IFLA Presidential Newsletter No. 6 June/July 2009
07 August 2009
During the writing of this newsletter, I can see that Berlin is booming with tourists and though it is holiday season for many, both the city and I are busy as always.
From June 2 to 5 the Deutsche Bibliothekartag —the annual German libraries conference—took place in Erfurt, in Thurengia, Germany. ‘Libraries on the Agenda' was again a topic, this time with more of a focus on how to put it into practice. The IFLA President's working group invited a politician to talk to us about successful advocacy. Her message was clear: be louder and more forceful when advocating.
From June 10 to 12 I was in Athens, Greece where foreign cultural Institutes—such as the Goethe Institute—together with the library association organised a seminar on Library policies from local to national.
During the seminar, I presented a paper titled: ‘Coming together: politicians discover libraries: from German perspectives to international outlook.' Different colleagues from IFLA sections took part in this important meeting and contributed additional aspects of advocacy activities. I also led a seminar on ‘Advocating in four steps' which included colleagues role playing as either politicians or librarians on the topic of better funding for the libraries to hire library staff, at present a very hot topic in Greece.
June was the last month before a major new project was started for my own library: the Humboldt-Forum, an experiment to work together with the ethnological museum and a collection from a university's scientific experiments to utilize a new space next to one of our old library buildings. This would mean reconstructing the old Berlin castle to its original state, but with a modern interior. Since the Italian architect Franco Stella won the competition last November, the building process has moved fast. The Humboldt-Forum will be an ethnological museum, a collection from the university and some parts of the Central and Regional Library of Berlin; young adults, music, film – not merged, but working together to develop new aspects in presentation and research. On July 8 we opened the first exhibition that was planned by the three partners. It was a true success! In his opening speech, the German President explicitly mentioned the Central and Regional Library as an important partner in this project, as the library activities alone will guarantee that the Humboldt-Forum will open up to a wide range of people. We all hope that this project will be seen by politicians as a stimulus for the economy.
On July 6 the full Executive Committee met to discuss in detail the situation of the Brisbane WLIC 2010 and the impact of the global economic crisis. This followed extensive consultations with the Brisbane National Committee. Our finances—still a weak point for IFLA—were to be severely affected and would bring IFLA into a difficult financial situation. We could not take such a big financial risk that would have a longer term effect on our operations. It was agreed that there was only one solution: to cancel Brisbane and to relocate the World Library and Information Congress 2010 to Göteborg, Sweden. We sincerely thank our Australian colleagues, as they gave us clear notice of the situation early on and we are also very grateful to our Swedish colleagues from Göteborg and to the Swedish Library Association for their help in this particularly difficult situation.
That the financial crisis would harm our plans for WLIC 2010 was not to be foreseen back in 2007, but there were signs early in 2009. Nevertheless, together with the National Committee we tried as hard as we could to keep it in Brisbane. The IFLA Secretary General visited Brisbane and met with the Committee in May. But at the beginning of July we had to accept the reality. It was fortunate that in the selection process of IFLA 2012 Göteborg was not only prepared to host the 2012 congress but, with short notice, was also even prepared to do so in 2010. We know that it is not easy to decide on a World Library and Information Congress just one year in advance and I personally want to thank the President of the Swedish Library Association Inga Lunden and all her colleagues from the Association and from Göteborg's libraries for being such a big help to IFLA. Now that the decision is made we need to look forward and try our best to make it a success.
On July 10 I went to Chicago to participate in the American Library Association Annual Conference and to learn from our colleagues how they are combating the financial crisis. President elect Ellen Tise was also there and gave two lectures. I was very grateful to receive an award from the Association of College and Research Libraries -International Relations Committee. We met with "IFLA people" from ALA and with the American Library Associations' chairs and discussed current topics. We also had a very nice evening with the China-American Group where I met colleagues again from last year's conference in China and many new ones, celebrating their awards. During the same evening we also enjoyed a wonderful invitation by Jim Rettig, president of ALA, to the top of the Chicago Hilton, a very famous setting. I also met a number of our colleagues who are tirelessly fighting for copyright issues that affect libraries and their patrons.
