Editors note:
This is the last newsletter to be provided by out-going IFLA President, Claudia Lux.  As of September 2009, incoming IFLA President Ellen Tise will continue the newsletter with a new format.  At the IFLA Congress in Milan, Claudia Lux finished her term as IFLA President.  As a token of our appreciation for all she has done for IFLA, this issue is dedicated to Claudia.  It is an adapted version of her Farewell Speech in Milan before the General Assembly on Wednesday 26 August 2009.


Claudia Lux

Dear colleagues,

This newsletter highlights some of the achievements of IFLA during the last year of my presidency and I am happy to tell you that thanks to the great activity of the governing board, the sections and core activities and IFLA headquarters it was a year of significant results.  Some of this was based on work done and prepared in the year before, while others were new activities and challenges to carry out.

First and most important for IFLA, the new professional structure came into place. This was the result of a thorough discussion process during the last years – some of you will remember the open discussions we had in Durban. I especially want to acknowledge the Professional Committee which under the leadership of Nancy Gwinn completed this task. Building on this, the new statutes were accepted by the last meeting of the IFLA Council in Quebec and the Secretary General together with Headquarters’ staff was asked to have it registered in The Hague.

During the last month we had to work on the relocating of the 2010 congress. We did this successfully and I thank again the Australian and the Swedish colleagues for their support in this matter. The Governing Board has also supported the report of the congress review working group about future WLICs; this will be taken up by the incoming Governing Board to make further evaluations and decisions.
During the last year we have worked on strengthening our relationship with a number of strategic partners. Following initial discussions between IFLA and representatives of international partner NGOs at the 2008 Congress  in Quebec, we invited representatives from the International Council of Archives ICA, the International Council of Museums ICOM, the International Council of Monuments and Sites ICOMOS, CCAAA with CDNL, ICSTI as observers to the first partner meeting in November 2008 and held a second one in April this year. The meetings resulted in a good outline of initial activities and a new Acronym LAMMS. The initial priorities are WIPO, Blue Shield, UNESCO and other common issues. 

We strengthened our advocacy policy not only at different occasions, but also in an ongoing process with activities such as WSIS and IGF. At the December 2008 meeting, the Governing Board endorsed the IFLA’s advocacy framework for the period 2009-2011. This framework links our representational advocacy with training and awareness raising actions. Professional development, political advocacy and community advocacy are the areas where training and awareness raising will take place. Supported by special advocacy tools, there will be strong development in realizing advocacy training for our members with a focus on national library associations, who become drivers of these activities.

After Quebec and with the new Secretary General Jennefer Nicholson in place, there were quite a few changes at IFLA Headquarters which has led to new energy and some great results. Many of these you might not see, but one significant and very visible change was the launch of the new Website in April 2009.  In addition, after much hard work from HQ staff, we have again a growing membership base. Because of the support of the IFLA HQ and staff, there is now a presidential newsletter every month. Because of the support of IFLA HQ and staff, it has never been easier to join IFLA. Due to the support of IFLA HQ and staff it was a joy to be IFLA president with such an energetic secretariat, coming up with new ideas and new practices. This is why I want to acknowledge how much I appreciate the work of the colleagues at the HQ, and as it is hard to mention all of them here, I just say thank you to them – not only for the last year but for the years they have supported me in my work in the governing board and as president elect and as president. And I want to thank Jennefer Nicholson for her excellent and motivating leadership of the team in The Hague.

The Secretary General will also report on some great results from our Core Activities and there are special reports on the web about them. I just want to express my thanks to all those who have contributed and supported the work of the Core Activities, the work of the Regional offices and language centers – you have done a tremendous work during the last year and everybody can see the good results. As a result of IFLA’s language policy, we have the continuation of simultaneous interpretation during the Congress as well as the translation of IFLA Express into all the seven official languages, emphasizing the multilingual and multicultural strategy of IFLA. Thank you all for your work well done.

When I started my Presidency I not only stressed the factor of advocacy, but I also told you how much I appreciate having more IFLA guidelines, as they are of direct use to our members Again, some Sections have produced guidelines, including: UNIMARC Guidelines on Manuscripts, Guidelines on Parliamentary Websites, Guidelines for multilingual thesauri, national bibliographies in the digital age: guidance and new directions, guidelines for legislative libraries, guidelines for intellectual property administrations and a Russian translation of the guidelines of multilingual thesauri, and a German translation of Guidelines for OPAC Displays. There are more guidelines in the pipeline and I want to take the opportunity to thank all the sections for their wonderful work done during the last year.

During my presidency, urged by the current IFLA Journal editor Stephen Parker, I introduced the president’s page in IFLA journal—which focuses on current issues—and since January I have been writing the Presidential newsletter, with the assistance and support of IFLA headquarters.

Like the two years before, the 3rd IFLA presidential meeting was held in Berlin to bring together librarians and their political counterparts from the ministry or municipality to discuss the ‘Libraries on the Agenda’ topics. The presidential meetings were supported by the Foreign Ministry of Germany, the Goethe Institute, the German Library Association and some foundations; I want to express my sincere thanks to all of them.

Before I come to the end, let me say thank you.

Thank you to the Governing Board.   It was such a supportive and friendly atmosphere to work with you and we achieved much more than I imagined when I began my presidency; I especially want to thank all outgoing members of the GB. I also thank the officers here and the members of the sections that you took on not only the hard work in your specialized field but also ideas of my presidential theme ‘Libraries on the Agenda’. I want to thank all members of IFLA that I could work with you during the last two years as a president, I want to thank you for your support of libraries and information issues and I want to acknowledge how much I enjoyed to talk with you all, wherever in the world I was able to meet you. As said before, I want to thank again IFLA staff in the HQ and in the regional offices and those supporting us in the language centers.

I want to thank all my colleagues from all German library and librarian associations and from German libraries who supported me so much during my time as president and president-elect and to my staff at home and my deputy directors – without the work they took on from me, I would not have been able to take on the presidency of IFLA. I want to express a special thank you to my wonderful colleagues all around the world from the Goethe Institute, who supported my presidency and took on ‘Libraries on the Agenda’ in many activities. There are so many colleagues I have to name, who have supported me in different ways. It is not possible to name you all – so just take it as a thank you from my heart to you.

Nevertheless I want to give a special acknowledgement to a few people for their continuous support

Claus Michaletz, former CEO of Springer, a sponsor of my library and of IFLA activities.

Diann Pelz-Rusch, some of you will know better as Diann Rusch-Feja, who helped me to find the correct English expression – sometimes late in the night, when I was writing a presentation in the last minute – and polished my English wherever needed.
Hella Klauser, from the Center of Library Excellence at the German Library Association, Secretary of German IFLA National Committee and Chair of Library and Information International in Germany who worked for me day and night to support my presidency, to organize the presidential meetings and who was able to put into practice many of my ideas in such a wonderful way, I would not have been able to do it.

And last but not least the IFLA President Elect, Ellen Tise, who supported me during these wonderful two years and turned our professional work to a great friendship with a lot of fun together. Ellen, it was great to work with you and I wish—from tomorrow evening on—that you will have as much fun and joy as I had during my time as President of IFLA.

See You in Gothenburg 2010
Thank you all!

Claudia Lux
President of IFLA 2007 – 2009

Claudia Lux, President of IFLA 2007-2009

The Letter of the President "LOP" is distributed approximately once a month and provides 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.