICOMOS in Paris, and was attended by IFLA, ICOM (International Council of Museums), ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), ICA (International Council on Archives), CCAAA (Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations), with CDNL (Conference of Directors of National Libraries) and ICSTI (International Council for Scientific and Technical Information) as observers. During this meeting the group elaborated on actions for further cooperation at a strategic level on copyright (WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization); disaster recovery (Blue Shield); training in the area of preservation and emergency action; digital collections; archiving and UNESCO. This second meeting was again quite fruitful and has certainly strengthened our cross-sectoral understanding of cultural heritage.  For more information please contact: convergence@ifla.org

On Easter Monday I traveled to Washington D.C. (USA) for the Meeting of the board of directors of the Council of Library and Information Research (CLIR). The good news is that the board decided to endorse the recommendation of a DLF Review Committee for the merging of these two organisations. From 1 July 2009, DLF will continue its work as a program of CLIR. Details can be found in the press release. At CLIR, during a discussion about the future of media and information, the role of cataloguing and metadata was stressed for new development in the digital library world. It is important to consider this as it opens up new perspectives for libraries.

On April 19, I participated in the partner meeting of the World Digital Library (WDL) organised by the Library of Congress and UNESCO in Paris. The discussion concerned WDL's future and was attended by quite a few National Librarians. It brought some good results and plans for the future: Big libraries will help smaller libraries! IFLA has also produced the Digital Library Manifesto and has sent it to UNESCO for approval. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the actual new launch of the WDL because IFLA's Governing Board meeting week had already started and I had to be back in The Hague the same day. During the GB week, on April 22, I had the pleasure to officially launch the new IFLA website in the presence of all IFLA Governing Board members. See the News item regarding the launch, which includes a short YouTube video capturing the moment. 

On April 21-22, Michael Robinson represented IFLA at the CONSAL XIV (Congress of the Southeast Asian Librarians) General Conference, Hanoi, Vietnam.  Unfortunately the dates coincided with IFLA Governing Board meetings so no GB members or staff could attend. My letter to CONSAL was warmly received, and I appreciated that CONSAL had copied my letter and put it into everyone's conference packet. Also Mrs Thuan, the President of the Vietnamese Library Association and one of the conference organisers, read the letter at the Opening Ceremony. Although I am sorry I was not able to be there I am very pleased that IFLA was able to have a presence at CONSAL and give its support to this important regional association.

Advocacy

During April I gave more than 10 interviews on different topics, including one on copyright in the digital environment for the Germany publishing journal ‘Boersenblatt', and another one about IFLA and digital libraries for a new journal on digital libraries in the Netherlands. I was also interviewed by phone twice concerning the World Digital Library. Last but not least, my own library had great press coverage because the Mayor of Berlin has agreed to build a new Central and Regional Library of Berlin.  Quite a big one, so the press wrote: XXL Library for Berlin!  To verbally put libraries on the agenda is easy, but it is a long way to go to see the results and I know that many colleagues around the globe are in the same situation.

IFLA has had a busy month in terms of our continuing work on copyright exceptions and limitations. CLM Committee member Eve Woodberry represented IFLA at a WIPO-organised Seminar on Copyright Flexibilities in Singapore where IFLA's position on fair and balanced copyright frameworks was put forward. This position was reiterated at the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property at the end of April in Geneva. IFLA, along with Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL) and the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) issued a statement encouraging WIPO to formulate a project document to examine core limitations and exceptions to benefit developing nations. For more information, please see the Statement.

The FAIFE Committee's 2009 Internet Manifesto Workshop programme continued in April. A year-long project on the Manifesto began in the Philippines, where FAIFE Committee members Barbara Jones and Barbara Ford held a two day workshop for core trainers selected by the Philippine Library Association Inc. (PLAI). These trainers will now return to their communities all over the country and train colleagues. IFLA will return to assess the impact of the project in November.

Madurodam is a miniature village in The Hague/Scheveningen, the Netherlands. This small world set the scene for big global issues, as international librarians met for a meeting to discuss the theme of sustainability under the title, How green is my library?  I gave a short presentation on the use of sustainable methods and materials in libraries. Veerle Minner and Vincent Bonnet introduced IFLA's Environmental Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group.

How green is my library?

Claudia Lux speaking at the panel discussion on 23 April 2009

Madurodam

A miniature of the Rotterdam Municipal Library in Madurodam

Strategic Partnerships

On 20 April I signed an agreement on behalf of IFLA with the Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Mr Jürgen Boos. Our annual IFLA World Library and Information Congress in August and the Frankfurt Book Fair in October offer major business platforms for librarians on the one hand, and for the publishing industry on the other.

Claudia Lux and Jürgen Boos

Claudia Lux and Jürgen Boos

The Frankfurt Book Fair and IFLA have agreed to combine their expertise in order to expand the interaction between these two worlds. Librarians make up a large proportion of the more than 180,000 trade visitors at the Frankfurt Book Fair and are quite in demand as business partners for the over 7,300 exhibitors.

At the signing of the agreement in Berlin's Central Library, Juergen Boos and I spontaneously exchanged their favourite books to mark the future co-operation between the two international organisations. More information is included in the press release.

...and an important announcement

Rochina2

A view of the densely populated favela, Rocinha

Instituto Dois Irmãos (i2i) is the winner of IFLA's Guust van Wesemael Literacy Prize 2009. This biennial prize of €3,000 is awarded to public and school library initiatives promoting literacy in developing countries. i2i is a non-profit organisation based in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Read the IFLA News item to see how the prize money will be used in Rocinha for improvement of reading room services.

My best wishes to all of you.

Claudia Lux President of IFLA 2007 - 2009 April 2009

 
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.

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