From 15 to 19 June, IFLA held an expert meeting at Headquarters in the Hague in support of a new ‘Building Strong Library Associations' training programme. This was the second meeting this year, and it brought together participants from Australia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Denmark, Poland, Germany and the Ukraine for a week of intensive work on a modular training package designed to build capacity in library associations. The idea is to create a training package that can benefit associations at all stages of development, with modules addressing topics such as setting up and sustaining an association, advocacy and lobbying, financial management and strategic planning. IFLA intends for the package to be offered as part of a wider library associations capacity building programme that could encompass peer-mentoring schemes, regional co-operation between associations and an online e-learning platform. It is hoped that this programme can begin in 2010 after further drafting, expert review and pilot workshops in two different countries to test the credibility of the materials. The programme will be further discussed at the World Library and Information Congress in Milan.
From June 6 to 14, IFLA Governing Board member Barbara Ford represented IFLA at the conference "Crimea 2009" which is held under the auspices of IFLA: The sixteenth international Crimea conference "Libraries and Information Resources in the Modern World of Science, Culture, Education, and Business" with a 2009 topic of "Transformation of Library and Information Technologies and Open Access to Information in Legal Environment" was held in Sudak, Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukraine. Barbara Ford brought greetings from IFLA at the official conference opening session along with many government and professional dignitaries and officials.
Many topical issues were on the agenda and as the chairman of the organizing committee, Dr. Yakov Shrayberg, Director General of the Russian National Public Library for Science and Technology, stated good spirits and fine weather in addition to an excellent program were appreciated by everyone. Dr. Shrayberg's annual conference paper set the tone as he provided an excellent overview of key library issues and outside forces impacting what we do in libraries.
A full week of substantive programs on a wide range of topics provided valuable information for conference participants (over 1200 librarians from about 30 countries). Simultaneous translation was offered in most sessions and papers were presented in Russian, English, and Ukrainian. The Crimea conference is an excellent place to learn about all that is happening in libraries and the information world in this region of the world.
If you want to participate in the 2010 conference which will be held again in the lovely seaside setting on the Black Sea in the Ukraine, you can visit the conference websites:
http://www.iliac.org and http://www.gpntb.ru.
Abstracts for presentations are generally due in March or April.
On June 30th the IFLA Secretary General, the Chair of the Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM) Committee and the IFLA Senior Policy adviser met with the new Director of the World Intellectual Property Association (WIPO), Francis Gurry. The meeting, which also involved representatives from Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL.net), discussed ways in which the library community might work more closely with WIPO, particularly in the areas information sharing and regional training seminars. IFLA is now preparing for a joint workshop with WIPO and rights holders associations on reading culture in the digital age. This will be held at the Frankfurt Book Fair on the 13th October. For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Election results President-elect 2009-2011 and GB members 2009-2011
On June 10, the results of the elections for the President-elect 2009-2011 and the Governing Board were announced.
Ingrid Parent (Canada) is elected to serve as President-elect for the term 2009-2011 and to serve as President for the term 2011-2013.
The elected Governing board members are: Jesús Lau (Mexico), Sinikka Sipilä (Finland), Barbara Schleihagen (Germany), Helena Asamoah-Hassan (Ghana), Danielle Mincio (Switzerland), Qiang Zhu (China), Tone Eli Moseid (Norway), Donna Scheeder (United States), Paul Whitney (Canada) and Pascal Sanz (France). The new GB includes also the PC members elected earlier: Steve Witt (United States), Michael Heaney (United Kingdom), Ann Okerson (United States), Judy Field (United States), Buhle Mbambo-Thata (South Africa) and Patrice Landry (Switzerland) who will serve as PC Chair.
More on the election results can be found here: /en/news/results-of-the-election-of-president-elect-2009
My best wishes to all of you and see you in Milan!
Don't miss the chance of a lifetime!
La Scala TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE
"Concerto lirico" at the Teatro Alla Scala in Milan –
Special prices for the WLIC 2009 delegates.
for more information, please see the Congress website
|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.